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Author Topic: bee temperment...always agressive  (Read 1122 times)
SteveSC
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« on: June 09, 2006, 09:46:45 PM »

I captured a very large colony of bees from a barn wall about a week ago.  This colony is so large it took a double deep just for them to fit in the hive to move them.

I have them set up and they're doing good  - -  real strong hive.  The problem is that every time I get near ( with in 30' ) the hive they send out attack bees.  They'll nail you everytime.  I have five other hives and they're not near as aggressive.  

Does the aggression come from the fact they were wild bees for +5 yrs. in the wall of the barn...?  These bees are darker in color - could be a Russian cross.  Will they calm down...?  I don't think so.   Maybe a new queen next spring would help.  By shear #s they're alot busier than my other hives - there must be 50,000+ in the hive..  

Any ideas about these mean bees will be helpful...do ya'll have this problem at times...

SteveSC
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 10:51:58 PM »

>>Does the aggression come from the fact they were wild bees for +5 yrs. in the wall of the barn...?

Back when I was a kid I was hired to super a hive that was 4 deeps in size by a lady whose husband had had died 4 or 5 years before--she was keeping them in living memory.  They were Italians but so inbread that they were black and mean.  I got stung 379 times.  As a result the lady had the hive destroyed.

Inbred hives will get dark in color regardless of their origin.  The honey hope for the meanness is to requeen the hive.  Do it ASAP as the longer you wait the meaner the bees will get.  Put on ALL of your equipment when you do it and be prepared to get stung a lot.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 10:59:52 PM »

It's only been a week?  I'd give them one more.  They just went through a cut out.  They may calm down.  If they are meaner by then I'd requeen.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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Michael Bush
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Apis629
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2006, 11:33:20 AM »

Could it be that you captured one of the HIGHLY UNCOMMON hives of German Black bees, which were the industry standard before the 1880s?  I know this is highly unlikely but, they are infamously aggressive acording to the texts.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2006, 12:15:27 PM »

I went back to the barn where the colony had been before I did the cut out.  The remaining bees had massed again in large #s at the same colony site.  They had another queen they were protecting.  I had suspected a multible queen colony from the shear size of the colony.  I put the queen and some brood \ comb in another hive box.  The owners of the barn want all the bees gone and they were about the spray the bees so I figured I'd face the little demons one more time trying to save them from certain death...all the time getting my %&@ nailed through my suit. The owners said I could leave the hive box there for a week after that the remaining bees are history.  

It's really a site to see - all those bees and they way they protect themselves - maybe it's a strain of bees from times gone by.  I'd hate to be guy to knock the hive over without protection...maybe I need some liability insurance.  You never know.

Is it common to have two or maybe three queens in a realy large wild colony...?

Thanks for all the advice - please continue your input.    

Steve SC
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2006, 02:32:57 PM »

Common?

No.

Unheard of?

No.

It's not THAT rare, but it's not that common either.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2006, 01:10:47 AM »

Black German bees.  I had forgotten about those.  My great Grandfather Dan Smith brought some out with him to Washington from Pennsylvania about 1905 or there abouts.  The Smith's were big time beekeepers, seems everymember of the family had at least 4-5 hives and some a lot more.
My father reported that his grandfather's German's were very mean and would sting at the drop of a hat and not overly productive because they were so agressive.
I guess that makes me at least a fourth generation beekeeper, five if Dan Smith's father had bees.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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