Requeening agressive split

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Sianerw 

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I would be very grateful for some advice. I found charged queencells in a hive 9 days ago. As this is a rather agressive colony and I could not find the queen I smoked the top brood box ( half brood ) and reasoned (correctly as it turned out) that she might well move down in to the bottom BB. I moved the bottom BB a few feet away leaving the half brood box (with no queencells)) and 3 supers on the original site, therefore separating most nurse bees and queen from the flying bees. A week later, no new queencells in Q+ hive, and I took down all emergency cells in Q- hive. I need to requeen these bees as soon as possible - they are a liability, having stung my husband, grandchild and 2 friends recently with no warning. They are quite close to a lane - walkers, cyclists etc. My plan is to requeen the Q+ part, ( after dispatching old Q obvs) then combine with the BB on original site a few days later, with new queen in top box. I know that they might still be in swarm mode/ still be agressive for weeks/ might not accept new queen but I need to act very soon if not today! Is this a reasonably sensible way of doing things? I have 2 new queens on order, and a queen from a recent split ( not mine) in a nuc with about 3 frames of brood. Thank you for reading!
 

Erichalfbee 

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I would requeen the queenless box which is now hopelessly queenless. I know the foragers are there but it’s a small colony and they can’t now make their own. If you have 2 queens on order why not hedge your bets and requeen both?
More importantly you need somewhere to move them. I know it’s too late but the advice to anybody keeping bees in their garden is to have an out apiary available straightaway.
It might be weeks before these bees settle down.
 

Sianerw 

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Thank you for your quick replies! I'm hoping these new queens will be here soon, but at the moment I don't know - a few days or a couple of weeks? In the meantime I have the queen in the nuc - so I think I'll have to risk her with the horrible foragers! Sorry for not being clearer - they are not in the garden but in our field, bordering on common land with plenty of forage. There is a high hedge between the hives and the lane. They hardly ever come in to the main garden. Heaven knows why a few feel the need to patrol the area around the gate from the field to the lane!
 
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Erichalfbee 

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Make sure your queen right colony go on the top then. I know people say it doesn’t matter but to my mind if you’re requeening an aggressive colony the queen is safer in the top.
 
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Thank you for your quick replies! I'm hoping these new queens will be here soon, but at the moment I don't know - a few days or a couple of weeks? In the meantime I have the queen in the nuc - so I think I'll have to risk her with the horrible foragers! Sorry for not being clearer - they are not in the garden but in our field, bordering on common land with plenty of forage. There is a high hedge between the hives and the lane. They hardly ever come in to the main garden. Heaven knows why a few feel the need to patrol the area around the gate from the field to the lane!
Been there and it’s a horrible situation and agree with all the advice given. Only extra thing I’d do is to cage the queen with a press in cage if you’ve got one, so you’re introducing her slowly over time for the foragers to accept her. You can then look after a week and see if the behaviour has changed and how they’re reacting to her, before releasing. As they’re hopelessly queenless and not for too long, they should be ok but I’ve had a situation like this where the queen has been killed. Kamikaze bees! So worth taking that extra precaution if the queen is important to you.
 

Sianerw 

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I know of a safe site for both boxes. Only problem - it's only about 500 yards away from original site! Not ideal I know. Would it work if we moved them late evening then closed the entrance for 24 hours. Forecast not too warm here next few days. Any returning bees would be shaken back in front of the boxes on the new site.
2 push in introduction cages ordered from Paynes ready for 2 new queens. ( There is a good chance they may arrive next few days) Then hopefully some happy introductions! The advice given is much appreciated.
 

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Depends how many bees return. They often get pretty tetchy trying to find their old home. You could put a super with some frames there then in the evening just pop it on top of one of the hives you’ve moved.
 

Sianerw 

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Depends how many bees return. They often get pretty tetchy trying to find their old home. You could put a super with some frames there then in the evening just pop it on top of one of the hives you’ve moved.
Great idea - will do! I have three supers that were extracted yesterday. Thank you again!
 

Sianerw 

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I extracted a full super from the queenless box yesterday and returned it for cleaning! They also have another nearly full uncapped super. As the numbers in the box will be diminishing when all brood has emerged I suppose I need to remove them?
No not wet supers. There are no bees to defend them and you risk a robbing frenzy. Just put a super with dry drawn frames in
If you don’t have one put foundation in
 

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I would requeen the queenless box which is now hopelessly queenless. I know the foragers are there but it’s a small colony and they can’t now make their own. If you have 2 queens on order why not hedge your bets and requeen both?
More importantly you need somewhere to move them. I know it’s too late but the advice to anybody keeping bees in their garden is to have an out apiary available straightaway.
It might be weeks before these bees settle down.
We have put four hives at the bottom of our garden and fit the part three years we have had no issues, long may it continue
 

Erichalfbee 

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We have put four hives at the bottom of our garden and fit the part three years we have had no issues, long may it continue
I'm jolly pleased you have but if you have neighbours I would still have an alternative site. What would you suggest if a child visiting said neighbours was stung and developed Anaphylaxis? These things do happen
 

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I'm jolly pleased you have but if you have neighbours I would still have an alternative site. What would you suggest if a child visiting said neighbours was stung and developed Anaphylaxis? These things do happen
Yes very true, at the moment both sides are on board and very interested but I said from the start any issues and we'd rethink as you say it only takes one
 
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Yes very true, at the moment both sides are on board and very interested but I said from the start any issues and we'd rethink as you say it only takes one
It happened to me this year, never had issues in out-apiaries in very large gardens before, but a colony of bees went awol and stung a walker and started to follow a good distance. As soon as I heard I moved them to an isolated field below our house the next morning. Short term pain for me, but had to do it. Totally agree it's good to have a contingency in your back pocket for situations like this.
 

Sianerw 

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I would requeen the queenless box which is now hopelessly queenless. I know the foragers are there but it’s a small colony and they can’t now make their own. If you have 2 queens on order why not hedge your bets and requeen both?
More importantly you need somewhere to move them. I know it’s too late but the advice to anybody keeping bees in their garden is to have an out apiary available straightaway.
It might be weeks before these bees settle down.
Can I ask why you suggest requeening both boxes rather than requeening after combining? I was hoping for a reasonable summer honey harvest from them - on a new, safe site. Also, I did have other plans for the second new queen - but need to choose the most sensible option so totally flexible really.
 

Sianerw 

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It happened to me this year, never had issues in out-apiaries in very large gardens before, but a colony of bees went awol and stung a walker and started to follow a good distance. As soon as I heard I moved them to an isolated field below our house the next morning. Short term pain for me, but had to do it. Totally agree it's good to have a contingency in your back pocket for situations like this.
I agree. I had no problems for the first 4 seasons. Last year they were not so pleasant to inspect but not attacking passers by. This year - I dread opening this this hive in particular, and this week was so worried that they might sting people. The weather has not been good after Thursday so they're not flying - forecast the same for next few days so gives me a chance to sort them.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Can I ask why you suggest requeening both boxes rather than requeening after combining? I was hoping for a reasonable summer honey harvest from them - on a new, safe site. Also, I did have other plans for the second new queen - but need to choose the most sensible option so totally flexible really.
Just insurance really.
 
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I agree. I had no problems for the first 4 seasons. Last year they were not so pleasant to inspect but not attacking passers by. This year - I dread opening this this hive in particular, and this week was so worried that they might sting people. The weather has not been good after Thursday so they're not flying - forecast the same for next few days so gives me a chance to sort them.
One thing I’ve learnt this year is if you have a marginally tetchy colony that then make swarm preps, it’s best to keep the queen in the main hive with the flying bees, either as a Pagden or a vertical split where her pheromone can reach the flying bees a little, through the mesh in a split board. Putting this type of queen into a Nuc makes the remaining colony much worse when queenless and definitely not worth risking
 
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