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good question. down here the old guys refer to those as 'german black bees'. they were notoriously mean like you say, but good honey producers. it is assumed that strain is apis mellifera mellifera, and some of their genes are still found among feral colonies in the eastern u.s., but for the most part they have become mixed with other strains and are now 'hybrid'.
 

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I have plenty of defensive bees. Once I have raised some queens to requeen with you are welcome to these queens. They lay lots of brood and the bees bring in lots of stores. There are plenty of guard bees to sting you more than you would like. They also are tenacious, they don't give up easily once put in protective mode.

Tom
 

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I have a hive of dark ferals that came from a swarm call that are downright nasty, but they built up and are easily my best of 7 hives in about half of the time of their competition. So, if they, or any of my bees make it through this tough winter, they can continue with their brutal ways.
 

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Still have some here in my area. So of those buggers will chase you down for hundreds of feet from the hive just for being there let alone trying to work them. I don't like having them around much so I try to requeen them when I get the genetics on an open mated queen. It is interesting to watch the color of the bees change in successive generations though, in either direction.
 

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The grumpy bees that the old timers talked about...Whatever happened to the old strains that were intolerable to work with?
They are in Texas. I worked bee's in N Dakota last fall, we work bee's from 4 different states and the Texas bee's were hot but the also put more honey on.
 

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LOL, I've had a few hives that I would consider " intolerable to work with"....

In a full ultra breeze suit, I had to stop working them because I couldn't see through the veil.... Wish I had a video camera on me, would have loved to see what it looking like from the outside....

Anyway, they got requeened and put back under my oppression... I don't mind them being a little feisty, but if they are bent on killing you... They have to go... Regardless of the amount of honey they put up....
 

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I have plenty of defensive bees. Once I have raised some queens to requeen with you are welcome to these queens. They lay lots of brood and the bees bring in lots of stores. There are plenty of guard bees to sting you more than you would like. They also are tenacious, they don't give up easily once put in protective mode.

Tom
I have a hive of dark ferals that came from a swarm call that are downright nasty, but they built up and are easily my best of 7 hives in about half of the time of their competition. So, if they, or any of my bees make it through this tough winter, they can continue with their brutal ways.
I should start a home for old mean queens.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm already working on that! We live in the day of synthetic net/mesh fabric which can be layered up 5-6 times and still maintain air flow. I've yet to see a hive of bees that I can't tangle with. Bring it on!
 

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But it still sucks when you crack a lid and they are like static charged velcro that instantly attack and attach to every surface they can find
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's 30 days out of the year...It's not that bad. 2 old net jackets, taped off boots, good gloves, and a full suit. The only place I get nipped is on the shoulders once in awhile. I do kind of miss the fat lazy italian bees. They don't like the winter up here though.
 
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