Just a thought about colony guard bees….

This summer, I had an issue with one or two aggressive colonies.  I had to move them from my home apiary.  When I opened the stockade gate to my apiary — guard bees were immediately there for me.  After moving the offending colonies, things really calmed.  But even now after having worked bees and reentering the apiary, several bees are (nearly) immediately upon me.

I had the thought that these bees are not guarding a particular colony – they are essentially guarding the apiary – which in turn guards the their home colony.   Could I call these defensive bees – “apiary guard bees”?  Do they remember my various odors or my appearance?  They seem to be more that spontaneous colony guards.  Its impossible to determine from which colony these apiary guards are from.  I find this global guarding behavior interesting.

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