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Thread: Nasty bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Angry

    I have 5 hives, three of them I bought from the same guy. One of these three hives is really mean. I didn't realize just how mean until I took a super off yesterday. I counted over 50 stingers in my hat alone not to mention two or three that got through my hat and stung my head. When I smoke them it seems to make them madder and they always find some way to sting me even while I'm wearing my bee-suit, gloves and vail. I would re-queen this hive but they are producing really well. Anyone have any ideas on how I can work with this hive without getting stung so much?
    Thanks,
    Matthias Smith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    portage IN USA
    Posts
    22

    Post

    go ahead and requeen by the time you run out of your present workers the flow will be over. In my opinion a mean hive just isnt really worth it beekeeping is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable hobby not a painstaking experience... p.s. you better start a new queen in a nuc then introduce her a mean hive will(in my experience) will often kill a new queen introduced in a cage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Post

    Requeen it. Set up bottoms for each box and move each box to it's own bottom with it's own lid. Put an empty box on the old bottom with a lid. Walk away for a while until they calm down and then go for the box with the most traffic and look for the queen. If they are still too much to handle, split them up more into more boxes. Put them in five frame nucs, or even five frames to a box. With some really ballistic ones I've split them into one frame into each two frame nuc box and then found the queen. If this is all too much, then you can buy as many queens as you have boxes, split the boxes into separate hives, wait overnight and put a queen into each. The one that rejects the queen is the one with the queen in it. Find her and kill her and then combine that box (with newspaper) with one of the boxes that has accepted a queen.

    One way or another I'd get rid of the queen. And with a hot hive it's best to divide and conquer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4

    Post

    Is the hive queenrite? I had one last year that got VERY nasty. They had swarmed, and didnt produce a queen. When I checked them, they had about 10 cells of caped brood, and that was it. I ordered a russian queen for it and introduced it. They calmed down pretty quick, and a month or so later, they where as calm as all the others I have.

    Sparky
    \"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and good with ketchup.\"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Your only solution whether the hive is queenright or not is a new queen, as fast as possible. Don't bother with the honey flow; it's more important in the long run to have bees you can work with.

    If they're too nasty to go through to kill the queen, take the hive 100 yards or so from where it is now, and put a new box in its place. shake all the bees off the combs, one by one, and put them back in the hive - protect them from UV if it's a bright day, with a bit of cloth wrapped round as you carry them back. You'll lose the old queen and a few young bees. Put the new queen in next day.
    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bellville, Texas
    Posts
    41

    Post

    I just went through this with one of my hives. Put up with their attitude for the last year. Yesterday afternoon was "D-day" - had a spare SMR queen.

    Do exactly what Micheal suggested. I break the hive down into managable nukes. I broke mine down into 4 nukes. Never did find the original queen because of fading light. Today I will find which one she is in and that will be it. I will then recombine the nukes again with the SMR queen.

    Only hive I have ever had with such an defensive posture.

    Scott

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Post

    It's true you can shake them down as Robert says, but I don't like that many angry bees in the air at the same time. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I suppose if you can't find the queen, you can shake out a nuc at a time. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Michael, thanks for repeating those instructions. I had seen them in the past, but neglected to copy them to my form file. I've now got them for future reference should the need arise (I hope it doesn't!). I refuse to deal with nasty hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Posts
    58

    Post

    Thanks for the information. I guess I need to find a queen. Anyone know of someone selling good queens that are mite resestent and that can be shipped within a week or two?
    Thanks
    Matthias

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I had one this bad and even after requeening it's still not right. Here's what I did. I took most of the brood and swept all the bees off it. I then put that super over a queen excluder on top of the hive. (Overnight the nice gentle nurse bees came up to cover the brood Next day I walked this to the end of the field (100 yds) and gave it a queen. THIS SPLIT NEVER GOT MEAN!
    I made several splits out of the rest, found and dispatched the queen and combined them back again. Then I moved them to an isolated spot. Later I tried to do the same thing and killed off the adult bees after splitting. I didn't do the excluder trick: I just took the brood. They are still mean. This was a new package on APR 9. I sent samples for analysis (AHB) but haven't heard yet. What a learning experience. It was almost worth it to have Newbee101 stand next to me and chant "This is insanity; This is insanity."

    Dickm

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