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Discussion Starter #1
I have my first mean hive . It is booming lot's of brood bring in nectar making wax just a hard working hive.
But boy if ya try to find the queen all hell breaks lose. I have on 2 different dates tried to find the queen with no luck I found day old eggs but the queen no way and I was stung ten times each time I tried and the beeyard was just filled with PO bees . I had a ultra breeze jacket and thicksters on and a smoker and had to back out {digging in the brood nest } after the first box . They found a weak spot around my wrist and hammered away .
Now if I walk up to my hives I have a few on me that's ok I carry my veil.
I am going to try and find the queen again this weekend it's going to be nice and the flow is kicking in so maybe the bees will be nicer. I want to see if it is going be a good production hive and how it handles VARROA.
Only time will tell.
 

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Glock,

My experience is that they will be productive and hardy and they will not become less protective. Pulling supers won't be much fun. Trying to work them as a flow ends will be less fun. They will be your most productive hives. You will hope they will get easier to work. They won't.

Start to plan now how you want to re-queen them. Do you want to try and keep a strong hive to produce honey?

I am going through this right now. My most productive hive accounted for 90%+ of my stings last year. I was stung more last year than the previous three years combined. This hive maintained three deeps through winter and came out strong. I supered it early but not early enough. It started making preps to swarm. I split it and plan to give it 48-hr old queen cells tomorrow. I will have to check for the queen and any new queen cells. At least only one split should have eggs.

Worst case scenario I will make more splits from this colony if I have to. The queen I grafted from is productive, gentle and cordovan. It will be easy to visually identify when this colony(ies) are successfully requeened.

Tom
 

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Glock:
These must be some of the stock I cut out from an old barn out your way last year. They were fast building and industrious, really socked away the honey, but were mean as rattlesnakes. After I pulled supers last fall they got so mad, That when my neighbor started his log splitter they flew over 100 yards and attacked him. It was late in the fall so I did not requeen until spring. and they were still mean. beginning to calm down now though. seems the way of it though, the mean bees are always great producers you hate to get rid of.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do not have to worry my bees are in the far back corner of my 12 acres and far enough from all people so mean bees are not a problem .I'm not a scared . After 5 years as a bee keeper this is the meanest hive yet but now it's a goal to find this queen and tame this hive . As long as it's producing like it is now it has a home.:D
 

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I had to leave one of my hives a couple of weeks ago. I felt secure in an ultra breeze suite with heavy plastic gloves with long sleeves and elastics. They found a way in and were merciless! I looked black instead of white in my suit...like the people with happy bees laid all over their bodies except these were nasty...making that awful sound they make when determined to sting. I left them nearly an hour and when I approached they went at me again. Smoke meant nothing to them:( To get them off my suit I walked into a bush and rubbed them off.
I finally got them buttoned up and have not looked at them since.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hear ya same type thing here. But I take it all as a challenge can I tame this hive ?!!
I have bushes I walk through to get them off me . And I know the noise .:eek:
 

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I won't tolerate mean bees. I had a hive that would chase us to the back door, and it is 150 feet from the door. It was "Off with her head !". I re-queened it and in a month they later they behaved. I don't need bee products so badly that I'm not safe in my back yard. I have another one now that when you lift the lid, it's like you just crushed ten overripe bananas. Instant alarm pheromone. The new queen went in three days ago. If they are mean, the Ultra Breeze full suit goes on and there will be hell to pay on their end. I just won't stand for it.
 

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I had a similar experience last year. Booming hive, mean, nasty, and productive as all get-out. I gave up trying to find the queen on at least 3 occasions, and split them without looking after the flow. The split that ended up with that queen looks like it will be my most productive hive again this year, but without the drama. So far they seem much gentler this year. We'll see if it lasts!:)
 

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Next time, grab each box and walk away with it. Set it down somewhere else. Keep doing it until they are all sitting alone scattered around the yard. Put an empty on the hive stand. Wait a awhile, then start going through the scattered boxes. If you still can't find her, split them into 5 frames and do it again. Splitting them down somewhat demoralizes them, and most of the guards end up back at the empty box on the hive stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found the queen.:applause: To day the state bee inspector was here and together we found her . He said my bees are healthy and all looked great.:thumbsup: I made 3 splits why he was here and did a alcohol wash on one hive that had supersedureand. All brood was hatched out and no VARROA. great day in the bee yard.:)
 

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Next time, grab each box and walk away with it. Set it down somewhere else. Keep doing it until they are all sitting alone scattered around the yard. Put an empty on the hive stand. Wait a awhile, then start going through the scattered boxes. If you still can't find her, split them into 5 frames and do it again. Splitting them down somewhat demoralizes them, and most of the guards end up back at the empty box on the hive stand.
That works. If you leave them scattered for an hour or so, and give them something to work on at the old spot there aren't enough foragers left in the other boxes to be a problem - makes it physically easier to find the queen too, because there are fewer bees.

If you aren't super at finding queens this is a good strategy for fall requeening.
 

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Take away ALL the frames with drawn comb, brood and feed-except one. Find the queen and place her back in the hive at the old location on that single frame of brood-preferably open brood and eggs. Let the the cranky foragers all fly back to work on drawing out and filling NEW frames for you.

Take away the carcass and cubs from the grizzly bear....

Give them a job that keeps them focused and take away what they are protecting and you'll see a big difference overnight.

If there is no flow on, feed them and be amazed at the productivity. Basically you're making a simulated swarm..good for a brood break and mite control too. You can let them keep one frame of open brood and eggs just to keep them driven to stay in the hive and rebuild. Instead of killing her, you'll get the most out of the queen, who is likely very productive and the foragers that will die anyway in a few weeks. Let them work themselves to death instead of pestering you.
If you still feel you need to kill her, do it after your main flow-then requeen or in the fall and use all those newly drawn freshly filled frames for distribution to needy hives for overwintering strength.

A somewhat hot hive can be a valuable resource that is simply in need of manipulation for increased productivity in a different mannor than most hives.
(If you feel the hive has a mite issue, remove that single frame of brood you let them keep, once it is capped. Nearly every mite on the remaining bees will be under the capped brood. Check it for mites and freeze it if it is infested. You colony will have a good fresh start.)

This is what it will look like after 1/2 hour


After a couple hours


After 3 days.


In no time you'll get new fresh frames drawn out. I call this 'Freshening" a hive:



You can see why I call it that. You know what an older hive interior can look like. Dark comb, maybe somewhat irregular. Maybe you're thinking your queen is a bit spotty on that older comb, but you may see she is better on fresh comb.


Now (Getting back to all the frames you took away) only the younger bees are left on the frames from the old hive. Younger bees are almost always mellow, easy to work and will be very receptive to a new queen. These are prime for making nucs.

I have done this to many of my hives over the last 2 years. I absolutly LOVE the results. I do it for several reasons. I only had one hot hive I did it to and it worked like a charm.
I also do this to very large hives with older queens (If they are still productive and healthy) so I don't risk the entire hive going into yet another winter with a 2-3 year old queen heading the hive. I quickly end up with twice as many frames drawn and filled as I would have if I'd left them alone.

Now if you suspect Africanized genetics, that is a different situation. You probably do not want those drones around ether.

I like to work my bees in shorts if I can. Thicksters and a veil. The lighter the better in hot weather.
 

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...I want to see if it is going be a good production hive and how it handles VARROA.
Only time will tell.
In my experience, "mean" hives tend to be great producers. 'As if they attack varroa/whatever with the same fervor that they greet my intrusions.

Ideal conditions, smoke, syrup spray, & layers under your bullet proof suit are my best suggestions for handling a hot colony. That, and giving the neighbor's a warning call...

Mine is still making gardening or mowing out back a "veil/jacket mandatory" after 5 days. 'Working the good girls - full suit, minimum. It's their yard, for the time being...
:digging:

'Best of luck, I can relate...
 

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I agree. Re-queening a hot hive will not work as long as the old queen is alive. You can't just add a good queen and hope for the best. The hot queen must be squished, or they won't accept the new queen. They may not anyway. And you don't really want them to create a new queen out of the old queen's eggs, as that defeats the purpose. But finding the old one can be tricky. I may try Lauri's trick next time. Can't hurt -- might help! Thanks, Lauri!

Summer
 

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I've always had a soft spot for hard workers and for any thing that would eagerly lay it's life on the line defending its home against all intruders.

My bees are not close to anyone and the thought of requeening a hard working, hard fighting hive never crosses my mind.

I do weed eat fully suited though. They showed me the error of my ways!

P.s. I don't sell nucs out of these.
 

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I have had experience with cordovan and carnis. They were all gentle but not very good producers as far as honey goes and didn't over winter at all. Two years ago I cut a dead tree down that was over a house deep in the woods. The tree had a hive in it. The home owner said the hive was there for 20 years (survivors). This area has no bee keepers at all, this hive was super dark and wild. This hive is super hot but has filled 12 mediums this year. Over the past month I made 2 poor man splits (2 mediums each). Yesterday I finished breeding her and made an additional 10 5 frame nucs with queen cells and bees from her hive. They have no mites and fill honey supers like its going out of style. I'll take a few stings for treatment free productive bees. She is my breeder queen
 

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I have one like that now. I see know need to find the queen or requeen. The hive is in an agriculture area and my farmer has fully enclosed tractors, so he doesn't care. As long as they make honey, I'll armor up and steal it.
 

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All my hives captured from residences here in Southern California have wound up like Glock's mean hive, once they grew out of the first box. I have tired of it and purchased some queens from Northern California. I never treated, so IMHO "mean" translates to varroa tolerance, at least here. I'm hoping for some t-shirt bees this year--the wild ones have been relocated out of the city.
 
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