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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone remove capped brood frames to control colony size? Is this normal?

I have a hive that started from a wild swarm this spring and has grow to take up 2 deeps and 4 supers.. Great right?
It's now my largest hive and it's getting more aggressive with bees following me 200yards.. This makes me nervous since we have another 6 weeks to the dearth..

I was thinking of taking out a couple frames of capped brood to and moving to other hives.. I would rather have a smaller colony that is "nice enough" than prodigious amounts of honey.
 

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It sounds as if you are equating colony size with aggressiveness; it ain't necessarily so. Removing 'a few' frames of
capped brood would be unlikely to have any effect on aggressiveness.
If you are up to it, it would be far better to remove the queen and introduce a queen purchased from a source that is likely to produce queens that will have more gentle progeny.
 

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Does anyone remove capped brood frames to control colony size? Is this normal?

I have a hive that started from a wild swarm this spring and has grow to take up 2 deeps and 4 supers.. Great right?
It's now my largest hive and it's getting more aggressive with bees following me 200yards.. This makes me nervous since we have another 6 weeks to the dearth..

I was thinking of taking out a couple frames of capped brood to and moving to other hives.. I would rather have a smaller colony that is "nice enough" than prodigious amounts of honey.
Holy crap, 200 yards?
 

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Just like Lloyd says. You probably got a few spicy drones mated to your queen. Gotta change genetics. Weakening a colony has nothing to do with how nice they are.
 

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Yeah, that sounds like a problem with africanized genetics. Do you notice that they run off the frame and form a 'beard' on the bottom bar (festooning)? You're profile says you are from Texas, and that is prime AHB country. Might warrant a call to your state bee inspector.
 

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I like in the North, and know nothing about Africanized genetics, but I would bet you found some! i would do whatever it takes, soon.
 

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Why don’t you make a few hives with that and buy queens like advised. It might be easier to manage too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate all the thoughtful responses. I Am still traumatized by a really crazy colony I had a couple years ago that would aggressively patrol 100yards+ and bounce me on the far side of the house! After an amazing honey harvest, I armored up and destroyed 2/3 of the bees and forced a queen change. I dont think they were afrancanized because they didn’t come out in mass- they were just jerks. I’m worried I have the same thing going on and wanted to avoid it.

I always have found larger colonies are more aggressive.

This year, I changed out 3 queens with queens from Hawaii— only one has survived into the spring. I guess nice Hawaiian can’t hack Texas.
One is doing fair. One absconded and the last one apparently was replaced by the workers- the new colony seems to be nice but is now 4 weeks behind.




.
 

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shaneTX - For what it is worth - I'm just down the road from you in Victoria. Had a friend give me a top bar hive since the beekeeping mood left him. They were some pretty snooty gals that had never been intentionally re-queened and had returned to the more aggressive nature of feral bees in our part of the country. Split the hive into 2 ten frame hives with new queens of known genetics and they have really settled down. They originally would follow for 100 yards, but now are similar to the other groomed hives. That is what worked for me. Let me know if you need a queen source and I'll share whom I get mine from.
 

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FWIW- As only a 2nd year at the time I got a nuc of what I believe were Russians. My first experience was opening up the little flying plug from their nuc (in prep for moving them into their permanent home) and having them chase me from the yard that first day as they barreled out of their nuc box. I vowed to keep myself safe but took the challenge to be a better beekeeper. What I'm going to say now can only work if the issue is not genetics. Requeening may be the only answer.

If there's anything that's behavioral here's what worked in my bee yard. I bought a great bee jacket and a great smoker. I also use cover cloths and a quiet box. A full box is never lifted off and set aside without a cover cloth and I don't use frame rests that leave frames exposed. I lift individual frames into my quiet box if I need a parking spot. The cover cloths keep them down in the box just like smoke with less stress. I use more smoke to be sure but don't have to over smoke them because of the cover cloths. It may seem like more work but that hive is easily twice as productive as the rest. It's also made me a better beekeeper. I garden around them all the time without a veil and without worry, but that hive gets my A game when I open it up.

Thought I'd mention it because your story sounds familiar. Best wishes to you.
 
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