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Hypothetical Re-Queening in Difficult Circumstances


Wow, I’m so sorry to hear about your poor dog Martha!


I gathered that it’s best to requeen with local beekeepers queens as the local genetics will produce a gentler hive mentality. Distant hive queen genetics cause a gene throwback to a more hostile bee. Maybe I didn’t say that well but that’s what I’ve gathered.


I got interrupted while watching this. Where did he place the new hive? On top of the other one? I got the theory but not in completion and he didn’t finish the video with placement of the new hive. Thanks for sharing that! :smiley: That was interesting.


I don’t think that is totally accurate. If you buy a mated queen from a reputable breeder, the offspring will usually be pretty predictable. Most of my current queens are from Hawaii - pretty far from me, and the workers are fabulous. :wink:

However, I think probably what you are referring to is something that many people (including me and @Dee) have experienced. If you buy a nice queen (say a Buckfast or a Caucasian), her offspring are great. However, if she gets superseded or swarms, her F1 (daughter queens) may be a little more unpredictable, and the F2 queens (granddaughters) can be downright evil in their workers’ attitudes.


simplified nicely. Some of our highly educated explain things in circles and one can miss the point. I like the KISS method. :smiley:


From our experience (and what I’ve read), in addition to the feral hives limited space keeping varroa at bay, when moving a feral colony into an apiary, the bees need to be allowed to draw their own comb, or be given previously-drawn natural comb; otherwise you are just inviting trouble.


Just so you don’t all think I have forgotten that I would tell you what we have done, we will be completing the final stages of our plan at the end of this week (weather permitting), and soon after that, we will give you a blow-by-blow account of what we did.



I completely agree with you. I can tell you that if I asked our neighbors, they would say the only only satisfactory solution is the removal of our bees and all bees within 2 miles. Of course they will never get their wish, partly because of the large number of feral hives in older homes around here.

However, we would like to make it so that we are reasonably confident that our own hives are not the source of the irritation. In the past, our bees have been so docile, that our gardeners can use leaf-blowers and chain saws within a few feet of the hive with no issues. If we can’t get back to that, we will stop beekeeping in this location.


Well, I think this is probably outside the scope of expertise of most of us hobby beekeepers. However, I have a perspective which might help.

Think about dogs. Domesticated true-bred dogs. On the whole, you can rely on their nature. They may be protective as a breed, or affectionate, or intelligent. On the whole, if you select that purebred line for a pet, you will get more-or-less what you are expecting. However, purebreds come with genetic vulnerabilities, like dislocating kneecaps (many miniature breeds), dislocating hips (labradors) and a host of other neurological, kidney and immune problems in various breeds.

Once you cross breed them, the incidence of these problems decreases. The individual dog from a cross breed (mutt) may be a lot more healthy and resistant to a variety of health issues. However, they can also be very unpredictable in their behavior/nature. They may be much more aggressive, untrainable and generally crazy than you might expect. They might not, but it is all a matter of luck.

My mother has a Shih-Tzu / Poodle hybrid dog. She was very lucky. The dog has the intelligence of the Poodle, and the affection with quiet confidence of the Shih-Tzu. However, it also has the eye-weeping of the Shih-Tzu and the kneecap dislocation of the Poodle. It was very hard to house train, and at 18 months old, still has occasional accidents for unknown reasons.

I think the same happens with wild-bred bees. You are at the mercy of the genetics. You might be lucky, but you just can’t tell. If you are a very urban beekeeper, you are probably far better off not relying on wild genetics, unless your neighbours are very understanding.


Phew. What a marathon. Do you know, after reading through all this I feel blessed that my nearest neighbour is half a mile away


Mine are like that too. When dealing with disgruntled neighbors they act like there is a monster in the closet and there is no appeasement except their own way. In this aspect people are mean. I lived on a farm and my neighbors black angus bull had an affinity for the paint on my new Webber grill ( he licked it off). No amount of polite requests drove this neighbor to fix the fence. I fixed it. So yes neighbors and animals can be stress. I hope your bee adjustments work to great success. I anticipate hearing your remedy.


Even Africanized bees?


Lots of people live pretty miserable lives, they can’t deal with anything that interferes with their misery.

Our next door neighbor is in his mid-late 80’s. He makes a bit of noise with power tools from time to time working on projects for his grand kids. Three times the miserable bloke behind him drove around to ask him to keep the noise down.

The people behind me complained about the noise I make repairing bee boxes etc. While the lady was complaining, she included the bloke next door’s noise. It interfered with their afternoon nap.

You/we can have a great lot of neighbors, it just takes one or two to spoil it for everyone.

In the 30 years I’ve kept bees, I’ve never had a sign displaying “honey for sale”. For the reason that it just takes one jealous neighbor to make trouble.


Yup, I’m playing opossum in my neighborhood.


I’ve been thinking since my post that it could be me & my next door neighbor that are the two “neighbors from hell”.

One thing I don’t do is give neighbors honey to keep them quiet. I sell it to them for the same cheap price as anyone else.

The miserable bloke who complained 3 times about the man next door bought some honey from me for the first time recently. Two things he said was “I can’t believe how cheap your honey is”, the other thing was, “you have a lot more bees than I realized”.

Now he has a dilemma: I want to complain about the bees, but at the same time I want cheap honey. It must be torturing him. We know he complains to the council about trivial things.


Especially Africanized bees. They can make a queen in 16 days, and swarm far more often than European bees. :open_mouth:


Your neighbor reminds me a lot of mine, Jeff. It is funny how there is always one like this in every neighborhood. Our local crank doesn’t bother speaking to us, just makes his formal complaints straight to the township and police. Once it was that carpenter ants were breeding in our woodpile and would come and destroy his home. Another time our 12 year old daughter’s birthday party in the backyward was raided by police - who were quickly embarrassed & apologetic to see how the man who called in this “rager” had exaggerated :roll_eyes:

We can’t seem to do anything right I suppose, and he can call complaints all he likes without penalty. So, I try to live by something my granny liked to say - the best revenge is living well.


Hi Eva, I like your granny’s advice.

I guess there is one consolation that every complaint would be recorded. The people taking the complaint, I’m assuming will quickly see on the computer that this person is a serial complainer. :slight_smile:


that’s a corker of a post jeff! I have a nasty landlord who didn’t care at all that I had bees- and walked up close to my hives seemingly unfased. He said that line I keep hearing, ‘the bees are in trouble’… then- a month or two later when we had a disagreement about him not doing any basic fundamental repairs on the property in a timely manner- suddenly- he really cared about the bees. He demanded they I take a first aid course- and carry an epi-pen at all times: within two weeks- for the safety of the ‘neighbors’. These are the same neighbors who’s landlord he tried to convince to evict so the two landlords could redevelop the properties into townhouses… luckily both landlords were to greedy to ever come to any arrangement (touch wood)- as each tried to get the better of the other- and also luckily- my bees haven’t bothered anyone at all to date. I called the landlords bluff and said I am not getting an epi-pen- or doing a first aid course- and he can terminate the lease if he wants to. His laziness and greed overcame his petty vindictiveness- and I havn’t heard from him for a year…

but bees definitely can become a thing that people will try and use against you- if it suits their misery.


Yes I agree Jack.

A first aid course wont go astray. An epi pen is not that easy to acquire, so I found out. You have to have an allergy yourself.

As far as neighbors are concerned, sometimes we have to bite our tongue to try & keep the peace.

The miserable bloke I was talking about drove around to pay me a visit to demand that I tidy up my back corner where I have bananas growing near his fence. He reckons he saw a rat. It was the first time I met him. He also told me that a bunch of bananas was coloring up, which I didn’t know about. I thanked him & passed over a hand of bananas to his wife the following day. I did a little tidy up without going overboard.