Can anyone give advice on how to handle a very aggressive hive? A swarm comes out when the cover is lifted. I am then covered in angry bees and cannot work. This colony was a swarm given to me in early spring. They were more aggressive then my other bees, but I didn't think much about it until time to remove the honey. This is not normal compared to my other two hives.
Hi Pam, Make sure they are not Africanized bees first off. You can requeen them with a fresh queen and calm them down. They will change out in a couple of months. Good luck,
Hi Pam, The suggestion to requeen is probably your best bet. Are you smoking them? There are also herbal remedies for calming. Good luck.
[This message has been edited by NewBee (edited 08-29-2000).]
Here is a URL for requeening that I've found
from personal experience works very well. I have no financial interest with this company other than I use their modification kit and am very happy with it.
Found out that the bees are probably not africanized. I do need to requeen. Thanks for the assistance. NewBee, I am interested in the herbal remedies for calming.
I caught a swarm a few years ago ,very gentle while hiving,they became raging maniacs within a week stinging the dogs and me for no reason.I moved them to an out apiary and when I checked 2 weeks later a bear had totally destroyed it.I admit a certain satisfaction...... Sometimes bees will become very agressive as their old queen starts to fail and they start supersedure.Requeening a swarm that has an old queen is usually a good policy.
Every beekeeper ought to keep a nuc, or a few nucs, depending on the size of their operation. These are ideal to requeen a failing hive, because the queen is old or poor. Just put the nuc right into the old hive.
Pamela, you have another good use for a nuc to help you deal with your mean hive. Take the four or five frame nuc, give them enough frames to fill out a full sized box, and place them beside your mean hive. If your mean hive is very strong you may want to add a super or more. Smoke your mean hive good, and move it 100 feet or so. Move the nuc into the position the mean hive had. Put a syrup feeder on them. Let the mean hive fly for a day; most of the older bees will fly back to the previous site and build up the nuc. They will be quite mean, but you should not have to do anything with them for awhile, except maybe replenish the syrup. They will become gentle again, when the mean bees die off, but in the mean time the hive will quickly build up into a powerful one. The syrup is to keep them happy so they don't hurt the queen in your nuc.
The old mean hive will now be depleted of bees, and you can work it much easier. The worst of the mean ones will be gone. You can now find the queen and remove her. You can replace her with a nice queen and keep this as another colony, which will become gentle when the bees from the new queen begin to hatch. Or you can recombine back with the nuc.
It's probably too late in the northern US to do this now; you may want to wait until spring. In the south you still have time.