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I live in SoCal, in Africanized Honeybee Land. I spend an enormous amount of effort (and on queens sometimes) trying to requeen Africanized hives. I'm starting to think that a point comes when it's best to accept you're going to have some AHB hives for the season, and they'll be re-queened after the flow when the hives are smaller (not fun forcing 50,000 Africanized bees through an excluder). But whatever one does, even a re-queened hive takes 6 or 7 weeks before temperament even starts to change. In the mean time it's important to know how to deal with them (harvesting, swarm prevention, etc) as well as possible given their aggressiveness and general behavior. Hard to find much out there besides the need to requeen. Anyone know of good info on dealing with AHB?

One thing I have learned is about harvesting. We use a propolis trap as an inner cover so when we lift the lid we don't get that initial death squadron flying out to sting us and thereby getting the rest of the hive riled up. Then we apply a good dose of smoke to the entire cluster for good measure, and put a time board down over the propolis trap. After a few minutes we remove the fume board and propolis trap, and if use a hive tool to lift up each side of each frame to break the wax between it and the frame or queen excluder beneath. (This step is often not necessary if there is an excluder under the super). This is plenty to start bringing them back into that box, so the fume board goes back on. In a short time we can take the whole super off, and won't rile up the entire hive by pulling up all the comb underneath. Often the fume board will completely calm down the hive to where they show much less aggressive behavior no matter what we do, but this generally involves using enough honey-be-gone to start driving bees our of the brood nest.
 

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One thing I have learned is about harvesting. We use a propolis trap as an inner cover so when we lift the lid we don't get that initial death squadron flying out to sting us and thereby getting the rest of the hive riled up...
If I was in SoCal, I'd be keeping horizontal hives with soft inner covers and call it done - none of these "lifting the lid" and letting the "death squadron out" things.
 
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