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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Republic, MO
    Posts
    36

    Default Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    Hello all. I have a hive that is a last spring walkaway split from a Russian hive that is now big but mean. I like that it survived and that it is building well, but I do not like mean. I not simply want to buy a queen shipped in from somewhere in that this hive has made it as has its parent hive. My first thought is to find the queen and take her with a few frames of bees and honey and make a nuc this spring and let it build for insurance and then let the remaining bees raise a queen. Is this the correct thing to do? Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    That's what I would do. Let them raise a daughter queen and see if her offspring is still as mean as the mother's was. Also, make sure they are not being bothered by animals before blaming it all on the queen. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sale Creek, Tn. USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    Meanness is a natural trait in "survivor bees". Your new queen will mate with local stock. Chances are excellent that they will be as mean or even meaner. By the time you know for sure the honeyflow will be over. Are you willing to wait until August to know things are getting worse, not better. I'm with you. I DO NOT like mean bees ! Gentleness is recessive. You don't get it often "by chance".
    Raymond

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    Pond Creek,

    I really enjoy working my survivor bees. They are gentle enough that when the weather is fine, I sometimes work them in a t-shirt and shorts, with no protective equipment but a veil (and sometimes not even that.)

    Perhaps the feral bees in Tennessee are mean, but as they say. 'all beekeeping is local'

    Often the first generation or two of daughter form a hybrid (and, I think, also from non-hybrid Russians) are pretty aggressive, but I hear ( have not experienced) that in the 3rd/4th generation they calm down.

    If your queens daughters are mean, letting your hives raise another generation might calm the hives down.

    I look forward to hearing form some of the folks who raise Russians.
    Last edited by Beregondo; 03-18-2012 at 03:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    If I have some traits I consider rare and valuable, I'd get rid of the mother and see how the daughter is. But if they are just average bees that are mean, I'd requeen with some known gentle stock.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I'd get rid of the mother and see how the daughter is.
    MICHAEL AM I WRONG ABOUT THIS? I am always more concerned about the drones [which have all the genetics of the mother] infecting my apiary with overly aggressive genetics. At least with a replacement queen, you have the chance that the semen which fertilized the egg might be from gentler genetics. If I have an overly defensive/aggressive colony I try to always scrape of the burr drone comb. Then drop a frame of drone comb in and be sure never to let them mature. Whereas on my gentler colonies, I let the drones mature.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    I have dispatched hot mothers on several occasions and their daughters were almost always much nicer. I don't find defensiveness hard to breed out. You can't breed things in unless you can find a source for them. If you have genetics that flourish in your environment but they are hot, then I would try to breed out the hot without losing those other traits. But that is my strategy. It has been very successful. I have very nice bees now. Now if I suspected they were AHB or if they were very vicious, I wouldn't hesitate to just requeen them with gentler stock.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Rutherfordton nc
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Preserving good qualities of mean hive

    U could have split it a few times and let each one raise its on queen leave the.queen in the one where all the foragers go back to and they will calm down when the flow comes around pintch or sell the ones u dont want and combine based on strenth to make honey

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