hostile bees
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Thread: hostile bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    1,407

    Default hostile bees

    I have a couple of hives that are meaner than the rest. Mean to to point where I am not looking forward to dealing with them when I start harvesting honey. Its getting into dearth and fire season so I basically put my smoker away for a while.

    The origin of these lines are from a local keeper and they are descendants of a Kona queen originally. This line has done quite nicely the last couple of years, but now they are being overshadowed by some of the Saskatraz grand daughters that are doing very well. They haven't wintered really strong, but seem to build up well during the season. Both hives are in their 3rd summer without treatment.

    Anyway, I am thinking of removing the meanest hives from the population. The strategy that I am thinking of using is to move the hives a short distance from their present location. Allow the foragers to fly back to the original location to occupy an empty box. Take all the honey, remove the queen, and take the nurse bees and brood to support the youngest nucs that I have started. I would actually shake the nurse bees on to strong hives (I've noticed that when I introduce bees and brood to small nucs I start missing queens) and give the brood frames san bees to new nucs to give them a boost.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,170

    Default Re: hostile bees

    i've had 2 colonies like that so far.

    i pinched the queen in one and the other one superceded before i had a chance to pinch the queen. the colony that her daughter produced was not defensive.

    i think your plan is sound lharder, good luck.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,155

    Default Re: hostile bees

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    ... I am not looking forward to dealing with them when I start harvesting honey. ....

    Any suggestions?
    There is a whole method of beekeeping when you harvest after the bees cluster up for the winter.
    If not for this way, keeping AMMs can be quiet unpleasant.
    On the other hand keeping local AMMs is a good way to be treatment free beekeeper.
    If you start eliminating bees based on their tempers (which are natural, btw), you may quickly fall back to the square 1.

    Just one example.
    No treatments and low maintenance mode - harvest is done in November.
    Of course, my favorite part - the horizontal rigs that allow this way:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAu5xmzDeL4
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: hostile bees

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    There is a whole method of beekeeping when you harvest after the bees cluster up for the winter.
    If not for this way, keeping AMMs can be quiet unpleasant.
    On the other hand keeping local AMMs is a good way to be treatment free beekeeper.
    If you start eliminating bees based on their tempers (which are natural, btw), you may quickly fall back to the square 1.

    Just one example.
    No treatments and low maintenance mode - harvest is done in November.
    Of course, my favorite part - the horizontal rigs that allow this way:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAu5xmzDeL4
    I have lots of TF hives that are booming, energetic, but don't take it out on me when I open them up. They are also better winterers. They are such motivated hives and fun to work with. Those I use for queens. I don't want to end up with bees like Dee Lusby's and I don't want to sell queens/nucs that are mean. Aggressiveness isn't necessarily tied to mite resistance, nor production. I heard a presentation last fall about a look into genetic data that was looking for such links and couldn't find any. If I was desperate for performing long lasting hives I may have kept them a little longer.

    As a final piece to my little scheme, I am going to place 2 late start side by side nucs in the original hives position. That (if the foragers don't kill the queen which I haven't seen in this kind of situation yet) should give the new queens a big boost to get ready for winter.

  6. #5

    Default Re: hostile bees

    I have one of those too.

    I rather like her because she brings much honey and is more resitant.
    I have the descendants, they are calm but I keep her. I use her to produce honey comb and brood combs for the others in need or splits.
    I keep her small.

    When I check her, I give a puff of smoke underneath. Wait a minute, open and give a puff under the lid.
    Then they are ok to work.

    I like bees acting natural. Itīs not like the AMM ferals I have which can not be worked. I like a little "defense".
    As long as I can stand beside the entrance and look at them without veil itīs ok for me. And I am not fast in condemning them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,155

    Default Re: hostile bees

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I have lots of TF hives that are booming, energetic, but don't take it out on me when I open them up......
    I suppose you already had your answer before you asked the question.
    It works just as well.
    But hey, you asked for it.

    Since I am a little, hobby-type guy, hovering in 10-20 colony segment, I can not really afford to chop any heads off because I don't know which ones will survive the winter.
    They are all spread in the bush, across 6 different locations and if any of them are too defensive, then so be it.
    Up to them what they want to do.
    If they don't like me, then they are on their own.

    All my last season crop came off the dead-outs and so I never had to deal with any issues.
    Hard to be any milder than dead bees.

    Really, have only have one hive that is kinda inpatient at times.
    It is in mosquito-infested grove - perfect spot for them.
    It appears I accidentally pinched the old queen while splitting it too - re-queened them totally by accident.
    Ooops and bummer because I really wanted to keep her longer.
    Probably will be even milder now.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-31-2018 at 05:53 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: hostile bees

    One thing I have noticed is that requeening my bees can be kinda difficult. I've lost a few queens in the attempt. Hence the divide and conquer approach with these hives.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    3,023

    Default Re: hostile bees

    You will notice it often. Mite resistance comes at the price of much more difficulty requeening.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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