I’ve talked in the past about how one of our colonies is super aggressive. And the colony isn’t even as productive in drawing out comb and producing honey as our other colony. It is very productive at stinging.
I finally talked to a local experienced beekeeper this week. The conversation went something like this:
me: So, I have a really aggressive colony. Smoke doesn’t seem to calm them. They constantly attack me while I’m in the hive…
him: They follow you when you walk away?
me: Exactly! Any advice on how to handle them?
him: Sounds like you need to requeen. You’ve got a queen that is making angry bees. You need to find the queen, twist her head off, throw her body in the bottom of the hive, and in 24 hours, replace the queen with a new one.
At this point, I am thinking to myself, “Wow, I could use this as a metaphor for so many situations. “You need to requeen…your queen is creating some angry employees” just as an example.
I told him that I would try, but I have never been able to find the queen. I have just gone by the fact that there are eggs, larva, and emerging bees to assure me that the queen is safe and happy. Her actual being I have never seen.
Matt and I suited up that evening and visited the hives.
We took a quick peek in our nice, polite hive. The bees were really active that evening:
I pulled this frame from it:
Look at that beautiful honey. Here is a close up:
I tasted some and it is excellent. This colony is so productive that we might actually get a little honey from this hive this year!
After the quick check on our star hive, we opened our Fight Club hive. They came out swinging. We looked and looked and cowered from the onslaught of bees, but could never find the queen. They were very mad at us. And let us know it by continuing to attack our hats long after we closed the hive and walked away. That queen really is making angry bees.
We hope to have the other beekeeper come by and help us find the queen; otherwise, I’m letting that colony live and let live.