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'Bouncing off the veil'

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the naked beekeeper 

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I always thought this was a beekeeper euphemism.............
.................................
...................................
until today.

It was like thunder claps going on around my ears! Blimey!
Now I know what bouncing off the veil is!:ack2:
 

Hivemaker. 

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You sure it was not a jet flying over,going through sound barrier,never heard of any bee sounding like a thunder clap.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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You sure it was not a jet flying over,going through sound barrier,never heard of any bee sounding like a thunder clap.
Well....I was using poetic license......thee was certainly a lot of thudding against my veil though! Right square in front of me.
 

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Pinging.

Thats what I call it.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Well, my experienced beeks...this colony has been a pain in he arse since day 1. Divebombing, following, you name it.....

Is pinging on the veil acceptable and usual practise for a colony? Where do beeks draw the line?
 

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I dont like Pinging and dont breed from bee's that do it all year,I do allow for it when removing supers.

You also used the dreaded word "Following" !

Sounds like they will need requeening next year,beekeeping should be fun not a chore..
 

the naked beekeeper 

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That's what I thought.

I don't want to be a wimp, I accept the odd sting.
But they have been fesity since I got them. Today is a nice warm day, there is plenty of brood and stores, I hadn't disturbed them for a couple of weeks and I'm always very gentle in manipulations.

It's only ever 2 or 3 that follow, but it's so annoying.
Today's pinging, really made it quite uncomfortable.
They were fine one minute, then they lost it the next, in one second, they all flew off the top bars at me, no reason, no warning.

I was thinking of re-queening them this year...is that not recommended??
There's plenty of brood in there.
 

admin 

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If you requeen this year just remember to add the old queen to a nuc box rather than pinch her between finger and thumb,that way if the new queen gets killed you still have madam in reserve to head them into winter.
 

Somerford 

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to be honest with you, every colony I have EVER had follow in some way or another. usually just 1 bee a bit narked for no reason. I don't know of any colony I have ever seen that doesn't do this at some point in the year....it's a natural reaction and one that you can't breed out of the bees, no matter what people think (sorry bee breeders but you just won't change me on this one). Best accept it and carry on !

Why waste £ on a new queen when you have a perfectly decent one that is untried as yet in a honey flow ?
 

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Sorry Somerford I dont agree.

I have been to a friends apiary and the bees have followed the length of 3 football pitches after an inspection and even hunted me down when I have gone into the bushes,they got so good at the game that they would even come to meet you at the car on arrival before you had a chance to get your suite on.

I agree that at certain times of the year you may get the odd rogue bee follow you back to the car but then thats not what is called "Following".

Following is pure defensiveness /aggression and by your statement you are saying aggression can not be bred out of bees.

The only time I would maybe forgive them is if they have spent some time on a monofloral crop.
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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I have been lucky (so far) only to have met the odd kamikaze 'pinger'. Unnerving, though to a new boy. Especially yesterday, when the wind blew my veil off centre, and right up against my face - didn't take me long to decide to leave the bees for a calmer day!

:banghead::banghead:
 

taff.. 

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Well, my experienced beeks...this colony has been a pain in he arse since day 1. Divebombing, following, you name it.....

Is pinging on the veil acceptable and usual practise for a colony? Where do beeks draw the line?

this summer I had one colony that made me uncomfortable at every inspection, I expected to get stung at any moment, my hive tool seemed to be like a magnet over iron filings!! when I had about 6 bees following me back to my van at every visit the final straw was getting stung on the back of the neck as soon as I took my veil off :toetap05:

fortunately for the queen when I went to replace her I found a supercedure cell and a really nice and calm colony, they had already killed her off :cheers2:
 

Somerford 

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angry bees

Sorry Somerford I dont agree.

I have been to a friends apiary and the bees have followed the length of 3 football pitches after an inspection and even hunted me down when I have gone into the bushes,they got so good at the game that they would even come to meet you at the car on arrival before you had a chance to get your suite on.
As have I but I didn't re-queen the hives. I found that the next time they were alot calmer and put it down to other factors, inc. time of day, time of year, the fact I was in a hurry!

I agree that at certain times of the year you may get the odd rogue bee follow you back to the car but then thats not what is called "Following".
OK - I think we need to define it then for clarity

Following is pure defensiveness /aggression and by your statement you are saying aggression can not be bred out of bees.
regarding the breeding - an intere'sting' question as , if I am right to believe that beeks have been breeding bees for over 100 years we are yet to hit on a non-agressive bee. Afterall, it is their survival mechanism isn't it ? Yes we have tame dogs but they do attack now and then. I just think that there are alot more factors than just the genetics of the bee at play here. It's a bit steep to kill the queen, or even the colony as I have heard of in the past ... I am sure the TBH natural beekeeping groups would not do it.....

any more for any more !!??:cheers2:
 

admin 

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No need,I fixed the quotes for you ;)
 

Poly Hive 

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Following bees are not funny.

Having spent most of my bee time working mono flows I have not inconsiderable experience of bees recognising the vehicle, and yes they do, and meeting and greeting me on site. To the point I kitted up a mile before getting there and was ready to open the door on an operational footing.

Is it genetic or floral or climatic?

Mainly I think genetic. Yes climate on the day, flow running or not will of course impact too but mainly the genes.

There are too many anecdotes of temperment changing, I have seen it too often myself to ignore it so my vote is for re-queening.

As for the point earlier about breeding............. I laughed. What breeding in the UK over the last 100 years. They have been a complete waste of time in that respect. Cynical? No, factual, the results are in your veil, pinging merrily.

PH
 
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Knoxen 

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And, indeed my Buckfast bees do not ping - just as well as often I don't wear a veil with them. They are a delight.

Most of us are hobbyists - it's supposed to be fun! Those who are able to do this professionally, even more reason to have gentle bees!

I would requeen if they were following and pinging as some of you have described - unless I knew of another reason for their behaviour.
 

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