Do Bees Get Grumpy?

Do bees have bad days? Do they get angry? Irritable? Even vindictive?

I don’t know any beekeeper who doubts that bees get grumpy. My bees don’t like wet weather or having their honey taken.

After my spring honey harvest, one extremely pissed off girl chased me for three days until she finally caught me and stung me under my eye. I looked like Popeye for a week.

According to the December 26, 2011 issue of Scientific American, some scientists now believe that bees actually do experience something resembling emotions.

Using simple behavioral tests, Melissa Bateson and her colleagues at Newcastle University in England showed that honeybees under stress tend to be pessimistic, a conclusion few beekeepers would dispute.

Another reason to let our bees be bees and do what they want to, not what we want them to do.

13 thoughts on “Do Bees Get Grumpy?

  1. I think playing it safe and not getting the bees angry or making them uncomfortable is in everyone’s best interest:) Bees & People:)

  2. OUCH that had to hurt and hurt your feelings 😦 all the yellow jackets all over the leg that entered their ground hive by mistake knew the pain of ANGRY BEES and they made me NO HONEY 🙂

  3. P&B says:

    Have you ever wondered why they always go for the face? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the cookbook finally came yesterday. I’ll try some recipes this weekend.

  4. You are probably quite correct in thinking bees have feelings. I think everything has emotion. Including plants and the earth. Everything responds to kindness and care. Love your blogs, and recipies. Good luck with the bees.

  5. solarbeez says:

    I don’t know if they get grumpy, but they sure buzzed me when I was videotaping them going in the log hive. I had the tripod set up where I usually go about 3 feet from the entrance and had to keep backing up as they kept bumping me. Finally a couple were so insistent I high tailed it out of there. I can’t believe the amount of activity with the bees still bringing in pollen as of Nov. 16th. Today they were flying again, between storms. But the Warre hive shows much less activity…is it because I’m feeding them?

  6. Ogee says:

    You house them. You plant flowers for them. You feed them sugar syrup. What in the world do they have to be grumpy about? I think a little conversation about giving thanks is timely and in order!

  7. Yes, they definitely do get grumpy! My bees can testify to that. By the way, enjoying your Thanksgiving series. Might be trying a few recipes out for my UK Thanksgiving.

  8. Sounds like they have a good memory and a bit of revenge thrown in. Bees are not going to housed in my garden – they can visit, and I’ll feed them, but at the end of the day… they can leave!

  9. Three days!?!? Wow. And yes, they sure can be grumpy.

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