Quantcast

3 quick questions

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
I visited the new hive today for a look. I was going to try and level it, but they looked so busy (crazy foraging, big cloud activity) that I decided to do it later on and just watch them.

I was probably only 3 or 4 metres away from the hive, at the side and a bit in front, sat on a stool under a tree branch.

Within a few minutes I was approached by one, then another bee, doing the whining noise and staring at me eye to eye - telling me to get lost. This was a bit annoying, as I hadn't really got that close to them, or fiddled with the hive at all. When I walked away, one bee stayed with me for 20 metres or so and 3 or 4 minutes before getting bored.

Right, 3 questions:

1) I haven't washed my suit yet (~ 10 inspections) and have leather gloves they've stung before - is this what attracted the attention?

2) Do you think the colony was grumpy because they are collecting loads and maybe being threatened by wasps?

3) Is this eye to eye whining just a warning to leave? I didn't have any veil-bashing. If I hadn't had a veil on, would I have been stung?

FG
 

roche 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
864
Reaction score
0
Location
Newburyish
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I wash suits after stings to get rid of residual alarm pheromone, same with gloves. Sometimes the suit can have been stung without your knowledge, so checking it regardless can be worthwhile.
 

Silly Bee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
0
Location
Lichfield
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
Probably in need of a wash.

Also if you had gloves on and they had residual honey/propalis etc.
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
I visited the new hive today for a look. I was going to try and level it, but they looked so busy (crazy foraging, big cloud activity) that I decided to do it later on and just watch them.

I was probably only 3 or 4 metres away from the hive, at the side and a bit in front, sat on a stool under a tree branch.

Within a few minutes I was approached by one, then another bee, doing the whining noise and staring at me eye to eye - telling me to get lost. This was a bit annoying, as I hadn't really got that close to them, or fiddled with the hive at all. When I walked away, one bee stayed with me for 20 metres or so and 3 or 4 minutes before getting bored.

Right, 3 questions:

1) I haven't washed my suit yet (~ 10 inspections) and have leather gloves they've stung before - is this what attracted the attention?

2) Do you think the colony was grumpy because they are collecting loads and maybe being threatened by wasps?

3) Is this eye to eye whining just a warning to leave? I didn't have any veil-bashing. If I hadn't had a veil on, would I have been stung?

FG
In my humble opinion

Question 1 perhaps yes the the old stings will cause an inspection especially as the bees are grumpy today.

Question 2 Yes on both accounts and perhaps it is windy with you today

Question 3 Yes a warning but you can easily get stung

Also one final point bees tend to get more stressed this time of year they are hassled with wasps and perhaps other bees and they also know that the days are shortening and the days of plenty are coming to an end with lots of foraging bees with less to do but hang around the hive. It takes less to get them going and a more softly softly approach is required at times.
 

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
Thanks, Tom. Very useful.

I'll wash stuff and give them more room. I'll wear Mrs FG's suit later on when I try and level their hive.

FG
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
As Toms comments but a little more on the eye thing. Some theorists suggest that bees target the eyes specifically as a bred response because on bears and similar honey predators it is one of the few vulnerable parts.
 

gandalfwhitewizard 

House Bee
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
14
The real concern is the following! This is not a good trait regardless of residue venom on the suit...I agree washing it may result in them paying less attention to you but then again you should be able to sit within in a reasonable distance without being bothered by the bees.
Bit too early for wasps unless you are having a problem with them. Guess you can only see what they are like the next time. But if the following persists that would not be helpful.
 

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
Hmm, good point. I'm not sure which of the two hives the 'chaser' came from, either.

I'll see how it goes.

FG
 
T

Tom Bick 

Guest
As Toms comments but a little more on the eye thing. Some theorists suggest that bees target the eyes specifically as a bred response because on bears and similar honey predators it is one of the few vulnerable parts.
I 2nd that Rosti this is also what I have been told and makes sense.

On a similar note I have also been told that earings can cause attention and be targeted as they often twinkle like eyes.

It is away of focusing the mined to tell people that if you sit on a bee by mistake she will given the chance sting you on the bum but if you anger her she will perhaps go for your eyes.
 

Stiffy 

Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
2,282
Reaction score
3
Location
Kernow
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
50+
Bit too early for wasps unless you are having a problem with them. Guess you can only see what they are like the next time. But if the following persists that would not be helpful.
Noticed a few wasps testing and trying their luck yesterday and today they had cleaned out an apidea that had not done well since a drone laying queen was dispatched.
Have now added entrance blocks and closed up entrances on hives that are a little short of bees and destined to be united later on if need be.
Cheers
 

keithgrimes 

Field Bee
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
615
Reaction score
0
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
As Toms comments but a little more on the eye thing. Some theorists suggest that bees target the eyes specifically as a bred response because on bears and similar honey predators it is one of the few vulnerable parts.
:iagree:
 

ENZO 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
I wash my suit and gloves once a week, thats about 20 hive/nuc inspections, if I miss washing the suit that week I notice a change in their mood.

Keep an eye on the following, Not good, I don't keep any bees that follow me more than a few meters (when inspecting) no matter what time of year or weather. I find I can sit a couple of meters to the side and watch all day long, without a suit or veil and my bees will not bother me at all, bees that follow can and will attack a passer by, even one quite far away.

Enzo
 

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
Enzo and GWW,
is following definitely genetic then, and not learned behaviour? I've been fairly clumsy with them recently so maybe a few bees are now sensitive to me as a threat?

Also, with 2 hives fairly near each other, how do I tell which hive the follower is coming from?

FG
 

jezd 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
299.1
one bee stayed with me for 20 metres
its normal, its called beekeeping, I have had odd bees stay with me for 50-60 metres before.

Queens mate with many drones and you have no control over the drones/genes in your location so I dont accept that a requeen will simply solve all issues.

Dont rush to do anything, you just had a couple of bees follow you thats all.

JD
 
Last edited:

ENZO 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
Jersey C.I.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
16
As jezd has just mentioned, it's no point in doing anything just yet, clumsy handling doesn't help and some bees get excited with little provocation,
as to which hive, well, when carring out inspections you can normally tell which hive is the most fiesty, it could possibley be that one,

But please, don't do anything just yet or even this year, just keep an eye on it to see if they they worse, bees following 20 meters is certainly not the end of the world in beekeeping.

Enzo
 

gandalfwhitewizard 

House Bee
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
14
One idea to check which one is following turn and spray the air with a water based coloured spray maybe?
 

george 

House Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
344
Reaction score
0
Location
North Suffolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
20
Quickest way to improve clumsy handling ? Get rid of the leather gloves and go for something thinner , makes for much easier inspections and more placid colonies . Much easier to wash too !
G
 

Mike a 

Drone Bee
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
1,789
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Between 17-20
Quickest way to improve clumsy handling ? Get rid of the leather gloves and go for something thinner , makes for much easier inspections and more placid colonies . Much easier to wash too !
G
Sorry George I disagree.

Clumsy handling is simply clumsy handling, it has nothing to do with the type of gloves if they fit properly. A bad workman always blame their tools. :seeya:

I have colonies that have always produced guard bees that buzz me any time I'm within a few meters of their hive, they are simply doing their job and other hives that hardly take any notice of me when I have the hive in parts and I'm inspecting them in the same apiary but as I've said before the more defensive they are imho the more productive they are.
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Hard to prove MikeA's theory on here but that is my experience as well. Same apiary, same forage, same aspect, same hive type. All fundamentally the same stock.

Placid hives A, B, C, sweet pretty little black and yellow buzzy things, even take the hive apart for you if you ask nicely, 2 supers each, might get to 3.
bee-smillie

Devils spawn Hive D, I'm sure they have painted over the yellow bits with black war paint - they come and 'greet you' and kindly escort you to the car to make sure you dont get lost - 4 supers and still building quickly (already had 2 from spring as well). (may also have something to do with drone genetics and colony size but why let facts gets in the way of a good yarn!)
:reddevil:

On a serious note it is a very productive hive, I know to expect it and can tolerate it personally and the apiary is so far from anyone else / public right of way that they dont present a public risk, otherwise I'd have to do something about them. In an urban setting her majesty would have been for the chop months ago.
 

george 

House Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
344
Reaction score
0
Location
North Suffolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
20
Mike , I just cant see how you can be aware of bees crawling over your hands and below the top bars when you manipulate frames with thick gloves on .Result , squashed or crippled bees stirring up the rest of them .
What I believe happens is those with snotty bees blame the behaviour on the bees rather than the way they are handled .
I have seen more than my fare share of nice docile colonies , when supplied , turn into evil things after a month . Usually due to bad handling . I am not suggesting for a minute that Firegazers handling is bad , only that it will only help them in the long run to get used to working the hives with as thin a layer of protection on their hands as is possible . Marigold type gloves from Wilkinsons , less than a quid .
I also defy anyone to wash leather gloves and not have them turn into cardboard stiff useless leather gloves .

George
 

Latest posts

Top