Re: Very Defensive Bees
Here are a few quotes I have recently read. if they don't apply to beekeeping, I'll eat my veil:
"If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about problem and five minutes thinking about the solution" (Albert Einstein)
"25 % of failures come from people trying to solve the WRONG problem."
So my reply to your thread is, be sure you know what the problem is before you try to solve it.
-Is your hive actually queenright? Queenless hive can be mighty ticked in the fall.
-Is your hive just on the hot side or is it Africanized genetics rearing their ugly head? Your queen breeder may have great stock, but second generation stock can sometimes want to eat you alive.
I can many times, actually tell the temperament of my queens as early as immediately hatching out of the incubator. Most walk on my hand a little confused and quiet. Some walk around with enthusiasm, looking for a meal. Some walk around with their wings flexed in a 'Just try me' posturing manor. Some, with any Africanized genetics in the background, will try to sting me as I mark them. It's really amazing when you see them. I've handled several hundred queens and only been stung three times. All in the same day, by the same batch. I loved the graft donar queen and her hives traits, but she came from Texas...Those genetics are now long gone from my yard.
Here is a nice, gentle, hungry virgin queen, right out of the incubator.
Determine the difference.
Africanized stock should be requeened with no question.
If it is just simply a hot hive, you must figure out what you can tolerate. Hot hives can be managed so they are not a 'Pain' Literally. But they must have enough positive traits to make it worth it. They can be excellent producers and very maintenance free when compared to Gentle, lazy Italians. If you have robbing problems in late fall, hot hives can be refreshingly resistant to any attempts.
I have a rule here, If I don't bother them, they'd better not bother me.
Hope this helps
Miller Compound HoneyBees & Agriculture