There are two aspects to this trait which may exist
separately or both together within a colony. The first is the
"standing jump" where a stationary bee takes to the air
(it usually appears to the observer that they are heading straight for
the beekeeper's veil), but a calm appraisal will establish that it is
often quite random.
The second aspect is the "running jump" which
is more like an aircraft "take off" and much less
likely to be straight at the beekeeper.
Both of these faults put large numbers of bees into the air
that then mill around. Such clouds of bees give the impression to non
beekeepers that the bees are 'angry' and thus give bees and beekeepers
a bad name.
We have to score this phenomena again from 0 - 10 with 10
being zero take offs and zero attributed to colonies that launch
thousands of bees into the air. I rate colonies that have five or
less bees come up as 9, I reserve 10 for no take offs at all, I rate
colonies that exhibit both standing and running jumps as lower than
those that only show one or the other and I rate standing jumps as
slightly less desirable than running jumps.
Scores of 10 are rare and most of my colonies get 8 or 9,
I have had a few low scorers in the past, but I have not seen any
"bad" examples in my own stocks since I started selecting
against the trait about twenty years ago.
Written... 06 December 2001,
Revised... 07 December 2001,
Revised... 25 January 2003,