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All my hives are from swarms I've captured here in the Texas Panhandle. At this time of year we have big temperature swings and I've noticed a big difference in the hives as far as when they begin flying. I have a couple of hive that were flying today when the temps were still in the mid 40's but most don't come out until temps reach the mid 50's. Has anyone noticed this type of variability in their hives? Are some hives more cold hardy? Would you consider this a good trait (finding the earliest spring pollen) or a bad trait (burning up stores before anything is out)?
 

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I've certainly noticed a difference between colonies that are only one hive apart. Couple years back I had a "lazy" hive that seemed to go out later in the morning and in earlier at night. Honestly can't say why. I really don't remember if that was a good producer or not. For a while, I thought it was just the sun hitting the hive boxes at a different time but they were so close together that it had to be more than that.
 

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I've got bees that were raised in Upstate NY from survivors. They don't use too much honey. I take my bees to apple pollination and my orchard owner tells me that my bees fly earlier than the other bees that are brought in by migratory beekeepers.
 

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I have noticed this & I just started a year ago. I purchased a 3# Package from Dadant and then caught 3 more wild swarms. The package that I bought are very docile. I can work them with a couple puffs of smoke without gear. I have one swarm that is very aggressive. If you jar the hive in the summer, they send a lot of guards out to get you! I noticed that they seem to be much more active in cold weather also. I taped on the entrance lightly at 35 degrees, & 2 or 3 guards would come out of the entrance but wouldn't fly. There is definitely a differance! I discussed this with another beekeeper & they said I should re-queen this hive next spring. I think it may be better to leave them alone. I can deal with the agressive nature if the are more hardy! I am in South East Iowa. What do you think? I am interested in more expperianced beekeepers opinion.
 

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Iowastan, you might need to take into consideration the locale of your more aggressive hive. If it's in the country with no one really close to it, that's one thing. In the back yard, or near a playground is something else. I too leave my more aggressive hives alone, as long as they don't turn into junk yard dogs. They work harder, and produce more. It is simply a call each beek must make, but remember, you have to take into consideration neighbors, etc.
 

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I've got bees that were raised in Upstate NY from survivors. They don't use too much honey. I take my bees to apple pollination and my orchard owner tells me that my bees fly earlier than the other bees that are brought in by migratory beekeepers.
It's like taking a gecko from Hawaii and putting him in NY....He might start moving in July! <wink>
 
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