Do colonies become more aggressive as the Queen gets older?

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Finman 

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Another myth that needs to be quashed, me thinks.
As they grow then the true colours of some colonies come to the afore but you can't tar all colonies likewise.
You can think these things to the End of the World, when you start from the beginning every now and then.
 

Murox 

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Colonies certainly become more aggressive as they get bigger. Not sure about older.
Not really my experience, certainly greater numbers increase the chances that a batch of grumpy workers might get laid ~ just because there is more of them.
Perhaps like some people age seems to increase the likelihood of impatience and short temper.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Colonies certainly become more aggressive as they get bigger. Not sure about older.
Another myth that needs to be quashed, me thinks.
As they grow then the true colours of some colonies come to the afore but you can't tar all colonies likewise.
I think people get too easily confused between aggressive colonies and defensive ones
BIG difference
 

Buzzo 

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"try putting a cloth over the frames that you are not inspecting " -one of the best tips ive picked up here.calms them down .
 

Boston Bees 

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"try putting a cloth over the frames that you are not inspecting " -one of the best tips ive picked up here.calms them down .
This does sound like a good idea, but I have heard concerns over these cloths spreading disease between hives. I guess you could say the same for a hive tool, but .....
 

elainemary 

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This does sound like a good idea, but I have heard concerns over these cloths spreading disease between hives. I guess you could say the same for a hive tool, but .....
I use old tea towels. Chuck in the wash on 60C after every inspection.
 

Finman 

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Colonies certainly become more aggressive as they get bigger. Not sure about older.
Change the bee breed. It cannot be so that productive colonies are angry and professinals are in trouble in nursing their big hives.
Do you have experiences about buckfasts or About Italians?

And what is a big hive? Guys have so many experiences how many boxes is big or ordinary.5
 

ericbeaumont 

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That does not sound good.
I've never been tempted to use cover cloths and see them.as another old-school tool to cart about, and without much benefit (ditto bee brush).

Bees fly when disturbed: nothing new there. If it becomes too attentive, look to your queens.
 

hemo 

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I use the cover cloth to cover brood if it is windy or a bit chillie, otherwise for supers etc when when inspecting and they are off the hive, not because my bees are angry.
 

Troutdog 

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Africanized and many black bees can become aggressive over 30k.
Outside of the rare and occassional warm/hot hive i find that on my area there is a time when population exceeds forage and this forced scale down of brood rearing makes them a bit more cranky. They know the happy days of unlimited forage are done, this creates stress, stress opens up disease spread. So a variety of things are happening. That can make them seem aggressive.
More bees more mites
Big population low forage
Superceduring
Too hot too cold too wet too dry
Some forage like some golden rods will turn pussycats to lions
Helicopter beekers
Yellow jackets and robbers
Mite treatments like formic and hop guard
I once had an africanized swarm take over a colony and you will never forget it, if it happens to you.
Most people have a low threshold for defensive bees.
If your bees are too defensive look at larger picture in equipment, forage, time of year mutes disease etc.
Nothing says I love you like buying a girl a drink....give some syrup and a few days see how they are.
I will often during dearth periods throw a pail of syrup a few hundred feet away from hives to lure all nectar foragers away from hives, and this makes things a lot easier during naturally defensive times.
Breeding from more gentle stock can help a lot but your not in a vacum so hopefully your neighbors are good beekers.

Moderator's note. The practice in bold is common in the USA. It is frowned upon and definitely NOT recommended in the UK
 
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Murox 

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@Troutdog, I am guessing that you are not resident in the UK. Would be helpful if you added your location to give some context to your beekeeping experiences and practices.
 

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