Do Bees Get Grumpy?

Do bees have bad days? Do they get angry? Irritable? Even vindictive?

I don’t know any beekeeper who doubts that bees get grumpy. My bees don’t like wet weather or having their honey taken.

After my spring honey harvest, one extremely pissed off girl chased me for three days until she finally caught me and stung me under my eye. I looked like Popeye for a week.

According to the December 26, 2011 issue of Scientific American, some scientists now believe that bees actually do experience something resembling emotions.

Using simple behavioral tests, Melissa Bateson and her colleagues at Newcastle University in England showed that honeybees under stress tend to be pessimistic, a conclusion few beekeepers would dispute.

Another reason to let our bees be bees and do what they want to, not what we want them to do.

Things To Do In The Hives In June

Colonies will be boiling with bees this month! The Queen’s rate of egg laying may drop a bit.

Inspect the hive weekly to make sure the bees are healthy and the Queen is present. Make sure the bees have plenty of room for brood and honey. Add honey supers sooner rather than later.

Keep up swarm inspections.

My Garden Hive – Third Inspection

The Garden Hive

It’s been three weeks since I hived my Italian bees. I was a bit concerned after my last inspection since I didn’t see any capped brood, and there were some queen cups at the top of the frames. Was Queen Maria Amalia laying eggs? Were my bees trying to replace her?

Queen Cups

I shouldn’t have worried. Today when I inspected the hive, there was an almost perfect brood pattern on four of the eight frames. There was also capped honey stores. The bees are coming along beautifully!

Capped Brood and Honey Stores

Next week I’ll remove the sugar syrup feeder, and my bees should have a good start on the summer!