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Author Topic: Should I requeen?  (Read 843 times)
Apis629
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« on: December 30, 2005, 03:19:51 PM »

I have a hive that I beleive is currently Italian.  It is clear to me that they have superceaded their queen given she was marked and the one I found in there a few months ago wasn't.  This newer queen is laying plenty of brood and the bees apear to work hard as in I'm about to get my 2nd crop of honey.  The bees are, unfortunately, quite agressive and although they don't "chase" me it's been some time since I've closed them up with less that half a dozen stings.  Now I only open them with gloves.  I'm wondering if I should requeen this colony if there only down-fall that I've noticed is aggression?  I also have a Russian colony that's been giving me problems.  I know for a fact by observing my other colonies that there is plenty of pollen and nectar comming in.  All these bees seem to do is stockpile it.  However, there is hardly any brood.  I've seen eggs, larvae and capped cells, mostly worker (95% ish).  They bearly feed themselves and practically refuse to draw comb.  They also seem to create clumps on the frames as I pick them up and while I'm holding them.  It's been next to impossible to find the queen.  They're also very flighty.  I'm standing off to the side of the hive and the air just becomes thick with bees just hovering, and zipping around me.  THe returning foragers all seem to just join in this mess and by the time I'm done probably half the hive is in the air around me.  I'm pretty sure I need to requeen this one but I'm wondering which race to requeen with?  I need something docile that is willing to draw and fill comb.  Varroa resistance and winter hardiness are no decideing factors for where I am.  (I think I type/ talk too much!  cheesy )
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 06:35:12 PM »

>it's been some time since I've closed them up with less that half a dozen stings. Now I only open them with gloves. I'm wondering if I should requeen this colony

The sooner the better.  If you like the local genetics you could put a frame of brood and a frame of honey in a two frame nuc and shake it full of bees and let them raise a new one and then requeen with that one.  The daughters of a mean queen are almost always nicer.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2005, 09:18:36 PM »

I should say that by a new queen or two. It is not wise to rear your own queen from littel yard. It is not value. When you bye a new, you may take offspings from that and they mate with locan drones . First generation is good. - I have raised queen whole my life but to take second generation is like fruit machine; takes more than gives. The worst is that swarming habit rises upp.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2006, 06:08:23 AM »

Apis,  can you find queens for sale at this time of the year? If so let us know please.

Bees stockpile honey because that is what bees do, non stop, if, the weather and the resources permit.  That is why you will see, on TV, some extraordinary examples of vast amount of  honey comb, and honey, in houses or other locations that are so huge, they are TV news worthy, along with CA car chases Tongue  Bees are programmed to build comb and fill same with food, FOR their use, when the situation warrants. There is no such thing as, well girls we have enough food for awhile so we'll stop working sooo hard.  huh   Since you live in Florida you probably have plants that provide necter all year? Unfortunately there seem to be few people from the lower and warmer deep Southern parts of the US commenting on these boards.

Bees are agressive because you are invading their domain and again, that's what bees do, defend their colonies.  I have found that the bees do not act consistantly in that regard either. At times they seem docile and at other times are very aggressive. Try spritzing some sugar water on them and around the top of the frames, if the weather is warm.  Spray some on your gloves also.

This past Thursday I went into two of my colonies, one was not overly aggressive and no stings. The other was very defensive and I suffered numerous stings, through a cotton polka dot glove, until my hand swelled up almost double. Plenty of smoke did little good.  That last colony had been docile in the past. Nothing about bees is cast in stone, IMO.

Finsky. in one of your past post you mentioned that when a colony bees is faced with the lost of their queen, at this time of the year, they will produce one from larvea that is available, if available. I have just experienced this situation with a captured feral colony, and I think I found the produced queen. The suspected bee was longer than the surronding bees but not quite as long as queens usually are. I did manage to catch her and threw her to the ground without killing her. She flew up and back into the box. I didn't see any drones in the box. From what I have read, this queen??? is an intercaste and will not be able to produce.  I had to leave this hive alone and let it settle down but I plan to combine this medium box of bees with another one and I will attempt to find this queen??? again, before I do this combine.

Questions: I seem to remember you saying that this intercaste queen??? can kill  other queens? Can kill,  or,  will kill?

What size, or, how big/large are these type of queens?

Your thoughts please.   Thank you.
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