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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in central Florida and am a new beekeeper. I requeened my mean hive 6 months ago. They were Russians - not sure if 100% though, since I heard after I bought my nuke that the seller has mean bees and I suspect his are partly AHB. Although, I have heard that Russians are more likely to be mean.

To calm them down, I bought a few Italian queen cells from a reputable local beekeeper. They accepted one of the new queens, but I suspect that she mated with a feral Florida drone with AHB qualities because the hive is still mean. But not as bad as before. Before requeening they would see me coming and sent out soldiers to greet me. Now, I can approach the hive, smoke it for several minutes, and take the top off w/o upsetting them too much. But when I gently take out a frame they get very very pissy.

I did find a reputable nuke dealer in my area with 100% Italian bees that are calm. I plan on buy a few nukes from him. My question is: should I keep this one mean hive since they produce honey like crazy and have zero pests in their boxes, or would the mean possibly ones interbreed with the nice new hives? :scratch:
I do have room to separate hives by as much as an acre, but I would like to have all the hives in the same general area.

Thanks,
Gator
 

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That little separation just will not matter. The defensive hive kept in another location is good only in that it won't tend to cover you with alarm pheromones when they are after you for being close to their hive. I think life is too short to keep mean bees myself but see if the Italians don't produce a lot of honey too. I get queens from carpentersapiaries in Frostproof Florida and they are good producers and not defensive. Consider giving Bill a try.
 

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Now, I can approach the hive, smoke it for several minutes, and take the top off w/o upsetting them too much. :scratch:
I do have room to separate hives by as much as an acre, but I would like to have all the hives in the same general area.
Thanks,
Gator
Too much smoke will get them riled. I put two of three puffs in the lower entrance,wait about one minute then lift the top and put one puff there.
That one minute wait is important.
 

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If you use light or no smoke and take the top off, how many stings will you get?
 

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Have you washed your suit? Seems dumb, but once you smell like the enemy, it may be hard to appear as a friend.

I had a problem with mean bees, washed all my gear and they settled down, maybe I smelled mean?
 

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"should I keep this one mean hive since they produce honey like crazy and have zero pests in their boxes, or would the mean possibly ones interbreed with the nice new hives?"


It doesn't matter as long as your DCAs are full of the AHB genetics, sooner or later the open mated queens will give off the mean bees. To get rid of the mean bees you either have to moved your apiary location or to reuqeen your hives with the gentle genetics every year. Then saturate your local DCAs with your own gentle drones. There is no way around it. One beekeeper I know had moved to a different state to continue as a beekeeper. His area is saturated with the mean bees before. If you want to continue to keep the mean hives then get the 2-ply ventilated bee suit and a pairs of boot. Then you have to isolate the mean hives so that they will not bother the locals. Fortunate for me, we have the local canis drones and my gentle Cordovan queens to raised the gentle type bees here.
After a test of the 2 mean hives all infused with the AHB genes I now know that there are the gentle type bees we can get. There is a post here on I.I. that you can catch the drones from your gentle hives to inseminate your virgin queens. This should give you a gentle option all year long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you use light or no smoke and take the top off, how many stings will you get?
I wear a full suit with boots. Even then sometimes one will sting me through the suit since I wear shorts under it - I started this in Florida in the summertime which is brutal with a full suit. Now I wear long pants/long sleeves under the suit.
 

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You need to break that hive down and into nucs. Requeen each one. That should change thier disposition. You might see a difference right away or it may take a few weeks. That happened to me and i did just that. It worked real good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You need to break that hive down and into nucs. Requeen each one. That should change thier disposition. You might see a difference right away or it may take a few weeks. That happened to me and i did just that. It worked real good.
Did you buy mated queens in splitting up that mean hive? I think that would work for me, except after a while, the nice queens could get superseded by a locally-mated queen, like BeePro said, above. But I think it's worth a try since I think the hive is worth saving since they produce like crazy and have very few pests.
 

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You need to break that hive down and into nucs. Requeen each one. That should change thier disposition. You might see a difference right away or it may take a few weeks. That happened to me and i did just that. It worked real good.
This. Break em down into weak splits. Last year I did one and made 5 nucs from it. That's the only way I could get them to accept a queen. Tried doing the whole hive and they killed 2 different queens.
 

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Did you buy mated queens in splitting up that mean hive? I think that would work for me, except after a while, the nice queens could get superseded by a locally-mated queen, like BeePro said, above. But I think it's worth a try since I think the hive is worth saving since they produce like crazy and have very few pests.
No they werent superseded like beepro said. If fact they are outside in the hives now. Some of them
 
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