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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Mississippi
    Posts
    188

    Default What constitutes mean?

    I know its been asked a lot but I have 4 hives and yesterday was my first day in them since last october. I have 1 have that is gentle as can be. Dont need any equipment and they could care less that you are up in there business. I love that hive!!! Found the queen and my 2 year old queen was superceded and all looks great!

    Then the other three are down right ugly compared to the other. Taking the top off is not bad but as soon as you reach in for a frame about 7 or 8 bees come out fighting hitting my veil and attacking my gloves. Then about 10 or more are all around me. It makes me uncomfortable so I back away till they leave me alone. Then I go back in to do the same thing and it repeats itself!

    So I guess is this normal or typical? Am I just being a pansy or does this sound like an issue? I would like to requeen but I cant get in the hive deep enough to even begin to find a queen. These hives are booming by the way. Have tons of brood, honey, and pollen, and drones are out too already! Smoke will drive them down but make no mistake they come right back out. They are stinging my gloves also!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    St. Clair Co. Missouri
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    Is the mean hive queenless or low on stores? If not I would requeen in a few more weeks and get a gentler queen
    Charla Hinkle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Mississippi
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    Well I know they are not low on stores. They did not have the queenless hum and it was three of my hives that are mean and last year they were a little rough in the fall but I figured spring time would change them. The problem is getting down in there to kill the queen. I can barely get the top hive body off without getting attacked.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    Read Michael Bush's site about re-queening hot hives. He suggests splitting the boxes until you get them to be manageable, and can find the queen. I haven't done this but found it to be an interesting read.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,526

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    10 bees hitting your veil? NOT MEAN. Did you smoke them before opening them or are they all on the same stand so the other 3 were mad from the vibration yuo made working the first hive?
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    Are you using smoke?????

    mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Mississippi
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    Yes i did use smoke. I thought I said I did....Oh well yes it would drive them down but they would quickly come back. I just say they are mean compared to my one hive that is gentle as can be. Of the three that are mean one of them was a mean one last year and it swarmed twice and I got them both hence the three mean one! haha they make me mad but I laugh too!! Thats why Im wondering if it sounds mean or is the one hive just really gentle? So I guess Im being a pansy? haha Oh the three hives are very close together each on its own set of blocks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Andover, MA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    If you have a single hive that you like out of many others in your apiary and you want to propagate its line, by destroying queens and raising new ones from your best hive, then you must first deal with the bad drones. Otherwise the new bees will be as much offspring of your bad hives as your good one because the new queens will mostly mate with the more numerous bad drones. When your new queens have emerged and are coming of age for their mating flights then put queen excluders on the bottoms of all your bad hives to keep the drones in.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,432

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    An aggressive hive will meet you at the truck 75 feet away and sting you before you have a chance to don your veil.

    Inspected two of those w/ a guy one time. He didn't want to requeen them or anything. They were the best producers he had.

    We have been spoiled by our docile mild tempered bees. Had we all been beekeepers when the German Black bee was common we wouldn't think that much we encounter now, short of AHB, is aggressive behavior.

    But like what was posted earlier, if you find your hive mean it matters not what someone else thinks. I'm that way about dogs too. Or horses. Mean? Put it down. Don't need the agrivation.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: What constitutes mean?

    My question would be HOW are you using smoke?? One smoking mistake is opening the hive to quickly after smoking them (I still sometime get in a hurry and do this) I try to give the smoke a minimum of 2 full minutes before I crack the top and give another puff. Another thing to look for, after you pop the top look at the bees if they are lining up at the edge of the frames all looking up....then they are getting ready for you!! Every time I see this behavior I get nailed in the hands but I would give them another try after it warms up and they get a good flow going.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

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