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Thread: Agressive Swarm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    So a split from last year was especially mean. The queen must have found the meanest drones she could find because all daughters were the type that came out at you just for walking by. They obviously knew their way home because they would follow you 100 yards to try and sting with no fear.

    So I got a nice set of packages and queens from Koehnen in CA. Wonderful bees, the kind they use when they talk about working bees in shorts a t-shirt on no veil. Yes I really did open 7 hives this weekend with no stings, no veil and no trouble. Anyway, back to the girls from ...ell.

    I was determined to requeen. I had already taken 3 stings just dropping equipment off near their hive. The last one particularly nasty got me on the eyelid and necessitated a 1/2 hour trip to the bed with icepack and eye wash.
    returned with full armor. began systematic dismantling looking for the queen. I was immersed in a cloud of angry bees. like they describe swarms but only not gentle. They were hitting my jean shirt trying to penetrate two layers. they kept hitting the veil searching for a spot close to my face. i pushed on.

    Each frame came out, hold it up right, pivot on the top bar, find the queen. Three boxes and not luck. No queen to be found. She was unmarked, fast reclusive and 80,000 bees were circling my face.

    A moment of background here. I am in the next county over from where AHB were last discovered. In the projected spread of AHB I am one county south of where they expect they will never progress northward. The 10 degree farenheit line is where I stand. So I am not real tolerant of hot bees. They might just be unwelcome paisanos (sp?) or Apis meliforo habanero.

    I found no queen. For all I knew she was sitting on my shoulder laughing. I tore the hive down to the bottom board. layed down a queen excluder, shook out an empty box and starting cleaning frames and dropping them in. By the time I finished I had 2 deeps and medium all shaken free of bees and capped with a top. 1/2 the bees were attempting to sting me, half were clustred in on the pile of burr comb and supecedure cells I had scaped out.

    I took 19 stings through the veil, so much for that beginner kit from Mann Lake, and though the 2 inches in my sleeve that wasn't double clothed. The eye was swollen mightely. I was determined.

    But I requeened with a big plug of fondant into this hive from ....ell. and 1/2 of them chose to stay with what was probably the queen outside on the ground.

    Next week. New hive queen accepted gracefully. No more bees on ground. They have moved into a hollow tree 300' away. Thought a lure might draw them away but they have found a nice cavity and moved in.

    Question: they are definately an ive from ell. Should I terminate them. really trying to change the drone statistics around here. or are they just a failing queen in a lousy tree cavity, unlikely to survive next winter, likely to swarm 2 or 3 times this year.

    ??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I wonder why you hesitate. If they swarm 3 or 4 times that's more agressive bees in your neighborhood. Of course, more of that line of drones will be in the air. As I understand it the drones spread the genes to the domestic hives. Better lovers maybe?

    Dickm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    766

    Cool

    If you can get to it, I think you should put an escape cone (one-way-exit) on their entrance. Make the hole too small for the queen or drones to get through.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Post

    Or throw in some Fischer Bee Quick on a rag and see if you can drive them out and close up the entrances with screen wire.

    I wouldn't want a swarm of mean bees living in my tree. It gives bees a bad name and isn't any fun for you either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    the hole is small less than 1" in diameter, within reach of an extension ladder (12 feet up maybe) so I can probably plug it, may euthanize the bees with soap spray or a wasp killer stream.

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