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Author Topic: Cool Requeening Technique  (Read 1156 times)
WOB419
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« on: May 19, 2009, 06:08:56 PM »

I lost my queen and needed to requeen yesterday.  When I picked up my new queen I told my supplier that I was going to double check that I didn't still have the old queen hiding in the hive and then place the new one in and release her in about 4 days.  He asked why don't I just let the bees tell me if the queen is still in there or not...Huh? Your bees talk to you?  I said.  I knew my supplier was old but I didn't think that he was senile...

He said put her in the hive and check her tomorrow.  If the bees are piled up on her cage nursing her then she will be the only queen in the hive.  If they ignore her then the old queen is still there and has to be found and removed.  I checked today and they are all over her cage.  It worked like a charm.  I will release her Friday or Saturday and see how she does.

The more experienced beeks might already know this technique but I did not and thought that it was cool.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 09:30:43 PM by WOB419 » Logged
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 06:38:10 PM »

By introducing a new queen to a hive with a queen already there might cause the colony to swarm.  I've heard of this happening.  Also the existing queen might try killing the introduced queen.  The existing bees will be attracted to a queen whether there's already one there or not.

I wouldn't wait until Friday or Saturday to release her.  That might be too long.  I would have stuffed a couple marshmallows in place of the cork on the queen cage and let the workers let her out.  Usually only takes a couple days.  5 days is pretty extreme and you might find a dead queen.  Just my experience, everyone does things a little different.

Sean Kelly
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WOB419
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 09:38:22 PM »

Thanks Sean for the comments.  I usually release my queens on day 4 but am not sure if I can get back from work on time Friday to take care of it then.  I know that some release after 3 days which is about the time to eat the marshmallow.  I didn't think that there is much risk of her starving because I thought that they would be feeding her through the screen.  Is that not the case?

The sooner she is out the sooner she will start laying, so I'll think about releasing her on Thursday night.

Do others have opinions about release queens on day 3 vs. 4 vs. 5 after introducing her to the hive?
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Potlicker1
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 09:52:50 PM »

I feel if they've accepted her, they will also feed her. I just made an increase from two overwintered colonies and due to scheduling conflicts had to wait 5 days for her realease. They were more than ready to accept her and get her going. Just look over how they're reacting around her when you pull the cage.
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 10:22:46 PM »

Not sure that bees gathering on the cage is acceptance. Check the behavior of the bees around the queen cage. if they are biting at the cage they may not accept her.
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WOB419
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 10:28:40 PM »

Yeah,  I figured that attention on the first day was likely to be aggressive behavior, but at some point after day 1 it should change to nursing.
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homer
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 10:41:22 PM »

If the old queen is in there couldn't she manage to sting the new queen through the cage?
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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 07:52:02 AM »

I don't believe that the method is sure fire.   A better indication is to give them a frame of eggs and larvae from another hive and see if they start to build queen cells.
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danno
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 07:59:30 AM »

This all bring up a question that I was wondering about.  If the bee's are acting aggressive and biting the cage, does mean that none are feeding the queen
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WOB419
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 07:12:02 PM »

I just hope that my bees and new queen are keeping up with this forum so that they will know what to do when I release her, cause I'm getting confused.

I am trusting that the cage is doing what it was intended to do which is to keep her safe.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2009, 12:48:14 AM »

This all bring up a question that I was wondering about.  If the bee's are acting aggressive and biting the cage, does mean that none are feeding the queen

It usually means you're trying to requeen a queenright colony.  Absence of brood is not the queenless indicator it once was.  Any hygenic strain of bee appears to go into a periodic brood dearth.  A frame of brood is always adviseable before spending the money on a queen.  I they start to build queen cells you can still requeen, just pull the frame with queen cells, add a few more frames of bees and honey and start a nuc.
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