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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Mean Bees or not

    Did a cut out on a very large hive in an old second story door way. maybe 6 -7 ten frame deeps total comb. They were very aggressive after 3 boxes worth of comb cut out and smoke was no longer working. Lots of stings through gloves (10+), and arms (70+), a few through jeans (10) most were near the end just trying to tape boxes and get equipment out. I smelled like bananas.

    The next day I used rubber gloves under bee gloves and coat under jacket/veil. They were fairly aggressive just getting close (got one sting at the front door), smoke had almost no effect on them also used sugar water with LGO. 2 min I might have cut 2 frames of comb and had at least 30 bees on my face net pushing/fly so hard they manages to get it close enough to get some stings, and 5-10 bees per second bouncing of my veil.
    I could have made them queen less day one plus they were already on edge. I did get most of the brood comb the first day.

    I have a better jacket/veil on order (pigeon mountain) I hope it's good.

    Ended up with 18 frames of mostly worker brood, and about 2 deep worth of drone, empties, some honey and pollen that I can use in traps. Most of the bees are still there about two 5 gallon buckets worth and 1-2 deeps of honey and empties.

    Are these mean bees or just defensive? Because they are such a big hive?

    Will this 18 frame hive be mean too? Only time will tell?

    How would you proceed from this point, be done with it and tell owner to spray with soapy water? Continue but use a different plan?


    BTW they first told me the hive was 3 rows of comb. I brought a nuc box to put them in

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wellston, OK USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Mean Bees or not

    Who cares that many bees... order three queens and split those babies up. Let them do the work for 90 days until the new brood can take over,,, results three nice hives!!!! Still plenty of time where you are!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Mean Bees or not

    >>>Most of the bees are still there about two 5 gallon buckets worth and 1-2 deeps of honey and empties.

    Not clear, you mean there is still comb and bees at the house, you didn't finish?

    If you haven't finished the job you need to go back and get the job done, you haven't done the home owners any favors leaving it half completed. And, soap should not even be an option to us we are beekeepers, why would you kill 2 five gallon buckets worth of bees?


    Sorry for the scolding (I'm old)

    Good luck. .....Don

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Mean Bees or not

    Oddly enough bees that are the worst at first often give up and get docile, but back in the hive are the first to fly out and sting. Sometimes the ones the take while to get riled up but then don't give up are nicer to work with once you get them in your hive. You are destroying their home and you can't be surprised if they resent it... this is not a typical inspection...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Mean Bees or not

    I have an idea, smoke them first (I think I can get close enough) then spraying them with a new garden sprayer with 1.5 to 1 sugar water and LGO, wet them down like they do with packages. Get the comb while bees can fly then sweep everthing left into boxes.

    How much time after smoking for the bees to be calmest or does it not matter?
    What time of the day would be best for this?
    Should I start spraying them before first light?


    I am leaning toward first thing, catch them all in the hive at the same time, it will be allot cooler and I will have extra layers, and going to use duct tape.

    Any other tips would be great

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Mean Bees or not

    I wouldn't spray them, you won't be able to get them all captured and you will still be leaving the homeowners with lots of left over angry bees.


    >>>Any other tips would be great

    I would move the hive you've captured back to the site and place it within 2' of the old entrance for a few days to allow the now homeless bees a place to go.

    They should move over readily if they are queenless and broodless like you say. After a few days their demeanor will improve dramatically and you can finish cleaning out the old comb and closing up the wall. Give them a week, go back after dark, close up the old hive and take them all home. Leaves everybody happy.

    Good luck, you could also beevac them at night as a last resort.


    Don

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