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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    Queens mate with quite a few drones having different tempered genes. SOMETIMES if we wait, the semen from the mean strain gets "used up" and she naturally goes to semen from another drone's gentler genetic strain. Of course, it could also be a skunk in your locale that is causing the problem. Look to see if there are scratch marks on the front of your hives. I would still requeen all of the hives with a gentler strain and try to get rid of the mean tempered genes in your area. OMTCW

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    I had a hive behave exactly as you describe (hundreds trying to sting, following us 100 yards away, head-butting our friends working in the garden 200 feet away) last weekend, when they were low on stores and preparing to swarm. Since then they have returned to a normal level of testiness, but as we want to keep our friends we decided to keep the mean genes contained, i.e. destroy all queen cells, pinch the queen, split, and requeen. It helped that they had already demonstrated subpar productivity last season, with a strong tendency to make more bees during the flow rather than making surplus honey.

    While angry bees can be intimidating, with a well-sealed suit and gloves they literally can't hurt you. (And if one does manage to get in, it's still just one sting.) Thus I'm in favor of the "grit your teeth and bear it" approach to requeening/working with hot hives.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,514

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    It looks like a season for angry bees. You may search beesource for many interesting threads on angry bees with many opinions. My feral/survivor bees were always on the more "protective" side. I did deep inspection a few days ago and expected quite a show. When in mood, they attacked even a smoker and it is difficult to use a camera - they block the view! To my surprise, they were calm, no head bumps... So, you never know! In my opinion, flimsy inspection could switch the trigger - more gentle you are, more gentle bees are.

    I always feel uneasy with requeening. My entire point of having bees is to preserve their survival genetics. Unfortunately, it looks like that these traits come together with some increased level of protection. It is up to beekeeper to decide how much "protection" is too much. But, replacing the queen (fertile one) - you completely destroy the previous genetic for good or bad, it is serious consideration (at least tome)!

    As for queen, which bees could grow instead mean one - bees genetics is very complicated. It is my understanding that "open field" grown daughter probably would be similar to mother. Moreover, it is documented that the crosses when pure-breed involved may be even more "moody". So, if you decide to requeen, as many already suggested, it should be good reputable fertile queen AND - eventually, you should replace all queens, basically, change the genetics of the whole population. It is recommended to go this difficult route if africanized bees are in your area.
    Last edited by cerezha; 04-08-2013 at 04:36 PM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    I always feel uneasy with requeening. My entire point of having bees is to preserve their survival genetics. Unfortunately, it looks like that these traits come together with some increased level of protection. It is up to beekeeper to decide how much "protection" is too much. But, replacing the queen (fertile one) - you completely destroy the previous genetic for good or bad, it is serious consideration (at least tome)!

    Pretty much where I am at too. I think local adapted bees do best. I can live with some attitude and force a re queen if they are junk yard dogs. Something to consider IMHO.
    Rick

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    I would requeen. Check out OhioCountryBoy's video.
    You want some entirely different genetics in play here--not the daughters from this queen. Bees chasing and stinging that far from the hive can be a hazard to others.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Garfield, Arkansas, usa
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Need advice on hot hive

    Ive aquired most of my bees from cutouts and catching swarms. Ive got some hives that used to be hot. I could work a hive and be done still have my full suit on when I get in the truck and there will be a bunch in the cab with me. I could roll down the windows and drive off and they would still be following coming in the truck windows 300 yards away. I used to think it was no big deal, but I hate working with them kind now. I had one hive I was just going to take a peek under the inner cover to check their progress. I didnt have my smoker. Man Im tellin you now they come out of there and they meant business. I had a full suit on and they set down on me and I was getting stung through the suit and one got in my hood stung me under the chin on my jawline. That same bee after he left his stinger was all over my face and buried up in my ear. Man I was done with them things. They swarmed and the next queen was gentle. I worked them yesterday they were just as gentle as could be. I didnt intend on them swarming and letting that mean queen get away I hope they died. It seems like where im at I can raise a queen out of the mean queens and they turn out gentle. Might just be the genetics in my area there are a couple more beekeepers in the area that have good bees so Im sure they are mating with their drones.

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