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I live in Pennsylvania and have one hive but will be increasing to seven. My one colony now is super agressive and can explode from the hive in seconds. I was trying to put the mouse gaurd on today and the second it touched the landing board two to three hundred bees flooded out of the hive. should i just no put it on and just requeen next year. Or should i keep trying? - Doug
 

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Where did you get your bees from? 200-300 bees flooding out just by touching the front is excessive by any standard I am familiar with. I suspect you may have Africanized colony (AHB), or if not one certainly overly defensive. If they are AHB they likely will not survive the winter as AHB do not cluster sufficiently for your area. If, however they are just overly aggressive go to Michael Bush's web site for suggestions on how to divide and conquer. Good luck.
 

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IMO it's too late in the year to do anything good for them... and it's very doubtful that it's an AHB colony since it's up in PA... unless these bees came from way down south.

My advise would be to wait until next year and requeen... or don't requeen and just relocate this hive to the yards that you've had vandalism problems in. :D
 

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Nothing wrong with your girls........that Spring will not cure! Cold, hive full of honey, no work to do, just looking for a fight! :lookout:
 

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Nothing wrong with your girls........that Spring will not cure! Cold, hive full of honey, no work to do, just looking for a fight! :lookout:
USC I have to disagree.

Doug states:

I was trying to put the mouse gaurd on today and the second it touched the landing board two to three hundred bees flooded out of the hive.
"the second it touched the landing board 200-300 bees flooded out of the hive"? I seriously doubt spring will cure this problem.

USC, you are right, that when bees are on a nectar flow and much of the adult populations are out in the field, defensiveness decreases. But, we are talking about bees in Pennsylvania, which this time of year should be in a cluster, yet they flood out of the hive when the landing board is touched (The high yesterday there was 57F)? Few guard bees should have been at the entrance; however, AHB do not maintain a tight cluster, and what Doug has experienced has to be at least considered excessive defensiveness for this time of the year, and obviously the bees weren't in a cluster (again not normal for European bees). However, this is not normal anytime of the year.

If this happens when the weather is warm then I would suspect the colony is being aggravated by varmits/robbing/etc. (although I would still consider the above defensiveness excessive), but when max. temperatures are 57F! Notice in my original post the first thing I asked was "Where did you get your bees from?" SgtMaj. comments are justified as he qualified his statement with "unless these bees came from way down south". However, AHB are notorious for thumbing rides well outside of their geographical limitations.

Kindest regards
Danny
 

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Bricks make good entrance reducers... I'd smoke them moderately, not heavily, and put on the mouse guard and plan to requeen in the spring before they start building up. Once you see drones flying, you can even dispose of the old queen and let them raise a new one if you can't get a queen.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
 

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I would suspect the colony is being aggravated by varmits/robbing/etc.
I had a yard that went mean on me this summer and after I removed 8 coons they were all better :applause: death to the varmets :applause:
 

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I wouldn't assume that they are "super aggressive" quite yet; at least not so much that you can't work them during the spring/summer. With one hive, you have nothing to compare them with. Do you mean they were aggressive at other times this year?

This has been my experience: If the temperature is just cold enough for the bees to be in cluster [starting to] and they are close to the bottom board, it doesn't take much to disturb them when putting mouse guards on and quite a few will come out and be aggressive. Some of my hives that did this were fine the next spring/summer.

Putting mouse guards on sometimes requires good timing. A late fall day when the temperature allows the bees to be normally active, but not so late that mice have already gotten into the hive [or trying to] on cold nights. When it gets colder, try again, use some smoke, wear protection. See how they behave in the spring.
 

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USC I have to disagree.

Doug states:



"the second it touched the landing board 200-300 bees flooded out of the hive"? I seriously doubt spring will cure this problem.

USC, you are right, that when bees are on a nectar flow and much of the adult populations are out in the field, defensiveness decreases. But, we are talking about bees in Pennsylvania, which this time of year should be in a cluster, yet they flood out of the hive when the landing board is touched (The high yesterday there was 57F)? Few guard bees should have been at the entrance; however, AHB do not maintain a tight cluster, and what Doug has experienced has to be at least considered excessive defensiveness for this time of the year, and obviously the bees weren't in a cluster (again not normal for European bees). However, this is not normal anytime of the year.

If this happens when the weather is warm then I would suspect the colony is being aggravated by varmits/robbing/etc. (although I would still consider the above defensiveness excessive), but when max. temperatures are 57F! Notice in my original post the first thing I asked was "Where did you get your bees from?" SgtMaj. comments are justified as he qualified his statement with "unless these bees came from way down south". However, AHB are notorious for thumbing rides well outside of their geographical limitations.

Kindest regards
Danny
It was 52 here and the bees were flying a lot. I have seen my bees flying in the 40s on a sunny day. I waited till dark and an very clod recently to put on the entrance reducers because they came out angry.

I'll stand by my prediction.
 

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Do you really think a mouse would stay more than a minute?
Wow, I'll just say I'm glad not to have bees like that!
 

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I had a hot hive that later tested to be AHB, in Ct. The package came from La. and was normal in every way. When they built up they were too aggressive to keep around. I eventually destroyed them. It really doesn't matter if they are AHB or not, if they are hot. Best to get rid of them as they will take the fun out of beekeeping.
The way it happens is that the queen may have been bred by AHB drones. Her offspring, a month later will be AHB. They get hotter as they build.
Consider the drones. If they are hot bees and you keep them long enough in the spring for the colony to put out drones...you are polluting the area for yourself and others that want to raise queens.
They winter in some cold areas in South America. I've never heard that they don't cluster, just that they don't store much honey, putting all effort into brood and swarming. In nature they may not have a big enough cluster to keep warm.
Consider. If you dump them out in the snow now you will have nice clean comb for next year. If you just let them die, you'll have a lot of dead bees in that comb. If you requeen in the spring, it takes a month for the new queen to replace angry bees with her own bees. It's the older bees that attack; they'll all be older in spring.
The danger of a stinging incident and what it would do to you and beekeeping in general would be enough for me. Once you have the equipment, bees are the cheapest item on the list. You need to spend for a queen anyway.


dickm
 

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thanks guys for all the helpful tips. I would have responded sooner but i was at school. So i guess first off this is my only hive, but a few friends also have hives and we all check them together. The bees actually are from texas if i remember correctly. I got the package from Drapper bee a company based here in pennsylvania; however i don't believe they sell buckfast bees which is my type of hive. Unfortunately this is not the first time it happened. Not last check but the check before then i was trying to put medication on the hives top bars. I tried to take off the top super and of course they fully propolised and connected all the frames with comb. I was all alone with literally thousands of bees flying around me and tons of them on the landing board in a huge clump of probably a thousand or so bees. I took a video of it to ill try to post if there is a way to, or put it on youtube then do it or something like that. BUt its just ridiculous almost takes the fun out of bee keeping, Almost but does not. So i think i will probably just replace queen. If i just kill the old one how much will honey production be affected and build up and such. Thanks a lot guys. - doug
 

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If i just kill the old one how much will honey production be affected and build up and such. Thanks a lot guys. - doug
They are not producing honey or building up this time of year, they are consuming honey.
I would kill off the hive now, before they eat up all they stores, that way a new package in the spring will be on the fast track to a great year.

We have a real cold front working its way down, when it gets really cold go out and shake them out of the hive.
 

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Doug,
I would not suggest that you just kill the queen. This is not good practice as you'll get an emergency queen which may be poor. In addition you will be breeding from an agressive mother which is not a good idea. Also a queenless hive can be even MORE agressive!
I suggest you obtain a queen at the right time of year - ideally a locally rasied one - and introduce her whilst keeping the old queen and a couple of frames in a nuc as a fall back incase the new queen is not accepted.

Handling can also have an affect. See this thread here from post number 8.

http://www.britishbee.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=3391

Your bees shouldn't be as agressive as you describe, it's no fun!

Adam
 

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I noticed in the video when you were cracking open the hive from the top brood box you squished more than a few bees between the boxes. They seem to have congregated there where the casualties occurred. I know that causing casualties could irritate them. They really didn't seem that aggressive. They would have been all over you and not the landing board if they were going agro on you.

Another thing I noticed. Your movements appeared to be hurried. As you said it was a little nerve wracking. Slow and deliberate movements are better than rushed movements. Take a deep breath and take your time.
 
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