So I am in my second year of beekeeping. I live in southwestern Pennsylvania. I went into winter with four hives and into spring with 1. My hive that survived was from a swarm I had got last summer and they built up pretty quickly and were strong all of last year. This spring, they started strong so I started making some splits (walk-away splits) I now have three hives that are doing well and one that is just taking off. All from the same line of my overwintered queen. I have noticed a couple of the newer hives seem to have bees that are much more easily irritated and quicker to sting my gloves than ever before. Unless I smoke them really heavily, they get really stirred up and don't seem to settle back down until about 30 minutes after I close the hive (I've sat in my car and watched them). We have a garden about 50 yds away and they never used to bother us while in the garden, even if we did see them there occasionally. Now they're more likely to come and sting you.
I've done hive inspections with other beekeepers and a few other swarms I got last year and none of them behaved this way at anytime. My thoughts have been to maybe try to requeen a few of the hives and see if that helps. I know I won't end up with all Italians, or all Carnolians, etc... but maybe mated queens can introduce some more gentle genetics? I'm sure as time goes on, and offspring mate with local bees, I may end up back where I started, but these bees just aren't fun.
I've read where I should just pinch the current queens, wait a few days and introduce a new queen, or I've also read to just let the whole hive die out and start over (this seems like a much more aggressive approach, and one I hate to lose a lot of investment in).
I needs some thoughts/suggestions/advice...