Author Topic: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive  (Read 19311 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2017, 01:44:38 am »
"Riverbee, I could probably get it burned out with more work, but I am more comfortable not using this smoker anymore for regular use. There is a crusty black residue  mixed with the old wood tar like residue that when heated with the torch gives of a orange yellow smoke smelling strongly of SO2.

Jen, everything in the hive was SO2 free within a day and no smell or residue in hive as iddee said...."


thank you nugget for your reply.......i appreciate it.

and cbt, yah you are late to the party!!!............dish soap discussed way back............ :D :D :D
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2017, 11:21:35 am »
I am rereading this thread.  I think I am going to have to go this route on a swarm I caught last spring.  The neighbor talked to my husband about the 3 stings he took trying to mow his yard.   :o  I will go talk to him today about my intentions of eliminating them.  In the mean time, I will suggest yard work early or late in the day.
Are you able to save the drawn comb after using sulfur?

I remember Nugget said that the smoker couldn't be used any more.  I was wondering about the comb, frames and woodenware.

Chip Euliss' plan of attack would work, but I need a quick remedy.

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2017, 06:39:13 pm »
Yes you can reuse the comb as the sulfur is not deadly to bees unless burned which gives of SO2 gas (Sulfur Dioxide) and this is the killing agent. Residue left on frames is minimal without much smell after a day airing out so any sulfur particles from the smoking are not toxic. I have used several of the frames of drawn comb in one of my small hives with no ill affects.

Seal the hive well and smoke liberally from the top using a piece of pipe with a 90 degree fitting or something similar through a cover made for the deed, just plywood with a fitted hole and plug for between treatments will work fine. Smoke till all is quiet inside, smoke again and leave sealed overnight.....

That is how we did it anyway right at dark....
Cheers, Bill
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2017, 03:21:34 am »
I don't want to steal this thread, but I thought I would give an update on my issues with a mean, mean hive.
I called a member of my local bee club that does bee rescue.  He collects swarms, does cut outs, trap outs, etc.  He said he would like them and would come pick them up.  We agreed to work out a trade of the woodenware.
Afterwards, I caught my neighbor and talked to him.  He gave me a slightly different story than my husband.  Hmmmm!  It wasn't quite as dramatic as my husband led me to believe.  BUT the important thing is a good neighbor relationship.  I could tell he appreciated my concern for his well being and that I was willing to sacrifice a rogue colony.  I assured him that I wanted to be a good beekeeper and sometimes that means being a good neighbor too.

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2017, 10:06:03 am »
Much better outcome than having to put the hive down.... No one wanted mine  :no:
Cheers, Bill

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2017, 07:37:44 pm »
Update: We used 3 of the frames we removed brood from in a new package hive a few days back, no apparent issues and they were grateful for the head start with honey, pollen, and drawn comb from outside appearance anyway. Not going to mess with them for a spell unless something doesn't look right from outside or on inspection boards.

I am thinking all will be well, but will update with any important info....
Cheers, Bill

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #66 on: June 03, 2017, 06:32:21 am »
I thought I would post the conclusion to my mean bees saga.  Yesterday a prominent member of our local bee club told me that he ended up with my mean colony.  It seems they were too mean for the guy that I had arranged with to take them away! The new owner divided and conquered.  He thought the reason they might be mean is that they were queenless.  I assured him that the loss of the queen was recent and they had been mean for a year.  I also told him I pulled 3 honey supers, 2 were capped, before they were picked up.  I am glad that will be productive members of society now.
Instead of the Traveling Wilbury's, they are the Traveling Wilbees!    ;)

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #67 on: June 03, 2017, 11:00:54 pm »
Nugget Shooter, have you seen this video?

Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #68 on: June 04, 2017, 11:27:11 am »
Yes I have WM and they are indeed very aggressive from experience, but sadly these videos make people fear all honeybees and not all feral bees here are AHB. Leads to so many bees here killed out of fear that were not a danger and the news here has sometimes reported that if you see a swarm flying that they are all AHB which is also false. Makes it hard on beekeepers here as well as people fear our hives will send a swarm one day  to their yard attacking them.

Needs to be more attention given to education about these bees and what to watch for as opposed to sensationalism and getting a hot story for the TV.
Cheers, Bill

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #69 on: June 04, 2017, 04:22:21 pm »
Yes, they are quite over the top.  But I enjoyed watching the storm of bees they unleashed in that first hive removal.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #70 on: June 04, 2017, 05:27:17 pm »
Yes, they are quite over the top.  But I enjoyed watching the storm of bees they unleashed in that first hive removal.

It is very similar to what we went through, they are absolutely vicious when protecting the hive.
Cheers, Bill

Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #71 on: June 05, 2017, 10:15:21 am »
Just for the record here, if we had our yard in the boondocks away from the grade school and neighbors I likely would not have destroyed the hive. But being close to other people and animals I took what I thought was the best direction.
Cheers, Bill

Offline tedh

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #72 on: June 05, 2017, 08:15:53 pm »
I believe you made the right and prudent call.  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #73 on: June 05, 2017, 11:53:27 pm »
Just for the record here, if we had our yard in the boondocks away from the grade school and neighbors I likely would not have destroyed the hive. But being close to other people and animals I took what I thought was the best direction.

I'm not sure what other choice you would have had, Nugget.  From what I hear, requeening is very difficult.  I guess you could have tried to split the hive and then you might have got away with new queens.  I wonder if you would have had to make two hives or three to bring them back down to calm?
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Offline troutdog

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Re: Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon? Use of Sulfur to Destroy Aggressive Hive
« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2020, 08:15:00 am »
Late to the party as always but it sounds like you found an effective solution.  There is an alternate way, if you're interested, in case it happens again.  I've had AHB hives returned to me from down south and they are basically impossible to re-queen with gentle stock in my view.  After beating my head against the wall, I came up with a system that worked well for me.  Suit up and tear the "bad" break the hive down into 2 boxes if you can't or don't want to take the time and lumps to find the queen.  Leave 1 box where it was and move the "split" box a short distance away, maybe 40 yards or so.  The old grumpy bees will go back to the original location after a day or so.  Check the box you moved to see if there are eggs after 4 days.  If you find eggs in the box you moved, put it back at the original location and move the original bottom box where you moved the "split".  What you want is to have the queen and the old grumpy bees in one box at the original location and only nurse bees and brood in the other.  To do that, the queen has to be in the original location.  Re-queen the box that has AHB nurse bees and brood with a good gentle queen--nurse bees are more accepting of a new queen.  Once the new queen is laying well, reverse the boxes again.  That will result in the AHB workers from the original location going into the hive you re-queened--wait a day or so for them to relocate.  The original box (now at the location of your "split" box) will now contain the old queen, nurse bees, and some AHB workers that hatched since you started the operation.  It will be easier to find the queen and kill her than with the larger population of angry bees you had at their original location.  You can either re-queen the hive that contained the old queen (may not work because that hive will now have adult AHB bees) or you could join them to your newly re-queened hive over a piece of newspaper; you'd loose some AHB workers (that would be my preference) but not a great loss.  In your situation, I would use a bred queen versus a cell because there are likely many AHB drones there to breed another problem for you.  The hives will still be grumpy as long as there are AHB genetics but the behavior of the hive(s) will improve as European bees start to dominate the population within the hive(s).  They are a pain and I only had a couple of years that I had to deal with them and I'm pleased it hasn't repeated itself.  From my experience, trying to re-queen a AHB hive is a waste of money.  I kept bred queens caged for many days before release and they still killed everyone I tried to add.  Nurse bees, even of AHB stock are much easier to deal with.

I hear your pain on aggressive bees.  I dealt with mine when I had all my bees in one huge yard (400+ colonies) that I use to manipulate them after they return from out west and just before they go to outyards here.  The pheromones from AHB quickly spreads to other hives and the whole holding yard is suddenly a very unhappy place.  I just finished putting in MAQS in about 500 hives, wearing only a light bee jacket and crocs--my everyday beekeeping outfit.  I was stung maybe 5-6 times but from bees that got inside my crocs.  When we had the AHB problem, it was a full suit and boots--not fun!  My wife had to wear a bee suit when she was outside in the garden, over 100 yards away.

Good luck and be safe :)
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