How mean do they have to get?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default How mean do they have to get?

    How mean does a hive have to get before you requeen? Interested in other beeks threshold.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sussex County, New Jersey
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    If I can't take my suit off 100 yards away after finishing up it's time. I don't really care how aggressive they are when I'm actually working them.
    Owner of Honey Hound Farm. www.honeyhoundfarm.com

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hanover, PA
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    If I have agressive bees around me for more than 5 minutes after working a hive... I will start to entertain requeening.... saying that there were no significant outside factors... like a dropped a full frame/super or something of the like. I will add that this would be for the hives closest to my house.... outyards may receive a little more leniency.
    Last edited by IsedHooah; 06-06-2017 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Caveat

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Depends on location. In urban setting, if they chase neighbors (no matter the distance), they got to go. Its different matter in rural setting.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    I do not like having to take a trip through the brush to loose the bees. other than that all is well.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,817

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    They don't have to get very mean at all! Depends entirely on your tolerance for discomfort. My bees keep getting tamer as the ones that make me armour up "go to the cornfield"

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    For me I do the "wave test". After smoking, opening and getting started, I do a slow wave across the tops of the bars. If the bees boil up and start banging into me, it's time to requeen. I like gentle bees that don't require me to wonder how many times am I gonna get popped today while working the bees. IMO, if the bees are banging your veil constantly you can't actually pay close enough attention to the frames to see what's going on. With calm bees, I can work through the hive from top to bottom in a matter of just a few min and know exactly what's going on. With defensive, "mean" bees it takes nearly 3 times as long. It's one of the reasons that i've switched to NWC stock. Very gentle and productive as can be where i live.
    Thomas Bartram

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Campbell County, Va
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Me personally, I had never requeened if the bees follow me after working the hives or get irritated at me occasionally while at the hives. I've said before, it like replacing your dog every time it barks too much at strangers. They are just doing what bees do. I understand if it's an overtly aggressive hive every time and becomes almost dangerous. Sometimes my bees are happy to see me, sometimes not so much. My hives are from my own splits or swarms.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    John Day River, OR
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Personally I like to work in a shirt most of the summer so I like gentle bees.
    That being said, everyone has bad days. So if it's once, i just draw a little grumpy face on the lower right corner of the lid and the date. If it's only one grumpy face and they get better, maybe there was a skunk, or a funny shift in the weather,... if it's two grumpy faces, I probably won't breed them, unless they are outstanding in all other faculties, but I might keep them around. After three grumpy faces though, she gets squished.
    Last edited by ApricotApiaries; 06-06-2017 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Spelling

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Quote Originally Posted by ApricotApiaries View Post
    Personally I like to work in a shirt most of the summer so I like gentle bees.
    That being said, everyone has bad days. So if it's once, i just draw a little grumpy face on the lower right corner of the lid and the date. If it's only one grumpy face and they get better, maybe there was a skunk, or a funny shift in the weather,... if it's two grumpy faces, I probably won't breed them, unless they are outstanding in all other faculties, but I might keep them around. After three grumpy faces though, she gets squished.
    Now getting to something like 40+ colonies ranging from mating nucs up through production colonies, I'm going to have to start using duct tape and a sharpie or something to keep track of things. But that's basically my method (except in my head). I've never had one get more than two strikes, though. They're usually really really calm and almost always the strikes they've gotten was something I could attribute to something I did. Like left the top off for 20 minutes while I was looking in a few other colonies for something. Opened them up with thunder rumbling in the difference... that kind of thing. One got two strikes before the bee club came to visit last year. I thought "oh great, this will be when they go ballistic"... They were perfect little kittens. Odd how that goes.

  12. #11

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Quote Originally Posted by Banemorth View Post
    If I can't take my suit off 100 yards away after finishing up it's time. I don't really care how aggressive they are when I'm actually working them.
    This.... I am near both a grade school and neighbors and if the bees are stinging that far from home I have to fix the issue.
    Cheers Bill
    zone 9b

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Clinton, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    In years past, pretty mean before I cared much but I dont really have colonies near houses/people so that makes a difference. Even if I only use a yard for a dozen mating nucs I'm always thinking in the back of my head whether I'd set it up as a full yard with 40-60 production colonies at a different point in time. However, as time has gone by, my threshold is lower. There is a magic point for me that I know after I've seen it in colony over an extended period of time particulary when the weather is nice and the other colonies in the yard are relatively calm. Anytime I'm moving colonies or pulling honey I wear a suit and don't pay as much attention but even then its pretty easy to tell the real bad actors from those that have just been disturbed. Basically if I can't back them off with smoker, they have reached a point that cant be easily worked and I eventually throw in the towel. When they continue coming off the frames and cover the veil even as white smoke is making you cough there might be a problem.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Life is too short for hot bees.
    If they act like they don't like me, that's all it takes.
    I really like my carniolians.
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    If I can't walk past/through the yard without getting bumped frequently somebody is going to be acquainted with the hive tool and become a member of the tincture gang.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Huntersville, NC, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Dr Lonzo,

    What is NWC stock?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    I would like to know where all these calm gentle bees are... I suite up and duct tape my legs. I commonly have bees bouncing off my veil. Some days a handful, some days a continued somewhat steady barrage. I have never requeened. (5 or so years) I had one or two hives a few years ago that were close. IF I were close to neighbors things would be much different.

    I often find one or two crawling in my boots when I take my suite off, even with the duct tape. They have not made it yet to skin, usually in the boot material between my tucked in suite. No stings on the feet or legs YET..

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Quote Originally Posted by Kcnc1 View Post
    Dr Lonzo,

    What is NWC stock?
    New world Carniolan

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    Stinging me while mowing the lawn ( not near the hives ) or while just outside doing yard work. Really mean hives sometimes wont take requeening. I waited a season to long to dispatch one huge hive and wasted 100$ on queens with splits and such. Took me 3 tries over a week period to finish it off. I wont wait again all the stings my family and dogs took not worth it
    Dad always said " Smart like tractor, strong like bull "

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    If they don't know how to behave and start chasing me and other people near the hives then it is time to requeen. Sometimes I
    will combine the mean hive with the gentle hive by taking out the mean queen first. If 20 or so started hitting on the veil then this
    hive is too mean for comfort. Time to requeen as well. The mean ones need to go first, the avg mean ones will not be able to produce any
    drones. Only the most gentle ones will have a chance to produce drones and get some grafts from them. To requeen a mean hive I simple
    run a good young mated laying queen into the hive at night time. This is the time when the bees are most inactive allowing the young queen
    to enter the hive. Then the mean hive will get an average size split awaiting for the gentle type queens to arrive the next day. Time it so that the queen shipment is just right.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: How mean do they have to get

    When I start to create reasons why I shouldn't look in the grumpy hive, time to make nucs and squish a queen.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •