Aggressive Hive - What to do

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rallyrabbit
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 12, 2022 7:59 am

Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by rallyrabbit »

Going to try and give as much information as I can, so bare with with me.

I have two backyard hives. One is Russian, One is Italian. Both are behind a shed in the back yard 100 ft from the house. About 3 weeks ago, the Italian hive swarmed after a pretty bad infestation with varroa mites. Mites have been treated with formic pro. There was also no queen at this time but there were supersedure cells.

A week ago I take the formic pro pads out, and realize. There's no queen, no queen cells, in eggs, no larva, no brood. After talking with the local shop, I decide to try and requeen. I'm pretty sure they killed her (they killed the workers in the queen box in quick order). The didn't ball up around the queen when she got out....

Either way, the hive has been super aggressive for about 2 weeks. I'm talking, I've been stung 4 times 50-100 ft away in the backyard. I'm at a loss on what to do. I cannot have a hive that is this aggressive in the backyard, it didn't start out this aggressive.

Any advice would be super awesome.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1676
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by Jacobs »

There are lots of questions that can use answers. Has the queenless hive gone laying worker (more than 2 eggs in a cell, eggs on side of cells, possibly eggs on top of pollen)? If so, they may be reluctant to accept a new queen. If they haven't gone laying worker, I would put a frame of eggs and larvae from the queenright hive into the queenless one to delay potential of going laying worker & would try re-queening. You do need to be certain that the hive really is queenless. It is possible that you had an unmated queen in the hive when you attempted to introduce the new queen. In that case, the hive would probably remain hostile to the outside helpers and queen.

Shoot me a pm with the address where you have bees and with your phone number. I have some health issues that will limit my activity starting in about 3 weeks, but can work in a visit soon, if you are relatively close. This issue needs to be clarified and resolved fairly quickly if it can be.
rallyrabbit
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 12, 2022 7:59 am

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by rallyrabbit »

Let me attempt to answer:

I suspect there is no laying worker. There are no eggs, larva, or capped brood at all. The entire original brood next is full of nectar now. Meaning, bottom deep is full of fresh nectar in the old brood nest. The sides are capped honey and pollen. Deep on top of that is all capped honey and pollen, The honey super on top of that is fresh nectar and being built out.

So the hive (as of Saturday) was queenless, unless there is a virgin queen. And I'll be honest, I am just not good enough of a spotter with an aggressive hive to spot one.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1676
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by Jacobs »

More information-more possibilities. If your hive is nectar bound, the queen, if present and if mated, may have nowhere to lay. That can also explain no eggs, no brood, no acceptance of caged queen.
rallyrabbit
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 12, 2022 7:59 am

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by rallyrabbit »

Jacobs wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 11:14 am More information-more possibilities. If your hive is nectar bound, the queen, if present and if mated, may have nowhere to lay. That can also explain no eggs, no brood, no acceptance of caged queen.
That's interesting, I thought the hive would sort that out. Should I remove a frame or two of honey or old nectar filled brood frames and replace with empty frames or with frames of only base wax?
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1676
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by Jacobs »

If you have open drawn comb, I would put a significant amount in. If you have a queen, you want to give her a decent area to lay in. The first time I ran into this problem, Wally had me put a super of comb just above the bottom board and a super of it above what had been the first box above the bottom board. I checked back several days later to find a good number of eggs in the upper super of comb where, when I called him, I had been through the hive and had no brood, but lots of nectar. I think the flow may be slowing and the bees may not be as quick to draw wax, so I would want to give the queen places to lay as soon as possible. If the flow is slowing in your location, the bees may not fill the new comb so quickly and give you a chance to see if you have a queen that wants to lay.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1676
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Aggressive Hive - What to do

Post by Jacobs »

Back to the original problem-aggressiveness: If you do have a laying queen, the re-queening may calm the hive down. This can take a number of weeks since the old queen's daughters need to be replaced by the new queen's workers. If you have a mated queen in there now, she has been unable to start the process of populating the hive with her genetics and your population of workers is aging. The older foragers can be more aggressive than younger inhive bees.
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