Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Salisbury, NH
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    Default Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Which one of you? Come on.
    No legit: I just gave a nuc building demo and so many people are hesitant to off their queen. And I am assuming y'all lifting hives with forklifts on pallets aren't necessarily taking the time to seek the most docile queens. Yer drones ain't be making boyfriends to my girls, ya hear?
    I'm being funny, but at the same time, thinking ahead- our farmland will continue to be encroached by suburbs. It's easier to win now by numbers and working docility as a predominant characteristic to breed for than later. First bee death of a child from a hive and we'll all end up paying for it.

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  3. #2
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I read your post and immediately had the following thoughts:
    what's grumpy to you may not be to others.
    are you assuming the most docile bees are the best bees?
    maybe bees shouldn't be kept in densely populated areas.

  4. #3
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    Jul 2012
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    proctorsville, vermont
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    192

    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    i am not squishing any grumpy queens.
    I bought a nice jacket with a pull over hood
    just for that reason.
    out of the 12 hives I had last year I had 1 grumpy one.
    and she produced the most. I'll keep her around.
    thats the way i roll.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,192

    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    More like a crunch than a squish, eh?

  6. #5
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    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Grumpy old gals get a pass from me since I am also a grumpy old gal. If I have a hive that is a bit cranky I study what I am doing to make them that way, and change my behavior. I suppose one could have the bee-equivalent of a psychotic hive, but I haven't had that experience, yet.

    I work gently and slowly, and I usually get gentle and mild in return. I use nitrile gloves and let the bees set the pace. It can take an hour, or more, for me to go through one of my tall stacks. I set all my boxes one-by-one (in reverse order) down on a stack with a cover and their normal top entrance shim so I don't have bees having a hissy fit when they can't find their front door. I use a special technique to avoid squishing any bees when stacking boxes.

    Do I sometimes get stung, of course. And do I sometimes get several bees attacking my hands and wrists, of course. But I can usually figure out what has pi**ed them off and either I change tack, or I just soldier on and take it because it has to be done for some reason.

    I don't think I would be able to be as tolerant in AHB areas. As it is, my bees are all from swarms (some likely to have been swarms from the abundant feral hives in my area) and they are all long-term survivors as they are my orginal coloinies (and queens) from 2013 - and their open-mated daughters. I'd never consider killiing a queen because the hive was "grumpy."

    I always work them with a jacket and veil, and in most circumstances with nitrile gloves, though I am trying to increase my tolerance for bare-handed beekeeping since I need to be able to do that to pass the Master Beekeepeer's exam in a few years. I don't do anything inside the hive without a lit smoker and a few puffs, though it is rare that I use more than that unless I need to hurry them along during a long re-stacking. If I get stung I immediately smoke my hands and gloves.

    In my somewhat limited experience grumpy bees are the result of hasty and abrupt beekeepers' actions more often than not. Even when I go to another apiary and their bees seem to be predisposed to be pissy (or are reported by their owner to be that way) I find I can work them in my usual slow and very deliberate way. I suppose I'll get my comeuppance sooner or later.

    Enj.

  7. #6
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    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    1,810

    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I don't tolerate a hot hive; grumpy is a bit of a gray term. I had one that didn't care for the smell of WD40 and/or carb cleaner; I work on old iron and they would go 40-60 feed around the corner and into the shed to express their displeasure. Unacceptable behavior as is significant pining off the veil without a good reason and a crowd following too long after leaving the bee yard.

    Yeah the pinching of a queen, a cockroach under foot and a cocking pistol all have a unique sound.

  8. #7
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    Mar 2015
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    San Marcos, TX USA
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    170

    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    More like beheading with a hive tool for me! I had a swarm I caught the beginning of June. They built out a 10 frame deep real quick and started showing AHB traits. Since I am deep in AHB territory and my colonies are on my land near the house, I decided to requeen. Can't take a chance of my 9yr old daughter or our dogs and cats getting tore up. I took her out and introduced a Hawaiian queen in a push in cage. I guess in a while they should be nice again.
    Curtis Seebeck
    6 colonies in Central Texas

  9. #8
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    Jul 2014
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    Hopkins, MI USA
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    915

    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    grumpy is a bit of a gray term.
    The supreme court says being "gray" is OK

    But seriously, don't people die from bee stings every year? Honey bees would end up being a small fraction of the bee related deaths each year.....I just don't know how anyone could pin it on a local bee keeper.
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I think difference in opinion on aggression would be great. We all have differences in opinion it's evident on this forum. But I do hear routinely as someone posted that they believe is aggressive hives produce more honey. I expect a hot stone massage while I work my beeyard. No ankle biter's ankle biter's are bad who's not squishing them? I wanted an acupuncture session....
    I'm being funny but I'm curious who's opening up their hives and be astounded by the bees inside? A lot of her hives are calm organized but these are not running the brood chamber makes sense and there's a lot of honey. Some hives getting a little smoke open up the cover a few bees pop up your veil and they're running on the frames. If it's not a management issue we switch the queen turn the colony into nucleus colonies and get it cells from the really good queen. And it's all because I want to hot stone massage.

  11. #10
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I follow Michael Bushs edict of three chances. We all have a bad day but three bad days in a row and I whack her. Stomped two this past Sunday since I have a bunch of QCs ripening as a result of forced supersedures.

  12. #11
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    Apr 2015
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    Southern Virginia
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Can someone explain, or link to the explanation, why one queen sets the temperment for the whole hive? I get that she could pass along some angry genes, but why is it that offing one queen and replacing with another will solve anything? Isn't it also up to each individual bee?

    I have one hive that lights me up even if I smoke consistently...they attack my hive tool and hand by the dozens. I've been hesitant to requeen as I don't know exactly what's causing them to act that way, or if they'd get a queen that can produce as well.
    Zone 7a

  13. #12
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by phyber View Post
    Can someone explain, or link to the explanation, why one queen sets the temperment for the whole hive? I get that she could pass along some angry genes, but why is it that offing one queen and replacing with another will solve anything? Isn't it also up to each individual bee?

    I have one hive that lights me up even if I smoke consistently...they attack my hive tool and hand by the dozens. I've been hesitant to requeen as I don't know exactly what's causing them to act that way, or if they'd get a queen that can produce as well.

    Couple of reasons:

    The first as you noted, the queen may have genes that result in overly defensive behavior. Remember that 1/2 the genes come from the queen for all bees in the hive. Overly defensive genes from the queen would have higher odds than simply overly defensive genes from the drones she mates with. Overly defensive queen genes, combined with overly defensive genes from the drones she mated with are a worse result. Either way, you end up with a hive of overly defensive bees. When you replace her the old queen's foragers, which are the ones most likely to be overly defensive begin dying off and are replaced with the "new" queens offspring in foragers in about 35 days.

    Also a queenless hive is naturally more defensive. So if you have a queen that is producing scant amounts of mandibular pheromones, then the hive is also likely to be more defensive. Replacement of this type of queen with a new queen should result in an almost instant reduction in defensiveness.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-07-2015 at 03:19 PM.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    And then there is that one self appointed guard bee for the entire apiary that just will not get out of your face.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  15. #14
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    May 2014
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    Delmarva Pennsula, VA
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I have always wondered...
    Is requeening with a purchased queen really what calms a wicked hive,,, Or ,,,,

    is it the time they spend queen-less.

    I notice when I make a nuc from an annoying hive and let them make an emergency queen,,,
    both the nuc and the original hive become pleasant to work with.

  16. #15
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    Apr 2015
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    I read your post and immediately had the following thoughts:
    what's grumpy to you may not be to others.
    are you assuming the most docile bees are the best bees?
    maybe bees shouldn't be kept in densely populated areas.
    Sometimes the characteristics others need aren't what's valued by you.

    10413311_1617132828533219_1432507353867807043_n.jpg

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by Thershey View Post
    I follow Michael Bushs edict of three chances. We all have a bad day but three bad days in a row and I whack her. Stomped two this past Sunday since I have a bunch of QCs ripening as a result of forced supersedures.

    You realize supersedures replicate the same genetics, yes?

  18. #17
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    Apr 2015
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by phyber View Post
    Can someone explain, or link to the explanation, why one queen sets the temperment for the whole hive? I get that she could pass along some angry genes, but why is it that offing one queen and replacing with another will solve anything? Isn't it also up to each individual bee?
    https://www.beesource.com/resources/u...of-honey-bees/

    Tendencies towards defensiveness and the severity of the behaviour as a whole are genetic in bees. If there was one bee that wouldn't leave you alone, sure, that bee may just be off its rocker. Bees that come after you when you smell like a certain shampoo.. or light a stinky cigar next to them...or open the hive after dark... or start pulling apart brood boxes with no smoke.. or are grumpy when the hive is full of ants... may just be triggered to normal defensiveness by your actions or the environment.

    But there are 70,000 bees in the hive... and one bee in 70,000 is not a 'hot or 'grumpy' hive. 25,000 bees in your face and following you 100 yards, attacking when you show back up for the next week... is a hot hive. That problem is genetic.

    The genetics of the workers, drones, and young supersedence queens in the hive are all derived from the genetics of the current queen.

    Drones from another hive mating with an immature queen may introduce different genetics, depending how isolated your hive is and how much the genetic pool in your yard is intermixed. It may not substantially change things.

    The only thing guaranteed to change genetics completely is a queen from somewhere completely other, mated with drones from somewhere completely other. There's a good chart in the link above that shows the genetic interrelationships.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by cgybees View Post
    Sometimes the characteristics others need aren't what's valued by you.
    some of the characteristics "others" want for "everyone" is the issue.

    i'm ok with someone squishing their own "grumpy" queens if that's what they want to do
    but i'll decide for myself which queens i replace and why.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    Quote Originally Posted by cgybees View Post
    You realize supersedures replicate the same genetics, yes?
    Of course I do, the forced supersedures were in other hives that exhibit the characteristics I want to replicate. When they make extra cells, those get moved to the also now queenless for 8 days grumpy hives.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Who is not squishing the grumpy queens??

    I crunched the queen who layed the eggs that grew into the meanest bees in Montana this spring. If there were any meaner bee's around I did not want to work with them. Life is too short to work with defensive bees. I just don't have to prove I am tough and I just don't like having to armour up every time I walk by a bee hive. Lots of nice little kitten with wings that make lots of honey are available. THis colony wintered strong with no mite treatment using half the stores of most of my colonies. I did not make the decision lightly. But when they are treeing the farmer if he ventured within forty yards it was time for things to change.

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