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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am second year. I have 2 hives (well, 4 now, I split both 2 ways about a week ago).

The original mother hives are about 25 feet from the edge of my wife's garden and about 45 feet from the entrance to her greenhouse. We are currently getting angry bumps/stings at a radius of about 60 feet from the hives... which really isn't going over swimmingly with the wife.

I am pretty sure this is just one of the two hives by how they react on inspection day. I wouldn't call them "hot" -- I had a hot hive last year and this is less intense. But they are very runny and agitated and will start to buzz your veil the moment you enter the yard.

I have queens on order for these hives, but they are still about a month out from delivery.

I originally assumed the bees wouldn't bother anyone in the garden. Assuming gentle queens, was this a totally unreasonable assumption? Or should I just bite the bullet and move the hives for marital bliss?
 

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Queenless hives are a bit more testy. You should have them fully requeened within a month on their own and not need queens at that time unless you plan to split again and want a boost. Did the queenless hives get some very young larvae? The ones next to eggs are best. Since you did it about a week ago, go ahead and take a look inside to see if they have built queen cells. Just be careful not to bump them or the frame.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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What Jadeguppy said.:thumbsup:
 

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Aww, come on Salty. That's a no brainer. Sorry honey...
 

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We are currently getting angry bumps/stings at a radius of about 60 feet from the hives... which really isn't going over swimmingly with the wife.
Even with queenless hives, which can be more easily agitated, getting bumped and stung that far away is not acceptable. I would really consider moving forward with replacing the queen. They might calm down if they requeen themselves, but I think an investment in a new queen would be worth it.

If it's causing a problem with the wife it would be helpful to move the hives to another location for a while until the new queens are installed and the hives settle down. She should appreciate it and you will keep the peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Queenless hives are a bit more testy. You should have them fully requeened within a month on their own and not need queens at that time unless you plan to split again and want a boost. Did the queenless hives get some very young larvae? The ones next to eggs are best. Since you did it about a week ago, go ahead and take a look inside to see if they have built queen cells. Just be careful not to bump them or the frame.
Okay, my initial description was lacking.

I am talking about the queenright colony(ies). I have 2 colonies closer to the house (and by my wife's garden) and now 2 colonies further back on the property.

The queenless side of the split went about 100ft back on the property.

And the jerkiness of my "hiveA" has been going on for several weeks prior to the split. I had hoped that splitting would have settled them down, but it looks like that's not going to be the case.

And yes, the queenless hives got eggs and young larvae. One of them even had about a 5 day old queen cell being built. I'm planning on going through the splits tomorrow and culling any extra QC's. Hopefully, the split from my "nice hive" will have enough QCs that I can move some over to the split from my jerky hive (and cull the jerky cells).
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For marital harmony, I suspect I will be moving the queenright colonies back with the splits (and requeening). I know I am violating the 3ft/3miles rule. I am planning on piling limbs on the front for reorientation and -- if it makes sense, putting a small catch hive in it's old position to catch returning foragers.
 

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Sylvester, you are in AHB territory. Soumds like one of the hives picked up some of those genetics, maybe during a supercedure. Get yourself a queen from somewhere and pinch that one. Do not wait a month or you will end up with hot bees into the summer.
 

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I have a few of what I call mean hives. No fun to work with bees flying up my sleeves and up in my veil but even then they were only like that when I went into them. In 5 years I've only been randomly stung in the bee yard a time or two. I agree, bees that will fly that far from the hive to nail you is not good. If it gets to where I have to tape my wrists and ankles and wear double gloves to work with my bees... I won't be doing it much longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sylvester, you are in AHB territory. Soumds like one of the hives picked up some of those genetics, maybe during a supercedure. Get yourself a queen from somewhere and pinch that one. Do not wait a month or you will end up with hot bees into the summer.
I had SERIOUSLY mean bees at the beginning of last spring. They were ferals that I caught and they turned mean when spring buildup started. It was MUCH worse than this. Inspections were a fully covered veil and the sound of driving in a hail storm as the bees bounced off of me.

I don't think I've had a supercedure. I am still new enough that I am in the hives at least every 10-14 days. I think I would have seen it (or if it happened in the winter, I would not have a mated queen). Queens are open mated around here, so ... it is surely possible there is some AHB in there... She's cranky anyway.

I will call around and see if I can find some queens, but the local guys I know don't seem to have them this early. Maybe Mann Lake has them. I do have 2 queens coming mid May that I ordered at the first of the year... but I can always use them somewhere else.
 

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I would be tempted to try and figure out which of the 2 hives is cranky, and then move them farther away with your queenless hives until you get everything sorted out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would be tempted to try and figure out which of the 2 hives is cranky, and then move them farther away with your queenless hives until you get everything sorted out.
I've got about 90% confidence I know which one. I can work HiveB gloveless. HiveA has always been a little cranky.

My initial plan was to first move A and see if they didn't settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well on a divergent topic, but happy note: Just went through my splits and had tons of Qcells. I culled both splits down to about 3 cells all on one frame and donated 1 frame of Qcells from the nicer hive split to the meaner hive split. (In other words, the meaner hive got ALL of it's daughter Qcells culled).
 

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so if you get enough cells in the nice hive pinch the queen form the jerky hive and requeen them as well. you will need to go back in in 6 or so days to remove cells created from the jerky queens eggs just in case. Sounds like they superseded late late year and you got a hot queen out of the deal. keep an eye on all the new queens maybe there is a Hot drone pool in your area.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so if you get enough cells in the nice hive pinch the queen form the jerky hive and requeen them as well. you will need to go back in in 6 or so days to remove cells created from the jerky queens eggs just in case. Sounds like they superseded late late year and you got a hot queen out of the deal. keep an eye on all the new queens maybe there is a Hot drone pool in your area.
GG
I would have considered that if I had properly thought ahead. I culled all the extra cells this morning.

I also *really* want to get a reasonable amount of honey this season. I hate to be without a queen for a month on one of my "grown up" hives. We are in the honey flow and I hate to interrupt worker production.

I re-looked at my delivery date for new queens. I'm about 3 weeks out. They seem to be getting (mildly) less jerky post split. She's still getting pinched... but I think I can float another 3 weeks. They are not totally unmanageable when I go through them. They are just not as enjoyable as my other hive.
 

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:applause:
no worries, always 3 ways to get something done.
Maybe they straighten up , and you have queen coming , so you have options
GG
 

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JW Palmer is right on track - your description of them as "runny" tips off that those are tropical (probably at least partially AHB) bees. I'd use a Laidlaw queen introduction cage when introducing the new queen, as the AHB race tends to reject queens of other races often.
The Laidlaw queen introduction cage is a wooden rectangle of 7/8ths inch square stock, 5" x 7" inside dimension, covered with #8 hardware cloth and with a strip of sheet metal that protrudes down 3/8ths of an inch around the inside perimeter. There is no candy queen release hole. It is placed over hatching brood with the new queen inside and pushed in so the wood bottoms out on the surface to the comb. This setup gives here time to lay eggs, increasing here pheromone output, bringing about colony acceptance.
The beekeeper releases the new queen after he/she observes that the host bees are no longer forming an attack ball, but instead are feed her through the hardware cloth.

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Another probable action would be to combine a healthy nuc' with the (queenless & queen cell-less) jerk colony using the newspaper combine method. This course of action should afford you some honey. Be warned though - this gets them up near swarming strength ahead of schedule, so be prepared to split them again soon

AHB colonies can be fairly difficult to re-queen, and I've had a few that required a little extra effort. I Laidlaw caged a gentle queen in an over-wintered nuc', placed an empty-combs super over the hot colony, then newspaper, then the nuc' with the queen in the Laidlaw cage went on top. I checked them a few days later and no attack ball, the paper was mostly eaten through. Honey was being stored in the super. A week later, I found the older (probably AHB) bees attempting an attack ball on the new queen. Her daughters were fighting them off. I placed here back under the Laidlaw cage on empty combs so she could lay plenty of eggs. I checked on her again a few days after that - back to business as usual. I think most of the AHB workers had died off by that time.
 

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Well on a divergent topic, but happy note: Just went through my splits and had tons of Qcells. I culled both splits down to about 3 cells all on one frame and donated 1 frame of Qcells from the nicer hive split to the meaner hive split. (In other words, the meaner hive got ALL of it's daughter Qcells culled).
Excellent move - but you will lose some of the main Spring nectar flow. I'd have put the QC's into mating 4- or 5-framers until they showed a good laying pattern, then cull and combine with the larger colonies. Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wife out in garden for over an hour (wearing a veil just in case) and got zero bumps. I did a half hour of weed eating -- probably no closer than 20 feet -- but no bumps/stings. I don't know that one day is an indicator of all future action, but I do think they've calmed down some after the split.

I've also been wondering if my split strategy was exactly what I wanted, but that might be better asked in another split-dedicated thread.

I'll also keep kilocharlie/JWPalmer's cautions in mind moving forward toward requeening. Thanks.
 

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I had SERIOUSLY mean bees at the beginning of last spring. They were ferals that I caught and they turned mean when spring buildup started. It was MUCH worse than this. Inspections were a fully covered veil and the sound of driving in a hail storm as the bees bounced off of me.

I don't think I've had a supercedure. I am still new enough that I am in the hives at least every 10-14 days. I think I would have seen it (or if it happened in the winter, I would not have a mated queen). Queens are open mated around here, so ... it is surely possible there is some AHB in there... She's cranky anyway.

I will call around and see if I can find some queens, but the local guys I know don't seem to have them this early. Maybe Mann Lake has them. I do have 2 queens coming mid May that I ordered at the first of the year... but I can always use them somewhere else.
If you can do splits you can have queens. Find a club and they should be able to hook you up with nice queens.
 
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