guard bees and screening

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Hengest 

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Hi all

Question about guard bees and flight paths and garden usage.
I have been buzzed a few times digging the garden around 10 yards away from the bees and stung a couple of times - didn't hurt as much as I would have thought so maybe I didn't get the full load but there was a stinger on (not in) my arm.

I'm not sure if these were guard bees telling me to clear off or whether I am in the bees flight path. Would foragers sting like that?

Either way I need to take some action here else I'll not get to pick my strawberries!.
At present the hive is about half way down the garden looking out over the garden with a 6' wall behind and 40 ' of garden in front before the boundary wall which is about 3'. By the time they reach this boundary they are well up.

Options I have considered are(in increasing order of drasticness) :-

a) Turn the hive round to face the wall...

b) have a temporary movable (or permanent) screen a few feet in front of the hive leaving the sides of the apiary open)to screen me while I work ( will they go up and over or just around?)

c) Completely screen the apiary 6' all round

d) get the bees into the furthest corner of the garden and screen completely

e) Get an out apiary

Any advice gratefully received.
 

Erichalfbee 

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You could try any of a-d
They might work, especially d.
I think it must be said that anybody with bees in the garden should have a plan B out apiary site organised right from the start.
Lots of folk keep bees near the house with little problem but equally lots don't.
I'm not trying to be disparaging, really.
If it was me I would be moving them away.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Hi all

Question about guard bees and flight paths and garden usage.
I have been buzzed a few times digging the garden around 10 yards away from the bees and stung a couple of times - didn't hurt as much as I would have thought so maybe I didn't get the full load but there was a stinger on (not in) my arm.

I'm not sure if these were guard bees telling me to clear off or whether I am in the bees flight path. Would foragers sting like that?

Either way I need to take some action here else I'll not get to pick my strawberries!.
At present the hive is about half way down the garden looking out over the garden with a 6' wall behind and 40 ' of garden in front before the boundary wall which is about 3'. By the time they reach this boundary they are well up.

Options I have considered are(in increasing order of drasticness) :-

a) Turn the hive round to face the wall...

b) have a temporary movable (or permanent) screen a few feet in front of the hive leaving the sides of the apiary open)to screen me while I work ( will they go up and over or just around?)

c) Completely screen the apiary 6' all round

d) get the bees into the furthest corner of the garden and screen completely

e) Get an out apiary

Any advice gratefully received.
I would try the screen in front first, possibly even screen three sides i.e. Left, front and right of the entrance. Two or four poles and about ten feet of garden netting should be a cheap and easy experiment.
 

Hengest 

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Thanks all for the advice

I will go for the options a) to e) in that order as there seems little to be lost in trying them one at a time.

How much can I rotate them at a time?

Midland Beek.
I did go double brood early last week - moving two frames up into the top box and closing the rest up in the lower box. On inspection on Friday there were a few queen cups but they were drawing wax out on the foundation replacements in the lower box and on either side of the transplanted frames.
 

enrico 

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Thanks all for the advice

I will go for the options a) to e) in that order as there seems little to be lost in trying them one at a time.

How much can I rotate them at a time?

Midland Beek.
I did go double brood early last week - moving two frames up into the top box and closing the rest up in the lower box. On inspection on Friday there were a few queen cups but they were drawing wax out on the foundation replacements in the lower box and on either side of the transplanted frames.
Not sure how much you CAN rotate them but I would go about 30 degrees every two days as long as they are flying
E
 

Hengest 

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Thanks Enrico

Sorry to be dense but do you mean during the day - or as long as it is warm enough for them to fly each day and re-orientate. I had thought to do it overnight when they were all tucked up.
 

oliver90owner 

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Once again, the OP seems to have decided before posting and either missed or ignored the simple fact that e) is the only option that is guaranteed to work for the current problem. KISS Principle every time.
 

Hengest 

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Hi RAB

Thanks for your feedback. Not sure when your refer to 'the OP' you mean me personally or that this a is trait of posters generally. Possibly I am guilty of seeking confirmation of my prejudices but what I was hoping for was an idea if any of the suggested notions was pointless. The responses I take and value as the opinions of others and as always with opinions, they varied. Your vote for e) only is duly noted.
What no-one said (until your own comments) was that any of the ideas was completely wrong or that only one way would work.
You frequently advocate thinking and specifically. on this occasion, to use the KISS principle. I would maintain that is what I tried to do - I thought of various options and further than that, I prioritized them in descending order of simplicity (from my inexperienced perspective) .

So I am sorry if my post has caused you perturbation - that was not my intention :)
 

enrico 

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Evening would be fine and don't worry about RAB's comment. He means no harm, he just says what he feels and forgets what is sometimes felt by the postee :)
E
 

weebee 

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And google groans as dullards like me rush of to searches for the definition of perturbation. :blush5:
 

BeeJayBee 

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When we first put hives in our garden we put them in the middle with the entrances facing towards the garden so we could easily see them from the house. It was fine to start with, but it did mean that too much of the garden was being overflown by bees so they were moved.

If you'd prefer to keep them where they are, could you screen your strawberry bed with something like runner beans or sweet peas?

In the end, though, I think you'll decide to move them to either the end of the garden where they can have their own space, or you'll move them to an out apiary.

You can turn a hive by almost 90 degrees without them completely losing the entrance, if you do it during the day there will always be bees coming and going which will help the returners know where they should go. A landing board often helps too because it gives a bigger target that they recognise.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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When we first put hives in our garden we put them in the middle with the entrances facing towards the garden so we could easily see them from the house. It was fine to start with, but it did mean that too much of the garden was being overflown by bees so they were moved.

If you'd prefer to keep them where they are, could you screen your strawberry bed with something like runner beans or sweet peas?

In the end, though, I think you'll decide to move them to either the end of the garden where they can have their own space, or you'll move them to an out apiary.

You can turn a hive by almost 90 degrees without them completely losing the entrance, if you do it during the day there will always be bees coming and going which will help the returners know where they should go. A landing board often helps too because it gives a bigger target that they recognise.
I limited rotation to 45 degrees with two day separation between stages last year. The bees had no problems finding the entrance.
 

bontbee 

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I am confused by these references to turning the direction of the entrance to change the flight paths.... I must have a word with mine and tell them not to take the short cut - the lazy little bu**ers simply turn sharp left or right whenever I take the trouble to rotate the hive to face the way I want them to go....
 

Hengest 

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Thanks for the further replies - all are appreciated especially your kind words Enrico.

Bontbee - I fear that mine would be as lazy as yours and having discussed with SWANC (She Who Atleast Needs Consulting) we (me) are going to move the bees into the far corner which involves a 30' lateral move and a 90 degree rotation (not to mention moving a recently planted plum tree and a large clump of Rhubarb!) - so 2 or 3 feet every 2 or 3 days with a couple of days for each step of the swivel should get it done well before the strawberries are ready :) Once they are there we can screen them off without shading any of the rest of the garden and without causing a nuisance to any neighbours.

:thanks:
 

bontbee 

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Sounds like you could use some mobile screening to go with the bees?! Say 3 feet, every 3 days, that sounds like a month of moving - you might need some back support, too...
best of luck Hengest!
 

oliver90owner 

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Here we go again. Poster not reading the replies.

Where did I say that e) was the only one that would work? Read my post again. Properly this time, hopefully.
 

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