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Discussion Starter #1
I have a box of MH that I want to convert over to another breed with a new queen. I put one in last weekend in a standard queen cage with some nurse bees all over the cage. Went back today and she was dead with stinger sticking out of her stomach.

These bees have been vicious since the day I bought the package last year. They survived last year and built up slowly. Wintered over well and thought I would introduce a new queen this year and convert the hive to a more docile group. I fear this group might have some Africanized bees since I have not heard of this breed with this characteristic. A local buddy with MH from the same supplier has the very same issue. Last week his chased his son into the house attacking him all the way to the front door. Mine have followed me down the road without letting up on their attack of me.

They have been this was with or without a queen, with or without food, and at all times of the spring/summer.

I do not want to try combining them with another hive afraid they might kill the queen in a perfectly good hive. I do not think the newspaper method would make a difference.

I have never had a hive like this and don't know of a way to transistion them to another queen/breed.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Soapy
 

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I assume that they're queenless now? If not, you need to make them queenless before introducing any new queen. My hottest hives were mostly because they had gone queenless but yours sounds like there's a queen in there. Here's some thoughts although others will likely have more experience.

Can you try a split? Maybe more? My worst hive last fall was split late. I found the queen and killed her, then did a split. Requeened the two colonies three days later. By then, each of the two new hives were already easier to work although it was probably due to the fact that there was less angry bees per hive. They were also terribly imbalanced probably because some of the worker bees returned to the original hive and not the one I had split them to. I'll have to remember that in the future. By early winter, each hive was noticeably more pleasant to be around on the few warm days that they were flying. Today, both hives are completely normal.

Do you have any pests bothering them? Skunks come to mind. Anything that gets them to thinking that a visitor is a predator? Re-queening likely won't solve those types of problems but you may have it in addition to a hot hive.

I've never tried it but others claim success with cover scents such as lots of smoke or various mixes of oils, etc., to help when introducing a new queen. Hopefully, those that have had success with that will chime in.

Just a few thoughts.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They have been queenless at least since late winter. I have kept them going with honey frames and pollen patties. Nothing else bothering them. I have other hives around them and all others are doing well. We now have plenty of pollen available so I think they are just a nasty hive but don't know how to handle them. I put brood frames of different stages in with them since I heard there is a pheramone sent off by brood also.

It bothers me to no end that I may have to let this hive die but I am very reluctant to combine these bees with another good queen they may kill.

Thanks,

Soapy
 

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Give them frames of eggs and young larva once a week for a few weeks and see if they make a new queen. If they don't, then just shake them out on the ground. Sometimes you reach a point where you're wasting time working with a particular hive and you could better use the time and equipment for a new split or nuc.
 
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