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Requeening in spring

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Rowena 

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I have a rather tetchy hive which developed this trait late last year, I suppose with the new queen, and as this hive is in someone else’s meadow I thought it would be safer to requeen sooner than later. My view was compounded when I treated them last month and on removing the crownboard my veil and jacket were suddenly covered with bees! Covered me in poo as well!

My question is will it just be better to remove the queen and unite with another hive, or will they overrun/reject that queen or do I remove queen and replace with a frame of brood?

I have never done this in spring so any help would be appreciated.

I also realise that temper may not change until all the winter bees gone and replaced with new.
 

The Poot 

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See what they’re like when you inspect on a warm, nice day in April. You may find they are ok. They don’t like the disturbance in January.
 

jeff33 

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yes as above, don't go re-queening until you are sure. for any early season requeening I prefer to merge with a nuc or another hive rather than risk a queen introduction.
 

pargyle 

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You might have some difficulty buying in a UK queen much before May/June. As has been said - wait and see what they are like April time when it's a bit warmer. If they are still tetchy you then have options - order in a decent queen, split them into two nucs ... the one without a queen will raise queen cells if you make sure there are eggs/brood in both halves of the split. You may find that reducing the size of the queenright side of the split makes them a little less feisty .. if they continue to be a handful you can re-queen with a bought in queen or despatch the tetchy one and recombine with your home grown one.

Lots of options available and plenty of time to think about it.
 

jeff33 

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split them into two nucs ... the one without a queen will raise queen cells if you make sure there are eggs/brood in both halves of the split.
If you use this option I would personally give them a frame of bias from a more gentle colony rather than one from that tetchy hive as you may be increasing your chances of carrying on with those bad traits.
 

pargyle 

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If you use this option I would personally give them a frame of bias from a more gentle colony rather than one from that tetchy hive as you may be increasing your chances of carrying on with those bad traits.
Yes ... that's an option if it's available. The original genes are going to get watered down in any case and with open mating you are very much at the mercy of the local drones ... you never know what you are going to get.
 

Rowena 

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Thanks for all of these replies, I will wait a bit longer and see what they get up to. It’s neighbouring hive is lovely so have potential of eggs from there plus also an overwintered nuc near by.

I hadn’t thought about a split which is an interesting option.

Also on thinking about the local drones I recently heard that a beekeeper nearby had been asked to move his bees, about 7/8 colonies as they were causing problems to the farmer. They may well be the culprit as my bees at this location have always been great.
 
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