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Author Topic: Requeen?  (Read 992 times)

Offline Titus

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« on: May 06, 2009, 09:39:42 AM »
I started 2 new packages about 2.5 weeks ago.  One is doing very well, the other only has about half (if that) the number of bees in it and has only drawn out about 3.5 frames (medium) where I just had to put a second box on the good hive.  When I pulled the frames out yesterday, there were some cells capped off in the "bad" hive, but I couldn't tell what was in them, I kinda think it may have just been capped honey or syrup water, the cells were very light in color.  The good hive had capped cells that appeared a little darker yellow, brood I assume.  I didn't see the queen in either hive, but didn't look everywhere. 
I'm thinking I need to call Kelley and order another queen, does that sound like the right thing to do?  How do I know if I'm looking at capped brood or capped honey/syrup?

Offline JP

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 10:16:09 AM »
Titus, you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. Its only been 2.5 weeks since installation, you need to give the less evolved hive more time before considering re queening them. Some queens just take a little longer to get going than others.

You may have had some drifting occur from the smaller hive to the larger hive, hence the lack of numbers. One thing you could do to bolster numbers in the lesser hive is to swap hive locations. The bees will be a little confused because you moved locations and you should get a little boost in numbers in the less populated hive. This will not create any major havoc and the bees will work it out once they've re oriented.

Look at this picture, capped worker brood bottom right, capped drone brood top right, the peanut shaped thing left center is a queen cell.


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Offline TwT

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 10:24:50 AM »
are your hives close together? being such young hive's you might have experienced drifting, you need to see if you have eggs in the hive you want to re queen, if so just change the hives positions, you know put the weak hive where the strong one is and the strong hive were the weak was, it happens to new packages more than most think. a frame of capped brood would help the weak hive also, but I figured the bee's would have drawn q-cells by now if the queen was bad, its hard to say because I cant see the hive.

the answer these few questions and that can help see if drifting was your problem, is the population a lot lower in the weak hive? do you see eggs or brood in the weak hive? how far apart are the hives? distance between the hives doesn't hurt but new packages can drift when hives are close and the same colors.

JP post at same time as me, he was just a little faster  :-P

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Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 10:43:00 AM »
Follow the advice above AND,

Give them another week or so, they are beginners,they have a lot to learn.

In the mean time find your local bee club, get their LOCAL opinion, also visit your local library and check out the bee books, they have some or can get them thru their inter-library loan system !

" If Your not part of the genetic solution of breeding mite-free bees, then You're part of the problem "

Offline Titus

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 10:49:32 AM »
Thanks guys, I think you're right on.  The hives do look alike and are close together.  They must have drifted.  I'll try and take a good capped frame from the good hive and trade it with the weak hive (minus the queens).  I can also swap there spots, only now one is 2 stories and the other only 1, but maybe it will still fool a few bees...
Thanks for the fast help :)

Offline MsBeehavin

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 11:09:50 AM »
I have recently had to requeen two of our three hives...  Upon inspection, there was abolutely no egg, larva, or capped brood.  The bees are numerous and supers are filling well.  Our fellow beekeepers down the road said that they have found the lack of brood also in one of their hives.  I have requeened one of my hives (yesterday), and put a swarm on top of the other (newpaper in between) on the other. Is this a problem for everyone this year? 

Offline Titus

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 11:31:15 AM »
My inlaws down the road have had similar problems with one of their new hives and they are going to requeen.  I'm going to wait and try the above recommendations before requeening, but I also have some capped cells that may be brood...

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Requeen?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 02:26:55 AM »
Wen I requeen my split yesterday I had an interesting experience. While I was moving frames to position the queen cage I was holding the queen cage (no attendants) in my hand and several of the bees from the hive I was requeening crawled onto the cage and began feeding her throught the screen.  Since this was the 1st time I had ever requeen with just a queen in the queen cage (like those that come in packages) I had never seen this behavior before. 
I figured the requeening was going to take if the bees from the queen intended hive would start feeding her before she was even in the hive.  I lodged her next to the frame of brood I'd borrowed from the parent hive and figure the marshmellow should be eaten through in a day or 2. 
It's raining today so more bees to help release the new queen.  I have to go out on the next sunny day and remove the queen cages from the packages I hived Sunday as will as the requeening I did Tuesday morning.  The weather has been such that I have an hour or so of sun in the morning and then rain in the afternoons.  It rained heavy all day to day to no chance to remove queen cages.
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