Wednesday, 5 August 2009

I've been through Hive 5, and checked that the top box has neither eggs nor queen cells. The bottom box has eggs, so the new queen's there and laying. I broke down all the drone cells I could see.

Behaviour is a bit better, they weren't making the same determined attempts to sting. Stinging depends of pheromones given off by the queen, so if you change the queen, you change stinging behaviour. However, they were still jumping - flying off the combs at me - and following, buzzing around me. these are intimidating, and often lead to stinging. They're programmed into the individual worker's genes, so they'll last as long as this generation of bees. Hopefully that'll be the end of it, but I have three queens which will have mated with drones from this hive, so I can't be sure. I'll be getting rid of those queens next year; I can use them to produce drones or honey, but I can't raise good queens from them.


  1. Terrible problems you're having with the bees. Carefull they don't sting you while you're trying to cull out the inferior queen. They can get mean sometimes..


  2. I know, they did. The old queen's gone; I moved the broodbox she was in to the side and left it a couple of days until all the flying bees were gone. That made it easy. the old bees are still awkward, but they don't seem to be stinging any more, and they'll soon be gone.