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Trying to get to know my bees

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HighlandWozza 

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I am a total newbie. I have three hives, all of different provenance and I've had them for a couple of months. I'm trying to get my head around every thing that I read but also everything I observe.

One of my hives contains small stripy bees that are very aggressive. They behave differently from the other two. The other bees tend to fly and dive bomb if pissed off but these ones "fizz" onto the gloves and cover them. Fizz is the only verb I can think of to describe the way that they leap out of the frames and onto the gloves so lightening fast. Then one of them will sting a glove and they fill the air with fury. This happens despite me being ultra gentle and under any weather conditions. They are just nasty bees, I think.

Anyone shed any light on this for me? Is this a particular strain of bees that is aggressive or can all bees be like this? Should I requeen? Might they have some positive traits that I should look out for?
 

beesrus 

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I would say re-queen... That's what I was taught and have read in a few books. I split a very gentle hive this year and the result was an angry bunch of £:)@;&; A simple change of Queen can make all the difference, good or bad it's the risk u take.

Good luck
 

kazmcc 

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Maybe use a manipulation cloth in the mean time, 2 clean tea towels, only uncover one frame at a time, wash thoroughly between inspections. Only use one set for each hive, people stopped using them as they are associated with spreading disease.
 

m100 

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Maybe use a manipulation cloth in the mean time, 2 clean tea towels, only uncover one frame at a time, wash thoroughly between inspections. Only use one set for each hive, people stopped using them as they are associated with spreading disease.
Have you got a source, backed by solid scientific data, for them being a significant vector for disease transfer presumably within an apiary?
 

kazmcc 

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Have you got a source, backed by solid scientific data, for them being a significant vector for disease transfer presumably within an apiary?
No lol, just from what a lot of others here have advised if your bees get a bit naughty to keep a lot of them out of the air. I watched an old vid that Muswell posted and they used cloths. When I asked why they don't use them anymore i was told it was because of transfer. heard it loads of other times, experienced bee keepers know what they are talking about me thinks. Even if they don't transfer, makes sense to use clean for each hive, just in case...they are not expensive.
 

Rosti 

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Might they have some positive traits that I should look out for?
There was a recent similar thread on here and some forum members (me included) posted that our most aggressive colony was also our most productive. I have a hive of Apis satinus spawnus - just like yours by the sounds of it! They are very productive so I can and do tollerate them because due to location they are of no public threat. If they dont spook you then fine but if you do get a very high sting rate then also consider how much you are depleting the colony when you inspect - 200 stings on a 40k colony is a 0.5% depletion.
 

oliver90owner 

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Thaty word 'significant'.

I would say tha AFB spread between two colonies in the same apiary is bad enough.

For instance whatever the risk with a manipulating cloth (probability) should be multiplied by the probability of a colony with AFB adjacent is debatable. The number will become a very small risk.

BUT when it happens, in retrospect it was predictable in those circumstances.

If you are preaching, your argument needs to be water-tight or carefully worded to allow for all those exceptions (which apparently 'prove the rule') or be prescriptive with any and all exceptions.

Maybe an example or 'worst case scenario'?

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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Wozza, I'm just getting to know my bees too. I've been lucky so far as they are very nice to me ( I'm sure that will change though, throughout our relationship ) I used to be terrified of bees, but I am really enjoying beekeeping. Mine are very dark, with almost hardly any yellow, just faint 'shallow' stripes. I have been told they are Carnolians. A very good bee to start with I am told, but they like to swarm ( don't they all? lol )

You sound like you are very confident with your bees, I wish I was a bit more. I would be interested to see what replies you get about this. Do you have any pics? I love a good pic lol ;)

Happy keeping, hope they haven't stung you too much :(
 

oliver90owner 

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Posted again minus a couple spelling (typing) errors

That word 'significant'.

I would say that AFB spread between two colonies in the same apiary is bad enough.

For instance whatever the risk with a manipulating cloth (probability) should be multiplied by the probability of a colony with AFB adjacent is debatable. The number will become a very small risk.

BUT when it happens, in retrospect it was predictable in those circumstances.

If you are preaching, your argument needs to be water-tight or carefully worded to allow for all those exceptions (which apparently 'prove the rule') or be prescriptive with any and all exceptions.

Maybe an example or 'worst case scenario'?

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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Have you got a source, backed by solid scientific data, for them being a significant vector for disease transfer presumably within an apiary?
just to be safe , i only use then in bad weather (cold/showers) and when they go kamikazee....like now with wasps robbing
i use one per hive and hot wash after each use....primark towels /tea towels

but then i wash my suit after inspections anyway, so and extra towel if i have to use one does not matter
 
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