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I'm a long term beekeeper but I'm up against a problem I've never had before.

I have a very aggressive hive which I believe to be very dangerous. I've been stung several times by this colony just walking within 30 feet of the hive. I've tried to find the queen and cannot do so. Smoking these bees has no effect and opening the hive creates total chaos. I've tried spraying them with syrup while smoking them and it really did little to calm them down. The number of bees attempting to sting me feels like someone throwing hand fulls of peas at my suit. A one point I experienced at least 100 strikes in a two second period. I was stung six times through the suit and they continued to follow and strike me for over 150 feet as I walked away from the hive. This was on a 70 degree day and I can't imagine what they'll be like when it's 90 and they're hungry (July).

I guess I need to kill the hive what's the best way to do it so I can reuse the wood?
 

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did they just get that way?

I have heard of guys moving a hive like that, in order to lose the flight bees, then try to find the queen, while only dealing with young bees. Not sure on the details of when and how far to move, but I'm sure someone could tell you.

Best of luck
Brac
 

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Haven't tried it but everyone says that soapy water does the trick. Don't know for sure but a couple of tablespoons of dish soap in a gallon of water. dispense with a hand held sprayer that it pumped up well before you start.

Good luck
 

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Any signs of skunks?? Or anything else that
may be bugging (no pun intended) them??

If this has been going or a while or persists.....
Order a new queen. Find this one and pinch
her off. Let them be queenless for a day and
introduce a caged queen.

It can be amazing at how fast a new queen
will change the whole colonies behavior.
 

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O course if your goal is flat out to have these bees dead, I would think closed in for a few 70+ degree days would do the trick (keep in mind I live in a cold place)
 

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I have a very aggressive hive which I believe to be very dangerous.
Most all of the characteristics you exhibited are signs of Africanized honey bees. If you want to save the colony it will take some tenacity on your part. First I would suggest that you go to Michael Bush's site and read about dealing with hot hives here: http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm

I dealt with my africanized colony and won so I have some experience with this issue and here is what I would do.

Step 1: Prepare a bottom, top, and hive box with some drawn frames if you have it. Prepare a spot for the Hot colony at least 20-30 feet away. Suit up for war, smoke them, and stir them up and then move them to the new location and place the drawn frames prepared new bee box in the old location. If there is [which there should be] sufficient foragers returning to the old location, you can then introduce a new queen to the new box at the old location.

Now the older most aggressive bees should be at the old location. Give them a day to settle down and get after them again.

Step 2. Smoke them and try to find the queen again. If you still can't find the queen and because they are to aggressive then repeat Step 1 with what is left of the original colony. If, however, you just can't find the queen [but they are bearable to work] then divide the colony between 2 boxes, divide with a queen excluder, and wait about 5 days. The queen will then be in the box with the eggs. Now you know which box the queen is in. By now all the eggs and larva in the other box [which does not have new eggs] will be beyond the time for making queens, so the box just divided that doesn't have the eggs can be moved and joined in with the old colony with the new queen, but don't stir the new queen colony because your don't want the bees to kill you new queen if she has been released. Just pull the top and place the box w/brood on top.

Step 3. Now, with the Box that has the fresh eggs/larva repeat Step 2. until you have find the queen or their population is so depleted it doesn't matter.

If at any time you find the queen, kill her, wait 5 days, destroy all the queen cells and either rejoin with the colony that has the new queen, or reintroduce another queen. When I did mine I ended up with 2 colonies from the 1 africanized colony which made my effort worthwhile.

I hope this helps and may the Lord Bless you in your efforts, but again please read Michael's site above first.

Kindest Regards
Danny
Now for the Ahb colony
 

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Just a thought. Since we don't have any indication of AHB up here in Maryland, would it be prudent if a queen is found, that several bees are sent off to Beltsville for AHB analysis or is this something that just happens?
 

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I used Michael Bush's method last year to divide and conquer a highly defensive colony -- not as bas as yours but one of the worst I've dealt with and it worked very well. I'd recommend you read his description and use it to plan your strategy. You will see some improvement in a few days with the old colony being broken up but it will take weeks for the new genetics to show up and everything be as calm as normal.
 

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here is what i did when i couldnt find the queen -

take a emply box and set that on an excuter then set that on a inner cover - then set that on the ground - then shake all of the bees into the empty box and check the frames for the queen - be sure she is not anywhere in the original box - then place the brood frames back in the oringinal box then set the box that is full of bees on top of the brood box - remove the inner cover so that the workers can get to the brood - then in the moring after - when its still chilly open the top box and she should be there - pinch her and re queen

hope this helps you
 

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If they're anywhere near the public (in town, near a home or trail, etc) I'd shut them down ASAP. 2 cups of soap in 5 gallons of water poured into the top box at night or first thing in the morning.

If you are the only person they're a threat to, try requeening.
 

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If you suspect AHB, I'd get a bee inspector out there quick and have him/her inspect and take some samples for testing. I've been out of Maryland awhile, but they used to have a very good inspection program. I'm sure the state of Maryland would want to know if AHB is in their state, that's pretty far north for AHB. .
 

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After re-reading this thread, I agree with Ben Brewcat in the need to shut down the colony immediately if they are anywhere close to access by public or where anyone could conceivably happen by.
 

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One of the least invasive ways of requeening is to put a queen cell in a cell protector, and then put that cell in the hive. Allow the virgin to take out the old queen.
 

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If you split them up that will calm them down instantly. If you requeen, in my experience, that often calms them down instantly as well. I don't know why, I just know that it does. So if you break it up and requeen the parts, you'll have several calm hives quite quickly. Which you can do as you like with later after things are calm.

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

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Discussion Starter #17
You guys posted some very good suggestions. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm sure the hive does not have a AHB problem. I re-queened the hive a little over a year ago and I believe that queen has since been superseded. As expected, I noticed an initial change in the look and behavior of the bees when I re-queened. They were not aggressive, then months later I noticed a second change in appearance and increasingly bad behavior over a period of months. The bees have a strange appearance, they have little hair and their behavior and movement sometimes reminds me of wasps. They're just aggressive bees. But sadly they make the most beautiful comb honey I've seen, perfectly snow white caps with no hive propolis. Very clean with 'like new' frames and perfect comb and caps. Which is why I tolerated their slightly aggressive behavior, then they continued to get worse and worse.

Thanks again for the ideas.
 

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Since I've often seen a requeened hot hive calm down instantly and since the new queen's offspring would take 21 days to emerge and another week or two to be part of the guard, it seems very doubtful to me that there is as much of a genetic component as people think. It seems to be a pheromone issue or a failing queen issue or some other thing tied to the queen, and not tied to her offspring. Why kill perfectly good healthy bees who are going through a hard time emotionally or pheromonally?
 
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