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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #12866  by Alfred
 22 Jun 2022, 15:51
Well the planned reckoning didn't go to plan.
Just about to dismantle one of the 9 week QL evil tempered hives and found it was a lot calmer- also had a frame of worker brood.
The other one was exactly the same.
Great result.
Or not because I wanted a good clear up to start getting the numbers down.
The nucs I had split into are now all stuffed so I have put on supers or double brood chambers
Only one downer is that one nuc had a high varroa drop and I didn't have the kit with me to treat.
Flow is definitely back on with a massive show of phacelia.

The nuc I am nursing in the garden at home( I actually bought a queen this year!) now has brood beyond the donor hive,so she survived the introduction.
I know it's a nuc,but it's amazing that the adult bees are so calm- in their original colony they were utterly insane.
 #12867  by JoJo36
 22 Jun 2022, 18:03
Alfred, that electric honey extractor will be useful this year from what you're reporting which is great and no doubt they won't be any cheaper this year to buy anyway??!!
It just shows how their temperament can alter with weather, new queen or just an 'off' day!! :)
 #12868  by Alfred
 23 Jun 2022, 07:30
Yes with inflation at 9% (actually 12 on goods) it's costing you money to have surplus cash at the moment so buying honey equipment could be a shrewd investment even if it wasn't before.

That nuc proves there has to be more than genetics regulating temperament- on a bad day those very same bees would be hunting us down at the apiary site.
 #12871  by NigelP
 23 Jun 2022, 11:29
Ultimately bad temper is down to genetics, but seems to happen in two ways. Certain Queens pheromone can cause bees to become aggressive and vice versa,some queens pheromones can cause aggressive bees to become calm. These were experiments done where queens from hives where swapped to see affect on temperament.
However, the usual cause is genetics and swapping or changing queens will have little affect until all the aggressive bees have died out.
Of course other factors also play into this, it's not simple.....
For example going queenless can often cause clam colonies to become aggressive; something I found this morning in a placid hive which is now queenless.
Ham handled frames and banging will cause many bees to become aggressive.
And the worst case of all is usually leather gloves covered in old stings, this will set off even the most placid hive
 #12873  by AdamD
 23 Jun 2022, 14:00
NigelP wrote:
14 Jun 2022, 12:06
They do indeed accept a different queen. It is my go to method for requeening 'orrible hives. I stick the hive with the good queen next door to Mrs horrible, then move mrs horrible. to elsewhere. If really horrible queen and all the brood gets destroyed, no point prolonging the bad girls. Then it's either a shake out or newspaper/air freshener unite depending on circumstances.
My attempt at replacing the queen by putting her on the site of an existing colony but with no brood worked - after a week she was still there and laying. For the removed colony, I had put a queen excluder between the two brood boxes to make the queen easier to find. I have added a few frames of brood back into the broodbox that I removed a week ago and put most of the remaining brood and nurse bees on top of the supers in the second brood box so the colony is just about as strong as it was before I replaced the queen. The brood that was in the box without the queen was checked for queencells and is above the supers. I'll check again in a few days and let some of the drones out. (Can't use a top entrance as it's a WBC hive).
 #12874  by AdamD
 23 Jun 2022, 14:07
You are correct - a new queen can sometimes make a lively colony calm after a short period. That's what we all hope to happen and often it does help. It can also be the case that the removal of a queen can calm the colony quite quickly - the books say that the temper of a queenless colony is worse than with it's queen, but that's not always true. So there must be something in a particular queen that riles the bees sometimes.
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