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Author Topic: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?  (Read 241 times)

Offline A37

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What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« on: April 20, 2017, 11:25:21 PM »
I like to sit a few feet away from my hive and watch them but sometimes I get one that is really curious about me. It looks like shes doing a orientation flight on my face, is this the hint to leave or just stay still. I'd like to know about all instances when it's time to leave the bees alone.   Thanks

Offline Joe D

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 11:53:28 PM »
A37,she could just bee checking you out, usually if she wants you to leave you will know it soon.  In the summer I have been out with the bees and they will land on you hands or arms to get the salty sweat.  For the first few years I had bees I would watch them a lot, it is addictive.  I don't mess with my bees when it looks like you can have thunderstorms or anything that could make them ill tempered.  Pay attention to the way they are acting.   On some questions you will have latter on you will need to put your location for better answers.

Good luck to you and your bees,

Joe D

Online Acebird

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 08:17:07 AM »
I'd like to know about all instances when it's time to leave the bees alone.   Thanks

One thing to look for is when they line up shoulder to shoulder facing you for that kamikaze run to your head.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 09:21:46 AM »
I'd like to know about all instances when it's time to leave the bees alone.   Thanks

One thing to look for is when they line up shoulder to shoulder facing you for that kamikaze run to your head.

Scary sight indeed

Offline Bush_84

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 02:02:12 PM »
A few small things I have learned. The hive will sound different when it is calm and when it is angry off. Then there's the pheromone. At times I get a big whiff and you know it. Other times my bees will be very angry and I won't get a whiff of anything. As ace said they will also line up along the edge of the box. They also generally act differently. A lot of that for me is a feel thing. It's a lot of little things that I'm not sure I can put into words. Density of the bees, time of year, bees moving slow and ignoring you vs running around and watching your every move. In general smaller hives are more docile than larger hives. Spring generally means gentler bees and fall generally means meaner bees. Head butting is never a good sign lol. This is not meant to be comprehensive. Just what I have noticed in my six some years with bees.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 04:52:36 PM »
One of the signs that lets me know that they're getting defensive is I will sometimes get a sudden, sharp burning sensation at various points on my body.  this lets me know that they wish to be left to themselves.   :wink:
Winter is coming.

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 08:44:58 PM »
A big indicator is smell. If you get a wif of banana, look out.
I used to worry about the bees lining up between the frames, looking at you. They are in fact defending their hive but it is more of a defensive move than offensive.  That is how they stop robbing. If you are just adding a super they will probably not bother you. If you are pulling out frames, you may trigger more aggressive behavior. The best thing to do is to give them a little smoke.
Jim
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Online Acebird

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 09:11:44 PM »
My smeller is not too good but I put a banana on top of one of my hives and got no reaction at all.  It rotted and I had to clean it up.  So it may smell like banana but not exactly.
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Offline chorrylan

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 12:09:24 AM »
"What are the signs bees are becoming defensive? "
usually swelling and redness of the fingers, back of the hand etc  :tongue:

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 01:19:55 AM »
My smeller is not too good but I put a banana on top of one of my hives and got no reaction at all.  It rotted and I had to clean it up.  So it may smell like banana but not exactly.
The smell of bananas and the smell of the sting pheromones that the bees put out smell almost identical but they have totally different chemical makeup and the bees do not react to bananas.
On the other hand, the smell that bees produce with their Nazanof glands and lemon grass are almost identical. They are so close, that we are able to fool the bees to checking out our swarm traps.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: What are the signs bees are becoming defensive?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 02:43:30 AM »
Leaning back on their back legs, body elevated in the defensive position.

I did those few answers about the "other" ways to tell, like a burning biting sensation with resulting redness and swelling.
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Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

 

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