Newly installed package extremely aggressive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Good Day Sunshine, May 1, 2012.

  1. Good Day Sunshine

    Good Day Sunshine New Member

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    I just installed a package of Italians in my back yard this weekend. They are extremely aggressive. We can't even be outside for more than a few minutes without them coming straight for us--clear across the yard. My girls have gotten bees tangled in their hair and a neighbor got stung (in her back yard).

    It's my very first hive ever and I'm not sure what to expect. Is it normal for them to be this grouchy in the begging? Is it possible that they'll settle down once the queen starts laying and produces new workers?

    I can't have an aggressive hive with kids and neighbors around. Help! Any suggestions?
     
  2. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    where are you located in the united states? where did you get the package, and italian bees are not normally snarly.
     

  3. Good Day Sunshine

    Good Day Sunshine New Member

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    I live in Utah. I got them from a local supplier who, I think, brings them from California.
     
  4. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    They can be a bit defensive for a day or two, but usually settle quickly...

    From what you are describing, you most likely lost the package queen.

    Did you hang the cage or direct release?
    Did the queen cage have a candy plug?
    Did you remember to pull the cork covering this?
    If hung between frames, screen side is exposed, correct?
    Did you pull the empty cage yet?

    You'll need to open the hive and look for the queen. If it is you first bees and they are hot, this can be somewhat difficult but it MUST BE DONE. If she isn't dead in the cage, it is not going to be an easy thing to look for her. You may well need to ask for some help.

    Please post your location. You'll find more help (sometimes local) that way on these forums. They are a friendly group here...

    Welcome BTW!!!





    Queenless bees are more agressive.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, NO, this isn't normal. You should be able to sit beside your hive and watch them enter and leave. No aggression.

    Now to find the problem. After answering the questions above and changing your location in your profile, we will try to find and correct the problem.

    WELCOME
     
  6. Good Day Sunshine

    Good Day Sunshine New Member

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    To answer the questions: We removed the cork and put in a candy plug that the supplier gave us. Hanged the cage, made sure the screen side was exposed. It's been three days. I haven't checked to see if they released the queen yet. I was planning on doing it today but it's been raining. I thought I'd better wait, see if the weather improves this evening or tomorrow morning.

    The moment we sprayed the package with sugar water they started to get real mad. There is only one thing that worried me about the installation. The queen cage only had a cork and they gave us a small plastic cylinder filled with candy to replace it with. When we put the cylinder in, the queen's leg got caught between the box and the plastic. We moved it around a bit and were able to free her leg and she seemed o.k., still moving around in her cage. I don't know if that could have made a difference, or if she could have been more seriously injured. I will look for her as soon as the weather permits.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The bad weather can easily be your only problem. When it clears, check the queen and wait until the hive is 7 to 8 days old and check for eggs. If there are eggs in a week and the weather is nice, they should be friendly. If not, we go from there.
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    keep an eye out for eggs. If you injured the queens front leg she will not be able to lay. She uses the 2 front legs to measure a cell to determine if a worker or drone egg is laid.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Things are so exciting in your back yard that we almost forgot to give you a BIG WELCOME to the forum :hi:
    I don't know if it hurts to get stung in the back yard but I thinks it's less serious than being stung in the back rump. :rolling:
    (Forgive my warped sense of humor, those who've experienced it before take me with a grain of salt). It reminds me of when I was about ten years old and a read a newspaper headline "Four armed bandits rob bank" I couldn't figure out why these guys with four arms were robbing banks when they could have had it a lot easier on display in a circus. :doh:
    Hope I raised your spirits a bit. Given a few days and some bravery on your part things should sort themselves out.
     
  10. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Welcome to the forum! Like Iddee said...I sit on a bucket within three feet of my hives and watch them for minutes upon minutes and they ignore me. They may fly over and check me out for a second but they don't bother me. Heck, they ignore me when I am in their hive...

    Riverrat: that's cool, I learn something every day...I wondered how she knew the difference....
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Welcome Sunshine! :hi:

    "Four armed bandits" :lol: :rolling: :rotfl:
     
  12. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I've got a similar situation but i'm not sure which hive is the aggressor. We installed a nuc of carniolian cross from FL and a package from Dadant (Hamilton, IL), i assume they came from CA. Last night i was able to remove the cork and released her without a veil. Today it rained all morning and cleared out late afternoon. It's been cool in the 50's until today. This afternoon i went to change the feeders from boardman to baggies. The property owners were out when i got there. They had just been back looking and the little girl got stung. When i went back there was LOTS of activity, as soon as i set my stuff down i got nailed in the finger from 10' away. I just left figuring they were getting settled from being cooped up for a few days right after being hived.
     
  13. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Welcome Sunshine, I know it has to be distressing to have a new package be that aggressive, and it surprises me. But, you have come to the right place to find answers, there is a wealth of experienced knowledge here to help. That is why I'm not offering any advice, just watching for the answers
     
  14. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    DLMKA, I beginning to think my Texas bees aren't as aggressive as I thought.
     
  15. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Not come across any hive yet in my short time, that will come at you from a distance. Close up yes, more than 6 ft ....no...

    Even when they come after me, within about 10-15 ft they leave me alone if I walk away.

    Hope you see a queen tomorrow, or at worst new eggs or brood.
     
  16. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    good post riverrat,:thumbsup:
    sorta cringed when you said the queens leg got caught...
    i will chime in with everyone else, weather will make the bees crabby, so will being queenless, but package hives are not aggressive, unless there is a problem,
    give us an update when you get a chance to take a look.
     
  17. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I talked to another beek that got packages from the same place as mine and she said a couple of hers are aggressive too.
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My nucs that I installed Saturday are pretty defensive too. I am giving them a day or 2 to settle in, they didn't actually sting but ran my helper and I off the lot pretty effectively.
     
  19. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Lot of agressive bees. Makes me wonder if there is a missprint in the book "bee Keeping for dumbies. Page 38 says to grasp hive tool and bang on top of hive all the while kicking it with the left foot while the weedeater is laying in front of the hive running. Please disregard that page as it has been proven wrong:thumbsup::rolling:
     
  20. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I forgot the weedeater...