I have had two flow hives for the last three years and all has been fine. The hives are about 50m from my back door. I was always able to approach the hive and I was happily ignored. But… after doing a hive inspection a few days ago as the hive was bearding and I was checking if they would be ready to do a split (not yet done), the bees now immediately attack anyone who goes outside. To the point that if you get bumped, go inside, wait ten minutes, go outside again and I fairly sure its the same bee hanging around to attack again. By wife has been stung three times and I’ve been done twice. We are now leaving the house only with bee veils on. I am at the point that I am about to move them a few km down the road and rehome them to another spot on the property (luckily I have 50 acres). Just curious as to any suggestions as to why after an inspection they now seem to consider all humans as state enemy number one?
Hello Nick, You haven’t said in your profile where you live so I can’t comment about doing a split now as that very much depends on your location.
But the angry hive still defensive a few days after the inspection the first thought is that the queen has gone to ‘bee heaven’ so they are not at all happy with you. If there was eggs and larvae up to 3 days old they will produce a new queen and should settle down again.
I’m in the Porongurup Ranges in Western Australia. The hive in question had serious bearding going on and when I opened it up it was packed to the frames. I ordered a queen the next day for the split, but in the meantime the bees turned mean.
Ok Nick, chances are the hive is strong enough to do a split to cut out the swarming urge and if the hive is over crowded they may be bored and that can make the colony hot to handle. I am looking after a hive for a lady and the hive had her bluffed big time so she simply left it. By the time I took the hive on they would attack in mass when I got within about 20 metres. I made a split and a month later was working the hive in a veil, T shirt and shorts.
But I wonder why you would buy a queen for the split and not let the queenless side of the split produce a new queen naturally?
Hiya mate, really nice part of the state down there and never good having angry bees.
My guess is that you either, inadvertently rolled the queen or more likely, you’ve started a robbing frenzy.
Much of a flow going on down your way yet?
The other hive is fine. Have not seen any robbing. Probably wiped out the queen I am guessing then. I am going to split the hive this morning, so I’ll have a look for eggs. We have a good flow on as the red gum has flowered early this year, have ten flow frames almost full now. I may possibly harvest the one or two today as well, I’ll see how the bees are feeling .
Hi Peter. In regard to the queen rasing, just wanting to get some good genetics back in the hive just in case it is the queen that I have / may not have any more that has turned them nasty. Also, as we have a good flow on right now I’m trying to avoid interruption to the hive. Of course, if I’ve rolled the queen then all this messing about will be largely irrelevant anyway…
I hear being queenless can get a colony agitated…