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Honey Bees – Backyard Beekeeping: Defensive Honeybees. An example of calm honey bees becoming defensive. Docile honeybees can become aggressive and seemingly angry! We did a honeybee removal earlier this year. The bees were very docile and non-aggressive when we removed the beehive. As the summer progresses, the bees build more brood and gather more and more stores in their hive. Stores translate to honey and pollen. When they have no honey or pollen to defend, they may be very calm and docile. When they have a lot of stores in the hive, they may become very “hot” or defensive of the hive. One can liken it to your own home. If you have just moved into an empty house – nothing in the house at all – you would likely defend it somewhat if an intruder walked in, but perhaps not overly aggressively unless the intruder showed harmful intentions. Move forward in time now. Your house contains all you have worked for and your whole family and kids are there. The same intruder enters your home – how will you defend it now? Likely much more vigorously. The same it is with honeybees. As they build more and more honey in the hive, and more and more brood, they are more likely to defend the hive more vigorously. That is one reason for a hive to become defensive. There are many other reasons, but that is one of them.

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