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Author Topic: Requeen after Emergency Queen Failed  (Read 2757 times)
StephenSDH
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« on: May 10, 2009, 07:47:29 PM »

I have 5 frame Nuc which I put two frames (1 egg, 1 capped), bees, and a feeder in to see if I could make an emergency queen.  It looks like they tried to make one cell but I'm not sure if they ever completed it, because it looked half built.  It has been 24 days and there are no eggs in the cells, but a good number of bees (rather aggressive, I'm guessing because they are still queenless).  They bees are just chilling out, not really bringing pollen into the hive.

I purchased two mated queens and I went ahead and introduced one of the queens inside her cage to the nuc.  I first watched the bees to see how they reacted.  When I bought 3lb packages before, the bees looked like they were trying to chew through the mesh to kill the queen.  The bees were very curious and not too aggressive, but one bee looked like it was trying to sting through the mesh.  The bees where very aggressive, so I'm guessing this one bee could be just because I was disturbing them.

My plan is to leave the bought queen in her cage inside the nuc for 3 days.  When I open it back up I am going to make sure there is no eggs in the cells, and look hard to make sure I don't see a queen.  If all is good, I am planning on releasing her as long as the bees are passive around her. 

Is there anything I should watch out for? 
Bees have been queenless for 24 days, is there any risk of laying workers even if I don't see eggs?

Thanks ahead of time. -Steve Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 08:52:18 PM »

I think your plan is good under the circumstances.   The only thing you might consider is putting the new queen in a push in cage and letting her start to lay before you release her. 
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StephenSDH
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 07:03:53 AM »

Thanks for the advice on the push in cage, that looks like a good practice to release queens, so she can get laying immediately.

Well I opened the nuc to release the bought queen and was surprised to find eggs in the nuc.  The queen's attendants in the cage with her were all killed except for one.  The emergency queen had already laid eggs in half of the available cells.  Hopefully there are other hives in the areas so the emergency queen is well mated. I was told recently it is a little early in the year to start virgin queens, because the drone population isn't built up.  I quickly split a different hive and let it sit overnight queenless and just introduced the queen this morning.  Hopefully the queen and her one attendant will be accepted.

Just one question for anyone reading.

I've read, within 6-10 hours the bees will realize they are queenless and start to flood a couple cells with royal jelly.  If I introduce the queen at 12 hours I'm guessing they have already gone into emergency mode.  When the bees find a mated queen has been placed in the hive do the workers stop feeding larvae royal jelly and these bees end up like a normal worker?

Thanks, Steve
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 08:11:18 PM »

Just one question for anyone reading.

I've read, within 6-10 hours the bees will realize they are queenless and start to flood a couple cells with royal jelly.  If I introduce the queen at 12 hours I'm guessing they have already gone into emergency mode.  When the bees find a mated queen has been placed in the hive do the workers stop feeding larvae royal jelly and these bees end up like a normal worker?

Thanks, Steve

You understand correctly, past 12 hours, or by the time the hive begins reconstructing the cells around the chosen larvae into queen cells the hive will go back to acting as a queenright hive.
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StephenSDH
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2009, 10:50:34 PM »

Well one queen down.Cry  I split a hive and added a mated queen I purchased(which I tried to add to a nuc as mentioned above).  Unfortunately the mated queen was killed by the hive. Et tu, Brute? I let her out of the cage on top of the inner cover, and several attendants started tending to her.  I watched them tend to her for 15 minutes before I had to heading to work.  Everything seemed fine.  They were cleaning her and feeding here and forming a perfect circle around her, very behaved.  She never moved with-in the 15 minutes I had time to watch.  She was very active before I released her.

I came home from work at lunch time and went down to peak on top of the inner cover to make sure she worked her way into the hive.  I was surprised to find that she still hadn't moved and the was a large ball of bees on top of her.  I pushed to ball of bees off of her and see started running around like a wild woman.  Bees were pulling on her legs and trying to split her in two.  Eventually she ran to the middle hole in the inner cover and down into the hive.  I went into the house to get some screening to make a push in cage.  Within 15 minutes I had a frame cleaned off ready to put her in a push in cage, but unfortunately I pulled her out of another ball she got herself into inside the hive and she was fatally stung. 

It appears some of the bees were loyal to her because she was balled up for probably 6 hours and perfectly fine, but when I freed her up from the first ball the aggressive bees were able to sting and kill her.  My guess is that the whole hive didn't get the message she was their new queen(because I introduced her too soon).  The queen only had one attendant within her cage(from a previous debacle), could this mean that her scent wasn't able to be passed around the hive before I released her.  She was in there 2 days, and 2 1/2 days since they were queenless.  The bees were calm around her cage so I went ahead and released her.  One thing I noticed is that she appeared to be smaller in size then some of my other queens???  I put in another caged mated queen to replace the killed queen.  Hopefully this one goes better.

By the way I know the hive is queenless, because I found the queen when I split the hive and put her in the other split.  (I also checked the other hive to make sure somehow she didn't come back and she was still there)

Did I introduce her too early?
Do mated queens commonly get rejected?
I let her cage site on top of the inner cover so the screen was hanging over the oval hole and facing down to communication with the bees, is this wrong way to introduce?

I'm hoping not to kill the next queen.  I am thinking I will leave her in there for 4 days.  Plus I put her cage inside the hive this time(I was trying on top of the inner cover so I could fit all the frames in and not have burr comb.)

Thanks ahead of time,  Steve

I tried to post i picture, but the forum wouldn't let me.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 11:01:44 PM by StephenSDH » Logged
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 12:34:00 AM »

How soon after making the split did you introduce the queen?  If immediately, then it was too early.  I always let my splits set overnight before adding a new queen.  Buy that time the entire hive knows they're queenless and even if they've taken action to make an emergency queen they will accept the new queen and destroy the brood.

Mated queens, especially of a different subspecies such as installing a Carnie queen into an Italian hive, often are rejected or immediately superceded by the hive. 

Quote
I let her cage site on top of the inner cover so the screen was hanging over the oval hole and facing down to communication with the bees, is this wrong way to introduce?

Yes.  The queen cage should be suspended between 2 frames (brood if possible) toward the center of the hive.  It should be positioned so that the worker bees can feed the queen through the screen and eat through the candy or marshmellow that plugs the hole in the queen cage.
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StephenSDH
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2009, 07:11:26 AM »

Thanks.

I did let the hive sit overnight.  I ended up requeening the hive again, with the queen between frames of brood and the new queen took.  The hive now has several capped swarm towards the bottoms of the frames.  I pulled the queen/bees/frames and put her in a nuc as she is clipped.  I'm curious if the main hive will swarms or not.  There is plenty of room in the hive, but I don't think they see the plastic frames as available space.

Learning alot, but it sounds like you never figure out whats going through their heads.

-Steve
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