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I posted earlier about having mean bees on my patio about 100 feet from my four hives and was advised to determine which was the hot hive and requeen it. Well I identified the hot hive. all I have to do is remove the top super and there on me like Kamikaze and follow me away from the hive. But in my one year of beekeeping I have never been able to spot the queen even with my gentle ones. (my eyes are not too good, I am an old guy)The hive was started with bees from a local swarm. My inclination is to destroy it and start that hive over., but how?? also I havn't harvested any honey yet and the hive is loaded (5 medium supers on a deep brood box)Local help is available but I would like not to be so dependant on others. any Ideas??
 

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I know you don't want to be dependant on others, but sometimes we all gotta have help


Is there a local bee club near you, or other beekeepers? If so can you ask one of them to come help you find the queen?

I'd hate to destroy the whole hive if I didn't have to!


LaRae
 

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Yes the article by MB is very interesting. I dont think I have enough extra boxes and covers ect to do what he says but I like the idea of spliting them up to find the Queen. My mentor a local beeman who helped me start beekeeping says to leave them alone until I harvest the honey in October.(with his help I presume) In the meantime I am a little worried about the bees going after one of my neigbors.
 

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GABE--I suggest that you swallow your pride for a bit and use the "local help is available" to get this hive straightened out! Let us know how you make out the hive.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Yes the article by MB is very interesting. I dont think I have enough extra boxes and covers ect to do what he says but I like the idea of spliting them up to find the Queen.

You don't need more than one extra box. You don't need any covers and bottoms if you can find some old boards to use. Put the boards down and set the box on it and cover the top with some boards and prop one corner up with a stick for an exit.

> My mentor a local beeman who helped me start beekeeping says to leave them alone until I harvest the honey in October.(with his help I presume)

I don't think you want to put up with them that long do you?

> In the meantime I am a little worried about the bees going after one of my neigbors.

Exactly.

Even if you just put down two bottom boards and sort heavy and light boxes evenly you should get some brood in both halves and the splits will be much nicer. An empty box on the old stand and a queen in a cage with the candy exposed, and you've got three much nicer hives. In a four to eight days, take a look in the two new hives (leave the old one, they will stay mean until the new queen is laying well), and look for queen cells. If you find queen cells that's the one without the queen. If you see eggs, thats the one with the queen. If you don't want to try to find her until fall, you can do that, but I think you'll find they are pretty managable when the field bees are all back at the old hive and there are half as many of the regular bees.
 

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I'd first seek out the help of another beekeeper in your area - seriously. Beekeepers are almost always willing to give a helping hand to someone in need.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A RADICAL SUGGESTION:

If you're intent on killing them (I would not kill them because this hive COULD EASILY be saved with the proper help, but I understand your dilema), then I'd suggest pulling your honey supers (of course make SURE there's no queen in your honey supers first!!! - best to shake out bees first, but this is a lot of work with nasty bees) then distribute them to your other hives. Then with the brood chamber exposed take a 5 gallon bucket, or as large as you can manage, filled with warm soapy water (dish soap will work well) and pour it into the hive. You may need to repeat a couple of times. This should kill most of the bees quickly, but cover it up and check back the next day. I'd then shake out any straglers and then use resources to start again or divde up amongst other hives.

I really hate to make this suggestion, but if you're totally desparate because you can't do it yourself and don't want to ask for help your options are limited.
 
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