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Author Topic: Is removing queen cells same as removing a queen?  (Read 1563 times)
Beeswax Bob
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« on: March 28, 2008, 09:20:40 AM »

Assuming that a hive is queenless. Is removing queen cells the same as removing a queen?

Will the bees display the same behaviour as if they'd lost their queen?

Asking because I'd like to know what happens if a queen is lost and a replacement queen takes a while to arrive. Emergency queen cells are likely to have been built.

So if the beekeeper follows advice for a queenright colony and removes queen cells the day before queen introduction, does that create the same environment as removing an old queen the day before new queen is introduced?

Thanks,

Bob



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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 11:47:07 AM »

No  grin

Being queenless, even with ripe queen cells, does not switch the bees behavior back. They will continue displaying queenless behavior until they have a laying queen. The bees do not respond to queen cells the same as a laying queen.
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Joseph Clemens
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Beeswax Bob
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 01:18:14 PM »

Hi Joseph,

So basically what you're saying is it doesn't matter if the bees have been queenless for 24 hours or 10 days, they're still quite likely to readily accept a new introduced queen? Or does the longer they go queenless make a difference to likelihood of queen acceptance?

Thanks,

Bob
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 02:55:02 PM »

But you don't want to go too long.  More than 2 weeks or so and you could end up with a laying worker.  And thats bad.

Quote
So if the beekeeper follows advice for a queenright colony and removes queen cells the day before queen introduction, does that create the same environment as removing an old queen the day before new queen is introduced?
Yes it should.  Assuming that you were able to find all of the queen cells.  Emergency queen cells can be tricky sometimes to find.  And if you are off by a day, you probably won't find the new young queen running around the hive.

If they are queenless and you have a bit of a lead time on a purchased queen, you may be better off waiting till the new hatched queen can prove herself before requeening. 

Rick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 06:23:29 PM »

Keep in mind that in 10 days you'll have a virgin queen, if you don't destroy the cells.  In 24 you'll have a laying queen and you won't need to buy one.  Smiley
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 01:53:02 AM »

Hi Joseph,

So basically what you're saying is it doesn't matter if the bees have been queenless for 24 hours or 10 days, they're still quite likely to readily accept a new introduced queen? Or does the longer they go queenless make a difference to likelihood of queen acceptance?

Thanks,

Bob

Yes, queenless is queenless. But, like others have posted, if there are queen cells, eventually there will be a virgin queen, and after that a mated laying queen, so the longer its been since the hive became queenless the more difficult to successfully introduce a replacement queen, not impossible, but more difficult - due to the increased chances of complications like laying workers, viable queen cells hiding in unnoticed nooks in the frames, possible invasion by foreign queens (I wouldn't have considered this last one, except I've witnessed it myself).


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Joseph Clemens
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Beeswax Bob
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 04:09:15 AM »

possible invasion by foreign queens (I wouldn't have considered this last one, except I've witnessed it myself).




I've often wondered if that happened. I wonder what the invading queen does to avoid destruction? Brother Adam states that he doesn't believe that introduced queens need to acquire hive smell. He believes that it's the queen's behaviour that causes the workers to accept her. That is if she's running all over the shop she'll induce an attack. If she's all calm and confident she'll be ok. I wonder if that's true? I ran a couple of virgins straight into hives last year - on advice of friend who said that they'd be ok - it seems that they were. In any case I'll stick to the caging method, for now.

Bob
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mark
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2008, 03:08:11 PM »

it is common for africanized bees to invade and take over a hive.  if you see that keep an eye on that colony for aggressiveness.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 03:00:06 AM »

it is common for africanized bees to invade and take over a hive.  if you see that keep an eye on that colony for aggressiveness.

Not likely to have AHB in the UK.  I've known of EHB (both Black German and Italian) that would do it.  According to my father, my greatgrandfather's Black German Bees did this frequently.  A strong swarm can move in on a weak hive on any given day.
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