Bees still extremely defensive 2 weeks after hive fell over

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Jon.21

House Bee
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Messages
127
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64
Location
Derby, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Bit of an unusual one I need some help with. My mum and dad have started keeping bees (this is their second year) and colony requeened itself in late summer last year via a supercedure. Inspections up to 2 weeks ago were calm and I was even thinking about using there genetics in my home apiary.
Then 2 weeks ago my mum and dad were inspecting and the pallet they put the stack of supers and demaree brood box fell over and knocked everything over. Bees of course acted accordingly and set about stinging my mum and dads feet (I have repeated told them to wear boots but they didnt ). They put the stack back together again whilst suffering 50-100 stings on their feet. Then off to A&E on advice of 111 that if you have more than 10 bee stings you go as a precaution.
Good lesson here I think to always take precautions even if bees are normally placid In case things go horribly wrong.
Anyway on the last 2 inspections (after 1 week and 2 weeks of the incident) the bees have been ridiculously defensive which involves following back to the house and even hanging around the back door waiting for people to reappear. i helped with the 2nd inspection this weekend and had 20 bees trying to sting through the veil and then my mum got stung after a bee flew through the back door after it was left open (note this was before we inspected ). We used washed bee suits and gloves in case the attack pheromone was still on the clothes. Note that colony is queen right with bias.
So question is are the bees now so traumatised by the experience 2 weeks ago that they have locked in a defensive spirit towards us. Is this just coincidence and they would have gone like this anyway?
what should I do? my initial thoughts are to go in tomorrow and kill the queen and re-queen ?
 
Last edited:
Your call.
Assuming there has not been a supercedure the genetics are the same I.e. calm bees . They can be feisty for many reasons, the common one at this time being a crop of OSR that has come to an end.
In my experience aggression due to hive falling over only lasts a few days.
You might leave them and see if they settle, or put a screen round to get them to fly up or requeen.
I say all that, but the one thing I do not tolerate are follower bees.
A change in genetics if you requeen will take 6 weeks for new queens nature in her offspring to kick in
 
are the bees now so traumatised by the experience
Anthropomorphism alert!

Bees do not exhibit human traits, will have repaired the damage and got on with other work.

OSR: train your parents to be aware of what is in flower within two miles.
 
Thanks all for the feedback. Just wanted to confirm really if bees can remember and be wound up for 2 weeks to see if it was related to that or something else that coincidentally has happened. The OSR went over a couple of weeks ago so maybe that has wound them up.
 
Bees can remember threats and they are very good at recognising scent. It's certainly possible they have guard bees sensitised to the scent of your parents...and potentially you as you're related. That'll reduce as the guards die off as long as they don't train the next generation of guards to the scent. May only be me being superstitious but that's why I tend to squish any bees pestering me.

They can also be more defensive and step up guard behaviour if they feel they've been attacked by a predator.

This is different to anthropomorphising them.

Forage availability and OSR ending in particular are also factors as said by others.
 
Two weeks doesn't sound very long to me.
We had a hive kicked over and it was a long time before the bees settled.
They did settle, but it was more than two weeks.
Depends on how long you want to wait.
 
Thanks all for the feedback. Just wanted to confirm really if bees can remember and be wound up for 2 weeks to see if it was related to that or something else that coincidentally has happened. The OSR went over a couple of weeks ago so maybe that has wound them up or maybe they can remember. Either way I’m going to remove them from their garden and see how they get on in my apiary.
 

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