Survivor bees in a hot zone

You have just gotten your bees, either in the mail or you have gone and picked them up in person. Now what do you do? Covers from installation in your hive until the end of the first winter and the first blooms of spring.
Max
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Max » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:13 am

I'm in Las Vegas Nevada and am a first year beekeeper. Going into this first year I have been focusing on keeping an open mind and learning everything I can which for me means lots of mistakes that hopefully I only make once. First package absconded second one has done great, the difference? I left em alone! Was sold on all mediums decided to cut down my first NUC, made a mess rolled a queen bought a couple deeps second NUC did fine. Now to survivors. I got a NUC that originated out of a swarm from a local beekeeper that he watched come out of his hive, captured, marked the queen, and put in a NUC. By the time I got it in late spring it was bustin at the seams. I put it in an 8 frame hive and it rapidly filled two deeps and a medium. Was kinda pissy all summer long but I just put it down to the high heat here. Went in it this week and it went batshit crazy! Came boiling out stinging everything in sight till it got dark three hours later killing two chickens and a turkey. The next day guards would come after me if I got within ten feet. Last night with some experienced help I tore it down, found the queen and squished her. 2 hours of genuine fun. The local AG department says that over 90% of the swarms they trapped throughout our valley tested as Africanized. The 3 beekeepers that helped me told me this is why they always requeen swarms they capture here. With all of this in mind how does survivor stock and expansion methods work in this type of area?


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lharder
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 6:36 pm
Location: Kamloops, BC

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby lharder » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:46 pm

That is a big big question. I suggest you talk with Tyson Kaiser who works with feral bees in an Africanized zone.

The difference there is that he is in an urban area which would strongly select against hyper aggressive bees. Perhaps some genetics can be brought in from him for gentle Africanized stock.

How to deal with Africanized bees rationally is a something the US has yet to come to grips with. They ain't going away. South American countries have made some big strides with them. Brazil has a resurgent honey industry because of them.

lharder
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Posts: 506
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 6:36 pm
Location: Kamloops, BC

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby lharder » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:47 pm

But how to do it safely is a big question.

Max
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Max » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:13 pm

The safely thing is exactly the main issue. I am on the fringes of the city but still in a residential area of half acre horse property lots with a school around the corner. This hot of a hive just isn't responsible in this type of location. With the rise of urban apiculture in the area maybe the feral stock will slowly change its demeanor.


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Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Nordak » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:54 pm

The lesson I gathered from this is you made the right call to off the queen. Yikes. Do you have any access to a more remote location? Anyone that would be interested in free pollination services in exchange for a place to relocate your hives? It would give you a chance to possibly propogate less aggressive bees without fear of doing harm to yourself and neighbors. I don't envy your situation, but perhaps you could turn it to your advantage in a different, less populated location.

Max
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Max » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:38 am

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I ended up moving all of my hives to the other side of my property. The one that was so hot back in September has calmed down significantly. Still more aggressive than the other two but after two days I can walk past it without getting bumped. One really noticeable difference was the weight of the hives, the two tame ones I was able to strap together and pick them up and carry them to the new location. The last even after pulling a honey super was so heavy I could just barely get it in the wagon. I'm considering doing a split next spring and letting them make their own queen, there are several beekeepers in my area so maybe the genetics are better on this side of the valley.


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Jeremy
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:33 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Jeremy » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:08 am

I've never dealt with bees that hot, but if you can deal with a hot hive for a little bit, in a remote location or can be moved to a remote location, I'd requeen. If you couldn't I'd just shut the hive and let them starve out, then give the boxes to another hive. Either way those genetics would go by by, but I'd wait to do it until they showed signs of being a problem. No reason to kill off survivor stock unnecessarily. You're not going to get rid of the africanized stock, but you can off the ones that aren't worth having.

Imker Ingo
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Location: Newport, Wales, UK

Re: Survivor bees in a hot zone

Postby Imker Ingo » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:34 am

Max was the hive very aggressive all the time? Had you manipulated the hive or inspected too frequently? I helped a friend move a hive that became super aggressive after honey was taken, they were fine at the new site, so moving far enough can help. Re-queening is last resort and you have thus changed the whole genetics of that colony and may loose survivor traits.

Sorry Jeremy, closing up a hive and letting them starve is something I cannot support, cruel IMHO. Would you do this to any other livestock?


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