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1. Too many brood boxes?.. 2. Angry bees


#1

*I have a hive here in the southern part of Victoria Aust. consisting of four boxes in which there is honey and brood and a box of flow frames on top. This hive is particularly strong so I did a split from it last week. My question is… are four boxes through which the Queen can roam too many? I requeened last week so I imagine the new Queen will be pretty active.

My second question is; does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do with ankle extremely angry hive consisting of one brood box and one super?
I was. Planning to requeening last week, but the bee aggression was such that I couldn’t find the Queen and had to change my plans, entirely. ThYe are bees fromk a swarm, I caught a year or so ago and have always had very bad manners.

Thanks to anyone who has time to respond.


#2

You should requeen. I had the very same issue at the beginning of this week, it took 3 attempts over 3 days to find her in a single box with many stings each attempt, 3rd time lucky on the very last frame (of course​:frowning:️) I left her dead on the bottom of the hive and placed a new queen at the top of the box between the frames. Should be right by Christmas. :grinning: I’m not normally this brutal to an otherwise good queen but sometimes it’s better to get it over with quick and move on. Also if she is dead on the bottom chances are the colony will be more accepting of the new queen. Usually I dispatch a queen and then return the next day place the new one in, I wasn’t going in to that hive for a fourth time in the state it was in.

As you can see above, this was attempt no.2 all the frames are out and no queen to be found… Not Happy


#3

Thanks Rodderick. It’s comforting to hear it takes other people so long!


#4

Hi @Behappy & @Rodderick, there is no need to stress or tolerate multiple stings while finding a queen from an angry colony.

What I do is remove the honey super with minimal disturbance to the bees. Then I take the brood box several meters away, replacing it with another brood box containing brood frames from quiet colonies, with a new queen in place or with the view of letting the colony make a new one. Then replace the QX & honey super.

You could do this early morning, by the afternoon or preferably the following day, most of the angry bees will be with the colony & new brood box. Then you can look for the queen in the old brood box. If bees still attack you, you can walk away, those bees will return to the old site. It is much easier to find the queen with predominantly nurse bees to contend with.

I hope this helps, cheers


#5

Always an alternative eh @Jeff? Its an interesting approach, think I might try it next time and see what happens… I do worry that the more gentler colony will be inundated with aggressive foragers and a big fight will ensue.


#6

Thanks Jeff for responding. So are you effectively suggesting I unite two colonies? The angry bees, with the box with the new Queen and brood which I actually have at that location. I could do this, but (forgive my lack of knowledge) wouldn’t the bees from the new colony I had moved to the angry bee site go back to their old location looking for their box? So, should I add newspaper between the boxes?
Thanks again Jeff.


#7

No Rod, that wont happen because you are only replacing the brood box with another brood box that contains brood frames, minus the bees. There will be enough bees in the honey super as well as the returning bees to look after that brood.

What you are doing is replacing the brood box with another brood box, that contains brood without bees. Everything else stays the same. Except the brood box will be as far away as you like from the original site when it comes to looking for the queen. In that case, you should only have the nurse bees to contend with, while searching for the queen.

Basically during that process you are doing a split. You can have 2 new queens ready. Or one, or none. It’s a strategy I developed over the years to make life easier for myself.


#8

Sorry mate, I missed that part… sounds like plan. Will definitely try this next time… and there’s alway a next time. :anguished:


#9

You are absolutely right Rod :slight_smile: there IS always that next time.