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Best Conditions to Work in Your Hives

It seems that there are many people that are terrified of honey bees along with other types of stinging insects. As beekeepers we understand the importance of honey bees in the pollination of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and other plants, as well as the production of honey. Surprisingly there are still a lot of uneducated people who don’t understand the significance of honey bees. Fear and apprehension of friends, family, or visitors to your apiary could potentially cause problems for you, the beekeeper.

Once people learn that you are a beekeeper they tend to ask lots of questions about honey bees and beekeeping. Thanks to their questions you get the opportunity to educate them on this very important topic. Hopefully, after conversations with folks they will be less frightened and less likely to kill a swarm, or even random bees.

Some honey bees have aggressive personalities, others seem to be gentle, but no matter what your bees are usually like when a visitor comes around they’re likely to “show-off” for them! If you get visitors to your apiary when you are working in them, there are certain actions you can take to help your bees from being aggressive. I came across this information on outdoorplace.org today. Here are some of their suggested best conditions to work in your bees:

-When most of the field bees are out in the field collecting nectar (my opinion: most are out around 3:00pm)

-When there is a nectar flow from flowering plants

-When the colony is not under stress from predators, such as wasps

-When colonies are in direct sunlight

-When the temperature is not very hot (95°F or higher)

-When neighbors are not having a lawn party or mowing their yard

Another good tip that I personally found very interesting is to have your hive(s) near bushes or trees, or to even put a flag or other object that will move in a breeze in order to get your bees accustomed to movement around their hive. We walk around our hives practically every day and they hardly take notice to us anymore. A few might buzz by to check us out, especially if we get in one of their high-traffic paths, but they generally leave us alone. One more very important thing to remember is for you or any of your visitors to never walk directly in front of a hive. That is a sure way to make the bees angry and puts you at a much greater risk of being stung. So I’m sure you’re thinking how close can you get to a bee hive without getting stung? I’m interested in your opinions, please use the comments form below and let us know what you think.

Hopefully these tips will help keep you and your visitors out of harms way and help calm some fears and apprehensions about honey bees.

Happy Beekeeping to you all!

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