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Bees suddenly have become aggressive


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So its be dry here in the Central North Island and only about 8mm of rain in the last month. My hives have decent stores and are queen right when I last checked 10 days ago. Usually very calm bees that I can sit next to hives and just watch.

Went to check hives yesterday before suiting up and got stung as a few guard bees went for me when I was a few meters away. They wouldn't give up so left them alone.

 

Am I right in my assumption that due to the drought conditions there is no real honey flow on at the moment and if I open up the hives there is a real risk of robbing starting? 

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Also Bees that are suffering from diseases (high mite load!) can become more grumpy. I suggest checking mite loads as well.

If there is no flow then it could be that bees have been attempting to get into your hive, hence its grumpiness.  You should be fine to do hive inspections but keep boxes you remove covered with a lid

If there's no forage, robbing bees can follow you around the apiary as you do inspections; and sometimes you just have to stop and come back later if you need to.   And I once thought I'd ge

1 hour ago, Sputnik said:

So its be dry here in the Central North Island and only about 8mm of rain in the last month. My hives have decent stores and are queen right when I last checked 10 days ago. Usually very calm bees that I can sit next to hives and just watch.

Went to check hives yesterday before suiting up and got stung as a few guard bees went for me when I was a few meters away. They wouldn't give up so left them alone.

 

Am I right in my assumption that due to the drought conditions there is no real honey flow on at the moment and if I open up the hives there is a real risk of robbing starting? 

 

If there is no flow then it could be that bees have been attempting to get into your hive, hence its grumpiness.  You should be fine to do hive inspections but keep boxes you remove covered with a lid or as I prefer a wet hessian sack.

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If there's no forage, robbing bees can follow you around the apiary as you do inspections; and sometimes you just have to stop and come back later if you need to.

 

And I once thought I'd get an inspection in before it was due to rain. However the rain was more of a storm with a big low (pressure) and the bees knew! (Miserable sods they were!). 🤣

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