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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Well, normally I just stuck a box with foundation on top of the hot box with an excluder in between - then smoked or stuck a piece of cardboard with stinky-stuff on it in the hive entrance. I suppose up or down wouldn't matter. I just did it that way because I exposed my self to them less. It was easier to toss a box on top. It's kind of hit or miss though - half the time they just fly off or hang on the side - and a queen if she really wants to, can squeeze through an excluder. I have also taken them and shaken them into an empty box using an excluder to sift for the queen - I actually do it pretty often. It's not for the faint of heart though because bees go everywhere, and you better be suited up good!
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Thanks for the explanation.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,018

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Paul, what if you used a bee vac into a box that had that excluder. I will say off to the side. I am thinking the ones that get out through the excluder will go back to the hive, no?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    I'm going to go ahead and requeen with a carniolan bee, getting her from shamrocksbees.com. I'm going to try to find the queen regularly but if thats not possible I'll try dividing the boxes and stuff. I'll post in this thread whenever anything eventful happens: the initial responses short after adding the queen, temperament changes over time, and changes in productivity.

    I believe the sudden change in aggression might be related with the size of the hive, nuc hives/small weak hives with aggressive bees are (according to videos and other threads I read) much more docile and can blend in with unaggressive bee strains, but when you have a hive that's becoming strong that's when you'll begin to see stronger defensive measures that the hive will take.
    Last edited by tylerdejong; 08-19-2014 at 11:55 PM.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Coming back to the smoker question: did you use one/own one?

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    I have 2 hives that have been mean since the day I got them. I have one hive that I caught as a swarm that is super sweet. Last week when I went through all of the hives the mean ones were calm and nice. I think there are factors other than genetics involved.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Quote Originally Posted by dsegrest View Post
    I have 2 hives that have been mean since the day I got them. I have one hive that I caught as a swarm that is super sweet. Last week when I went through all of the hives the mean ones were calm and nice. I think there are factors other than genetics involved.
    The above may be the understatement of the year, and I don't mean to be obtrusive. Factors: queen right, current weather, lack of stores, abundance of stores, size of hive, night time pests, and yada, yada, …………………

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    From all that I've read, AHB are always defensive...they don't take a day off as it appears your bees did. With two hives side-by-side experiencing pretty much the same environmental conditions the cause of their defensiveness is most likely something somewhat subtle....probably in the "yada, yada,..." group.

    Having said that, I wouldn't want to have a schizophrenic hive where I never knew if I would be dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Makes me wonder if for some reason the queen's pheromone gets sporadically weak....up-and-down brood cycles with a large population of bees, maybe? Hopefully the simple fix is to requeen and go on with your life.

    While looking for "Her Meaness" try to be alert for any signs of anything that could be irritating them...mites on bees, DWV, ants, signs of other disease.....

    I've got a colony I'm going to have to deal with, too....first signs of an elevated level of defensiveness that I've seen in one of my hives since I've been keeping bees back in December 2011.

    Ed

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdejong View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and requeen with a carniolan bee, getting her from shamrocksbees.com. I'm going to try to find the queen regularly but if thats not possible I'll try dividing the boxes and stuff. I'll post in this thread whenever anything eventful happens: the initial responses short after adding the queen, temperament changes over time, and changes in productivity.

    I believe the sudden change in aggression might be related with the size of the hive, nuc hives/small weak hives with aggressive bees are (according to videos and other threads I read) much more docile and can blend in with unaggressive bee strains, but when you have a hive that's becoming strong that's when you'll begin to see stronger defensive measures that the hive will take.
    I would add the carni queen to a nuc and let her lay for a month and then put the nuc on top of the hot hive with a newpaper between them. Of course this is after killing the hot queen the day before. Hot and runny bees don't like strange queens. I've been changing out some hot hives this year and it's been tough to do a normal requeening with them. Also if the new queen is a virgin it's toast, you need a strong laying queen for a hot hive to keep her.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    ...or either try to demoralize them by splitting them into 2,3 or 4 splits. But then you run into the expense of new queens, more equipment, and the need to keep tabs on them building their own queen cells. But, if you had a donor colony with good genetics to harvest some young larvae from and give to the hot splits...and *time* for them to raise the queens (which you probably have being as your in Texas).

    Hey UTvolshype...ROLL TIDE!!!!!

    Ed

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Making splits sounds really fun and I'd really dig doing that, but I don't think I'll be able to get away with keeping more than my single hive in my neighborhood. I'm going to be trying to find some locations for me to put another hive though, because I think I'll inevitably be having to make splits since there really isnt a winter here, but not anytime soon I don't think. I hope the Shamrock carni queen is going to be alright with the hive, because I don't want to do any special methods of adding her to the colony. The hive seems pretty low on mites (I did the powdered sugar test w/ the mason jar and I only was able to fuss out one mite) and they honestly seem pretty healthy to me. The only real pest I think they have is me.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    I always use the smoker. I smoke the entrance a little and make sure the bees are aware of the smoke and then I try not to use too much of it after having opened the hive up but sometimes they really require a good smoking.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lakeland, Florida
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    [QUOTE=Intheswamp;1154869] But, if you had a donor colony with good genetics to harvest some young larvae from and give to the hot splits...and *time* for them to raise the queens (which you probably have being as your in Texas).[QUOTE]

    Only problem with that....if the virgin queen or queens mate with drones from that area that may have AHB...back to square one.
    If it's just the one hive, than buy a mated queen with good lineage. Even in Texas it's gets really cold during the winters with those northers that blow down into the state from the Rockies. Having a mated queen will give this hive time to be up n ready by Nov when the cold starts.
    3 hives/2 nucs

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Yeah we actually did have a pretty cold winter here! I think it was a record, sometimes would drop to the 30s during the night. But I'm assuming it's going to be a regular winter here again where were just in the 60s and maybe 50s at the coldest. I'm thinking about making splits though, after thinking about it. I have an empty nuc box that I got the bees from and on the top of the hive I have a transfer box that I used to add the lang frames to the hive. I want to remove it. maybe I'll put the frames from the transfer box into the nuc and try and get the current queen in there and close it up with grass for a few days. The smaller hive I hope would be gentler and maybe more accommodating to the new queen.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    I borrowed an Ultrabreeze suit from the guy I got the bees from so that I can really see how defensive my bees are and to see if I can use the suit when I do the split. I haven't really given my bees a full inspection since theyve gotten to the size theyre at, I'll usually barely check one or two frames from the first box before I have to leave the hive because the bees are attacking me full scale. So today with the Ultrabreeze I did a full inspection and found a surprising amount of drone brood, maybe planning to swarm? but also a lot of really well laid worker brood (its a shame that the bees are so aggressive, because the queen lays really well) and by the time I had gotten to the final box I was really being attacked, there were bees flying everywhere - very similar to that video of the Africanized bee video, there were A LOT of mad bees, if I was wearing a regular suit I'd definitely have gotten a couple of stings. The Ultrabreeze suit (not meaning to go off topic) held off all the bees that were around me and I didn't get stung, I was only wearing a t shirt and underwear under the suit too, it was remarkably fresh inside and I'm totally going to buy one because of how well ventilated they are.

    I'm getting the queens Wednesday so we'll see how well this split goes.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdejong View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and requeen with a carniolan bee, getting her from shamrocksbees.com. I'm going to try to find the queen regularly but if thats not possible I'll try dividing the boxes and stuff. I'll post in this thread whenever anything eventful happens: the initial responses short after adding the queen, temperament changes over time, and changes in productivity.

    I believe the sudden change in aggression might be related with the size of the hive, nuc hives/small weak hives with aggressive bees are (according to videos and other threads I read) much more docile and can blend in with unaggressive bee strains, but when you have a hive that's becoming strong that's when you'll begin to see stronger defensive measures that the hive will take.
    I didn't have much luck with carni's here. When they shut down after the flow in June, the hive size falls off and they get robbed out.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,410

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    duplicate

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Well I really hope that doesnt happen here. Not many hives around where I live, maybe a few wasps and stuff but there really werent many bees before I started beekeeping, now theres bees all over the neighborhood. I requeened anyway, took awhile to find her but god **** it I did. I have the queens in their cages and theyre waiting in the hives, theyre still making queen cells but I went in today (3 days after removing queen) and destroyed them all, does the fact that theyre making queen cells mean they having accepted her or will they keep doing it until I release her? I can't really tell whether the bees are biting the queens cage or trying to feed her, whats the difference? I dont want to keep her any longer than she has to be in the cage.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    If for no other reason, the bees will quit building queen cells when they run out of larvae that they deem acceptable for queen making.

    Ed

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Arabsiyo, Somaliland, Africa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Incredibly aggressive bees

    Hi tylerdejong,

    What you describe as incredibly aggressive bees is really nothing compared to our bees. When ever I want to inspect my hives, I really have to prepare for a big fight. Bees come to me like rain and it is really disturbing to always try to brush bees from your body and frames instead of concentrating on the job. What is more irritating is that when we finish the inspection, they still hang on us and follow us all the way several hundred meters or even kilometers. That is what you call incredibly aggressive bees, but we have to manage somehow and harvest honey. I am located on Horn of Africa.
    www.somalihoney.com

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