I currently have 2 hives with dispositions as different as night and day. I have been pondering that since these hives are nearly a year old now, and the hive "mood" has stayed pretty much stable and docile in one hive, where would I begin on researching rearing a queen or queens out of this hive for future use?
I know just enough about this entire hobby to make myself look foolish, but my thinking is if I can get a queen from this genetic strain, would the traits pass through?
Yes to a degree, but you would also have to have drones with the desired traits too.
You can search the archives here for good queen rearing links.
If you just want one queen, just do a split or just kill the queen in the hot hive, wait 24 hours, introduce the queen from the docile hive to the hot hive and let the docile hive rear a new queen.
One queen is easy to do.
Well, if she "parented" the drones, wouldn't that help?
That's my next big challenge Mike; finding a queen in a VERY full hive. I have reayd your suggestions on the matter in the past. I think she passed her dot off to someone else as a diversion.
There are ways to narrow the search. I usually go for the center of the most bees and find her in a try or two.
But if that doesn't work, you can smoke heavily from the top and you'll drive her to the bottom box. She will run from the smoke quicker than the rest of the bees. Someone says, put a frame of eggs from another hive in and she'll be on that frame in a few minutes.
It just takes a lot of practice and paying attention to learn to find a queen.