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Aggressive Bees because of Aggressive Queen


#1

Has anyone else had problems with aggressive bees, like I have had ?

I have a hive started a few years ago from a swarm, extracted no honey last season as apparently a poor season last one here in Albury/Wodonga.
But season before, we harvested about 12 Kgs.
I bought a new Queen , from an apiarist in Victoria, posted to us, as apparently the hive which was always a bit aggressive, was getting worse, chased me a couple of times from 20 metres away at my work bench, got stung one Saturday on my right eye, following Saturday, got stung on my left eye, looked like Bear Grills when he got stung on the face.

My wife and I could not find the Queen so got in touch with the Apiarist who would have come and helped us, but he arranged for another Apiarist closer at Wodonga who came and helped, but he couldn’t find the Queen either.

The only negative was, which I did not know he was going to do, was that he took 8 full frames of honey, (out of 10), 8 frames of our bees, added 2 of his brood frames, so he made 4 new nucs for himself, but helped us install the new Queen.

Disappointing that he took all that honey that we have been waiting so long to harvest.

I expected, if any, to have maybe taken 4 frames of honey, or even none to pay for his service, because he was getting 4 nucs with brood, and honey on each of those frames.

As an aside, our Flow Hive, which we had the same results last season, … no honey, … has 4 frames full, other 2 half full, plus i made another small Super to go on top, with 12 x 250ml Mason Jars, to see if I can have any success with our bees filling those as well.

Will wait until Flow Hive frames are completely full and then see if they get fairdinkum about filling the glass jars.![birds, mineral blocks, street trees


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#2


#3

Hmm, sounds pretty greedy taking so much brood and honey…, It’ll pay to learn to find queens for yourself by the sounds?

Your flow supers looking very good! Should be a big harvest.


#4

Even this Apiarist could not find the Queen, but I was thinking at the time 3 weeks ago, to take each brood frame a few metres away, shake into say, my wheel barrow, empty the box completely, then re-install the bee less brood frames with the newly acquired Queen in her cage, close it all up, and bees would find their way back, but then the Queen that was laying would not fly back or find her way back … ???

Maybe that could have worked ?


#5

One hive I have the queen is a master at hiding, always full of brood, but I have yet to see her on any frame, so I just don’t bother looking any longer. I just see that new eggs are being laid and the hive is really strong…


#6

Queens can fly. Even laying queens can fly short distances.

For really difficult queens, my mentor (who is a professional beekeeper) shakes the frames of bees into 2 boxes with a queen excluder between them. The top box is left empty and is there to keep the shaken bees on the queen excluder, not crawling down over the outside of the box. If they are very aggressive, he sprays them lightly with 1:1 sugar syrup so that they are less inclined to fly back up and sting him. You can then smoke them down into the lower box, and the queen will be left on top of the excluder.

You probably can’t do this, but @Dee uses a frozen queen, which she pins to a top bar of a frame in the brood box. If left for 15 minutes, the live queen can frequently be found trying to sting the previously frozen queen.

Queens can be very hard to find. You are obviously not the only one who has trouble with this. :blush:


#7

A lesson well learned in relation to getting an apiarist to help you find your queen. It’s best to work out a set deal beforehand. I’ve been on the other side of the situation. Some people (not everyone) can get a bit stingy when it comes to figuring out a fair payment for a job well done.

The other thing to be aware of in relation to having an apiarist inspect your hive is that he/she could be legally obligated to report anything that he/she finds that is reportable.


#8

Hi Bruce, I had to get rid of the aggressive Queen, so had to do something.
I checked them the other day and stillare aggressive so will take a while
until the old bees die out and new ones display calmer attitude.


#9

Thanks Dawn, I read these suggestions yesterday when i was posting my
question, but I could make a set up to do this if needed be, but hopefully
problem all fixed now :slight_smile:


#10

Hi Jeff, the deal was arranged between myself and the Apiarist I bought the
Queen from, and I thought I was keeping the honey frames.
Unfortunately the Apiarist that came, he did first off inspect the hive,
… must have had other ideas, or just treated me as a dope, and was hard
for me to start arguing half way through the exercise.
You live and learn, 24 Kgs honey we could have had.
The new Queen had already been in her cage for about 6 days, I gave some
water each day.
I told the original Apiarist and he was surprised as well, so karma might
go around ?


#11

That sure sounds like an unbalanced deal. Note he inspected first before taking his splits, so your bees must be healthy.
Perhaps he had to travel a long way to help you out and thought $600 worth is a fair pay? The loss to you is also that your bees need to build up again first before laying down nectar.
Beekeepers need an income, yes, but that was exploiting your inexperience. Not a good person.
Wishing you a good flow!


#12

He is only 10 minutes away in Wodonga/Leneva.

He brought his new foam bee boxes and filled 4.

Very disappointing.

But they are building up again, had a look and some plastic foundation
frames still haven’t been touched yet, and Flow hive nearly ready to
harvest although will wait and see if they fill the Mason Jars first.
thanks webclan


#13

G’day Ray, live & learn alright.

I’m struggling a bit with this story. It must have been a REALLY strong hive for someone to take 4 nucs from it. While at the same time he left you with a reasonable colony.

Did he take $600.00 worth? as has been suggested.


#14

My mentor charges about $60 per hour for inspecting a hive with one person. I think it is $100 for 2 people. $600 would be a very long day… :thinking:


#15

I calculated $10/kg honey, $240 for 24kg. Plus 4 nucs, 1 nuc $100. All up $640.
Just a rough guess if the info is correct.


#16

Thanks Geoff,

The Apiarist took the 8 brood frames, leaving me 2, plus 8 full Super
frames, also leaving me 2, so about 24 kgs of honey in Super frames alone.

He added a couple of his own brood frames to mine plus 5 empty frames,
making a total then of 9 frames in the brood box.

He took 8 out of 10 honey frames, and replaced them with bare frames.

It was a very strong colony, and that’s probably the main reason my wife
and I could not find the Queen, and the apiarist couldn’t either, but
emptied all frames into his own boxes, which he said he would sort out
later at his place.


#17

He was here for no longer than 1 hour, … in hindsite, I should have said
something, but shows the true character of someone when taking advantage of
the situation.


#18

Exactly correct webclan.

Good day’s work in 1 hour :slight_smile:


#19

Did he give any reason for taking 8 or your brood frames & leaving you with 2 of his own? Did he explain anything or give you a lesson while on the job? One hour & he couldn’t find the queen?


#20

No Jeff, just an opportunist it seems, … bloody disappointing.