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I started my first hive last summer. It overwintered, and this spring I recieved two more. I also got a new queen for the old hive, a queen that was suposed to be extremely calm. The old hive is now very large and unmanagable. The bees are so pissed off I can not come near them without getting stung. Every time that I attempt to go through the hive, they find there way into my pants, shirt, golves, or veil and I get stung. The last time I was able to get into it, I noticed a hatched queen cup right before I noticed two bees in my viel. (I got stung twice in the throat as a result). Getting stung isn't alot of fun, and I wan't to know why they are so pissed off, especially since the other two new hives are very calm, and in the same area. Any help?
 

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Don't put up with that colony.
Get in there and kill the queen
and requeen with new stock. Was
the new queen a marked queen? If
she was, make sure it is still
her.

You are going to need to get more
bee proof when you do this. Duct
tape can be handy to close off
weak areas.
 

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Yes, requeen. Who knows why they are mean except they have some bad genetics (or actually may be queenless . . .).

Either way, you ought to requeen. This happened to me this Spring also. I got stung on my eyelid and couldn't remove the stinger (luckily I had been stung so many times already this year that my eye didn't really swell up). I digress though.

Pull up Michael Bush's website on how to requeen a strong, nasty hive. You may want to split it into more hives when you requeen. My hive stung the [email protected]#$ out of me when I tried to requeen while I was trying to find the old queen.

I requeened my "nasty" 2nd year hive into two hives on May 3rd. They have been my most productive hives this year and not aggressive any longer . . . it took about 6 weeks for the old field bees and the nurse bees to die off before the new queen could make things right.

I also agree with Duct Tape (lots of it). Tape over the zippers under your veil real well (and wear boots, too). Good Luck.
 

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Mean bees are not worth putting up with. Requeen. Sometimes they are better behaved immediately (which would indicate something other than genetics at work) and sometimes it takes six weeks or so to see a difference.
 

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well, let me suggest some alternatives to re-queening...

1. what time of day did you go in them? late evening that particular hive may be more defensive...
2. their memory - have they been riled up by a skunk (or by you) lately? maybe they are overly defensive for that reason...
3. are you in a dearth? some bees behave more defensively in a dearth.
4. is the mean hive very large? some bees become agressive when they reach a critical mass, but when you cut them down, problem solved.

so it's easy to throw $ at a problem, but I think we need more information on size of hive, etc. to tell whether youshould re queen or not.
 

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A hive can be picked out of the bunch by a skunk as it's snack box. This makes them very irritable as they have been up all night fighting the darn critters. You can tell if this is the case if there are scratch marks near the front entrance. The skunks scratch the hive box, when the bees come out to investigate they get eaten. I hear wild turkeys will do this also. Take care of the problem and they go back to being their own sweet selves.
Or, ....they might just be mean.
Oh, and definitely wear better protection. When my husband is complaining about getting stung up while I am not, I tell him it's because I have a GOOD one piece beesuit. Worth every penny!
Sheri
 

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If you do decide to requeen, it helps to have someone who is experienced in finding the queen. May give you more confidence & teach you some things at the same time. This happened to me the first year I kept bees. The state inspector came to check them out and just slammed the lid down and said REQUEEN! My mentor came over and helped me find the queen. Things calmed down after that.
 

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"I noticed a hatched queen cup right before I noticed two bees in my viel. (I got stung twice in the throat as a result)."

Chances are good the queen you tried to introduce is dead, and you have a daughter queen running the show. MB has a good way of requeening a hot hive, and that is the way you should attempt this. Alot of times just getting rid of the field force will calm things down some, and make it easier to find and dispactch the old queen. Always check for queen cells pior to trying to introduce a new queen, it will help with the process if the hive doesn't have a choice. Use lots of duct tape
.
 

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I wear a full bee suit and gloves. I know that many sneer at this, but one sting in a tender spot changes things. The only time that I have been stung is when I forgot to change from low-quarters to boots. Won't make that mistake again. I tried to remove my feeder Saturday without smoke--big mistake. I took it off the brood box and about 100 girls decided to make my acquaintance, up close and personal. I'd have done the bee dance but for the suit.

I, too, had supercedure cells, so I likely have a new queen, although I saw the marked queen a couple of weeks ago. I am waiting to see what happens next, but only suited up. Good luck.
 

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When I decided to get into to beekeeping, I bought a suit and rubber boots. I have never been stung by a honeybee even though last time I did forget to zip up the legs to my suit! They are worth the money. You can get one for fifty dollars at Dadant. Just make sure the suit is either cotton, or a blend of cotton and canvas. Bees can sting through suits that are make totally out of canvas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. I planned on getting a better bee suit, once finances become more available. Untill then Duct tape will be used. I personally dislike using the full suit (although I don't have a suit, I mean long sleeved shirt, long pants, boots, veil, ect.) cause it's hot, I guess it's a price that has to be paid.
Once I am able to suit up well enough not to get stung I'll make sure that I go back in to get a better look at the hive. I know that there are no scratch marks on the outside of the hive, and I don't suspect any predators to visit by. It's in a domesticated area, so the closes thing would be a cat. I once saw a possum in the area, but shortly after that I saw it again flat as can be on the road.
The hive itself is not huge, but it is a little large. There is brood in one hive body, and when I added a super I forgot to put the queen excluder on it, so now there is also brood in the bottom half of a shallow super.
I usually go into the hive on Sats around 12 or 2pm, so I don't think that's a time that they are overtly disgruntled.
I assumed that the old queen was taken over by a supersedure queen, but so far I have been unable to make it into the hive to check for myself. The concept is distrubing to me, only because the queen that was origionally in there was of good genetics. I liked her. Quite a shame.
Being that it is sort of late in the season, do you think that I should avoid deviding up the hive? I'm going to get more information before I re-queen, but as of right now from the information that I have I'm guessing that that would be the best course of action. Anyone agree?
 

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If their're as hot as you say, I think you will have to divide it up just to find the queen. You can always recombine them if you want, once you have a new queen that is accepted.
 
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