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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    melvin,mi
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    Default what causes aggressive bees

    Two weeks ago I open up the hive to do a hive check and rotate the deeps and had no problem. Last week I pulled out 2 rack of brood to use in a trap out. I did go in with no smoke and had to go throgh the hive to find eggs for my trap out. Now evertime I go with in 100 feet of the hive I get attacked my daughter got stung in the front yard and this is 150 feet away!!!! and my 2year granddaughter got stung playing in her sand box. not on accidental TOTAL ATTACK, why have they changed so fast? I hear about people having them on there back deck and having no problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

    Default

    For a trapout, I only use the frame of brood and eggs, no bees. Did you take bees along, too. If so, you likely took the queen. Check your hive now for eggs. If you don't find any, look for queen cells. No eggs, no cells, buy a queen and introduce her. Otherwise, look for signs of skunk or other predator.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    melvin,mi
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    Default

    no I only took eggs and larva. I looked for her then brushed them off the rack back into the hive. could i have made them queen less by killing my queen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    Every time you manipulate your hive you run the risk of killing the queen, she could run between the frames just as you are pushing them back together, or you could drop her off the frame. Or she could just walk off, if you work like me I set a frame on end leaning against the hive when working the hive. I give a good look to try and see that bee with the long body but she can be hard to spot.
    Being queenless is one reason a hive can go from gentle to hot, but being molested by a skunk or racoon at night will make them aggressive as well.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    1,966

    Default

    I had this happen from a package of bees when they were hived 4 - 5 weeks. They tested
    AHB. Even if you made them queenless they shouldn't be this bad. I suggest you move them to an isolated area after requeening. Otherwise destroy them. It will take a long time for them to cool down after requeening. Was this a new package or queen this year?

    dickm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    melvin,mi
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    188

    Default

    I got them last summer as a nuc, I am going to move them today. I got stung and my son got stung, adding to the sting list, I will look in side next week after todays move to see whats going on inside. Im thinking I may have killed my queen opps if so I have a new one lined up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    dickm: makes a good point, I got two packages of Minnesota Hygienic form Blue Sky bee supplies this year. I found out that they came form Olivarez Honey Bees Inc. They seem a little on the hot side I donít know if they are in AHB territory but it donít make much difference in California they are close enough to areas that are. And with all the transit of beekeepers in that area this also increases the probability of a mixing of genes.

    But on the other side of the coin, it has been a cold and wet May here in Michigan and I have had to work my bees on days that werenít always agreeable to the bees. And even though things are very green the bees havenít had a lot of opportunity to exploit the abundant foraging. So perhaps they are is the same mood that you see during a nectar dreath. I can see this by how light they are, normally I am putting on my first surplus supers. And I havenít seen swarm cells in any of my 25 hives. So conditions obliviously arenít optimum for swarming. And they wonít normally swarm unless food supplies are abundant. All of witch can increase aggression.
    If you got the hive last year and didnít see the aggregative nature until this year I would put AHB low on the list for reasons of increased aggression. If people are getting stung move them but watch to see if there demeanor changes when the weather gets better. They keep saying it will??
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    melvin,mi
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    Default

    thanks brent, I moved them yesterday and ill keep a eye on them. I moved them a little later then I wanted and left about 500 or so foragers behind. Boy oh boy big mistake I could not step out the door without getting stung. even my dog got stung 2 times.. I put a nuc in the hives spot and collected them up, and at night and added them back to the hive. in aug ill move them back on my property 10 ac in the back where they will not bug anyone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Olivarez is nowhere near AHB territory and I find their bees gentle.

    Honeybees do sting so its not clear that there is anything wrong.

    Get familiar with the states that have AHB and then determine if you may have those genetics.

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

    Default Nothing wrong?

    >Honeybees do sting so its not clear that there is anything wrong.<

    Bud,
    Did you miss this?
    >>>>Now evertime I go with in 100 feet of the hive I get attacked my daughter got stung in the front yard and this is 150 feet away!!!! <<<<

    I'm interested in what you think would constitute something wrong?

    Dickm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default

    Queenlessness. Pests (skunks etc.). Genetics. Weather. Time of day. Failing queen...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Oliveras bees are gentle??? When Ray was working with pure Russians a few years back, I bought 12 packages of pure Russians. They out produced my Italians but were nearly as hot as AHB. This is not typical of his breeding program but that nasty gene may still be in his breeding local.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    Default

    Bud:

    It wasn’t my intention to slam Olivarez, you can’t judge a hive as really aggressive until they show this behavior all the time in all weather and forage conditions. And the two packages I started in mid April are to new for me to make that call. I am no expert on locations of AHB but the maps I have seen shows California to be one of the states that are considered in AHB territory. If they continue to show aggressive behavior more than I am willing to tolerate I will do something about it.
    Michigan is nowhere near AHB territory but I bet if you tested you would easily find that gene present in a fair percentage. We have two commercial beekeepers within 75 miles that travel from Florida to Michigan in the spring. When I asked did you bring any hot bees with you the answer was probably.
    As far as Olivarez bees I hope they calm down so far they seem to bee developing very well. But now days if I suspect overly aggressive bees I have to consider AHB influence as a possible cause.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I got 7 packages of Ray's bees this year and have not found them to be at all "hot". In fact, I have been pleased with how calm they have been when I went in to check them.

    tbb39, is it possible that the bees superceded and raised a new queen since your original package? And/or, have you requeened since you installed them?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    melvin,mi
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    188

    Default

    No I bought this nuc off a local last spring, he doesn"t move his bees at all. Its like they turned bad over night. I got in there may 11 to use some brood for a trapout and from that point on I couldnt walk out to fare from the back door without getting buzzed. when I did look for brood though I did have a hard time finding some, and there was only like 10-20 brood on the frame I used. Im thinking about buying eggs from another local and adding them to this hive, so they can make a queen if they are queenless.

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