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What do you mean by 'aggressive bees'?

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freethorpe bees 

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Polyhive made a comment "Aggressive is a word which has many shades of grey in it." which got me thinking (actually I woke up in the middle of last night thinking it - SAD!)

What do your bees actually do when they are being aggressive? Do they land on you, try to sting, or 'bat' into your veil? When I open my hive I think they may be being aggressive but actually they are not.

Someone recently described his as :reddevil::reddevil::reddevil: - what were they doing?

Silly question from a newbee I know - but humour me!

FB
 

Onge 

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As far as I know. If you are getting driven away from the hive even with gear on, there aggressive. Other than that just defensive. Like PH says there are many shades of grey. :)

When they are being aggressive they try and get in every where, the tiniest chink and there in.

Fortunately I haven't had any like that yet.
 

oliver90owner 

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Depends on situation. Small urban garden, bees flying or following even a few metres could be regarded as aggressive.

Beefarmer, with a row of hives out in the sticks might put up with a lot more, simply by ignoring them, as they are not hurting anyone else.

Any that followed me up the garden would be removed to another site soonest. If they mill around and settle as soon as the roof is on, that is OK. A matter of subjectivity, but I have, in my opinion, never had really aggressive bees in my garden. Not compared to some of mine, which would never be brought near my home!

Supercedure and swarming, with no choice of selection of the queen characteristics, is the lottery....especially from imported stock.

Regards, RAB
 

merylvingien 

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The lot i "had" would empty out trying thier hardest to sting, frantic stinging as well, this was as soon as the crown board was removed.
Probably half the hive would pour out, not just the odd defensive one.

They paid the price for thier actions and i have no regrets about doing it either....
 

drstitson 

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aggressive bees

mine were fairly nasty when hot and overcrowded.

got 9-10 full stings, including foot and 2-3 on face. My suit however has over 100 little black specs on it.
 

Ade'sBee's 

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My girls are well behaved ,even today just before it rained.Do get the odd sting on my gloves but on the whole calm , only have to smoke a little to move them when putting hives back together,and never smoke entrance before i start.Generally have a few followers when finished but a walk through the trees near the hives sorts that out:D
 

Poly Hive 

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FWIW.

Aggressive in my dictionary is this.

Gloves covered in stings, 500+. Bees following the car for 200m+ before I can clear myself and vehicle.

Bees meeting vehicle on next visit.

Not being funny but some need to meet some really "A" bees before using the "A" word.

PH
 

freethorpe bees 

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FWIW.


Not being funny but some need to meet some really "A" bees before using the "A" word.

PH
Thanks everyone for their experiences. That's why I asked really, I think mine are (usually) quite calm, just defensive rather than aggressive. Because I haven't got any others to compare them to I wasn't sure.

FB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Just about every bee piling out of the hive....stinging anyone within a 100m radius or more....stinging you...covered from head to foot in stinging bee's..even stinging the bellows on the smoker and piling into the spout of the lit smoker,stinging the truck,and attacking every other hive in the apairy and setting them off as well.....had this with a hive last year....they had been the most placid bee's until that one day.....then somthing snapped with them.... they were the last hive i insected out of a group of 30......next visit a week later they were back to being good tempered again,the one's that had not died stinging that is.
I have a few hives of generally fiery bee's,but these are like it all the time...and nothing like this one hive was on this one day....

Bee's on the heather are a bit pissy today as well.
 
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kazmcc 

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In a word............YIKES!!!!!!!!!:leaving:
 

merylvingien 

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Just about every bee piling out of the hive....stinging anyone within a 100m radius or more....stinging you...covered from head to foot in stinging bee's..even stinging the bellows on the smoker and piling into the spout of the lit smoker,stinging the truck,and attacking every other hive in the apairy and setting them off as well.....had this with a hive last year....they had been the most placid bee's until that one day.....then somthing snapped with them.... they were the last hive i insected out of a group of 30......next visit a week later they were back to being good tempered again,the one's that had not died stinging that is.
I have a few hives of generally fiery bee's,but these are like it all the time...and nothing like this one hive was on this one day....

Bee's on the heather are a bit pissy today as well.

That is exactly how mine were, fine to start with then SNAP!

Funny thing is, no one on here believed how serious this was...
 

Hivemaker. 

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I had 140 stings that day.......only counting the one's that got through,young son who was with the missus paddling in the river at least 150m away got two in the face,his eye was closed for nearly a week due to the swelling....would of been worse if they had not got to her car pretty quick.
 

johna 

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If you want to see "nasty" bees watch one of the genuine videos of the africanised bees infesting southern America.Most european bees can be quite peppery on the wrong day.If they misbehave shut them back up and leave alone for 24 hours when they will probably show a different temperament next time.The basic secret is to be GENTLE with their handling,no bumping banging or shaking about ,make the visit as brief as possible and plan your inspection out before opening the hive.Use smoke and always give it some time to work before you open anthing up.Too much haste can lead to a bad experience.
 

Gardenbees 

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I would class bees as "aggressive" if they were chasing me off before I even took the hive lid off, and following me butting and stinging for some distance away from the hive. If it's just one or two bees headbutting me on a stormy day, or zapping my ankles after a day of wasp attacks, that's not really bad aggression, just my fault for bothering them at the wrong time.

You definitely need to experience really stroppy bees before you can quite believe how formidable they can be. I once saw a beek pursued all the way across a field by a cloud of noisy, furious bees that "got in everywhere" and stung him all over despite a bee suit. Quite frightening, and genuinely dangerous. (And, I might add, a dazzling turn of speed from an octogenarian beekeeper, proving that beekeeping really does help us to avoid arthritis!!)

;)I must confess to a secret admiration for really feisty bees - after all, they're little and we're big, and we do pull their nests apart and nick their honey...
 

Frithgar 

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I opened one hive a few weeks ago and the bees rose in a great dark cloud around me, not had anything like it before, it turned out they were queenless but having read some of these other reports I'll downgrade my assesment of 'aggressive' to 'slightly fiesty' ;)
Frith
 
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Funny thing is, no one on here believed how serious this was
I dont think anybody has said or intimated that such a situation is not a serious matter,

but on the basis that because it might happen isnt in my books a reason as to why I shouldnt keep bees in my garden.
Sorry if my attitude upsets some of you but its life.
Personally I find it more disturbing to see mothers driving thier kids to school with cell phones stuck to their ear, women with pushchairs crossing the road whilst sending a text message, truck drivers negotiating junctions using their phones, people pissing about with their Satnavs while driving to..... where.. work!!!! They all know its a dangerous situation, and if they dont care about my life, or that of my family, why should I care about them.

I might get killed by a tile falling off my roof.

I might go out in my car today, have a heart attack and drive into a crowd of people...

I might go and inspect my bees today and get attacked, and that will probably be because I will be poking about in their domain,, interfering with their family and food,,,, interfering with nature....
 
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