The girls went crazy today. I got stung like crazy

I had an new queen excluder to install. I also wanted to check another hive that I put a flow box on.
I did the inspection on the new hive all looks fine.
I started to try and separate the boxes and frames. I used smoke as normal.
They went nuts. I had only done a deep inspection 6 weeks ago. They where fine. Literally you could do it naked. Today I was stung 50 plus times. Through every thing it was wearing. full on attack mode. I’ve experienced this removing hives from a cavity. Never from a hive. The rain came and shut them down.So I did finally get the exluder and flow super back on top. Up until now Ive never had a problem. We do have a second hive now so maybe the guards are a little over the top.
Is all I hope is that bee sting poison has a magical property. Because I’m full of it now. Both arms are about 15 % swollen…

I had another attempt just to slide the excluder into position. Was savaged again. I had to call one of my son to hose me down. 10 seconds near teh hive and I had thousands of guards smash me. We had a nice rain shower. That allowed me to put the super back on top. I did that with just a basic veil. Go figure.

Hi Andrew, where in the world are you? When you say that a shower of came through makes me wonder if you chose the wrong weather to open the hive in. Bees get more defensive during rainy periods.

You said that you used smoke as normal. If the bees get aggressive, use more smoke. Keep your smoker going well & give them a good puff of smoke whenever you attempt the next move.

While that shower of rain came through, that put the bees out of attack mode & into deflecting rain away from the hive & most importantly the brood mode.


Yep agree with Jeff, cloudy wet days aren’t ideal.

And getting stung by 50+ bees sucks.

NSW Australia. It was very unusual. We had had showers the morning. I drove south 200K’s So I came home to sunshine. There was the new excluder. This will take five minutes. lesson learnt. I had the smoker going well. I even used t on my self. It may a have been the rain. As was not home and we have had showers. But this hive is normally fine. What bites tougher right. I’ll lett them settle. Actally they had lots of new comb in the roof space. If it was August I would be expecting the hive to swarm. It has two broods and a flow super. Really healthy. Except for 200 hundred I killed today.

I totally agree with @JeffH and @skeggley , I think the bees knew about the weather and nailed you for opening the hive when it was about to rain. Sorry about that, but having lived in the UK, I am very familiar with that bee response! :blush:

Hopefully they treat you more graciously next time. I understand that it is hard to know what the weather will do 200km away - I used to be an active pilot, and have been caught out by the weather myself, despite checking all available forecasts.

Hope you feel better soon. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi Andrew, using 2 brood boxes with one colony can be responsible for a colony building a super strong population. I prefer to use a single brood box for each colony. You’ll still get a strong colony but not a super strong colony as long as you manage the brood properly. I find a single brood box easier to manage than a double brood box. My point in this case being: the stronger a colonies population is, the more bees will attack us & sacrifice themselves in order to protect the brood against us predators.

I agree completely about single supers. Here in SA there is a divided opinion- some people say you need two- other commercial beeks run 1000’s of hives as single broods. I have been trying to convince a double brood fellow that single is OK. He refuses to listen and won’t even try out one. He has 30 hives and no honey at all to speak of this year. The way I see it: I’d rather have two singles than one double. The idea of inspecting a double brood alone does my head in- trying to find a queen? Nuh, uh.

In my own case- when I have a hive go mental- I just shut shop and retreat. When you open the lid and immediately 50 bees fly straight up and try to sting you in the face- you know they were up to some important business and in no mood for intrusion.


Hi Jack, if that bloke is happy with double brood boxes, let him be. I got to the stage of only telling someone once. If they don’t want to listen, that’s their misfortune.

Besides, they are in reality competition. We help people to get more successful at producing honey to sell on the same market as us.

a ha- good advice as always jeff. Yes- I won’t bother with him anymore. He doesn’t listen anyway. I consistently get more honey than him per hive- but it’s like he doesn’t believe me.

What you say about competition is good- reminds me how my dad once said that you should never give away your ‘trade secrets’. He’s an architect- and would never tell a client just how long it actually took to draw up a plan…

anyhow- I am now off for three hours of driving visiting my three hills apiaries in a big circuit. Havn’t looked into them for quite a while- I am fully expecting empty supers all around- but you never know… hope spring eternal.

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Thanks everyone. So I went to two brood boxes has the hive was strong and swarmed twice in the first year and I got advice that two boxes might stop them swarming. That was not the case. They swarmed anyway. I did however do a check this afternoon and pulled the bottom board and the carpet. I got to kill more beetles than I have every seen before. . I have noticed in the past that inspections generally end up with beetles on the carpet the next day. So they might have been stirring them up as well. So it was painful lesson. I’m swelling down. It’s not too bad. I get the shits knowing I killing bees putting the top box on when your getting attacked. So the lesson learnt is 1: don’t build really strong colony’s, 2: don’t mess with the strong colony in the rain.


We would all be grateful if you updated your details to reflect North coast ,South coast or a close town/city so we know how to respond. Local climate has a big infuence on raising bees. :slightly_smiling_face:

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