First of all, I just want to say hello, my fiancee and I are chemical-free "newbie" beekeepers here in SoCal with about a year of experience under our belt. I freely admit, we don't know a lot but I would like to ask some questions in hopes that one of the more experienced "keepers" here could give us some advice:
We are (well, about to be "were" after the unfortunate Event that happened today) the proud keepers of 2 strong hives and one nuc which is a caught swarm that one of our 2 hives put out 2 days ago. Over the last few months, one fo the 2 hives had become increasingly "hotter" and we took upon advice of a much more experienced beekeeper friend of ours (fellow Backyard Beekeeper Club Member) that we should "pinch" the Queen, so we did.
We waited the 3 weeks or so to inspect and we found Queen cells and new eggs.
THEN, The Hive threw off a swarm a few days ago, which we luckily caught because it was in a tree in our garden.
Well, my fiancee went to inspect the "pinched" Hive today to add a new Level to it.
A good day, sunny, not too bad, perfect conditions, or so he thought. After he smoked the bees (it wasn't his first time) a mini-swarm of a sorts came out and attacked him in his bee suit. He tried to wait it out for them to calm down, but he tells me they wouldn't stop, so he went to the parking lot and they followed him. I think he got "tagged" so he had the pheromones on him. Well, other people were in the parking lot at the garden and they got stung too.
Now, he's gone back to terminate the "hot" hive, leaving the other 2, and *now* we have to get rid of our remaining 2 hives. (Hence me sadly writing this Question) :(
My question is this: Why didn't pinching the Queen make the Hive more docile again? Why did the bees attack even though they were smoked? Was the Hive just too hot? What can we learn from this?
I hope and pray we can find some sympathetic friends that will help us, allow us to rent space for our 2 remaining Hives so that we can keep our dreams alive and continue to beekeep.
We're still about a year or so away from being able to afford to buy land for an outyard.
If anyone can help us here in the Los Angeles area, please message me here, my fiancee and I would appreciate the help. We will happily pay rent, give you honey, whatever we need to do just to keep our bees and to help the bee population out there...