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Author Topic: "hot" hive!  (Read 5680 times)
Queen Bee
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« on: June 12, 2004, 07:55:42 PM »

My largest hive is still giving me fits! DH can't get anywhere close to them. I have tried smoking, misting with sugar water and they still pour out of the openings and attack us. I mean 1000s of bees. I have not requeened since last fall because they have more bees, larve,eggs and honey than four of my other hives (all started at the same time). But if you can't work them, it's not much good.  

Here are a few things we have tried: smoking them, misting sugar water on them, washing the suits after every visit, putting gum in our mouths, changed soap, deo. and shampoos, using baby powder,  and moving and breathing slowly! DH has to walk 50feet away before they leave him.. They are not as bad with me...

Any sugggest with this hot hive?? Thanks Debbie
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2004, 08:23:09 PM »

I've been lucky over my 30 years and only had one really nasty hive - it was filled with burr-comb though "because" I did a lousy job of handling frames back then, so I probably asked for it, prevenative maintenance can make a huge difference.

I'm not sure what more to suggest - requeening is a real option that might settle them down, is the hive over grown and seriously brood bound (relative to food and brood balanced mix) I know heavy brood is often a good reason for overly protective bees.

If I had the equipment and I was you, I might think of splitting them, the queen will end up somewhere, and with brood around in the other half of the hive, they'll make a new queen - then 1) see if the hive with the queen settled down and 2) see if the new queen has a gentler nature. If "2" is true, the taking and raising a new queen from her eggs might tame the original hive - but the whole issue here gets down to WATERING DOWN the DNA with DRONES from other hives.

You could just as well kill off the queen in the hive that is giving you problem after raising a queen from a hive that is gentle in your yard, introducing that queen into the hive and HOPEFULLY the next generation of bees will be milder.

The problem often goes back to poor pheromonal scent which always controls behaviour in the colony. If NONE is present then the bees are mis-guided and lazy, if some scent is present, but NOT ENOUGH to control behaviour fully, then the bees are unstable in their mood - often causing OVER REACTION to the beekeeper's intervention.

Just killing off the queen really only weakens her strain if non-related drones mate with the reared virgin queen - I think it better to raise one separately, and as stated above kill of this nasty hives queen, introduce the new one AFTER MATING using queen cages (extending the time she is sealed to at least a week) they'll build and destroy queen cells as her pheromone is accepted.

All the while, the hive will NOT have enough time to replace the killed off queen on their own - make sure if you did do this that NO QUEEN CELLS are present when you kill off the queen, you don't want competition with your replacement queen.

It's just a shame they are being so nasty. I was in the yard today with my neighbor, me in shorts, him with his usual beer in hand slobbering over my frames (better a happy drunk than a nasty one I guess) and all three hives were as relaxed and carefree as nature allows. He was even poking a hand at them trying to pick out drones and not one went airborn after either of us.

Often, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH US, it's good breeding and the luck of the draw when ordering them. It sounds as if you do everything right and to have THOUSANDS AIRBORN is just not right - I don't think I'd keep that hive around if AFTER changing queens and letting a generation of bees come and go AND STILL they are nasty - at that point, I think I'd have to do drastic measures and drown them out. It's a terrible thing but living in a neighborhood as I do with kids nearby and neighbors whos car is only feet from the hive, I'd have to either find a new home (best solution - some field where they can be nasty all they want but serve as good pollinators) or kill off the hive to stop that nasty streak in its tracks.

Good Luck Queen Bee - keep us updated.
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2004, 08:58:14 PM »

Since our farm is 80+ acres and we lease 60+ more and have several thousand acres of timberland surrounding my apiary--I would be very slow to destroy a hive but after requeening --if it doesn't calm down DH just might find a can of 'Raid'  shocked  and finish them off! Out of ten hives this is the only one who has been a pain.( DH said he wished they would swarm and then we could start over!!! He doesn't understand that I am still stuck with some of the nasty bees...).
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 09:19:07 PM »

Hi,

You said you requeened last fall.  Was it a marked queen? This is the only way to assure your queen was not superceded.  It is very common for a supercedure queen from a hybrid queen, such as buckfast or other, to be hot.
I would suggest spending the $10 for a replacement queen, this is the easiest and in the long run cheapest way to deal with a hot hive.
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2004, 09:29:41 PM »

No, my queen was not marked. I think I will be purchasing a marked queen soon! Thanks..
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2004, 10:03:11 PM »

With where you are at i think I would be thing African Hybred, as what you have described is what i have read and heard about the AHB. More honey and all that nastyness yells it at me.
Forget the raid, put half a jar full of dish soap on your hose end sprayer and spray them down some late evening when most are in their hive. Or use one of those garden sprayers 75% soap to 25 % water.
Cheesy Al
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2004, 12:02:09 AM »

Al-
I highly doubt they're africanized bees. According to this site, http://agnews.tamu.edu/bees/, they haven't move anywhere close to the east. They're still in just Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, California, Virgin Islands, and Nevada - as far as the US goes anyway. The map on this site made it look like it's very possible they're in south-western Colorado too, but that they just haven't had any recording of this yet.



Beth
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2004, 06:40:33 AM »

No I really don't think that they are AB. I have never heard of any one even close that has had them. Not impossible--just don't think so!
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BigRog
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2004, 02:00:28 PM »

Maybe you should get them positively ID'ed through your agriculture dept.
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2004, 02:17:12 PM »

About killing them (if it came to it) keep away from that Raid - as Al said high concentration of soapy water will quickly suffocate them (being exo-skeleton) the need to get air between their platted sections, soap will encapsulate them and quickly do them in, making whatever you can salage (honey and hive parts) very reusable and NOT contaminated with insecticides.

Requeening (whether from a gentle hive in your yard) or a shipped one will be a reach in the right direction - nasty bees are terrible and I can't help but think that the attitude can carry-over to the rest of the beeyard. Negative attitudes always beget negative attitudes, whether the bees create it in the other colonies or the beekeeper does.

You can't simply turn off your emotions like a switch after dealing with a nasty hive, so it's easy to go into the next hive with a poor attitude and this is NEVER the way you go at a beehive, ever.

Best wishes and stay away from pesticides - drown them in a pond if you have to, but throw out your entire hive if you go near it with Raid.
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firefly
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2004, 04:17:03 PM »

RE: Africanised Bees

I remember back in the late 80s watching the news programs warning about the ABs and how they were going to take over the U.S.  Weren't they supposed to have conquered the U.S. by now?

Maybe this is just one more subject where the expert prognosticators are wrong.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2004, 06:39:19 PM »

Quote from: firefly
Maybe this is just one more subject where the expert prognosticators are wrong.


Ya,  the same folks that claimed they wouldn't progress past the panama canal.
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Markinaust
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2004, 12:41:10 AM »

Hi Guys,

I have a trick when dealing with a savage hive, when all the bees are in their hive close the entrance and move about ten feet from original stand. Place a brood chamber with frames etc on original stand and open the entrance of both. This works as the older (more savage ) bees will fly to the original hive stand and you will be left with young presumably more docile bees.


The problem I have encountered with re-queening a savage hive is that they kill just about any introduced queen. I had a strong hive that turned feral and broke it into four nuc size hive and queened each hive with newly purchased queens I had  50/50 success rate. The queens that where breed from the lava of these hive where no different just as savage so I killed the queens and united the now queenless hives with the two hives that where successfully queened.


Hope some of this helps


Cheers


Mark
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firefly
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2004, 01:58:32 AM »

Ya,  the same folks that claimed they wouldn't progress past the panama canal.[/quote]

No, those were the other folks.
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TEN
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2004, 12:47:25 AM »

Queenbee,

You indicated that you requeened last fall.  From where did you get your queen?  If it came from a queen producer located in the affected area of the country they could be AHBs...  Everything I have researched points to that being the case.  Furthermore having bees that attack is like having a dog that you know will attack anyone and letting it run free.  I would be concerned about the liability of keeping such a swarm.  I know we as farmers, beekeepers and landowners would like to think that no one trepasses on our property but in my life I have never seen such a place.

I too had hives that were very hostile it was maybe 20 years ago.  I had them in a pasture petitioned off from the cows.  They weren't especially hostile to me but would attack anything else human or otherwise upon their approach.  As it turned out the cows would feed on occasion near the hives and the bees would attack.  The cows could have cared less (it pays to have thick skin) and kept on swishing their tails which would infureate the bees to no end.  Well needless to say they proactively protected the hive up to a distance of 300'.  At most though only 5 to 10 bees participated in the proactive attack.

Close evaluation and careful measures should be taken to avoid any further exposure to liability and address saftey concerns.  Be advised should you be taken to a legal setting for any accidents that might occur you would likely not win and could be liable for a great deal because of your previous knowledge of the bees aggressive behavior.

Hope this helps.
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Queen Bee
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2004, 04:46:57 PM »

My queen came from a queen cell from another hive.. I jsut think that it is like someone stated earier that they probably did their own requeening. I did not have a marked queen but will this time...
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2004, 10:43:46 PM »

Your problem with a vindictive hive is the same as I am having. I am thinking of getting a queen and trying to re-queen. I have also thought about moving the hive and having the foragers go back to a much reduced hive with a little brood from my other hives and a few days later a new queen.

With their attitude, if they stay as a unit, I am sure they would kill a new queen very quickly. Whenever I open this hive, with slow movements and lots of smoke, they immediately pour out and surround me in VERY large numbers.  Even just taking off the top super brings this reaction and it only gets worse. They also follow for a long distance and hang around waiting for you to come back. After the opening, their area of defense widens for a while. Needless to say, I am not enthusiatic about opening that hive. I've had hives that have an occasional bad day but this is a permanent disposition.

They are hard workers - just not very likeable.
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Judy
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