Culling hives - options?

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sunhivebee 

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Own them as little as I own the sky
<sigh> I was told posting here was likely to be painful experience.

Killing both hives was a miserable, upsetting, decision. It came about through a combination of circumstances which left us with no other option. As noted in my post above, lessons have been learned and we hope never to find ourselves without the time and space to re-queen again.

Thanks to those that did try and help.
It appears that many tried to advise and help, but you chose a miserable and upsetting experience over accepting any of these offers; how strange; I hope you take a little time out before keeping bees again.
Reading your posts was a miserable experience, and the thought of "throwaway" beekeeping quite upsetting, too.
 

sunhivebee 

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Own them as little as I own the sky
shameful indeed

I have been criticised on more than one occasion for having a live and let live policy with my bees, despite those with an attitude producing more honey and more varroa resistant.
Less fun to keep, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to tame them.

Hives are nasty for a reason...

I have had a number of hives turn nasty due to ant invasions. Generally short lasting.

People that drink, smoke, OD in deodorant, Body odour, garlic, curry, and even smelly washing detergents can have an effect on the temperament of the bees.... or if not one, the 'wrong' combination of the above, and is not consistent between hives.
I do not consider myself a smelly person, but midges will eat me alive whilst ignoring the wife. On the flipside, bees will sometimes ignore me, and harass a visitor.... or the other way round. We all smell of something, and we cannot necessarily smell it.

The weather can turn bees nasty

I have moved a nasty hive. When in its new home, they were like lambs.

I have split unpleasant double broods, into at least two single broods and all turn peaceful. I find this occurs often. this may be to do with swarm fever, or huge bee numbers that seem to make the bees quite tetchy..

elderly queens can turn bees nasty. replacement queen required.

bad genes. replacement queen required.

It is shameful that any person calling themselves a beekeeper would nuke a hive, rather than dealing with the problem and\or finding a solution.

If I was faced in such a position, I would rather give them away rather than killing them. there is ALWAYS a solution.
I am in the opposite position. I rehome (and tame!) nasty hives.

A few years ago I collected a truly savage hive from Southampton. The owner was going to deal with it with petrol. The hive was parked next to some conifers.
When it got it back to my 'swarm apiary', it was not exactly tame, but much more tolerant and easier to work with. During the remainder of that year the hive brought in 160lb of honey. The splits\generations I made from that hive are a little tetchy, but are the hardest workers I have and bring considerably more honey, and drop fewer mites than all of my peaceful hives. In addition, I often use their offspring for rearing peaceful queens as they are more defensive than the laid back for defending smaller NUC's during wasp season.

I believe that anyone that nukes a hive 'because they had no choice' is full of crap!
Ahh - full marks for instructiveness, content, expressiveness ..... THANK YOU!!
 

irishguy 

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Just curious to know when you say you have aggressive hives, how far from the road/house before they start stinging people. Mines are 20 meters away from the road some farmers walk down and the nearest houses are 50 and 150 meters away. Will this be far enough from danger for people if mine ever turn aggressive
 

Teemore 

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An associate has given up on two hives that were trying to sting him when he came within 30m of the hives. I hope that someone will take on the colonies and requeen them.

It is some time since I observed this beekeeper's handling techniques and I cannot comment on how he manages his bees generally or how much stores they have. There are many variables that will affect the defensiveness and temperament of a colony of bees. Some are referenced above and in other recent threads. My best advice to you is that in the event that your bees do become aggressive/defensive and start to trouble people on the road, have a second, secluded out apiary some distance away to which you can move the bees.
 

peteinwilts 

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Just curious to know when you say you have aggressive hives, how far from the road/house before they start stinging people. Mines are 20 meters away from the road some farmers walk down and the nearest houses are 50 and 150 meters away. Will this be far enough from danger for people if mine ever turn aggressive
Impossible to say. I have seen a lot of hives a lot closer to houses and roads than yours!

You can reduce the possibility by have a tall screen\hedge on the road side of the hives. I would say the road offers the biggest risk.
it also may be necessary to requeen every year or two from a reputable supplier of peaceful bees.

As oliver90 suggests, it is worth finding somewhere where you can move them to... just in case.

I do not keep bees at home. I like to keep my home life and neighbours as stress free as possible!
 

Batcher 

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I dont't know if I am right or wrong... My naggy bees swarmed. the hive she left behind is now queenless. I intend to let these bees live out their lives naturally. They only have a very short time in the scheme of things.
Craig.
 

Tdf 

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I dont't know if I am right or wrong... My naggy bees swarmed. the hive she left behind is now queenless. I intend to let these bees live out their lives naturally. They only have a very short time in the scheme of things.
Craig.
if you've a more than one hive there you might as well shake them all out or combine with another hive
 

Moggett 

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I dont't know if I am right or wrong... My naggy bees swarmed. the hive she left behind is now queenless. I intend to let these bees live out their lives naturally. They only have a very short time in the scheme of things.
Craig.
If you have 9 other colonies take a frame of eggs from the best one and pop it in. They will do the rest if there is no queen in there.
 

Batcher 

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Moggett. Due to uniting, I no longer have 10 hives. I need to update my profile. I think the bees are too far gone to last enough t bring on new queen. Shaking out may be the best option. Either way, I will not kill them. They have more right to this planet than me.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Unite them, at least they will have a home, a job to do and a mother's love
 

Mr C 

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:iagree:
What a mixed lot we are all with very different thoughts and feelings on what would seem a very sensitive subject, but then that is how life becomes so diverse and interesting don't you think?

Farming which is what we are all doing tends to always be a bit biased to the farmer. We subject so much of our will on the bees that we can not presume some of the other, seemingly, benign practices they become unwilling part of they are truly happy with.

Oxalic Acid is not something we would do to ourselves but yet we do it so we can farm as much honey out of them as possible, if not for the honey what do we do it for? Its certainly not because they have requested it and we do know it causes them some harm!! Yes can all say its to keep the bees alive and numbers as high as possible but the varroa problem would maybe not be present with out our intensive involvement.

The list goes on to what we do to a number of different species of animal and plants. One may believe strongly in herbicides and insecticides, some certainly do not. We slaughter a huge array of animals in the simple definition of food.

I believe if i had a very big issue with my bees and they were causing another harm i would dispose of them. I am not a very experienced beekeeper and would follow a path I felt to be justified. I really do not believe we should be so judgmental of others options and courses of action.

Andy
:iagree:
 

Moggett 

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Originally Posted by AndyJThompson

.....I believe if i had a very big issue with my bees and they were causing another harm i would dispose of them. I am not a very experienced beekeeper and would follow a path I felt to be justified. I really do not believe we should be so judgmental of others options and courses of action.


That is not the point. The reason for the opposition to culling is that it is possible to rectify the aggression without killing the colony - that's one of the things beekeepers do!
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Originally Posted by AndyJThompson

.....I believe if i had a very big issue with my bees and they were causing another harm i would dispose of them. I am not a very experienced beekeeper and would follow a path I felt to be justified. I really do not believe we should be so judgmental of others options and courses of action.


That is not the point. The reason for the opposition to culling is that it is possible to rectify the aggression without killing the colony - that's one of the things beekeepers do!
:iagree::iagree:

Rather than 'keepers of bees' which seems to be the fashion nowadays
 

jd101k2000 

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What a mixed lot we are all with very different thoughts and feelings on what would seem a very sensitive subject, but then that is how life becomes so diverse and interesting don't you think?

Farming which is what we are all doing tends to always be a bit biased to the farmer. We subject so much of our will on the bees that we can not presume some of the other, seemingly, benign practices they become unwilling part of they are truly happy with.

Oxalic Acid is not something we would do to ourselves but yet we do it so we can farm as much honey out of them as possible, if not for the honey what do we do it for? Its certainly not because they have requested it and we do know it causes them some harm!! Yes can all say its to keep the bees alive and numbers as high as possible but the varroa problem would maybe not be present with out our intensive involvement.

The list goes on to what we do to a number of different species of animal and plants. One may believe strongly in herbicides and insecticides, some certainly do not. We slaughter a huge array of animals in the simple definition of food.

I believe if i had a very big issue with my bees and they were causing another harm i would dispose of them. I am not a very experienced beekeeper and would follow a path I felt to be justified. I really do not believe we should be so judgmental of others options and courses of action.

Andy
That is an interesting set of points.

We do do things to human beings that are poisonous, with the hope of extending life. (For instance, chemotherapy.)

As to keeping bees: I find them fascinating and I like honey and I want to help a species survive in this country that may not survive without human intervention. (Yes, I know it was human intervention that got them to this state.) I also want to be able to make enough money from hive products in order to be able to keep on bee keeping. In other words, I do not have a single, simple motive for keeping bees. I am sure that many other people will also have 'mixed motives'.

I would look on the destruction of a colony as a last resort. On the other hand, if I were to find AFB in my colony I would go through with it.

The argument here is over whether destruction was really a last resort. There were a lot of people who offered solutions. They were experienced bee keepers, so I have no reason to doubt them. For whatever reasons the OP did not feel able to take up any of those offers.

I am sure that the original poster feels dreadful about the final outcome. Hopefully he will learn a lot from this experience. I also hope that this thread will help others take earlier remedial action so that other colonies may be saved.
 

John R 

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Seems to me that the morons who set fire to bees and have all that knowledge behind them that tells them it's the right thing to do need to think about why they're involving themselves with BKing in the first place. It's the sort of ignorance that turns most of our stomachs, and yes they always have justification, the bees are always the worst ever, unsolvable problems, impossible to remedy - shows how much knowledge they have in reality. It makes me sick the way people treat the bees when there are alternatives to the situation. Frankly if the bees are in such a tight space that they are threatening close neighbours then maybe you shouldn't have them in the first place. you'll never tame them as they aren't robots that you can control
 

rayz_x 

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I don't think I have seen this suggested yet in this thread. Foxes scenting around a hive will make the bees very irritable. Putting an effective fence around them can change that within a week.
There seems to be a range of potential irritants that are not immediately obvious to us.

Ray
 

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