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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to know whether to requeen or not.

I can usually go and sit down 5 feet from the hive and watch them work. Occasionally I'll get a lady that circles my head until I leave, but not always.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do an inspection in over a month. Every time I open the outer lid, I am engulfed by head-butters that won't leave me alone for twenty minutes, even 1/8 of a mile away from the hive.

Yesterday, I took off the top super and was stung several times. Every time I got to within 100 yards from the hive I got "warned" by bees looking for a hold to sting.

Four hours later, my son was stung twice on the face 80 yards away from the hive, and several times I saw bees flying around our window screens, like they knew I was inside and wanted to exact revenge.

I don't want to requeen if I don't have to. Is this is normal behavior? We still have a steady nectar flow and they have plenty of stores. The queen was extra young when I got her this spring, and has a couple more seasons in her, I'm sure. She's an amazing layer. Any advice would help.

Thanks,
Anja
 

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Hi,
Requeen this fall . Hope you have Gentle bees in spring . I think those bees are hot ! NO One should suffer standing over 50 feet from the hive !!!!!!!
 

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Ok, you can "usually" sit and watch them from about 5 feet away, and your honey flow is still on. But you've had problems the last month.

I'd check the hive to see if something has been attacking it at night. Skunks, whatever. Vandals? What happened in the last month? That's what I'd want to answer. May need to requeen, but you'll still need to discover what happened.
Regards,
Steven
 

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I agree with Steven, find out if there is something wrong. Even the queen not there. I probably would order a new queen before you go in deep as I think you just have a mean queen. I would do it now where the new queen can get going before winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The hive is totally surrounded by chicken wire because we have a lot of skunks. The only problem this hive has had is one minor robbing attempt by a yellow jacket. I found a dozen bees cut in half around the hive, but no stores were lost. It must have been a quick death to the robber. Nothing else has been amiss. No pests, good weather, great flow. This has been an ideal year for any colony.
 

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Re-queen? Good grief. Your bees probably mean because it is late in the season and they are running out of nectar. Try wereing a gloves and a vail and use smoke before you open the hive next time.
 

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Is this your only hive? If so how are the others acting? Personally, I'd re-queen ASAP dearth or not. Hot bees are not to be tolerated in my view. Assuming the hive has not been aggravated for any reason, if anyone was stung by a hive they were nowhere near the queen will pay the price.
 

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I have 6 hives. 5 are very easy to work and 1 is hot! I harvested honey this past weekend and the hot one was too much to deal with. There were 7 medium supers on it....brood and honey supers. I expected the top 4 supers to have honey and was planning to take all 4 honey supers. Each box that I took off the hive escalated the attacks....walking away only only helped a little. I gave up and left the 4th box on the hive.

Now....the real reason for this post is I cannot imagine going deeper into the brood chambers to find the queen and pinch her. I have enough trouble finding a queen and being attacked by lots of angry bees will not make it any easier. I have a full suit and would have to layer more clothing underneath because the bees were stinging through the suit. Duct taping sleeves and ankles would be great idea also.
 

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IMHO it's not a regular yellow jacket you have there. Sounds a lot like the much larger imported version that has been wreaking havoc with some hives. A nest of those can easily render a hive very mean. Nothing much you can do if in fact it's the case. Even if you find the nest (which I did) it really takes some effort to kill them, they are tough and the nest (in my case) was in a house. Wait until the bees are clustered (cold) to remove the honey. Requeen in the spring when the cluster is much smaller and less willing to sting. OMTCW
 

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On any given day, any one of my hives might be in a cranky mood. If they nail me a few times, such is life. In 20+ years I've only had one or two hives hot enough to requeen. I use veil, smoke, no gloves, no bee suit, just jeans and ls white shirt.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Are any of you guys complaining about hot hives in the fall using smoke? What about a vail and gloves?
I use a veil and & smoke and I wear jeans and a T-shirt. I get butted and occasionaly stung (2-4 times a month but it's usually because I pinched one while inspecting frames), but it's all relative. I'll take hits to stay relatively cool. I make note of how certain hives react and respond accordingly. I've only got 12 hives and 12 nucs but a hot hive stands out like a sore thumb (pardon the ironic pun) when they are "hot".

As for getting that queen, Cedar Hill has a good idea. I will sometimes power through the inspection to get the queen. If they are too hot for me to complete the task I will break the hive down into 4 5-frame nucs (put the supers on other hives as safe storage for the time being). The nucs, being small, are much less aggressive and the eggs or queen cells will tell you where the queen is.
 

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I guess my point is dont go around squishing a queen just because you opened up a previously gental hive in the fall and the bees chased you around and you got stung.

The original poster never indicated whether he used smoke (or not) and admittedly is a newbee. I am just questioning if the hive is actually "hot" or if this is a perfectly normal response.

I am also a newbee (2 years, 3 hives), but one thing I have learned is that bees get PO'ed from time to time and will sting you and will chase you around the yard. Innocent bystanders may be harmed if they are out in the yard for some time after the original altercation. Bees is bees.

I have also noticed a trend on this forum where everyone (especially newbees, myself included) is all happy in the Spring with their gentle bees and brag about not wearing protection, not using smoke, and never getting stung. Then when they get zapped in the fall, it's all "OMG - I have a HOT HIVE".

That said, if it is truely a hot hive (only time and experience will tell), by all means squish away.
 

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My hot hive is a swarm I caught last spring. It was more defensive all last summer, hot last fall, hot this spring and hot every time I lift a box or frame this year. It is not a nice hive... I have never had a hive like this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nabber86,

Yes, I wear a veil and use smoke every time I open this (my only) hive...that's standard. I also wore gloves this last time. I always wear long sleeves and long pants with closed shoes, etc. but they stung right through. I went back to the house and put on my husband's heavy jeans and winter jacket over my clothes to feel comfortable enough to approach the hive. I pulled out over 20 stings from the overwear, which is in addition to the 50 or so bees I brushed off that were in stinging position.

I know they can be tetchy this time of year, even with the excellent flow we have right now. My question is if this heat is normal...especially following me several hundred feet away and pelting me for 15 minutes, then setting up a 50-yard perimeter of "hot zone". If it's just a seasonal temperament, I'll keep the queen and deal with it, but if this seems hotter than "normal", I'd rather change things.

Thanks for the comments,
Anja
 

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My hot hive is a swarm I caught last spring. It was more defensive all last summer, hot last fall, hot this spring and hot every time I lift a box or frame this year. It is not a nice hive... I have never had a hive like this one.
Well then. You have a hot hive and I recommend squishing the queen........
 

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Nabber86 said:

Well then. You have a hot hive and I recommend squishing the queen........

.......hence, that is why I posted on the first page of this thread about how much fun it will be trying to find a queen to pinch with hot bees trying to kill me.
 

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I wish Michael Bush would stop by this thread. He had a great definition for "hot" bees and when they were too much for him.

His idea to find the queen is to take each box and put it on its own bottom board. This limits how many bees you have to go through to find the queen. Don't put a lid on the boxes and watch each box. The one that starts fanning, is most likely the one with the queen in it. Put lids on the other boxes and look through it first. If it is still to hot, take each frame out and put it in a box by its self. As you reduce the bees in each box, it makes it easier to find the queen.

I'm sure he'll have more to say, if we can get him here. I tried to find the info on his site, but didn't find it quickly.

You can look here: http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Pugs

Pugs
 

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Pug,

I've seen his page on requeening a hot hive and was thinking of trying it. I will have to decide how to time the purchase of queens with dividing of the hive. I guess I will have to try it for myself to see if the bees are easier to manage in individual boxes. It was difficult enough taking honey supers off.

You have a slightly different method that makes sense.....leaving off the tops and watching the bees fanning is a good idea for deciding which box the queen is most likely in. You could requeen the other boxes and leave the one with the mean queen alone....or leave it open to let the bees drift to other boxes and pinch her as the others leave.....hmmm
 

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Nabber86 said:

Well then. You have a hot hive and I recommend squishing the queen........

.......hence, that is why I posted on the first page of this thread about how much fun it will be trying to find a queen to pinch with hot bees trying to kill me.
Dorado,

I am not arguing with you and your hot hive.

I was questioning the automatic "classification" of a 6 month old hive as a hive being "hot" based on 1 bad experience. Seems like jumping the gun a little IMO. There are too many variables that can cause a less than optimum hive opening on any given day. Bees is bees.

If you have plenty of money to blow, you can allways spend $75 and re-queen any time you have a bad experience. I am just not so sure that is the way to proceed based on 1 data point.
 
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