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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    I'm still trying to figure out which of my four hives is sending out angry bees to bomb me in my back yard (I'd posted earlier about this). Today I suited up and walked up to the hives. Predictably, none came out to bomb me. I started to annoy them as best possible by tapping on the landing board and eventually was able to consistently have about a half dozen bees angrily buzzing around me. I tried walking away till they left me alone, then walking back to them to see if I could tell where they came from and couldn't tell. I tried standing by one or the other (I'm pretty sure it's one of the end ones, they're all in a row next to each other) but couldn't tell much difference between the two locations. I opened the top of the hives and no angry bees came out at all, just annoyed looking workers staring up at me.

    I'm thinking of sealing up one hive tonite by screening it's entrance then seeing if any bees bomb me tomorrow. If so, it's likely the other hive so I'll screen it off and see if I don't get bombed the next day. Sound reasonable? I assume there's no problem in keeping the hive cooped up for a day - it's going to be about 75 degrees, I'd use screen, and one has a screened bottom board.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Why would you need to keep them cooped up for an entire day. Put the screen on early morning, go whack on the boxes a couple hours later, then remove the screen as you figure out which is the hot hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    I'm sure there are times when a hive must be closed up, but I wouldn't do it unless it was absolutely necessary. Are you being stung in your yard, or just annoyed by several bees?

    When you work each hive, you don't get a hot reaction from one or more of them??? I would think "to annoy them best possible," as you say, would irritate any hive, and defeat your purpose.

    Sondra

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    My test is by opening up the lid, waiting a few seconds, then waving my hand above the hive. From a mean hive, my hand will draw at least a half dozen bees instantly. A nice hive won't attack at all unless weather is bad or they have some other reason to be grumpy.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Yeah just pop the top and start manipulating without smoke. I had one hot hive that I would always inspect last simply because no matter what I did I could count on at least 4 stings the second the top came off.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Thanks for the thoughts. My problem is that my hives don't appear hot when I open the top, but are aggressive around the hives as well as in my back yard (100 feet away).

    I did block the entrance to both hives late last night and will try opening them one at a time today to see if I can tell which one is aggressive. If I can't, plan B will be to requeen all of them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Well that worked! Unfortunately my wife was the one that had to find out. She went to the hives in pants, a sweatshirt, and a veil and removed the screen from one hive. Lots of bees flying, but none too irate. She then removed the screen from the other hive (my strongest, already with three full supers), and immediately got attacked by at least a dozen angry bees. Got one inside her veil (luckily didn't sting her) and had to run away as they were getting her thru her clothes.

    Time to off the queen in this hive - I'll order a new queen today.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    But isn't it possible that the hive was just frustrated and angry from being locked in all night???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    I guess so... but they were a lot more angry than the other hive (or at least expressed their anger differently!).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Are you certain the bees in your yard are from your hives? If not, the bees that are bothering you may not even be yours.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    You are from Greenbrae? Are you a member of the Marin Beekeeepers? They accidently brought in some bad genetics some years ago and there are still traces of it in the local bees. You are doing the right thing to requeen...hopfully you can get some local stock. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Yep Greenbrae, and I am in the MBA. Haven't heard of the bad bees but might make sense as the queen is from a split I made last year, so local drones.

    Stacie, not positive but I'm unaware of any other hives near by, and I do get bombed when I approach the hives.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    To close this out, yesterday I went into the hive to locate and squish the devil queen as I have a new one on the way. I smoked the heck out of the hive, removed the four honey supers, and started going thru the two deep boxes while being swarmed by irate bees. Not an east task as the frames and boxes were overflowing with bees. I looked thru both boxes three times and couldn't find her, so was about to give up until I thought to look in the supers. Sure enough, the bottom super had a few frames that were partially filled with brood and she was wandering around on one of them. A quick pinch and goodbye to the source of my problem.

    I hope to get the new queen today, will probably wait one more day before introducing her to the hive. Hopefully the next month won't be too bad as the old bees cycle out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    858

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Are you sure you don't want to re-queen as soon as you get the queen? I have had queens rejected because I waited a day. This year I didn't wait more than about 5 minutes. See other recent threads about re-queening.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Quote Originally Posted by bison View Post
    I'm thinking of sealing up one hive tonite by screening it's entrance then seeing if any bees bomb me tomorrow. If so, it's likely the other hive so I'll screen it off and see if I don't get bombed the next day. Sound reasonable? I assume there's no problem in keeping the hive cooped up for a day - it's going to be about 75 degrees, I'd use screen, and one has a screened bottom board.
    Maybe you should screen all of them in for a day and then you won't have any "hot" hives because they will all be dead. A confined hive can build up heat enough so to kill it.

    You don't have a hot hive. If you can't tell which hive is aggressive then you don't have a hot hive. You need to learn to ignore a few bees doing what bees do. Checking out whatever creature comes w/in their zone of protection.

    Do you own and know how to use a smoker?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Bison:
    I'm a little confused, too. Were you being stung? Head-butted? I'm not sure what you meant by bees "bombing" you.

    Sondra

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Bevy - too late, I already squished the queen and expect the replacement today. I looked at a number of threads and spoke to a local expert and there was some consensus that a couple of days of queenlessness would help the hive accept a new queen. I plan on introducing her in a cage and will leave her for a couple days before pulling the cork.

    Sqkcrk and SRBrooks - What I've experienced is far different than just a few bees checking out an interloper. My family gets attacked (and stung) around our home nowhere near the hives - yesterday one was attacking me while I was in from of my garage on the opposite side of the house at least 150 feet away. Their behavior near the hives isn't just inquisitive, it's aggressive, and to the degree that I'm worried that our neighbors may have an issue too. I'm not a long time keeper, but in the prior two years I saw no behavior that was close to this. I could walk up to the hives with no protection and we never would notice the bees while in our yard.

    Sqkcrk, as I'd noted "...I smoked the heck out of the hive..." so yes, I do indeed have a smoker.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    I don't have very much actual experience, and it sounds like its too late anyway, but you just removed the best genes from your bee yard by killing the queen from your "strongest hive." If this hive is socking away honey and the queen laying eggs like crazy, I don't think I would want to get rid of her. But ......I'm not the one getting ran out of my own yard.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Thanks Steve - Yep, I would have liked to keep it for the honey production, but not worth it. When my wife can't venture outside something needed to change...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,076

    Default Re: Identifying which hive is hot - an idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    My test is by opening up the lid, waiting a few seconds, then waving my hand above the hive. From a mean hive, my hand will draw at least a half dozen bees instantly. A nice hive won't attack at all unless weather is bad or they have some other reason to be grumpy.

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