Behaviour Change

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rampino 

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I had a quick look in my two overwintered hives last week when the weather was warm. Both had been reasonably placid at the end of last year. This time for one hive the bees became quite agitated and I closed up quite smartly. I was quite surprised that they were so
numerous. They had stores and small patches of brood on frames 3 and 4, I didn’t look any further. The pack of fondant that I had put on earlier in the year was barely a quarter consumed.
The other hive was as placid as previously, fondant totally consumed, bees less numerous but small patches of brood in progress.
When the gardener went along a day or so later, he texted me to say that the bees from the first hive were hostile towards him, and that he had had to move away. Previously he found that he could work a few metres away from the hive and the bees would not pay him any attention.
I looked up this problem and the only suggestion that I could find was that bees can get feisty early season when then weather is warm but nectar is scarce.
Does the panel have any other ideas? I’m hoping that this behaviour subsides, or they might get re-queened.
 

Boston Bees 

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To be slightly harsh, if you pull frames out of a hive in February, you get what you deserve. They are in the most difficult month of their year (in terms of population balance). Defensiveness is natural. Don't draw any conclusions about their temperament.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
:iagree:
Just because it's been uunseasonably warm for a few days, doesn't mean you need to go in and clatter about in the hive, bees disturbed at this time of year will take longer than a few hours to settle down again.
 

hemo 

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Like others have said to soon to be looking inside at these current temps.
I'm all for a quick stores check without moving any frames, though a clear CB can save even removing one to check for stores. Certainly no need to know if brood is present and how much tbh. Hefting tells me all I generally need to know about stores level.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Late supersedure and different genetics?

I pulled out frames last week and the ones that were good last year are the same, and so is the one with iffy temper.

All clipped late last summer, so I know what I've got and what I'll do.
 
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HughMann 

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I went up to one of the hives 3 days ago to take pictures of them flying - they were not the only ones flying - I was - they didn't like a big black camera or me anywhere near them.
I don't mind a defensive hive though. The placid ones seem to ignor wasps later in the year.
 

drex 

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I find behaviour at this time of year is not consistent with their behaviour in the season, so I take no notice.
 

Gunner 

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Don't forget that the majority of the bees in the colonies at this time of season are older, overwintered bees. As such they will tend to be more defensive. As these die off and are replaced by the new young bees the queen is now laying the colonies temperament should revert to normal.
 

madasafish 

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I expect my bees at this time of year to become quite bad tempered if I am doing anything with teh hive. As temperatures during this week are arounf 6-8C at 2pm then they are quite justified..
It's gray, damp and cold. Any self respecting bee would be annoyed at any disturbance.
 

rampino 

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Well the temperature at the time of inspection was 15C. It was sunny and plenty of pollen was being brought in. My Haynes BEE MANUAL says in the beekeeping year section pg 156 that you can inspect in March on a warm day.
 

Ian123 

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yeah right, difference between can and should.
Lol I’ve got queens arriving in 2 weeks when should I get into mine😂I think it’s been cooler than recent springs or at least it feels that way to me. I’ve been into some a few times and there looking good, minimal losses so far. Will be interesting to see the BBKA winter loss survey😉
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Weather could be a whole lot different in two weeks I'm planning on about 8-10days
 

StephenT 

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Tuesday. 19c forecast in sunny London. Have put a one hour ‘out of office’ in Outlook/Teams in order to do a first proper inspection.
 

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