Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    166

    Default Very Defensive Bees

    Hello fellow beeks.

    I received a new queen this summer from a local supplier of survivor stock queens. She is an expert in queen rearing, so I was quite excited to receive this new queen to replace the one I accidentally killed in this otherwise strong, happy, gentle Italian hive.

    So now the disposition of the hive has totally changed. No longer the gentle hive, now these bees are quite angry and defensive. I've been stung over 20 times by this hive. They are the reason I now have to wear two pairs of pants (they figured out if they are persistent, they can get through my pants) and have even seen me from 10 feet and chased me. They are very smart, but jumping out at me and even looking for a way to get in my clothes by following seams and folds in my clothing is getting to be too much!

    I can pick these bees out of a line up due to their buzz -which is deeper toned than the other bees. Sounds weird I know, but at the open feeder, I have picked out the "grouchy" hive bees and have carried them to the hives to see which they fly into and I've been accurate 3 times now.

    Provided they make it through the winter, should I re-queen next season or let it ride? Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    This is a hobby. You are supposed to ENJOY hobbies. Doesn't sound like you're enjoying that hive at ALL! Why keep bees you don't like?

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    Requeen. If you don't do that, nothing will change.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    468

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    +1 on the requeen... I had a hive that made me hate going to work the hives. Requeened and I have a very nice hive now. Get rid of them so you can enjoy your hobby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,684

    Default 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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i50Yf8vVGWY

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    468

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    Cool video! Thanks Lauri....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    Informative post, Lauri. What a sweet little baby queen bee you had in that video.

    The hive was queen right about a month ago. Even saw lots of eggs here in SW CO in October! Have not been back through the hive for an inspection since - our weather is too cold to be handling the bees too much. Loads of defensiveness when popping the inner cover. Typically brood less hives in my yard were not defensive at all and sadly, I had some of those this last year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    I agree with the other posters - survivor or not, if you are not enjoying it, requeen.

    Also, don't wait too long in the spring as a strong mean hive is a pain to requeen. You don't want to dig into multiple boxes for that queen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Very Defensive Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    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)
    Huh, variation of the Abraham Lincoln quote.

    "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads