Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bees in the Rain -- Don't Mess

I always knew bees were rather persnickity in the rain, but I just got some firsthand proof. My mild-mannered Italians really did not appreciate me opening their hive about half an hour after today's showers let up. Perhaps the air was still pretty moist.

My hive is nestled next to my deck in small nook. All I was going to do was feed the bees some sugar water to prep them for winter. I didn't bother with my smoker because the last time I fed them there was no need -- big mistake. I got as far as removing the inner cover, then the bees let me have it.

At least a dozen were clinging to my clothes. One stung me on my thumb and another on my ring finger. By the time I was running back into the house, I noticed several others stuck on my pants. I managed to shake the majority of them off, and was left with four stings. But the worst part was the one that refused to exit my hair. I think it was more freaked out than I was, but I was finally able to shake it loose after a minute of intense headbanging.

Anyway, after a while, I was able to go back out there -- equipped with my smoker and thicker clothing -- and feed the bees.

I tried to do some research as to why bees' behavior is affected by the rain, but didn't turn up much, just that they can't fly during the rain. Either way, next time I'll wait for a sunnier day.

Had any bees-in-the-rain incidents?

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