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Discussion Starter #1
So I did a brief inspection on Saturday; mostly to get a feel for number of bees in the hives. After working without a veil for a while, one bee got stuck in the hair, and in an attempt to free her, she came back and stung me in the forehead.

Of course, that sets off other bees... and I take off running!

Veil back on, I finish with that hive, work two more, and then get to "that one"... the one on the end... the mean one. Those bees are a little darker in colour than my other hives. And these ones, while they weren't stinging, were not putting up with me opening the hive.

The good news is, they are nice and strong! I had to get the darn smoker out and spend 10 minutes lighting the darn thing... just to smoke them enough to pop the feeder off the top.

I'd love to re-queen them, but I don't want to order a queen... I'd rather use stock from my own yard. Of course, these ones are mean, but they are also one of the more productive hives in the yard. A split last spring produced lots of honey last fall... when most beek's in the area didn't get much honey at all.

Maybe I'll just put up with them.

5/6 survived the winter. One might have Nosema, but I took a sample of bees and am going to see if I can spot spores in the microscope.

The one that died... was weak. Small cluster ran out of stores. (would have had to break the cluster to get more).
 

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Just a few thoughts for your consideration.

Veil back on, I finish with that hive, work two more, and then get to "that one" the mean one. Those bees are a little darker in colour than my other hives. And these ones, while they weren't stinging, were not putting up with me opening the hive.
Oh, you mean they were trying to defend what was theirs?

The good news is, they are nice and strong!
I have found that the stronger colonies are always more defensive, higher numbers, more guard bees.

I had to get the darn smoker out and spend 10 minutes lighting the darn thing... just to smoke them enough to pop the feeder off the top.
Did they respond to the smoke? Maybe next time just smoke the strong colonies first. Early in the year, when the populations are lower, I often will feed them without protective clothing, hmmm, but then when I get to the really strong ones I will pay the price, and I remember them the next time, and give them a puff or two of smoke; and think, boy they have a vigorous, virle productive queen, methinks I will use this one to do some requeening [I want that type of genetics in my colony, they don't like to be robbed, and I don't either].

Of course, these ones are mean, but they are also one of the more productive hives in the yard. A split last spring produced lots of honey last fall... when most beek's in the area didn't get much honey at all.
WOW, seems like some go getters, kind I would like to have in my apiary.

Maybe I'll just put up with them.
Or maybe offer that productive queen to someone who will put up with her excess honey production.

I'd love to re-queen them,
The one that died... was weak. Small cluster ran out of stores. (would have had to break the cluster to get more).
Wow, I bet these were gentle when you checked them :lpf:. To bad you can't use them to requeen that productive colony :scratch::doh:.

Maybe I'll just put up with them.
Me too, GOOD IDEA!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DRUR... you're very right...

-I am breaking into their house...
-I shouldn't complain that my bees are so productive...
-I should have just put on the darn veil and lit the smoker when I first went out
-I probably will make a couple splits from that hive this spring
-I probably should look at trying to spread these genetics out there... since they seem to do a good job.

The weather is warming up quickly (relatively speaking... our snow is almost all gone, daytime temps well above 40°F), but not much pollen available yet.

I'll quit complaining now. ;)
 

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I'll quit complaining now. ;)
Not really complaining, just sharing your thoughts.

Most of what I said was meant to stimulate thought and as dry humor, laughter is great medicine, and you took my comments exactly as the were intended.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 

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I have one mean one too. And, it's on the end of the row. And the bees are darker. Hey....are you working my hives for me???:D:D

Seriously though, my meanest hive just cruised through the winter. Surprisingly, they have the lightest stores right now. Perhaps due to the number of bees that they overwintered with. This hive was busting at the seams in the fall. I may re-queen if they stay this cranky. At the end of last year I even had a hard time working the hive next to them.
 

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i have found that the mean hive that makes the most honey is usually robbing my other hives. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i have found that the mean hive that makes the most honey is usually robbing my other hives. good luck,mike
Well I sure hope thats not what's been happening!

I'm also attributing some of the strength to drift. My hives are in a line, and the two outer hives are strongest.
 

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Ok my experience in my short time as a beek. In the spring they are real defensive. Your messing with their food,disrupting what they have kept together all winter and are just irritating the mess out of them. My best hive by far is the meanest one. They are darker in color also. They produce the most honey and build up the quickest. The queen,which I have never been able to find is so skinny she can get through an excluder. Anyhow, good luck and always wear the veil to protect your eyes. Good luck Peace Dave
 
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