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What has caused my bees to become cranky?


Went out to the back yard this morning to check on my bees and they let me know that they were not happy.

I can usually stand quite close to my hive and watch the bees without any issues. This morning I noticed more activity out of the front of the hive than I’ve seen lately, plus the bees were warning me to stay away before I got anywhere near the hive. (Even copped a sting on the ear)

We are in the 3rd day of winter and the days have been cool but sunny, with the nights dropping below freezing. The Bureau of Meteorology has put out warnings stating we are looking at heavy rain for the next 5 days.

Would the impending rain give my bees an attitude problem or should I be looking for another cause?



Absolutely! … its mostly likely the reason


How far from the hive were you when you got stung?


I was probably only a couple of meters.

Previously I’ve been able to get close, take photos, etc. and the bees have ignored me. This time as soon as I got within around 3 meters I was getting bumped.


Could be the rain, but many of my hives get more grumpy when the nectar flow drops off. It makes sense for them to defend what they have, when they know there won’t be any more coming for a while. Plus they don’t like threats near the hive when the weather is colder, windier or rainy - if the hive got damaged by the perceived threat (beekeeper/bear/skunk etc), it does far more harm to the colony in bad weather. Survival of the fittest/grumpiest! :smile:


It’s home now and get out the smoker, they now own it and will defend it.


Mine did the same thing three days ago.

I wanted to check syrup level on my inside feeder and even before I could lift the roof of the hive, while standing on the side, I heard a loud, high pitch buzz and 3 seconds later while I was slowly moving away, I got stung on the shoulder!
I guess it’s a good reminder they are not puppies ;-