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Author Topic: I really hate Italian bees  (Read 2939 times)
vermmy35
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« on: May 22, 2010, 11:28:31 PM »

Ok with that said my question is this: what is the best way to re-queen my 2 hives of Italian with Carniolans so that I have a higher acceptance with the 2 new queens.  I read that with Russian's it takes up too 4 weeks and you need to use a queen excluder with the Italian queen in the bottom and the Russian in the top box.  Do I have to use this method with the Carniolan too.
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givemeone
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 11:34:55 PM »

Wow!  I have no idea.  But as a completely new beekeeper..on day two (ever) with a nuc with an Italian queen, I'm really curious about the "hate..."   and a bit alarmed.
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Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 12:04:38 AM »

ok here is the nut shell you buy a queen it comes in a cage you take a frame out from the side of your hive place the queen in her cage. in the middle of the hive with the candy plug up close up the hive check in 10 days. easy squeezy.
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 12:08:27 AM »

I love my Italian bees, but perhaps they act differently in California.
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vermmy35
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 12:24:08 AM »

Oh you guy's just don't know how much I hate these bee's.  When I was hiving the package I took 5 hits and now that they have been in their hive for 2 weeks I cannot get within 10 feet of the hives without getting greeted by a couple of guard bees flying in my face.  Then today when I was giving them some syrup I ended up getting stung twice and I use a top hive feeder.
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 12:37:37 AM »

Oh you guy's just don't know how much I hate these bee's.  When I was hiving the package I took 5 hits and now that they have been in their hive for 2 weeks I cannot get within 10 feet of the hives without getting greeted by a couple of guard bees flying in my face.  Then today when I was giving them some syrup I ended up getting stung twice and I use a top hive feeder.

Where did you get them from.  Maybe you got some hot ones.  Mine are usually very pleasant.  I had a bear tear into some of them and It is the first time I ever got greeted by girls that had my number.  When I put the hives back together I walked fifty yards away, stood there for a minute and they left me be.  I am getting so comfortable with my baby girl, I believe Im going to start working without my jacket in a t-shirt veil and gloves.  I really felt like a sissy when a customer stood next to me in street cloths while I transfered frames of bees into his box, and joked to his suited friend "do you think I should be wearing a suit) when he touched a patch of brood with his finger.
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 01:38:33 AM »

Vermmy,

What time of day are you checking them and in what kind of weather? Are you wearing veil/gloves? Are you smoking them?
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 01:53:41 AM »

I would have to say that you hate those bees.  Now don't get me wrong, I prefer carneys and russians to italians but I have had hot bees that were russians and carney as well.  The calmest bees I have look "Italian" but since they came from a swarm I have no idea what or where came from.   

If they were from a package they may not be related to your queen at all.  I would say, as harsh as it sounds, take your lumps cursing someone other than the queen for a couple of months until you get young bees from that queen replacing the bees that came in the package.  Then you can decide whether or not to requeen in the fall. 
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dgc1961
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 08:06:21 AM »

I have Italian bees and I have been very happy with them.  The only time's that I have been stung is because of a mistake I make.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 08:11:22 AM »

It is a shame that you are not down here, I run a home for unwanted hot tempered bees.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 08:40:42 AM »

Just do the normal queen introduction routine.  It would probably be helpful to remove the existing queen a day or three before the new one arrives so they'll realize they are queenless and be desperate to get a new one.  I think the stories about difficulty with Russian introduction are overblown.  I read a SARE report on Warmcolorsapiary.com and they found no difference in success by using extended introduction times.
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 09:27:54 AM »

The hotness is not the Italian in them. As said above, if it's a new package, give it a few weeks. If not, requeen with Italian and they will be fine. You have an unusual situation that is not caused by the strain of bee you have.
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vermmy35
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 09:40:17 AM »

Thanks Idee, and Wisc. I had planned on doing it later in the summer anyways so I'll just wait and see how the summer goes and hopefully they will calm the "F" down.  As for the time of day and weather it's always between 2 and 3 pm and it has been sunny and calm.
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 10:58:39 AM »

My Italians are the best, docile bees I have. My Russians & Carnies are the more protective and aggressive bees. If you want docile, I would suggest re-queening with another Italian.
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JP
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 11:06:53 AM »

It is a shame that you are not down here, I run a home for unwanted hot tempered bees.
lau

Same here!

Our bees are mostly feral Italians mixed with who knows what and I just love our bees, most of them that is. Any strain or mix thereof can be hot for a variety of reasons.


...JP
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2010, 11:26:56 AM »


We have only tried carniolians and italians and both seem very gentle.    They have to be since the hive is in our smallish back yard and I'm around it a lot for gardening.   I've only got 1 sting I didn't earn.   The carniolans are a little more protective.

 
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2010, 11:51:17 AM »

Glad to read this strain as I was always under the impression Italians were a calmer breed as well! I have Carnies but was thinking of getting some Italians to compare. 
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2010, 11:52:39 AM »

It is a shame that you are not down here, I run a home for unwanted hot tempered bees.

HAHA!  Great whit Allen!
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2010, 12:16:24 PM »

My Italians are calm as can be and a joy to work (now).  But I had to re-queen a packaged Italian hive the first year because of their extreme aggressiveness.  Once I re-queened they were fine in about 4 weeks.

In my case, it was the queen genetics because they were fine when I hived the package.  As her numbers grew and the package bees died off they became more and more aggressive.
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mvanek
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2010, 06:30:30 PM »

My Italian bees have been extremely docile and in fact let me sit with 2 feet of their hive and watch their comings and goings.  I'm a new beekeeper and have only introduced the bees to their hive and done 2 inspections, but so far, have not needed gloves or a veil.

Good luck.
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Paynesgrey
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2010, 06:56:27 PM »

That's about what I read and hear. I thought that Italians were generally good, unless they crossed with the grey bees, then watch out.

We have All American Bees (look like dark Italians, Buckfast & Italian basically). Very calm. So far. Smiley

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orvette1
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2010, 07:54:03 PM »

Here in Hawaii we can't buy any bees or used equipment from outside of the state. So I deal with a company called Kona Queen. The queens I have gotten from there are so gentle I can work them without my suit. I did get a swarm of russian bees once. I could get within 20 feet before a hundred bees came at me. I requeened the hive with the italian from Kona queen and never had another problem.
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schawee
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2010, 09:17:37 PM »

i have 4 italian hives that"s very gentle.love to be around them.my russians are a lil protective but not bad.
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2010, 11:27:16 PM »

I have enjoyed my Italians. The only time they got ugly last year was during queenlessness or robbing.

This year, I have 1 Italian and 1 Carniolan. So far, they are both gentle with me, although the Italian hive is not too fond of my husband (he looks like a bear).
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2010, 08:40:44 AM »

I too run all italian mutts and am happy with them.  Then again, I had carniolans several times and one of those hives was my calmest hive ever, but then again that isn't much help if they can't make it through the winter.

But if they are uncomfortably aggressive, ie if you can't stand within a few feet during a nice summer day, if they routinely come out looking for you, if you can't calm them down with smoke, you may want to  requeen sooner than later.

And wear your veil/gloves when you work with them even the simple stuff... Wink
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« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2010, 05:31:36 PM »

It does sound like you need to requeen, but I agree with the consensus that it's not the Italian that's making them aggressive.  My Italians are very sweet and gentle - I can sit down right next to the hive and watch without so much as a guard bee coming to check on me.  I have done maybe 8 full inspections since I got them, have never worn gloves, and seldom needed a smoker.

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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2010, 08:27:21 PM »

I have 10 Italian hives and one feral hive, and all are docile.  I use a little smoke before going in, and routinely sit within feet of 7 of my hives to relax and watch them coming and going, and they could care less.
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meade kampe
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2010, 09:32:28 PM »

Vermmy, Vermmy!  When you come home to Ohio, look me up.  I'll change your mind about Italian bees.  My 6 year old and I sit next to the hive and watch them carry pollen in!  One question, you don't stand in front of their hive when working with them do you?  My husband does that and it interrupts their flight patterns.  He's been stung 3x's, and I keep telling him not to stand there! 
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vermmy35
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2010, 11:34:19 PM »

Nope I never stand in front of their hive.  These bees are just plain mean I am going to wait and see how they do in the next few weeks and if they don't change I am going to re-queen them with carniolans.  I love carnies, they are great my first hive last year were great and very mild mannered.
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sarafina
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2010, 11:37:35 PM »

Nope I never stand in front of their hive.  These bees are just plain mean I am going to wait and see how they do in the next few weeks and if they don't change I am going to re-queen them with carniolans.  I love carnies, they are great my first hive last year were great and very mild mannered.

I don't understand why you are waiting.  No amount of responses here are going to change your mind about Italians now and it is obviously taking the fun out of beekeeping for you.   Order your Carnolian queens!!!
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« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2010, 06:06:28 AM »

Vermmy ........
  One question, you don't stand in front of their hive when working with them do you?  


 


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vermmy35
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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2010, 11:42:05 AM »

I don't understand why you are waiting.  No amount of responses here are going to change your mind about Italians now and it is obviously taking the fun out of beekeeping for you.   Order your Carnolian queens!!!

No its really not taking the fun out of it for me.  I am concerned with my neighbors getting stung more than anything, plus if my wife or son were to get stung; she would kill me.  What someone said earlier made a lot of sense to me when they said that it might not be the queen, but the package bees.  I really want to try different types of bees to see which ones I like best, and which ones are best for this area.

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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2010, 02:46:11 PM »

I don't understand why you are waiting.  No amount of responses here are going to change your mind about Italians now and it is obviously taking the fun out of beekeeping for you.   Order your Carnolian queens!!!

No its really not taking the fun out of it for me.  I am concerned with my neighbors getting stung more than anything, plus if my wife or son were to get stung; she would kill me.  What someone said earlier made a lot of sense to me when they said that it might not be the queen, but the package bees.  I really want to try different types of bees to see which ones I like best, and which ones are best for this area.



I see your point.  Who would make a package from mean bees.  A absolute jerk I guess.  I can see an outfit getting rid of mean colonies by shaking them into packages.  Now that would be pathetic but believable.
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