So just what I said! I am at a loss. After my last post I was stung two more times, once right in the face! Luckily I the reaction wasn't as bad as my leg. I have one sting on my arm right now that is very itchy! It's been really really hot here, and my bees have been very aggressive. I am just too new at this to know what to do, I'm still feeding them, as they are still taking the food. I don't know the level of flow right now here, I have a huge garden and berry bushes, all blooming, but pollen is not nectar! I just don't know! I'm way too green! I belong to a couple of bee keeping boards, one of which is http://www.beesource.com I put out a call for some info. I got a lot! Whew! I also put in a call to Tim, who I got my bees from, as I know if anyone knows, he will know about MY bees. He gave me some great advice! So, things are gonna change around here with the bees.
Here's what I learned today.
1) They could be more aggressive because the queen is dead. (I don't think this is the case, but need to do a full inspection to check for day old larvae)
2) They could be agitated because of predators, again, don't think so because I have 3 cats in the back yard, who keep out visitors, I have also seen no evidence of anything messing with the hive, even though I have vented it.
3) I NEED TO SMOKE MY BEES! I didn't want to, but let's face it, the a'natural way isn't really working out
4) Smoking the bees won't hurt them
5) I need a top feeder, the front feeder is too hard to deal with and they keep "glueing" it to the hive with propolis
6) I need to work my bees during the day, during the heat of the day when most of them are out foraging
7) being a little afraid is HEALTHY!
8) I will likely wear more protection, ie, pants when I work the hive
9) my hive has doubled (at least!) in size and it was easier to work when it was half the size, so I was more "confident" now, I need to learn more!
10) I probably should join a bee club, although I'm not that social....
So that's what I learned today. I need to do an inspection, but before I do I ordered a smoker and some new vented gloves. Likely I will also get a new white jacket for working the hive, as my white one now is just worn out and the zipper is shot, I've been wearing my light green one, but I am not sure the bees love the bright colors. It's a learning process!
After I inspect the hive I will give Tim a call back and discuss some findings with him, I shall report back.
I have to admit, I feel somewhat defeated that I couldn't do it all by myself, but I realize that I am learning and everyone needs help! I want to do right by my bees and make sure that my hive thrives, so I won't be afraid to ask for help! In the meantime, here is a picture of my hive last night, it's clear my bees are HOT this is an example of bearding. They were dripping out of the hive. Actually, pretty cool.