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Honey bees mood during a honey and nectar flow

Honey Bees Mood During A Honey And Nectar Flow

Throughout a nectar flow, many of the older workers will be in the field hunting for food. This is the best time to examine the colony. During the summer more honey bees will be in the hive as the queen will have produced more brood and the situation might change, particularly between the nectar flows. There can be some robbing going on at this time, which will make the bees even more defensive at any intrusion to their hive. Leaving the colony open for more than a few minutes can increase robbing so can leaving cappings or honeycomb exposed. It is important to reduce the size of the entrance of a weak colony so that they can defend the hive and prevent the stronger colonies robbing from it. A honey flow will reduce the likelihood of robbing.

The mood of the bees can have a lot to do with the weather or the time of day. On rainy days or when there are cool temperatures, in the early morning or late in the afternoon honey bees are likely to be more defensive and they will attack. Where possible inspect them on warm, sunny days in the middle of the day when most of the bees are foraging.

Ensure there is a constant water supply for the honey bees to cool the hive and dilute honey to feed their young. They will collect water from the closest water source. If you do not have a constant supply of shallow water for the bees, they will look for it elsewhere, like the neighbour’s pool, birdbath or garden pond. The bees are more likely to drown in those sources. If you have a water supply for them when they first fly out in spring, they will not go anywhere else for water. Once they find a water source, it is hard to keep them from going back to it.

A bee-keeper needs to keep the bees under control every time the hive is open. A typical hive can house thousands of workers all capable of stinging.

Smoke is an important tool for the bee-keeper when opening a hive. Smoke should be used in moderation, but the smoker should be capable of producing large volumes of smoke at short notice. The bee-keeper must smoke the entrance of the hive, under the cover, and periodically smoke the frames while the hive is open. Try not to bump the hive or the frames as this might anger the bees, which will make it harder for a bee-keeper to do his work. The bee-keeper must work quickly and carefully. By going through the frames several times a year, the bee-keeper keeps the frames movable.

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