Part 3: Off with her head! The queen is dead in our Africanized honey bee hive!

Off with her head, the queen is dead!!!

Before you read this post, you need to read Part 1 and Part 2 to understand what’s going on in our honey bee yard.

The below video explains what happened when we opened the crazy africanized hot honey bee hive!

Last weekend, we did the first step in dealing with our Africanized bee hive, which was to move the hive location and swap it with one of our weaker hive. This would strengthen the weak hive and decrease the population in the crazy hive. The next step was to build another Top Bar Hive, so we could split the hot Africanized hive.

This morning Andrew and I headed out to our bee yard at 8:00 a.m. Texas has hot summers and we were wearing three layers including shirts, sweat shirts, a full bee suit with sting proof gloves and our boots duct taped to our suits… we were determined not to get stung this time!

We opened the Africanized hot hive ready for bees to start pouring out by the thousands, trying to kill us, stinging everything they came in contact with… we were prepared for the worst… but guess what?! The bees didn’t come after us at all! Let me say that again, they didn’t come after us! What?!

Our goal was to take every other bar and put it in a new Gold Star Top Bee Hive that Andrew made the day before. We were going to find the queen and split the hive to reduce the population of bees. We ended up finding the queen after we were three bars away from the end of the hive. Andrew killed her with the hive tool!

We couldn’t believe the temperament of the hive! It was actually a pleasure to work. It felt like working a ticking time bomb… but it never went off! Swapping the locations of that hive worked! But, the queen had to die, because she was still laying mean bees, they just weren’t old enough to start coming after us… since all her guard bees and field bees had gone into our weak colony.

Sooooo… you can only imagine what happened when we went into our second colony, the weak hive that’s in the location of the Africanized hive…. yeah you guessed it… it’s acting Africanized! We couldn’t even get into it. They bees were pouring out and coming after us like crazy. We asked our local bee expert about it and he said that it should calm down after all the bees from the African hive die… which should be in a few weeks. Hopefully, the new queen won’t bee so mean!

You’re probably asking what’s the action plan now?

We have three hives, two are queen-less and the other we think has a feral queen they raised themselves. Tomorrow morning, we’re going to order two queens for our queen-less hives. The apiary that we got our Africanized package from will send us a free queen replacement…. but we’re not sure if we want to chance getting a mean queen again. The problem is we’re in the middle of a HOT Texas summer. If we order a queen from further away it probably won’t make it here alive.

What do you think we should do?

Isabella (1 year old) helping put together our third Gold Star Top Bar Bee Hive. It’s over 100 degrees, so she’s in her diaper 🙂

Isabella helping Daddy finish the Top Bar Bee hive… it’s realllllly hot outside!!! Texas summers are crazy hot.

It’s reallly hot, but we didn’t want to get stung… so we are wearing double layers with thick sweaters underneath our full bee suits! 🙂 And we duct tapped our boots to our suits… so no bees could get in… like last time!

 

Until next time… stay tuned for part 4, re-queening! 🙂

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Comments

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  2. How did the hives turn out? Requeening was definitely the right choice!

    Rex S.
    Harmony Hollow Apiaries
    Tyler, Tx

  3. Hi The queens bread from your own area will be better. You could use some of the queen cells from the other hive to make new queens in the queen less hives. I had bees from R weaver I had to kill them too. USe Bee weaver queens they are great.

    • Thanks Michael.
      We re-queened, hopefully, that’ll do the trick. Maybe they’ll accept her and all will be well… I hope! 🙂
      Rashel

  4. I am glad I found your blog…I also live in Texas and find bee keeping most interesting. Although I would like to try it myself I am a senior with back problems and I think I would be unable to do the duties.
    I will be following you and your husband with your adventure and I hope all turns out for the better..and will not discourge the two of you.
    For the two of you to be so young and to have obtained so much..I feel you have a great future ahead.
    Good luck

    • Craig,
      Thanks for the encouragement. We need it! It’s been a hard road with these bees. It’s by far, the most difficult enterprise we’ve started on the homestead.
      Thanks again,
      Rashel

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