What to do with undesirable genetics?

As a beekeeper that raises your own queens your going to occasionally run across some traits that you find undesirable. The question is what do you do next. I have recently experienced this among my own hives. As most of my readers will know I have lost several swarms this year. As a result my colonies have raised several of their own queens. The other part of this story actually starts with the green marked queen below. I noticed later in the season last year that they were a bit more defensive than most of my other hives. She came out of winter going like gangbusters, laying like mad. It didn’t take long before they were four deep. My plan was to split this hive up and make a bunch of nucs when I had a chance. My chance really didn’t come until after the honey harvest which was made very difficult by these aggressive bees. I didn’t get very far through the super (looking for any brood since I didn’t use an excluder on this hive) before I had about 30 stingers in my jeans and several that made it through. Because I keep these bees very close to my place of business I had to move them. They stayed defensive for the better part of the next day and I moved them that night. When I moved them I split the three remaining deeps in to three different colonies. The reason for that was to just have more hives. I then called a local queen breeder that I bought my original colonies from and ordered 4 new queens (the picture of the little black queen with a light blue mark below). I crushed the green marked queen and another that was mated in the same apiary this year. I haven’t been back to check on them to see if all of the queens took due to way to much rain this June. The picture below is the only one that I know for sure took so far. I’ll have to report back on once I have a chance to check on them. I also would like to note that I am not one to arbitrarily requeen. I really fought with myself about putting that green queen in a nuc box but my better judgment told me she would just raise another aggressive hive to deal with.


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