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Mysterious Fact: Why Are Bees More Aggressive In The Fall?





Why Bees Are So Aggressive In The Fall?

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As a beekeeper, you must be concerned about the behavior of your colony members in every season. Have you ever noticed in the fall season, stinging insects especially bees become so much more aggressive?

You might not know “Why Are Bees More Aggressive In The Fall“. Also, you don’t have expertise on how to deal with your colony in that season.

That’s What I am going to reveal in this blog post. You will get to know the reason behind the aggressiveness of bees. Also, you will get to know how you should deal with your aggressive bees.




Why Are Bees More Aggressive In The Fall?

It’s simply because of the shortage of food and the increase in their colony members in number. In the late summer and early fall, bees become maximum in number, on the other hand, natural food sources are reduced, which makes bees so aggressive in the fall.

Throughout this post, we will dig deep into the reasons behind the aggressive behavior of bees in the fall. Also, I will guide you on how you should treat your colony and make them happy and calm in that particular season.




Reasons Behind Bees Become So Aggressive During Fall

There are several factors behind the aggressive behavior of bees in the fall season. The major reasons are described below.

  1. Bees become maximum in number in the early fall.
  2. The weather is not bee-friendly.
  3. Food shortage due to a decrease in flower plants.
  4. Changes in their diet in the fall.
  5. Excessive Defensive Behaviour in the fall to protect their food.
  6. Human behavior.


 Why Bees Are More Aggressive In The Fall
Reason Behind Why Bees Are More Aggressive In The Fall


Now let’s discuss these major factors in detail.



Increase In Population Effect

Bee Overpopulation

Each bee colony has the maximum number of members in the fall. This makes the beehive too crowded to live peacefully. A large population needs a large space to live.

So, sometimes a portion of the colony members tend to depart from their old colony and try to build a new colony. This makes them defensive and aggressive.



Weather Effect

Most of the days in the fall, the weather is comparatively cold, below the suitable temperature for bees. This makes it difficult for the bees to maintain humidity inside the hive.

In order to maintain proper moisture inside the hive they need to waste more energy.

In simple words, fall is not the bee’s season, which drives them more anger.



Shortage Of Food

Due to the cold atmosphere in the Fall, a lot of flower plants are dying. Because of this reason, the number of food sources decreased. On the other hand, the number of pollinators in a colony increased.

Which creates a shortage of food supply for the members of the colony.

However, bees don’t solely depend on flowers. They try to collect food from different sources when there are no flowers.

That’s why you might sometimes see bees buzzing and swinging around any source of sugar like juice, sugar syrup, treacle, etc.

Bee Collecting Pollen From Flower
Bee Collecting Pollen From Flower



Change In Diet In the Fall

The pollinators prepare their queen and themselves for the winter. They usually eat only protein in the summer due to plenty of flowers available.

But in the autumn they changed their diet and started taking carbohydrates besides protein. A change in diet could change their instinct temporarily.

So, this could be a reason behind their aggressiveness.



Excessive Defensiveness Of Bees In Fall

Bees become more defensive to protect their food from being stolen by other bees from their neighbor’s colony.

As there is a food shortage in every colony. Bees try hard to collect food and meet the basic food needs of the colony. When they are unable to find flowers to collect nectar, some of the bees try to steal nectar from the nearest bee colony.

That’s why the worker bees are becoming more alert to protect their honey from stealing.

If they find any bees from other colonies, trying to steal honey from their colony, they will instantly sting and kill that bee. This is why you may see more dead bees on the ground during fall. 

As a result, all worker bees become alert during the season. So worker bees are busier than in other seasons. As a result, bees become more aggressive during the fall.



Human Behaviour

Human behavior in the fall also plays a vital role in why bees get very angry in this season. Here is which of your behaviors may drive bees crazy.

  • If you try to collect honey in the fall, it will even make it worse for them to survive.
  • If you inspect the hive very often it will make trouble for them to maintain moisture inside the hive.
  • Also, if you use pesticides inside and around the hive it will be more harmful to them.


As a result, they will be angrier, and the stinging instinct of bees will be much more in the fall.




Tips For Beekeepers To Deal With The Aggressive Bees In The Fall

As a beekeeper, you must try to calm your bees for a better and healthy bee colony. Here are several tips on how I handle my colony during fall when bees are very aggressive.

  1. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a bee suit and cover your entire body each time you inspect the hive. Because in the fall season as they become aggressive they are more likely to sting you.
  2. Add Extra Feeder: This is the most important thing every beekeeper must do in the fall. That is to provide sufficient food for them. Place extra feeders inside the hive and add sugar syrup on a regular basis on those feeders.
  3. Inspect Less: Don’t open the beehive entrance very often. Try to inspect your beehive in the early noon of a sunny day. Select the right time for hive inspections.
  4. Don’t Extract Honey In The Fall: Never ever try to collect honey in the fall. Otherwise, your colony may be vanished due to a shortage of sucrose and protein.
  5. Split Crowded Hive: To deal with an overpopulated colony you can move a portion of the colony to a new hive. That is you can split an overpopulated beehive into 2 separate hives. 
  6. Don’t Use Too Much Smoke: During hive inspection, make sure to use the bee smoker properly. Don’t use smoke too much. Because too much smoke will make them very mad.
  7. Avoid Pesticides: Stop Using Bleach or any pesticide in any season around your hive.
How To Calm Aggressive Bees In The Fall
Tips To Handle Bees During Fall




Frequently Asked Questions


Why do bees suddenly become aggressive?

Whenever the security of the colony is in threat bees can become aggressive immediately. This can happen when there is a danger that trying to harm them, the death of the queen, lack of food, etc. There are other reasons too that can suddenly drive them aggressive.

Why are bees slow in fall?

First of all, during fall the temperature starts to fall. So, bees are less likely to go outside. If the colony has a scarcity of food bees will go outside when the atmosphere is warm. Otherwise, they stay inside the hive which makes them slow in the fall.

Why am I seeing more bees in the fall?

During fall, there is a lack of flowers. Bees need to look for alternative food sources. So, they start looking for sugary foods. They can eat candies, molasses, fruits, cake, etc. Thus can travel long distances and can go inside human houses for such types of food sources.

What month are bees most aggressive?

In the United States, bees seem more aggressive from September To November. During these months there is a lack of food and the temperature starts to fall. Bees need to work more during these months. As a result during these months, bees are most aggressive.




Final Words On Why Bees Are So Aggressive In The Fall

Depletion of natural food sources in the fall makes very trouble for the worker bees to meet the required food supply for the colony.

As a result, bees become so so so aggressive in the fall. I used the word “so” thrice to make you understand how important the fact is for you if you are a beekeeper.

We must deal carefully in the fall with the aggressiveness of the pollinators.

For beekeepers, you do not need to be too anxious about the angriness of your bees. Just give them enough space and food to live. They will be normal in the late or at the end of the fall.

Winter is knocking on the door. So, check our article on how to winterize a beehive in a few simple steps.

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