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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I’ve learned so much already from this site and get a real good feeling from the group here. Everyone seems so helpful and friendly and that’s a great thing to have in this hobby.

I’ve been backyard beekeeping for three years now. I have two hives this year and both are on top of my chicken coop. Strange place I know, but my back yard is limited with the chickens area and a pool. The bees don’t mind and it seems to keep them up and out of our space while where in the back yard.

My first hive died over their winter and I only found a huge pile of bees out front of the hive. Not sure why. My second hive swarmed I guess, but I found the queen wondering outside of the hive with no other bees around her. I was very surprised when I found her out on the front porch. I put her back inside and left her but appears no one came to her rescue so I have an empty hive in the end.

Last year I ordered another hive to replace but before they arrived my sisters neighbor had an older hive (in back yard for 3 years or so) that had taken up residence in a big upside down pot that she wanted removed. I was able to go pick them up and installed them into my original empty hive. They performed outstandingly last year and gave me tons of honey. Problem is that they are not very friendly and actually very aggressive whenever I entered the hive. They go crazy and attack.

I’ve picked up several tips from this site that I plan on using this year but I have already ordered an new queen so still plan on requeening the aggressive hive to get rid of the ‘mean’ genes that I feel have made them so aggressive. I’m just a bit worried about the process but got some good tips here from this site.

I hope this year goes as well as the past year and I’m looking forward to reading about others experiences on this site and receiving help when needed.

Thank you up front for all your help I know you will provide me in my endeavors. Peace
 

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It's likely that the colony you picked up is Africanized. You may have difficulty getting them to accept a European queen.
Good luck, you never know unless you try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's likely that the colony you picked up is Africanized. You may have difficulty getting them to accept a European queen.
Good luck, you never know unless you try.
I was wondering about that as well but thought I may live too far north in Texas for that to be a high probability. My only other options are to leave them bee and get what I can or euthanize the colony and start over. After reading many posts here I have renewed my thought of requeening them and see what happens.

Any suggestions would be welcome for sure.
 

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I found this news report of an Africanized hive in Bedford, TX. It was from 2015.

[Added note: My advice is to kill any Africanized hive that is excessively defensive (what you might call aggressive). An excessively defensive Africanized hive can be a danger to a person or an animal.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found this news report of an Africanized hive in Bedford, TX. It was from 2015.

[Added note: My advice is to kill any Africanized hive that is excessively defensive (what you might call aggressive). An excessively defensive Africanized hive can be a danger to a person or an animal.]
Interesting. I was not aware of this situation here in my city. Thanks for sharing. My hive is not attacking luckily but just don’t like to see me when I crack open the hive. That’s when they get upset. I’m hoping that requeening will help.
 

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Here are a couple of behaviors that seem to indicate a hive that is too defensive:

1. After you go into a hive and have closed the hive, the bees follow you for quite some distance and do not leave you alone for quite a while. If you take your veil off, they will come at your head, even though you can be 50-75 yards from the hive. They just don't go back to the hive very quickly.

2. When you're sitting in your back yard and you have not done anything with the hive in days, you'll get a bee or two that will buzz you, even though you haven't done anything that you think might upset them. You can be quite some distance from the hive, maybe 30 yards or so.

To me, those behaviors indicate a hive that is too defensive. I would be worried that some event could occur that would cause the bees to go into attack mode towards a person or animal.

I keep Africanized bees, but I only keep those that do not exhibit these behaviors.

Regarding being too far north for Africanized bees: I believe the Africanized bees will evolve to be able to tolerate some cold spells. Not long, hard, continuous cold, but short spells of cold weather. I think we'll see their range gradually move northward. In any case, it's clear they're in your neighborhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are a couple of behaviors that seem to indicate a hive that is too defensive:

1. After you go into a hive and have closed the hive, the bees follow you for quite some distance and do not leave you alone for quite a while. If you take your veil off, they will come at your head, even though you can be 50-75 yards from the hive. They just don't go back to the hive very quickly.

2. When you're sitting in your back yard and you have not done anything with the hive in days, you'll get a bee or two that will buzz you, even though you haven't done anything that you think might upset them. You can be quite some distance from the hive, maybe 30 yards or so.

To me, those behaviors indicate a hive that is too defensive. I would be worried that some event could occur that would cause the bees to go into attack mode towards a person or animal.

I keep Africanized bees, but I only keep those that do not exhibit these behaviors.

Regarding being too far north for Africanized bees: I believe the Africanized bees will evolve to be able to tolerate some cold spells. Not long, hard, continuous cold, but short spells of cold weather. I think we'll see their range gradually move northward. In any case, it's clear they're in your neighborhood.
Thanks for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Definitely a good idea to get rid of defensive queens.

Do you know how exactly to do this without losing your new queen?
I’m reading up on the process and have a fairly good idea of what to do and how to do it. I’ll be back with questions for sure. Any tips? I plan o using the box separation method that I’ve read about here. Just have to read a bit more.

One question I would have is since my bees are up on top of a chicken coop about 6 ft up, where can I place the boxes when I separate them and if they need to be level with the other boxes or can I place them on the ground?
 
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