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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    New Vernon, NJ
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    12

    Default How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    I inspected my hives today to check how much honey and pollen they have on board -- it's clear I need to feed them ahead of the winter. My hives are all very gentle except for one really aggressive one. It has caused me problems all year. I wanted to requeen it but I can't be in the hive long enough to find the queen, even when I'm wearing a full suit and gloves.

    Today when I opened that hive the bees were all over me. At one point they were so thick on my veil I could hardly see through it. A few managed to get inside the veil and stung me on my neck, head and face. I had to walk away a couple of times and the bees followed me for a hundred feet. I finally closed up the hive and left them alone, without adding any feed. For hours after that they were aggitated and aggressive. I had people working on my property today and the bees were after them and stinging them though they were 200 - 300 feet from the hive. Any time I got within about 50 to 75 feet of the hive bees flew out to sting. This went on all afternoon. I have never had this happen before. I don't know what the genetics for these bees are -- they come from a nuc. The other nuc I got at the same time from the same yard is very gentle.

    I think the only solution here is to kill the bees in this hive. I am trying to decide what to do. I went out a few minutes ago and the hives were quiet. I was hoping it would have gotten cooler tonight but it was still nearly 70 at 10:00. There were a few bees on the landing board but I managed to duct tape the hive closed.

    I need to decide how to exterminate these bees. I don't want to use a pesticide as I don't want to foul the comb. It is newly drawn this year and I'd like to put bees on it. I thought about wrapping the hive in black plastic and letting the heat do them in. A friend recommended that I spray a fire extinguisher through the screened bottom board but the hive consists of two deeps and one super so I don't think I can get at them all (and I'm not sure what the extinguisher would do to the foundation.) I could also get some ether and spray inside with it.

    Does anybody have a suggestion?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,187

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    If you were using the correct amount of smoke this must be a nasty hive. taking their air away is all I know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, Oh
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    You could bag up the hive in plastic then toss in a small block of dry ice (1-2lbs should be more than enough). As the ice evaporates, the carbon dioxide would kill them.

    Older texts would recommend sulfuring. That is, burning a small strip of sulfur impregnated paper under the hive, allowing the sulfur dioxide smoke to concentrate to levels sufficient to kill all of the bees and brood in the hive.

    Neither would be likely to leave any harmful residuals in the hive or comb however it is my understanding that sulfuring can take quite some time to air out of the wax comb (rotten egg smell in the hive).

    Sincerely,
    Paul E. Turley

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stone City, Iowa
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    If you don't need the comb right away couldn't you wait until it is really cold (like in the teens or twenties cold) then take the top off and let them chill and freeze, then take it apart the rest of the way? Take a brush and remove the chilled bees from the comb? More experienced beeks, wouldn't this work?

    JC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by green2btree View Post
    If you don't need the comb right away couldn't you wait until it is really cold (like in the teens or twenties cold) then take the top off and let them chill and freeze, then take it apart the rest of the way? Take a brush and remove the chilled bees from the comb? More experienced beeks, wouldn't this work?

    JC
    We won't get a real freeze here (NJ) until late October or November so that's too long.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,249

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    cmyates, here is a good way of dealing with a vicious hive. http://youtu.be/DmmtjFgdqz8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    >I think the only solution here is to kill the bees in this hive.

    You can requeen them:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm

    I've been there and done that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I think the only solution here is to kill the bees in this hive.

    You can requeen them:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm

    I've been there and done that.
    Requeening was my first choice but I don't think I can be in the hive long enough to find the queen. I've been keeping bees for over 20 years and have never had a hive like this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    cmyates, here is a good way of dealing with a vicious hive. http://youtu.be/DmmtjFgdqz8
    Thank you. Great video.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,973

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    On the video there was a comment that suggested using soapy water to kill the bees if the hives are close to people. They said soapy water does not contaminate the comb. They didn't mention anything about the honey but I would think that is protected by the capping.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    where did you get the bees from?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    If you had the equipment you could split it into as many splits as you could make and requeen all of them or just let them raise one.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    I didn't see a reply regarding using smoke or not when going into the hive.
    I have one aggressive hive but when using smoke they didn't bother me at all.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    >Requeening was my first choice but I don't think I can be in the hive long enough to find the queen. I've been keeping bees for over 20 years and have never had a hive like this

    I was in the same boat, which is why I wrote that page. If you split them down enough it becomes doable.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Splitting them down into workable size is a good answer to your problem. One thing you might try alternately is moving the colony to the far side of the line and letting the older aggressive field bees drift into the closer hives. Those older bees are the bulk of the aggressive types and the younger population left might be easier to go thru and might be calm enough with plenty of smoke, clean non alarm pheromone laced clothing and a gentle touch might win the day and let you find the queen. If you can't live in this best of all possible worlds or move them to the country, find a 55 gallon sized trash bag and in the dark of night, tent them in and throw in a half pound of dry ice and store the equipment in the morning. You could give the sealed brood which will probably still be viable to another colony but they will emerge to be mean bees too. Rough choices. Reality sucks!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    YANCEY CO., NC
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    I have a hive like this what I did was put a reducer on the front so far it's solved my problems of being attacked just by walking into my yard.Instead of thousands of bees waiting in the entrance just have a few and there so busy checking out the incomming bees that as I've said so far they've giving me no more problems unless I open the hive then all bets are off.LOL!!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    If you decide you have to kill them the drum liner bags from Home Depot work well; large enough to get completely around the hive. Personally I would try splitting them down and requeening but I can understand your feelings. Use duct tape with the bags and seal them completely, leave them overnight then remove the brood frames and freeze them to kill the brood. After a couple days in the freezer you can place them back on the bees and they'll clean it all up. Along with the bags you can use the dry ice mentioned above, it'll speed the process up. BTW, don't use the soapy water, you'll ruin any honey in the hive.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by franktrujillo View Post
    where did you get the bees from?
    I bought three nucs this spring from an apiary in south Jersey. Two were as calm as my other hives. This one turned out to be really mean -- robust but mean.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Vernon, NJ
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    12

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by jip View Post
    I didn't see a reply regarding using smoke or not when going into the hive.
    I have one aggressive hive but when using smoke they didn't bother me at all.
    Even with plenty of smoke.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: How to exterminate bees in a hive without destroying the comb

    Quote Originally Posted by green2btree View Post
    couldn't you wait until it is really cold (like in the teens or twenties cold) then take the top off and let them chill and freeze, More experienced beeks, wouldn't this work?

    JC
    Not necassarily. I have seen hives knocked over, laying on the side, all winter w/ cover and bottomboard off, which survived winter well. It doesn't get cold enuf in NJ.

    What about Resmethrin? Is that still made and used? It comes in a spray can and is/was labeled for the killing of bees. We used to use it when killing hives w/ AFB, before burning. So, maybe it wouldn't be good for the comb and honey.

    If you can, take all the honey you can get away from them. It may take a few trips. Then, eventually they will starve to death. I guess gassing would bew more humane.

    Close the hive up as tight as possible. Back your car up to the hive. Run a hose from the exhaust into the hive. That'll kill them. I don't know how it would effect the comb and honey.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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