Author Topic: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?  (Read 265 times)

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Offline NorCal

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Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« on: June 11, 2018, 06:42:22 pm »
Hello everyone, new member here with my first post.   I’ve been a beek for a little over a year and had a really strong overwintered hive that I split into three hives 8 weeks ago.   The original hive was getting mean so I purchased two queens from a local source in an attempt to calm down the new splits.  It’s been 8 weeks and there’s no sign of calming.   In fact, they seem to be ramping up their harassment efforts.   I have noted on more than one occasion that a landscaping contractor I have working for me can be within 20-25 ft of the hives all day without an issue, but as soon as I get there they start bumping us and harassing us away from the apiary.  So, can bees form a negative association with a specific person?   For info, these bees have plenty of room in their hives, are bringing in nectar and pollen, have been treated, and the queens are laying well. I’d appreciate any input you all might have. 
(I’m traveling on vacation, but will check back here as often as I can)

 

Online neillsayers

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 08:06:06 pm »
Welcome NorCal,

How rude, after all you do for them, the little ingrates! :D

Actually, I do believe that they can develop negative associations for a particular person or animal (think pet). Their lives are very short and without any additional experiences, I would think they would calm down. Also consider scent- do you wear after shave or deodorant? Try changing brands or doing without.

Others on here may have better advice and one of our members, Jen, lives in your region. :)
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Offline CBT

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 08:54:27 pm »
It could be something simple as aftershave, hair shampoo or treatments. You can figure it out. They don’t like when I use dandruff shampoo so I avoid it on Bee work days. Good luck and by the way Welcome Aboard. :yes:

Offline apisbees

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 10:58:45 pm »
Welcome and enjoy your stay. I could chime in here and give mi advice but I agree with Randy Oliver and he has a great video out on this exact topic. I could not say it better.
But from my own experience I have seen bees react negatively to some people.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.
The following users thanked this post: Bakersdozen

Offline NorCal

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 11:39:05 am »
Thank you all, and what a great video!  I do have a very calm hive i got as a nuc from Jen last year, placed a few feet away from the mean ones.   They don’t give me any trouble at all.   I will experiment with soaps and deodorants and see if I can figure out what triggers them.  Thank you :yes:

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 06:18:44 pm »
Welcome to the forum, NorCal.  I don't have anything else to offer.  Just saying welcome.

Online Mikey N.C.

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 02:16:30 pm »
Welcome to WWB .
I've read before that if your gloves ( if using) can have stingers and pheromones from those hives and can be problem.

Offline rober

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 07:11:43 am »
eat a lot of bananas? that can set them off.
has anyone ever heard of insulin setting them off? I tend my m.d.'s hives for him. he has 2 guys that do his yard work. one of the workers can do anything around the hives short of tap dancing on top of them. if the other guy gets within 30' of the hives they are on him like stink on poop. he uses no cologne or deodorant & does not eat bananas but does inject large doses of insulin several times a day.

Offline Jen

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 12:08:47 pm »
Hi Rober,  :D That is funny! and wouldn't it be nice if it were as easy as banana's? But there does come a point where we grab at anything to find a reason why the bees don't like our humble selves.

Jerry and I met over a year ago at one of our bee club meetings. He works hard at keeping his bees in good condition. He's been on vaca for about a weekish. When he and family returns, he and I and possibly another beek, are going to get into that bad bootie hive and see if they've calmed down at all.

Time is up for this batch of bees to be nice or not. He may have to requeen again and wait it out..again, or simply move the hive to a different location until the bad bootie girls shape up their attitude.
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline tedh

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 09:01:23 pm »
Just out of curiosity, do you wear glasses NorCal?  Sunglasses?  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.

Offline NorCal

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 11:00:26 pm »
I rarely eat bananas, and don’t wear sunglasses in the apiary.   I’m going to try switching deodorants and soap when I get home and see if that helps ;)

Offline Jen

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2018, 11:37:16 pm »
Hey Jer! A thought, unscented laundry soap, unscented fabric softener sheets, unscented deodorant, unscented shampoo, unscented toothpaste, unscented gum, unscented beer...

kidding………  :D :laugh: ;D
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline riverbee

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 11:55:32 am »
unscented beer?!........ :D

hey norcal, welcome to our great forum and thanks for posting!

what do you wear when working the bees? bee suit, bee jacket, etc.... do you wash it?

do you wear a hat? baseball hat, straw hat? when near the bees?
what are you wearing when the bees start bumping/harrassing you? dark colors or light colors? 

also, know it sounds weird, are you an average size fella?  or do you look like a BEAR to the bees?......... :D :D :laugh:
i keep wild things in a box..........™
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Offline NorCal

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 12:23:45 pm »
I wear a full suit when working bees (I’m allergic to stings now).  My suit is white in color and I wash it frequently in Dreft.  I washed it in Dreft all last year without problem.  The bees have tried stinging me through my gloves, so i’ve Taken to brushing them frequently, followed by a light coating coating of white vinegar to sanitize them. 

Admittedly, I am kind of a bigger guy , 6-01 and 230 lbs, so I guess I do kind of resemble a bear.   I almost always wear a ball cap when outside, but I haven’t paid attention to the color of clothing My family or I was wearing when we get bumped.  I’ll make a move towards lighter colors and see what happens. 
Bears are an issue here, but my hives are protected by an electric fence and the bear has been “trained”  :) not to come into the apiary.  No bear has been in the apiary and the dirt hasn’t shown a footprint around the fence in over a year. 





Offline riverbee

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Re: Can bees negatively imprint on the beekeeper?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 06:16:35 pm »
allergic?

me too, eppy allergic. went through immunotherapy.
i digress.

you can wash the gloves, or just use a quick spray of yellow ammonia mixed in water to clean them off.

if the bees are bumping you AND your family, it's the bees, and jen has said she is going to help you figure out what their major malfunction in the beehive is............ :D ;D
i keep wild things in a box..........™
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