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'Good tempered bees'

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Firegazer 

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Is there any difference between 'good natured' bees that don't attack the Beekeeper, meet him/her at a distance, follow her/him miles afterwards, etc etc and 'defensively retarded' bees?

Put another way: shouldn't all bees be grumpy when something opens their hive and prods about in it, including Beekeepers?

Is there a genetic trait that leads bees to tolerate 'their' Beekeeper but still lets them be feisty/defensive/aggressive to mice, woodpeckers, bears, skunks, other bees trying to rob them and wasps?

FG
 

Norm 

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I have had my fair share of 'grumpy' bees over the years. I have noticed that when I changed from Layens to kenyan hives the temper eased quite noticeably. I am not sure what to make of that, it was merely an observation. I also have noticed that a lot depends on timing. If you open a hive when there is a good flow on, they are so busy, they hardly notice you. Go in when a flow has just stopped and they are a different story! Of course there is a lot more to it............

Norm
 

johna 

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I find that oilseed rape makes the bees quite "peppery" and if you've got bad tempered bee as well they can be quite unwelcoming at inspections.DONT TOLERATE bad tempered bees,requeen from a gentler strain and make beekeeping more enjoyable.Although quite swarmy Carnolians are easy to handle even without a veil if you are brave enough.
 

SixFooter 

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I've a carnolian colony, but a more experienced beek told me they are not recommended because the next generation crosses tend to be bad-tempered. He went so far as to say that keeping Carnolians is anti-social as queens raised in the area will get these bad-tempered genes.

Is this true?
The colony is the best behaved of the 3 that I have.
 

Brosville 

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I'm coming to the conclusion they're typically female (nice as pie one minute, duck the flying wreckage the next........):svengo:
 

Finman 

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.
And what is the basic idea?

Normal good bees guard their hive at the distance of 3 metres.

Evil hive quard at the range of 25 metres and attach without warning.

Should the bee attack not on human but on everyting else?

I have common road 10 meters from my hives. There walk men, children, dogs, cats, hares, horses, cows, sheep cars, bicycles, frogs and what ever.

Should the hives attach on everything else. No not at all. It would be a nightmare. Really dangerous.
 

grizzly 

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they are not recommended because the next generation crosses tend to be bad-tempered. He went so far as to say that keeping Carnolians is anti-social as queens raised in the area will get these bad-tempered genes.

For me yes absolutely it was, and they dont stop bloody swarming either, however i guess it will also depend on where your bees came from as to how good or bad the strain really is.

Those queens were removed from my Apiary.
 

SixFooter 

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Thanks. I guess I'll requeen in the spring then!
 

oliver90owner 

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SixFooter,

I guess I'll requeen in the spring then!

Depends on what you mean by 're-queening'

For me that means I will take several cells from my quieter colony(ies) and take them forward as nucs. The quieter ones of these will be used to replace the 'feisty' queens and the other nucs will be recombined to colonies,... or used for another set of queen cells, ...or united for extra colonies.... just depending on what I want/need at the time.

I have never yet bought-in a queen and would certainly not want imported stock. I prefer what I get from local sources.

If I were doing it (beekeeping) commercially, I might have a different method, but as a hobbyist I am not too worried about that absolute last drop of honey harvest. I would rather just run an extra colony, or two of local hybrid bee.

As long as I have reasonbly quiet bees for the garden, I am not too worried for the others. Last year one colony was following for about 200m but surprisingly they did not sting anyone other than me (a couple of times) as far as I know.

Even the local neighbourhood watch fellow who was furiously swatting at them at about 60m away escaped unscathed.

Regards, RAB
 

Black Comb 

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Rab

When you've a minute can you explain your method please.

Thanks
Peter
 

Hombre 

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I think that the main part of the technique is to avoid the neighbourhood watch fellow who is obviously up on the subject . . ha ha :)

I'm sure that RAB will be along after he has had his supper/breakfast :grouphug:
 

oliver90owner 

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How about... artificial swarming time, spare q/cells to made-up nucs. Nothing more really, until queen changing time (after bees (queens) have been assessed for quietness on comb, etc.). I have the kit for queen rearing but have not needed loads of queens, all at the same time, as I have never sold nucs. Things might change but that is how it is at the moment.

Queen changing can be from sugaring (after removal of old queen) of colonies and uniting to paper uniting. I try to avoid introducing queens to colonies. Less hassle and little risk of rejection.

I don't really have one set method for anything. Whatever is most appropriate at the time. Whatever kit is available at the time. Might depend on where the bees are as well. Loads of other factors. I might want the extra queens laying for a while longer to build up more workers, depends on weather, nectar flows, season, etc. Not many things are actually that difficult with beekeeping - except getting brain-ache organising the order of changes when kit is at a premium!

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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The neighborhood watch man was checking me out. He had not seen the car in the field before. He took the hint when I told him to go away!

Regards, RAB
 

Hombre 

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I see that he just didn't know what he was actually getting himself into :)

I think that a sufficiency of kit solves for a lot of situations that might otherwise become problems. Got the t-shirt, lost the clipped queens.
 

grizzly 

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Thanks. I guess I'll requeen in the spring then!
before you make yourmind up SixFooter, let the experienced voices post a reply, this is only my 3rd year, i found the contrast between the first year and the second year unimaginable, with an Apiary full of Carnis all hell broke loose and it took a long while to regain control, part of it down to lack of experience but a large portion directed by the bees.

The important question is : when they do swarm you need to make a choice, do you make increase or do you let them go and requeen with a less swarmy strain.

After last year i changed my opinion and i am now with Veg (think it was you) if any of mine swarm i will let them go, and requeen from a hive less swarmy.

Quality not Quantity.
 

oliver90owner 

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Never 'let them go' if that is what you literally mean. Worker bees are your honey crop. You do not need to lose them, just the queen.

There is no need to make an increase. Well, only temporarily. A young queen is much less likely to swarm, provided of course that you have all the other requirements in place like space, some comb building to do, storage to fill. All items which one needs to make beekeeping easier. Uniting at the end of the year will ensure strong colonies go into winter etc. Spare bees are in demand at the present time too, colony losses need to be made up. Adding an over-wintered nuc to a weaker colony in spring can make the difference between a good honey crop and missing the main flow due to slow build-up.

One thing new beeks need to accept is that one really needs far more kit than the basic hives for the colonies you have. Having two broods and 2 supers (a standard sort of hive) for each, and expecting to 'get away with it' will not suffice. Two extra (spare) broods will need roofs and floors and probably be needed in a good year (and both at about the same time). Might as well accept that you need 4 hives for two colonies. Easier when you have more colonies (don't need double!) but still a problem. One can go the beehaus or Dartington way and have space for artificial swarming always at hand.... but they do take up much more space and are not very portable....

As I head off to fumigate a pile of 5 or 6 supers full of frames.

Regards, RAB
 
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Picking up from the comments by SixFooter.

Very grumpy second generation carnolians is definately my experience.

In fact I've an unmarked queen in such a colony which I need to remove, obviously finding her to mark and then finding her to remove when I have a replacement is filling me with dread. I thought the winter may have calmed them down but I was attacked when I merely put fondant over the feed holes recently

I wonder if the use of Napalm to protect myself would be acceptable in my neck of the woods.

Alternatively has anyone got any tips in how I can best find her in these circumstances
 

admin 

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You could devide the frames with a queen excluder,wait a few days to see what half has eggs.

If I have a double brood box of bees to go through to find the queen I have used an empty brood box/nuc box to put each frame in I have inspected.

Also use a piece of cloth over the frames after you remove each frame,it stops the other bees jumping out at you while inspecting.

Remember to look close at the face of the comb you have to inspect next after removing a frame,often you will find the queen on it running down to hide from the light.
Remember the queen will most often be found on a frame that contains eggs,not on a food frame.

Get a beekeeping friend to help,he/she will find the queen in seconds,its called sods law.
 

SixFooter 

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Rab,

Surely by restricting yourself to your own stock you are limiting the gene pool, which could lead to yet undetermined genetic weaknesses in future generations. If you get hold of stock from outside the local area, wont this increase diversity and therfore the general strength of the local population?

By following this idea of only using local stock, aren't beeks storing up trouble for the future? I would have thought creating more diverse offspring, but selecting only a few of them would result in healthier bees. I dont claim to be an expert, but I don't understand.
 

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