Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: Lesgold on January 11, 2022, 03:47:45 pm

Title: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Lesgold on January 11, 2022, 03:47:45 pm
Hi folks

I reckon most people who have kept bees for a while end up with a hive or two who?s manners are less than perfect. Would love to hear some of your experiences and how you went into combat with them. There is often a funny side to it but generally not at the time of the battle. Tell us your stories as many of us can relate to them. Who own the hive from hell?
Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Lesgold on January 12, 2022, 03:27:56 pm
When I first started keeping a few bees, I knew absolutely nothing about them. Google and YouTube were my friends. Found some hive dimensions online and over a few weeks I built enough gear for four hives from recycled materials. Put my name down with the local council as a swarm catcher and off I went. It wasn?t long and I had four hives up and running. Still had no idea what I was doing so I decided to invite an inspector to come out and look at my bees and give me some advice (check for disease etc) He arrived and gave me some good advice about using the smoker and we talked a lot about general beekeeping stuff. When it came time to inspect the hives, we suited up and started wandering down towards the first hive. I noticed that he didn?t have his gloves on.  When I asked him about the wearing of gloves, he made the comment that he rarely wore them. After smoking and opening the first hive, he had his gloves on within 30 seconds. The information that he gave me was great. Good advice was given and we proceeded to examine each hive. When we got to the last one, I said to the inspector that it might be a good idea to leave that hive alone as it tends to get a bit upset. He turned to me with a bit of a condescending grin on his face and said that everything would be OK. He stated that he was a professional and he often had to deal with less than perfect hives. I  asked if I could stand back while he inspected the hive. He just smiled, smoked and opened the hive. He pulled the first frame out and the hive erupted. The bees engulfed him. They were dive bombing and crawling all over him, digging into every crack and crevice in his suit looking for a way of killing this invader. Eventually they found a way into his suit via a zip that wasn?t fully closed. He bolted back to his truck with an angry mob hot on his tail. I quickly closed up the hive and went up to find the inspector inside my shed pulling stings out of his face. After he calmed down he said that it would be a good idea to get rid of that ***ch of a queen. That was my first experience with a cranky hive. I must admit that it was the worst one I?ve ever had. Talk about a good learning experience. Those bees gave me a horrid time until I sorted out the problem.


Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on January 12, 2022, 08:03:53 pm
When first started out keeping bees, I got a bee inside my veil hood.  My quick reaction was to lift the veil to get the one bee out. The wrong move, more bees can in and I took 27 stings to the head.
Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Ben Framed on January 12, 2022, 09:47:53 pm
When I was a boy my uncle ran across some black honey bees. We did not have a clue as to their pedigree. He found them in a duck box in a (very remote) while deer hunting.

Those bees were 'VERY MEAN' to say the least! It was cold weather so we duck taped the entrance hole and stapled this in place, then took the box home. We removed the tape when we got home.When the weather was warm enough one fine sunny warm day, He/we (I was not much help lol) began removing the bees. They stung dogs! Neighbors! Tried to get into his house, etc. He had never seen anything like these bees! He really thought they may the killer bees that had been talked about so much around that time period. Yet africanized bees had not reached anywhere close to our State at that time, or any neighboring State either.

My Uncle was so concerned that he Visited Tim Durham, "The Walls Bee Man", which does not live very far from us. He and Tim talked about this. I was there as a tag along. Best as I can remember Mr Durham assured him those bees were not the killer bees but probably, and most likely decedents of the Black German bee which was notorious for fury. I tend to believe Mr Durham was right, especially since these black bees were found in such a remote area that had not had human population in quite some time. When re-queened they eventually gentled down like a little kitten hive lol...

Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: BeeMaster2 on January 12, 2022, 10:37:46 pm
When I lived in Bermuda, during the mid 70s, my family came to visit and dad, my brothers and I went for a walk in a wooded area. My younger brothers walked within 10? of a hive in a tree. The bees Immediately came out and chased all of us out of the area. This was long before Africanized Bees arrived in the US, let alone an island in the middle of the ocean.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Lesgold on January 13, 2022, 07:30:17 pm
A couple of years ago I had a hive that wasn?t overly pleasant but I decided to keep the queen as she was a good honey producer. That queen swarmed about 8 weeks ago. The new queen established herself and built stocks up very quickly. Wasn?t looking forward to digging into this hive, pinching honey and manipulating some frames but it had to be done. I was expecting a monster but ended up with a group of girls that were quite pleasant (Relatively speaking) and excellent makers of the amber fluid. You get lucky sometimes.
Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on January 15, 2022, 02:59:01 am
Had to move some hives out of a yard about 50 miles from home, the truck was out of action so I took my car instead. Got to the yard and loaded three single deeps into the back seat and off I went. It was a bit of a bumpy ride and the hives moved off the bottom boards slightly and all of a sudden I had the car filled with bees and looking for a way out. On the way home I was stopped at a red traffic light when a car pulled right up close to my window and the driver was yelling at me you got bees in your car and he signals for me to roll down my window so I did. A cloud of bees went out my window and some of them went into his car through his rolled-down window, my comment to him was oops now we both have bees in our cars sorry about that. The light turned green, and off I went.
Title: Re: Cranky hive stories. Tell us yours
Post by: NigelP on January 15, 2022, 01:34:27 pm
A few years ago I had a hive of local English black bees that would greet me as I entered the apiary and chase my truck 1/2 mile down the road after an inspection. I decided they had to be requeened as impossible to work.  Manning up I went in search of the queen and  while searching they went into attack mode and eventually the bees had totally covered my veil  until I could barely see a thing and I was getting stung through the suit quite badly. I had to leave the apiary and walk around the field a few times to be free of them. I then realised I hadn't put the crown board and roof back on. So gritted teeth went back....totally forgetting I had not redone  the zip on my hood when I had flipped it back on. You can guess the rest......must have taken 20-30 stings to the face as my suit was invaded....panicked, ran off wiping bees away from head, flipped glasses off onto nearby track and ran for about 1/2 mile to get rid of the rest of them. Painfully went home looking like something from the munsters.
Eventually got rid of bees but never did find my glasses.

I subsequently discovered a much easier and less painful method for re queening the "hive from hell". But that is for another day