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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine was taking honey off his hives. One strong hive ( 10 frame FD brood and 10 frame FD super) was pretty well full of honey but, so he told me , they were vicious and he copped a few stings.
I know what you will say:" re-queen"
The problem is that he is not sure if he can find the queen in such a strong hive. Indeed it is easier said then done even for an experienced beekeeper.
In the past when I had to deal with a similar hive I simply split the hive into two. Easier to deal with fewer bees.
Any other ideas?
 

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In the past when I had to deal with a similar hive I simply split the hive into two. Easier to deal with fewer bees.
Any other ideas?
Queen excluders between the boxes, wait a week to ten days, look for the box with uncapped brood, isolate that box, leave the queen excluders on, put that box over an empty box and smoke the bees down. Remove the big bee that’s still in the box.
 

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Yep, and wear good bee suits and gloves. That is a lot easier than LOOKING for the Q while the workers eat you lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is a queen excluder above the brood box - we work with single brood boxes here.
 

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Has the hive been hot other times it's been opened or just this time? Maybe it is currently queenless.

To find the Queen, he could move half the Brood frames to another box and see which box shows signs of queenlessness (by the noise they make after several minutes.) Then do it again to the calmer box to reduce the number of frames to look for her on.

One way to requeen is to place a ripe queen cell inbetween two Brood frames. The virgin will be accepted and then the old queen gets killed off.
 

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Many hives can have the odd bad day.

If this was a one off, just leave it.

But if he really needs to change the temperament of the hive then like it or not, requeening is the only way.

If he decides to go that way but absolutely cannot find the queen, then take all the boxes above the excluder off, then carry the remainder (bottom board, brood box, and queen excluder) at least 20 or 30 meters away. remove the combs one at a time and shake all bees onto the grass. pile the frames up several meters away where no crawling bees will get to them. then shake all bees off the empty box and put the combs back in. Shake the bees off the bottom board and put the bottom board back on the original site. Carry the brood box over and put it back. Shake all bees off the excluder and put it back and re assemble the hive. Leave queenless for 3 days then take a look, the bees should have started some new (still very small) queen cells, this will confirm that the queen is not there. At this point the queen cells can be squished and a new queen introduced.
 

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This is Australia. The breeds they have there are very compatable requeening wise.
 

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Been living in Australia. (Queensland). Nice and calm people compared to the rest of the world. Just like the bees I suppose.

Really hot bees are not easy to requeen. I usually save me that step and shake down the whole hive. Bees fly to the other hives, queen meets the thumb & finger solution. (Pinched)

Haven't had hot hives for a decade. Last year there was one that was boiling hot. Problem was solved quickly, for the benefit of the bee population.
 

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I had to do this made a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh5CWTImNaY
I found that shaking them over the excluder didn't work, she just flew in the entrance, shaking them all out in front and forcing them through an excluder on the entrance worked for me, there's four parts to the video, but in the end we finally found the new Saskatraz queen laying eggs, I never did see the old queen.
 

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2nd year. Installed a nuc that was different to work day one. Likely Russian. Had considered requeening- however landed on another strategy that's working for my skill level. I built and now use a quiet box to set frames in during inspections and use cover cloths to cover the box I'm inspecting. Also bought a great bee jacket. Between keeping me calm and keeping them calm it's working out for all of us.

Love how purposeful that hive is. I put them in charge of emergency stores and they built out that box well before the other hives.
 

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A friend of mine was taking honey off his hives. One strong hive ( 10 frame FD brood and 10 frame FD super) was pretty well full of honey but, so he told me , they were vicious and he copped a few stings.
I know what you will say:" re-queen"
Personally, I wouldn't describe a few stings as being either vicious or a VERY hot hive - after all, your friend was stealing their honey ...

If that colony is ok in all other respects - i.e. not over-defensive during the season (meaning unprovoked stinging some distance from the hive) and are reasonably well-behaved during routine inspections, I'd be inclined to accept that as borderline behaviour, and dress accordingly when harvesting from that particular colony - just in case they should be having a bad day.

Much depends of course on what actually constituted 'vicious', and how your friend was handling those bees at the time. Sometimes it just pays to come back another day.
LJ

PS - any forest fires in your locality ? I hear you guys are having it rough at the moment.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't describe a few stings as being either vicious or a VERY hot hive .....
+1
Back to the "hot hive" definitions and being able to read the bees.

Most times this is the people who are too spoiled, IMO - to the point of being unreasonable in the name of the convenience.
Perfectly fine bees that get "re-queened" for no good reasons.

The bees most often are quite reasonable.

PS: one of my live hives still has no dry sugar - they prevented me from doing it (because I had no protection and no smoke with me - being spoiled by the other bees)
are they hot? ...of course not.
did I get stung? ... of course not - I knew better to back out of that project, because it can wait (just as always - everything can wait).
 

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I don't own a veil and I don't need one. I can read bees. I get a couple of thousands of stings each year and I am able to take 500-1,000 stings in one day, which has happen in the past. Most stings go to the hands, since I handle quite some frames a day, because I professionally work bees on a daily basis.

My definition of a hot hive is when I get 50+ stings when I open the hive lid, even with some smoke. I don't have bees like that, because I weed out the extremes. Usually I don't get stings at all while working the hives, unless I grab into a bee when holding a frame. Which can't be prevented, because my hives usually are populous.

It is very easy to select for calm and peaceful bees. Don't know why that should not be done.
 

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This is one of my breeder queens. In this short video I demonstrate what peaceful bees mean.

https://youtu.be/mjaj5CObAD8

No smoke when opened that one. Neither shaking nor bumping doesn't make them flying in your face. :thumbsup:

A bliss to work with. No need for any backing out of any projects.
 

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That is one beautiful queen.

I define a hot hive as one that comes after me when I enter the apiary (I also keep a pond and some chickens back there).

If I'm stealing honey I am suited up and in gloves because I have other allergies and I do not want a bee allergy to end this hobby.

If they don't calm down in 2 or 3 days and are still guarding the gate, I might consider them hot. But I've sold a hot hive that just wasn't happy in my apiary and had the buyer message me that he could work those bees without gloves. No queen change, just a location change, more forage.
 

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I think you fellows are just macho signalling!;)
I think some of the posters thus far may have missed one important sentence in Max2's original post. He's talking about how his friend is anticipating difficulty in finding a queen within a strong hive, and says: "Indeed it is easier said then done even for an experienced beekeeper."

That must surely be a strong indicator that his friend has little experience, and may even be a beginner. So - I'd be looking at the basics: his handling technique, his use of smoke, and the umpteen other possible causes of annoying a colony of bees - as the underlying cause of getting stung may well lie with the beekeeper's inexperience, rather than with the colony's genetics.

Indeed to a beginner, receiving a few stings - which really goes hand in glove with the activity of beekeeping - may seem like vicious behaviour - an assessment which may not be shared by a more seasoned beekeeper. After all, bees are venomous creatures - they're not pussycats.
LJ

BTW - I don't do 'macho'. When I was in my 20's yes, but not these days. :)
 
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