Newbee needs help with first hive
Howdy all, and thanks in advance for your advice. I have a distressing problem with my first hive and need your help. Here's the background.
I built a top-bar hive (after reading on hobby beekeeping for months) and put it in a friend's large, wild garden in Southern California.
With 10 days, a swarm found the hive and took up residence.
The first time I opened the hive, the bees were amazingly gentle, without the use of smoke.
The second time, a week later, they were only slightly more agitated, and I used a little smoke. But I was able to lift several bars and examine the comb.
When I opened the hive today (after three weeks), a hell broke loose. I gently lifted the center bar, and bees boiled up out of the opening and attacked my friend and I. I hurried replaced the bar. We literally had to run to get away, and bees followed us for 25 yards.
So, what did I do wrong?
Has the swarm/hive/colony become Africanized?
And what do we do now?
Thanks to any and all for your advice.