Advice Please - What am I looking at?

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Beedogg 

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I've 3 first-year colonies. Supers are off, Apivar is in. I was feeding some syrup intermittently over the last 10 days when the weather was poor but there has also been a lot of pollen going into the hives so I've held off doing that more regularly. I also put the spun super frames into the top of the near and far hives (above the crownboard but obviously under the roof) about 10 days ago for cleaning.

For the last several days they've been very fiesty. I got stung walking in the vegetable garden behind the wall 40m away and the dogs were stung three times yesterday. There has been a lot of crowding around the entrances of all three hives, but especially the near one and especially yesterday and today.

So what's happening?
 

Boston Bees 

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Possibly your hives now reek of syrup and nectar (in those frames) and are being explored by robber bees and wasps, leading to defensive behaviour.
 

Patrick1 

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I think Boston Bees nailed the answer, I would have checked for stores or a flow from Ivy maybe before treating to make sure they did not feel the need to rob.
 

Beedogg 

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OK. So should I now just leave them to get over it?
 

Boston Bees 

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OK. So should I now just leave them to get over it?
Your entrances already look well-narrowed.

Personally, if you think you have a problem, I would take the frames in the roof away - those bee escapes will be wafting the scent of nectar out nicely (I can see bees showing an interest in them in this photo). But wait till late evening to do that if you are going to. I don't put frames in the roofspace so I can't comment from experience.
 

pargyle 

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Possibly your hives now reek of syrup and nectar (in those frames) and are being explored by robber bees and wasps, leading to defensive behaviour.
I agree ...... A bee can smell honey from a great distance ... the smell of those frames just under the roof with the bee escapes able to waft the scent (and it's been a bit breezy down here in the South for the last couple of days) must have attracted every last wasp and bee within miles around looking for a free meal. No wonder they were defensive and then the same again with syrup.

Personally ....I'd get those frames out of the roof space and get them stored if you haven't aleady done it - if they haven't been cleaned by now they never will be - for the future - wouldn't do it - or if you really MUST - put them in a super with a sealed crown board on top, make an eke to go on top of the existing crownboard and put under the super with the frames and leave a small hole in the existing crown board. They will clean them up very quickly - me ? I store my frames wet.

If you are feeding syrup put the feeder in a super on top of the brood board and put a sealed crown board on top.

If you can see signs of robbing going on ... you need to do something about it. (one bee space entrance or a tunnel entrance or some means of giving them a very small entrance to defend.
 

oxnatbees 

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Thymol based miticides always made my bees fiesty, I think its overpowering smell jammed the reassuring pheromone signal of queen-rightness.

Another possibility is thundery weather, which puts bees on edge.

As others point out, being robbed makes them defensive. Have you hefted the hives to confirm they have stores? If they are being robbed of all the syrup they will be defensive.
 

Boston Bees 

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Thymol based miticides always made my bees fiesty, I think its overpowering smell jammed the reassuring pheromone signal of queen-rightness.

Another possibility is thundery weather, which puts bees on edge.

As others point out, being robbed makes them defensive. Have you hefted the hives to confirm they have stores? If they are being robbed of all the syrup they will be defensive.
Apivar is not thymol based. It has no odour and has no effect on the bees' behaviour
 
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