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alancooper 

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If I get a colony like that I choose a good hive for them to combine with. I then spend the winter gently moving the good hive towards the bad one so that in spring they are next to each other. On my first inspection on the hive from hell I will kill the rogue queen and immediately combine the hives together by putting the good hive with the good queen over the old one. Why do I do this?because if you wait until good queen's are available you are well into the season, finding the rogue queen is more difficult because the hive is bigger and by then they will be stroppy again. On the first inspection of the year I generally find that all hives are quiet and that is my one opportunity of finding the queen with some ease and dispatching her. I might get a second or even a third chance before the hive builds up if she is not found on the first occasion. A hive from hell, and I mean a real hive from hell, is a nightmare. The sooner you sort them in the season the better in my opinion! Good luck and let us know how it goes. Mine is all set up for my first inspection!😁
I have an overwintered nuc for the requeening. Thanks for the practical advice for combining.
Alan.
 

MMJ100 

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Firman,
I love your comment ;
“It is easier to nurse two normal hives than one giant killer”

Looks like a nice rule of thumb to follow. Split a Cross hive which is one operation rather than many weekly terrifying visits.

I had two like that and wondered what to do at the time, Now, I have a plan. Thank you.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Firman,
I love your comment ;
“It is easier to nurse two normal hives than one giant killer”

Looks like a nice rule of thumb to follow. Split a Cross hive which is one operation rather than many weekly terrifying visits.

I had two like that and wondered what to do at the time, Now, I have a plan. Thank you.
I had one large previously well behaved colony that went apesh*t when I removed some supers and I took about 50 stings.
They were still bad at the next inspection so I removed the brood box 20m away and left a new box with a frame of eggs on the site. Both halves became like lambs again and the box on the original site raised a queen from emergency cells.
Ever since both have been well behaved. I wonder if the hive hit a "critical mass" of bees which changed their defensive nature?
 

Finman 

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Looks like a nice rule of thumb to follow. Split a Cross hive which is one operation rather than many weekly terrifying visits.
It is not a thump rule.

When you have 15 hives, you may have several sngry hives. Some are big and most are small. Perhaps one is very big and very angry. But mostly your very big hives are not angry.

I did not mean that, that split the colony. They are same angry bees rest of summer. They have such instinct to do things.

When you need honey, keep the evil bees but change the queen. If you split the hive, you will loose the yield.

I have had many one box hives, which are really angry. When I moved hand above the the frames, a swarm moved afyer my hand. And in summer a small angry hive grows a big angry hive.

Idiot rules.... but if you have an angry hive, change the queen as soon as possible.
 
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Of course a queen mates with 10-15 drones and probably only needs to mate with one or two which have the various recessive genes for there to be sufficient specialist workers to lower varroa. Hence, if one luckily obtains a resistant colony the best strategy is probably to use it to produce queens that are then used as drone breeders.
Hi, yes agree definitely a good idea with any colony that has good traits to give the colony the means to produce a lot more drones than others.

I do think though due to the complexity of the genetics involved (& it’s not fully understood yet & scientists are now talking about 4 or more genes involved), it’s not easy. The only way you could pass on to the next generation, would be to have another unrelated colony showing resistance and all the other characteristics you might want eg docility, fecundity. Wouldn’t you have to use either artificial insemination or isolated mating stations to cross?

2 colonies alone might produce resistance in the next generation but as all the drones are identical to their mother wouldn't the risk here be inbreeding and the possibility of diploid drones and pepper pot brood in future generations ?

Guess you’d need a lot more colonies all showing the same resistance characteristics but unrelated, to make it work as all the genes that are known about to date, are said to be recessive rather than dominant

I don’t mean to pour cold water on the idea of replicating resistance but seems to me if it was simple it would have been cracked by the geneticists and bee breeders by now. As you say luck or genetic adaptation through natural selection definitely plays a part but over hundreds or even thousands of years.
 
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Finman 

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Big colonies seem to be able to collect more surplus honey. 45-50000 plus colonies. Those bigger colonies also seem to have more defensive bees at their disposal, so that may have a bearing on what we see/witness.
Ho can you count those bees?

I use as measure, how many boxes are filled with bees
 

Bazzer 

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Hi, yes agree definitely a good idea with any colony that has good traits to give the colony the means to produce a lot more drones than others.

I do think though due to the complexity of the genetics involved (& it’s not fully understood yet & scientists are now talking about 4 or more genes involved), it’s not easy. The only way you could pass on to the next generation, would be to have another unrelated colony showing resistance and all the other characteristics you might want eg docility, fecundity. Wouldn’t you have to use either artificial insemination or isolated mating stations to cross?

2 colonies alone might produce resistance in the next generation but as all the drones are identical to their mother wouldn't the risk here be inbreeding and the possibility of diploid drones and pepper pot brood in future generations ?

Guess you’d need a lot more colonies all showing the same resistance characteristics but unrelated, to make it work as all the genes that are known about to date, are said to be recessive rather than dominant

I don’t mean to pour cold water on the idea of replicating resistance but seems to me if it was simple it would have been cracked by the geneticists and bee breeders by now. As you say luck or genetic adaptation through natural selection definitely plays a part but over hundreds or even thousands of years.
I think a breeding programme is possible using isolation or AI but as you say to retain the traits requires this to be applied continually
 

SWHives 

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If I get a colony like that I choose a good hive for them to combine with. I then spend the winter gently moving the good hive towards the bad one so that in spring they are next to each other. On my first inspection on the hive from hell I will kill the rogue queen and immediately combine the hives together by putting the good hive with the good queen over the old one. Why do I do this?because if you wait until good queen's are available you are well into the season, finding the rogue queen is more difficult because the hive is bigger and by then they will be stroppy again. On the first inspection of the year I generally find that all hives are quiet and that is my one opportunity of finding the queen with some ease and dispatching her. I might get a second or even a third chance before the hive builds up if she is not found on the first occasion. A hive from hell, and I mean a real hive from hell, is a nightmare. The sooner you sort them in the season the better in my opinion! Good luck and let us know how it goes. Mine is all set up for my first inspection!😁
When combining do you use the newspaper method? Thanks
 

philipm 

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I.ve had some nasty bees in the past, Thinking that they have improved in the spring is wrong its just that there are less bees .Once they start to build up they become nasty again and finding the queen is harder.I soon learned that from experience.
 

MMJ100 

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I had one large previously well behaved colony that went apesh*t when I removed some supers and I took about 50 stings.
They were still bad at the next inspection so I removed the brood box 20m away and left a new box with a frame of eggs on the site. Both halves became like lambs again and the box on the original site raised a queen from emergency cells.
Ever since both have been well behaved. I wonder if the hive hit a "critical mass" of bees which changed their defensive nature?
Thank you - most helpful
 

Mabee 

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If I get a colony like that I choose a good hive for them to combine with. I then spend the winter gently moving the good hive towards the bad one so that in spring they are next to each other. On my first inspection on the hive from hell I will kill the rogue queen and immediately combine the hives together by putting the good hive with the good queen over the old one. Why do I do this?because if you wait until good queen's are available you are well into the season, finding the rogue queen is more difficult because the hive is bigger and by then they will be stroppy again. On the first inspection of the year I generally find that all hives are quiet and that is my one opportunity of finding the queen with some ease and dispatching her. I might get a second or even a third chance before the hive builds up if she is not found on the first occasion. A hive from hell, and I mean a real hive from hell, is a nightmare. The sooner you sort them in the season the better in my opinion! Good luck and let us know how it goes. Mine is all set up for my first inspection!😁
Planning on doing this at the first inspection with two double nucs this year, can I ask why the good queen goes on top, i’d pictured doing it in my head the other way around.

The hive is not a ‘hive from hell’ but they are in a nuc and were definitely showing quite defensive behaviour even just standing nearby so thought i’d preempt any situation by combining early and splitting later.
 
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Finman 

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Last season, following increase, one of my colonies was very cross, you might say “bees from hell”. They reacted quickly to hive inspection, stinging and chasing with ferocity. I realised that this trait (?) was very different from the occasional crossness from botched inspection, post-flow moodiness (?), etc., etc., that is usual for beeks.
I will, of course requeen. But: the colony thrived over the summer - much honey yield and exceptionally low varroa.
Are their other anecdotes from forum members that might have the same association between crossness and high yield/low varroa? Or are there just as many anecdotes to the contrary, that yield/low varroa are no different from non-cross bees?
Maybe this is Pandora box that should remain closed?
Alan.
All freely mated hives will be cross bees. A queen + 15 drones. Angry bees are angry bees.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Planning on doing this at the first inspection with two double nucs this year, can I ask why the good queen goes on top
she doesn't have to - it doesn't matter whether the Q+ colony goes on the top or the bottom during a paper unite.
If you are uniting two colonies in the same apiary though it helps if the colony (whether Q+ or Q-) that has been moved goes on top as it helps with reorientation.
 

Mabee 

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she doesn't have to - it doesn't matter whether the Q+ colony goes on the top or the bottom during a paper unite.
If you are uniting two colonies in the same apiary though it helps if the colony (whether Q+ or Q-) that has been moved goes on top as it helps with reorientation.
Thank you, they are already next to each other on the same pallet so will continue as i’d originally imagined then.
 

enrico 

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Thank you, they are already next to each other on the same pallet so will continue as i’d originally imagined then.
The only reason I said on top is because you have obviously never tried to pick up a brood box of bees from hell! As soon as you lift them off the floor they will come out of the bottom of the box en masse. The less you need to disturb them the better! But in theory, with more gentle bees it doesn't really matter!
 

Mabee 

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The only reason I said on top is because you have obviously never tried to pick up a brood box of bees from hell! As soon as you lift them off the floor they will come out of the bottom of the box en masse. The less you need to disturb them the better! But in theory, with more gentle bees it doesn't really matter!
That makes sense, thanks
 
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