Submitted by will on Mon, 18/07/2016 - 07:16

There are times when I'm scared of the bees.

Two of my hives contain very large colonies and, this season, they've been unhappy when I've looked inside. They've also been unhappy when I've watched from over 2 metres away - a bee will investigate and then attack. This is new behaviour from my home hive and fear is a new feeling for me.

The defensive behaviour of Hive A might be due to the time of year but I suspect that they've replaced their Queen. Her temperament should be the same as before but she may have mated with a drone with a more defensive temperament.

The colony in Hive C was feral so I'm not surprised that they're defensive. They have the unpleasant habit of following for up to 20 metres. I've had to go indoors and stand in the dark to get the bees off me.

What to do about fear? In time I will overcome it In the meantime, fear makes good observation difficult. I hurry and make mistakes. I get forgetful and sometimes clumsy. That can make things worse. I need better technique and better tolerance. I'll look at getting more training and hopefully share inspections with a more experienced bee keeper.