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Discussion Starter #1
Would it be better to kill the queen from an aggressive hive or introduce a queen of known stock? What are the odds the new queen is more docile? Or more aggressive if they are allowed to make their own? Is it 50/50? It is a new hive that has built up really fast and is now too aggressive. I'd rather not buy a queen. I have 5 other hives I can split to make a queen.
 

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If the hive is too hot to work easily, i'd requeen for sure. Don't allow them to make their own as the queen they produce will have 50% of the current queen's dna, and if she's producing offspring that's hot, it's time for some new DNA in that hive... Make a small split from a known hive, give it plenty of stores and pollen reserves. Then allow them to get to the point that there is a capped queen cell. Then go to your HOT hive, pull the queen and get rid of her.. Pull out enough frames to put the ones with the queen cells in. Wait for about an hour inbetween. Then put those from the little NUC you started into the hive, bees and all. They will continue to protect the cell, the other bees will figure out there is a queen cell there and not bother to make any on their own. The virgin will emerge, mate, and you are good to go. 60 days after she mates the hive starts cooling down again.
 

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aley1511: First, remind yourself that the stronger the hive, the more defensive they will be. Assuming you took that into account...

Second, and more importantly, don't be so fast to blame the queen. The disposition of the hive is more heavily weighted by the disposition of the drones she mated with. Since you are in AHB territory, as long as your queens are open mating, it pretty much doesn't matter how gentle a hive the queen stock comes from. The end disposition of the hive will be more heavily determined by the drones she mates with.

I guess you need to decide how aggressive is too aggressive. Sounds like she's rockin' and rollin' if she built them up so quick. What are you defining as aggressive?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I don't mess with the hive they are fine. However whenever I inspect them the get pissed! They stay very aggressive for a week. They buzz in my face or anyone who comes within 100 ft of the hive. Today my stepdaughter got stung below the eye. After a week it tapers off. I would keep them but there are too many people around me that don't like being harassed so they have to go.
 

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That's too bad. Those boomers usually end up being the absolute best honey producers. You can let them re-queen and see the temperament in a few weeks. I've had some REALLLY nasties...and have allowed them to re-queen themselves, and they purr like kittens in a few weeks. Remember, a few bad drones in the semen mix can mess the whole thing up. I sure wouldn't give up yet. Leave the hive alone for several weeks if you choose to pinch the queen. Got a friend with a little more space you can move them to for the transition? And not as an insult question, but are you using a decent amount of smoke when working this hive?
 

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I ended up with one package that is defensive as all get out. Why? I don't know. They had a queen which they didn't like, so I requeened. They didn't like that one either. Now they have more superceedure cells. I saw eggs and brood so I don't know what's up. I know it's not a laying worker hive. I have a hive every year that I have to leave alone to make it on their own. Evidently this one is it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
are you using a decent amount of smoke when working this hive?
Oh yeah I smoke the hell out of that hive. Calms them right up. The issue isn't working them, it's afterwards they remain ultra defensive and harasss anyone who goes in my yard for a week afterwards. I have never been stung but unfortunately others in my household have. They are some temperamental bees and as you said they are great honey producers. They have built up really fast, probably due to them having AHB genetics.

So hive temperament is determined by the drones the queen mates with? If an AHB queen mates with European drones will it produce more docile bees then?
 

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Sadly I am in a similar situation, but in Northern KY. I have a hive that started as a nuc purchased this spring (from Kelley, I think from down in Alabama or something). They are crazy aggressive, and many, many die trying to sting me through my gloves every single time I work them. They have gotten in the habit of buzzing our faces if we get within 100 feet of the hive in the 24 hours or so after we open them up. Last weekend, about an hour after we worked them, a bee flew directly up to my 4-year-old and stung him immediately. No warning, no head butting, and no swatting from my son. This is my third year as a beekeeper and we've never dealt with bees like this. Others have seemed a little agitated and head butted us if we opened them up, etc, but we have never had them continue to act that way after we close them up and walk away. I am considering requeening or at least allowing them to requeen and the new queen breed with local stock. The question is, when to do it? We are in nectar flow now.
 

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I like the honey production, but as some of you have already stated, I have young kids also. I dont want my family to be fearing to go outside. I dont put up with aggressive bees and requeen when i need to. With that being said...I would probably wait until the nectar flow tapers to requeen.
 

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I would requeen now. After June it's a lot harder to get queens in the mail due to hot weather and a lot of the queen producers start shutting down. Also if the aggressive hive doesn't take the new queen you'll have time to fix the problem before layer workers develop. The best approach is to order a couple of queens and make a couple of splits/nucs. A small population of crazies is easier to requeen. It can be a nasty bit of work to find a queen in a big hot hive.
 

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I have a hot hive that I took a queen from about 6 weeks ago. I let them requeen themselves because I had no way to give them a queen at the time. They have a new queen but they're still hot, and I don't know how long I should give them before concluding that they need to go.
 
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