Dealing with an apairy of too-defensive colonies

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Today I had to deal with a hive that has gone maverick! It's queen less and I had to get in to tear down all the remaining queen cells. They were all over my wrists ankles and vail so in the end I retreated, sprayed my suit with Bee Quick and returned to the fray. The bees were still wanting to attack me but kept at a distance from all the areas I'd sprayed.
Now, how do I requeen? I have a spare mated queen in a cage waiting for a hive to reign over but what is the best way to introduce her? I was thinking tomorrow morning (12 hrs after becoming hopelessly queenless) I would pop the cage in and see what they thought of her?
Suggestions please?
It's still in the future for me, so it would be good if you'd get back to us to let us know what you've decided and you got on. Push in cages haven't always worked for me in the past, so I'll probably be going with a JzBz cage, and not removing the cap to the fondant her till aggression stopped.
 
  • buy a queen and keep her in a nuc (I've ordered one from BS Honey Bees.)
  • graft her day 1 larvae and use mini nucs for mating (I already do this and it works for me)
  • when I have mated and laying queens, remove current queens and replace with these new queens, initially in a cage
  • remove the cap exposing the fondant plug when the bees become accepting
How many colonies are too-defensive and out of how many total?
If only a few, I would unite with good colonies.
If too many, I would requeen all the defensive ones rather than try to improve the whole apiary from one queen. The local drone genetics are the same as before so any grafts from a single Q this year will inherit the local genes.

Next year make grafts and see how far tempers improved.

I wonder about trying to fit in a second round of queen replacement in the summer to ensure a higher proportion of the drones are from 'improved' colonies?
It will be summer already by the time the first round are laying.
The local drones will still be the same.
 
I have to keep my own colonies separate from those I manage so my options for uniting are limited.

One solution I've just thought of is to take my mini nucs elsewhere to get other drone genes.

As with gardening, I think I need patience and a long view.
 
After a miserable experience all season last year trying to save a couple of Chronic bee colonies, I decided to nip it in the bud as soon as it appeared this year. My reading on how to euthanise a colony brought this up.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9009750/
Adding burning sulphur to a hive full of wax and wood does give me some concerns, though I know people use it to treat stacks of supers for winter.
 
soapy water works well.
Trying to requeen nasty colonies is generally a ballache..
 
I saw an online video where for a nasty colony they had replaced the crown board with a screen, waited until evening, plugged the entrance, and poured about a bucketful evenly through the mesh to wet everything inside
 
You can either spray them on the combs or shake the bees off into a washing up bowl of soapy water
People talk of bees still being alive 7 days later after spraying with soapy water. For a quick death, I think it would have to be huge amounts of soapy water - which we might not have access to in the field.
 
I had to kill a colony once. I sprayed the combs from above then shook the frames into a bowl of soapy water. None were alive when I tipped them all into the compost heap.
 
Adding burning sulphur to a hive full of wax and wood does give me some concerns, though I know people use it to treat stacks of supers for winter.
If your concern is that the whole hive will go up in flames that doesn't usually happen!

For wax moth prevention, the sulphur smoulders in a metal dish in a super of its own so not actually in contact with the wax and wood.
 
People talk of bees still being alive 7 days later after spraying with soapy water. For a quick death, I think it would have to be huge amounts of soapy water - which we might not have access to in the field.
Foragers may return for up to 14 days, from past experience. Could that explain the 7 day issue?
 
We euthanized twenty eight colonies last year on advice from the SBI, they were totally unmanageable.
Two days after they arrived a worker took seventeen stings while opening the field gate 500 yards from them, and it just got worse from that point on.
Tractor driver in adjacent field stopped for a break and they filled the cab, the machine had to be abandoned until the next morning.
Originally thirty arrived, tried to re-queen Two, but they were really dark and wouldn't accept anything we have, which then left only one option unfortunately.

Two big lessons learnt, never buy bees unless checked over by an inspector first, and don't mess about with fiesty colonies, destruction is better than being sued.
 
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don't mess about with fiesty colonies, destruction is better than being sued.
Sued or even worse. If they are attacking on such a large scale the chance of stinging someone with anaphylaxis who would normally steer clear of bees is increased.

It's a large number of colonies. What method of euthanasia did you use?
 
Adding burning sulphur to a hive full of wax and wood does give me some concerns, though I know people use it to treat stacks of supers for winter.
The burning of sulphur just produces Sulphur Dioxide gas which is toxic to insects (not so great for humans either) it does not leave any residue in the frames or wax. I'm not a fan of killing colonies unless it is for reasons of disease - the traditonal method is a cupful of petrol - I'm not sure Sulphur burning is as quick or as effective but someone must have some experience of it on here ?
 
I've used it to kill redmite in chicken coops - works ok but the mites also live in crevices just outside the coop which it doesn't deal with.
I was using quite large amounts of Sulphur powder in a shallow tray, maybe the small amount needed for a hive would be more manageable.
 

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