Aggressive Hive
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Thread: Aggressive Hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    4

    Default Aggressive Hive

    Helped a friend today do 4 splits and pull some honey supers. She lost her husband, about a month ago, and was a good for her to learn more and start transitioning to keeping bees.

    Split 3 hives and bees were pretty docile. Man, got to the 4th hive and they were mad. I've never seen them so aggressive. 5 or 6 of the ladies managed to get my forehead through my suite. Guess I'll be figuring something else out. I was being bombed 10 times a second and at some points, so thick, couldn't see through them.

    Photo for some sympathy. 😁😁
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,045

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Sympathy given!

    Welcome.

    Well, your're in an area where Africanized Honey Bees are more often found than where I live. Consider that possibility. If not, we often see that "hot" hives are calmed when re-queened. I suspect that you'll have to address the genetics no matter what the cause.

    There's always a possibility that something external is bothering the colony. Around here it could be skunks which make the colony generally aggressive most of the time. Something to think about.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the sympathy and warm welcome. 😁 I've been a long time lurker and a new member. Generally don't have much to add to the posts so it's taken a while to come up with an excuse to post.

    I had thought about AHB when they instantly went bezerk. I don't have much knowledge about his hives other than he started with 1 and he's split in to his 4. I don't think he's ever requeened with a known source. I'll have to bring that up to his wife. There are still queens available around here so that might be worth it as I don't even know the age of the donor queen.

    They don't get many critters as the LGD does a good job protecting the goats, sheep and alpaca.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,022

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Welcome to the posting side of Beesource. Those forehead stings just HAD to hurt! My guess is that hive #4 is one of the splits and that it was a walkaway, no purchased queen. Originally docile queen the bees produced open mated with an Africanized drone or ten and voila, hot hive. Time to requeen that one.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,045

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    I'd add that re-queening sooner than later would be best. It's a real "treat" to re-queen a hot, strong hive. Actually, it's not the part about putting in the new queen. It's the often times painful process of finding the original one!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Welcome to Beesource bhammer. Yeah, those got to hurt. You are a good friend. J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    I'd add that re-queening sooner than later would be best. It's a real "treat" to re-queen a hot, strong hive. Actually, it's not the part about putting in the new queen. It's the often times painful process of finding the original one!
    i have the same joyful task facing me next week when new queens arrive from Ohio.
    I have nice calm docile bees as a rule except for one hive...MEAN would be an understatement. I cracked the inner cover this past weekend and immediately had dozens and dozens of bees stinging both gloves and clouding around my face.
    My orchard which is quite close to my apiary needed to be mowed and i had to do it in a beesuit as that hive ( i assume) kept attacking me...they even followed me the 200-300 yards back to my garage and were still going ballistic at me.

    Im going to find and crush that queen and replace her. Hot bees make the hobby arduous and not at all fun.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Buffalo, Ky.
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Mean bees, bad queen, increase drone population, sporatic laying. Queen starts producing less phermone, bees get aggressive. Find old queen, destroy her, put some artificial phermone from Mann Lake in hive. Leave hive a lone for several days, bees will think everything is ok and should calm down. Take phermone stick out, requeen. Check on her in 4 days, should be out of cage, if not release and close up. Check in a week to see if she is doing her thing. I found if you use the Queen phermone stick, it keeps the hive from attacking or rejecting the new queen. Just a bit of insurance in aiding her acceptance to the collective.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,379

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    I have found that if you split a mean hive into 3 or 4 it makes finding the Queen much easier.

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

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    UK
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    201

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    There is no need to find the queen and get stung, block the entrance, place a sheet of news paper under queen excluder on broodbox then add a broodbox with a QUIET Queen and all the bees on top. You will need a top entrance for all of the bees to use.The result the bees from the bottom box come up through the queen excluder and mix with the bees in the top, eventually the only thing left in the bottom box are the drones(which you do not want anyway) and the queen which you where going to kill, reopen the bottom entrance, remove the queen excluder. Works every time

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,379

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Radar, That does sound a lot easier, but what stops the bees in the bottom box from killing the Queen in the top box?

    I currently have a mean colony and some extra Queens in 5 frame nucs that I can use for this purpose. Does the colony with the quiet Queen need to be stronger than the mean colony?

    I have some Snelgrove Boards I could retrofit with QEs instead of screen to provide an entrance to the top box.

    Thanks for the idea.

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

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Yes the top hive cannot be weak,all the bees from the bottom do not come up at once, they come through as the brood below emerges, the queen stops laying as there is no income.
    This method is really only for cases where bees "black out" the veil and it it is impossible to find the queen.
    Some times there is a reason for bees to be like that
    It is a last resort,but it works, never had a queen killed.
    It was a much wiser man than me who told me that solution

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Radar, your idea that you are passing along is intriguing. Just so that I fully understand, are you taking bees from the hot brood and adding them in to the new top box with a new queen? I guess I am trying to figure out where the bees are coming from and how they will not kill the new placed queen?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    This is a quiet colony placed on top of an aggressive colony that has no exit to the outside world other than through the quiet colony on their return they seem to mix. I suppose it is no different than a newspaper combine, only takes a lot longer and the other way round
    When I was told this my first reaction was no way this can work.
    I have done this 5 times, 2 of my own hives and 3 times for others who were about to kill the whole hive.
    One benefit over just killing the queen is the drones are prevented from mating

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Aggressive Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    This is a quiet colony placed on top of an aggressive colony that has no exit to the outside world other than through the quiet colony on their return they seem to mix. I suppose it is no different than a newspaper combine, only takes a lot longer and the other way round
    When I was told this my first reaction was no way this can work.
    I have done this 5 times, 2 of my own hives and 3 times for others who were about to kill the whole hive.
    One benefit over just killing the queen is the drones are prevented from mating
    this is a great idea and I will be using this. thank so much.
    Oklahoma bee keeper

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