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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We live in northeast ohio and are first year beeks with top bar hives. We have three hives now that have come from two cut outs and one swarm. The swarm hive has always been a little more aggressive, stinging gloves six or seven times each inspection while the other two don't get stingy at all. We did an inspection yesterday and about 20-30 bees followed us around the yard for 20 minutes. About 100 yards. Today, they are bumping anyone who comes in our driveway and stung a sons friend. The hive is about 20 yards from the drive and on the other side of the house. We have never had this problem before and can't even go outside right now. Any ideas or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
 

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I've not really experienced that problem but If I did I would buy in a queen from a reputable queen breeder that has gentle bees and get rid of the present queen. I would hate to have to kill a queen deliberately but in that situation I see no choice. Agressive bees will make this an unpleasant hobby and will not make you very popular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I was thinking that also, but I am a bit aggravated that I can't even go outside right now.
 

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This time of year the bees can git a lil mean. Tween attempted robbing and lack of nectar(dearth) they are very protective of their hive. 20yards is close. Not sure if your able to move them any farther away but that may help. Are you feeding? if so, that can set off robbing which will set them off too. This time of year when inspecting, staying out of the brood area and just checking their food stores (pollen, capped honey, open nectar) can minimize your time in the hive and may help their temperment. Dont have much else to tell ya cept good luck. I'm a new beek too but others here may help you.
Have you tried singing "Sleepy Kitty, Pretty Kitty" to em yet?? Never know!! LOL :lpf:
 

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The situation that you have with your bees is an example of why I started this thread a while back... http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...*rural*-(newbie)-beek&highlight=rural+thought

Having a hundred thousand stinging insects a rock's toss from the back door just amazes me. Mine are down a hill and maybe two hundred feet from the house and I sometimes worry about their proximity to family traffic. It's not like they can be domesticated or tamed. :eek: As for what you can do...how far from your house and driveway can you move them? If you have company over you might try having a lawn sprinkler slightly sprinkling the hive to make them think it's raining so they will stay at home.

Do you have somewhere remote to move them until you can requeen the colony?

Best wishes,
Ed
 

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First off, is the hive queenright?
If so, are there ants or animals (skunks) or neigborhood kids bothering the hive?
What is the mite/shb load?
Did you check to see if the hive is being robbed?

Once hives are "operating normally" you should be able to sit unbothered amongst hundreds of thousands of bees, even in shorts and a t shirt.

0727141529.jpg
 

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This time of year the bees can git a lil mean. Tween attempted robbing and lack of nectar(dearth) they are very protective of their hive. 20yards is close. Not sure if your able to move them any farther away but that may help. Are you feeding? if so, that can set off robbing which will set them off too. This time of year when inspecting, staying out of the brood area and just checking their food stores (pollen, capped honey, open nectar) can minimize your time in the hive and may help their temperment. Dont have much else to tell ya cept good luck. I'm a new beek too but others here may help you.
Have you tried singing "Sleepy Kitty, Pretty Kitty" to em yet?? Never know!! LOL :lpf:
+1, I have Carniolans that are pretty gentle. I'm starting to get bumped now as well.
 

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Any chance critters such as skunks are bothering the hives? That'll rile 'em.

Bumped isn't aggression, its just a little suggestion. My sweet Carnies will do it too if I get a little clumsy working a hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everybody. The hive on the back deck hasn't been a problem until today. We don't use the deck and it is fenced so the bees are sequestered from the neighbors. I thought that with the bee yard back there they would be secluded on all sides but they are flying over the house and being ornery in the drive on the opposite side. I haven't been feeding and no signs of mites, robbing, skunks, (they are high off the ground) or SHB. The other two hives are perfectly calm. I think it might just be time to re queen.
Thank you all.
 

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Joe I'm in NEO too, Ashtabula County friend me on Facebook Tom Fitzpatrack I found a breeder in Ohio. He may have some queens yet.
 

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Joe, I do get an aggressive hive every couple of years. At this point I have one bee yard of 40 hives about 25 yards out the back door of my business, bounded by subdivisions. I'm across the street from the middle school and just down the street from the elementry school. There are several homes that are closer to the hives than your front yard is. I have local people that walk up to take an uninvited look at the bee hives, and this occurs on a regular basis. I am in the city limits.

Given the above, I must maintain non-agressive hives. Issues about skunks, queenlessness etc, all all interesting but really of no importance. My management plan includes working the hives intensively, as such I am aware that one of the hives may start becoming a bit snippy. It is usually when a hive has re-queened that hyperagressive behaviors become evident. These become evident as single behaviors as well as packages of behaviors. The problem evolves slowly at first but can build rapidly. The hive that is just a bit hyperirritable as the worker population is just being replaced by the progeny of the new queen, may become an unmanageable monster in an urban setting as it grows in size and strength.
 

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Think of the possibilities, what do you do when a local child's father is at you front door angrily presenting a bill for his son's ER care given the 20 stings suffered.

A group of several teenage boy WILL gather near the hives taunting one another to the brave and coragious thing (what ever that is) and one of the youngsters will. If the child kicks a hive or two and comes out with one or two stings, some many say that they got what they deserve. If 40 stings result, the community is concerned, and you may loose you bee yard.

So, what to do?

I have no idea what you should do!

However, this would be my plan. If the hive were snippy to moderately hot, kill the queen, and do it now. Not tomorrow. You can overnight a queen out of Georgia. Get her installed. However the hive will still be snippy for weeks. That is why this only works if the problem is mild to moderate. If the hive were large, splitting into two to three hives and requeening each would knock down the aggression in a significant way. (This may be your best bet).

Now here is where I'm gona' get in trouble. If the hive is wicked and I cannot move it to the farm (my relatively isolated bee yard) drastic action is required, otherwise risk is high. After dark, place a large black plastic bag over the hive and seal the bottom as best as possible. Buy a can of Raid wasp and Hornet killer . Place a small whole at the hive entrance and apply the treatment. Some may say that is a wicked thing to do, but you have saved your bee yard and the bee yard of any other urban bee keeper within 50 miles.

Oh, and one other thing, NEVER but NEVER let your bees swarm in the city, scares people to death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone. I think the thread got a little bit off what I was looking for. I live in a rural area on an acre. The closest neighboring home is about 50 yards away and all the neighbors have been very cool about the bees so far. Today they seem to have calmed down a bunch. I read a lot about people working hives without gloves and could never think of doing that with this hive because they sting my gloves 6 or so times every inspection. Maybe they are just a bit ornery. I am trying to raise survivor stock from local sources treatment free so I don't want to order a queen from Georgia. I got a referral to a local Queen breeder yesterday so I think I will go that route. Thanks again everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Michael.
I have your book and do rely on it quite a bit. I am using tbh now but think I can incorporate that info successfully.
 

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Hey Joe. Yelp, I definitely got off on a tangent from what your situation actually is. Sorry about that. :eek:

I've seen that sometimes a slightly hot hive will actually be a pretty good honey producer. How well has this colony put up stores? I'm glad that they've calmed down some for you. I had a colony that was notably hotter than the others. Originally they were easy to work, but then a year later they got a bit hot. Now...they've calmed back down some. Did they re-queen themselves? Somebody get an attitude adjustment or something? I dunno, but they're a lot more pleasant to work now.

Does the local queen breeder use feral/survivor stock? I agree that using local queens, especially survivors is great.

Best wishes and hope this hive straightens out for you without having to re-queen.
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks ed. Yeah he uses survivor stock with Vsh traits. Looking forward to working with him. Don't worry about your tangent. I found all your information very helpful and thought provoking. Tangent away.
 
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