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Author Topic: Re-Queening Tomorrow - Found Old Queen Today!  (Read 4832 times)
sarafina
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« on: July 25, 2009, 04:57:14 PM »

Ok, I am a noob at beekeeping -only my second year.

I have a hive that is too hot and needed re-queening, so I ordered a new queen from a non-AHB part of the country.  She came today so I suited up and went into my hot hive to find the old queen.

I had on loose jeans AND a disposable painter's suit from Home Depot under my bee jacket and my husband found some long leather gloves and duct-taped them to my jacket.  I would have been stung 10-15 times on my hands if I had used my regular canvas gloves that came with my beekeeping kit.  I had to dig through my shallow super where she started laying and both brood boxes and I finally found her on the next-to-last frame.  I am sure she was running and I had to smoke pretty heavy because these bees are so mean, but it was worth it - I found her YAY!  Didn't get stung once.  I have never had so many bees buzzing me before.  

After I put the hive back together I walked around in my yard at the farthest point from the hive for over 30 minutes in my hot suit at 2:00 in the afternoon in 94 degree weather - waiting for enough of the bees to give up so I could go into the garage and take my suit off w/o bringing dozens into the garage and house.  This is part of the reason I am re-queening.  I still had 5 or 6 on me tucked up in my suit and around my shoes, but we killed them pretty quick in the utility room.

I smeared the old queen on the cage of the new one and my plan is to put the new queen in with the cork intact in the morning.  Then wait 2 days and either release her directly or pull the cork and poke a hole in the candy and let them release her.  Does this sound right?  The old and new queen are both Italians.

Also, should I put my queen in the garage where it is warmer?  She is in the utility room right now and it is probably 75 in there - probably 94 in the garage. After reading the other thread, I would put her in a bowl set in a bowl of water to keep the ants out.

Any advice would be appreciated!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 06:56:28 PM by sarafina » Logged
Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 05:11:21 PM »

I am just curious about the smearing of the old queen on the new queen's cage, will that cause a problem?
I have heard that some people feel the bees accept the new queen better if they smear the old queen or lay the dead queen on top of the frames in the hive for a day or so but I hadn't heard of putting her on the new queen cage.
Won't that cause some confusion?

Good luck with the new queen and a better temperment in that hive, there is no way I would tolerate hive like that either.
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sarafina
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 05:11:32 PM »



How do I install her with this type of cage?  Remove a frame and wedge her horizontally between them and hope she doesn't fall? Screen side up or down?

When I installed my packages this was the type of cage the queens were in, but they had a metal strap you could bend over the top of the frames to hang her vertically.
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sarafina
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2009, 05:18:24 PM »

Thanks, Natalie.  I am just glad they didn't supercede her and I still had my original marked queen.  I have heard so many tales of beeks trying to re-queen and couldn't find the old queen and this is my first re-queening.  I can't tell you how thrilling it was to pull that 29th frame and find her on it !!!!!  I had to pull all the frames in my shallow super since she had started to lay there also.  I couldn't find my queen excluder (never have used it, so no telling where I stuck it) or I would have put it on to let the larvae hatch out in the super.  Oh well - no biggie - the least of my concerns with this hive now!   Smiley

I remember Michael Bush saying to look on the frames with the most bees.  I spent a long time staring at one frame and my guess is she was probably on it and ran before I got it pulled.  Eventually she ran out of running room!   grin
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 08:13:46 PM »

Mine came caged like that and I wedged it in between the frames, it fit snug but I didn't have to remove a frame.
I would say as long as the screen isn't blocked it wouldn't matter.
You can turn it vertically and it will fit(at least mine did) but it may not matter which way you put it as long as they can touch her, spread her sent and feed her through it.
If you have to remove a bar to make it work just push the frames together tight so she doesn't fall.
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sarafina
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2009, 08:36:50 PM »

Thanks, Natalie!

I was hoping someone would answer before tomorrow morning - especially someone who received a queen in this type of cage. 

 Smiley
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fish_stix
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2009, 09:23:59 PM »

If you suspect those bees of being at least somewhat Africanized I suggest that you give the bees more than 2 days to get accustomed to her as the Africanized bees sometimes will not quickly accept a new queen. I would check after 2 days and see if the bees are going after the cage aggressively or are calmly feeding the new queen. If all appears well then take out the candy cork and let them release her. Also check the entire hive for Q cells before pulling the cork. If they have started cells it's a sure bet they'll kill your new queen.
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sarafina
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2009, 10:20:36 PM »

If you suspect those bees of being at least somewhat Africanized I suggest that you give the bees more than 2 days to get accustomed to her as the Africanized bees sometimes will not quickly accept a new queen. I would check after 2 days and see if the bees are going after the cage aggressively or are calmly feeding the new queen. If all appears well then take out the candy cork and let them release her. Also check the entire hive for Q cells before pulling the cork. If they have started cells it's a sure bet they'll kill your new queen.

Thanks, fish.  Yes I suspect somewhat AHB - not fully - but crossed in there somewhere.

I will leave the cork in for a couple of days and then open it up to see how they are reacting to her.  If it looks good then I think I will pull the cork and leave the candy in and let them release he

Not looking forward to going through all the frames looking for queen cells as pissy as they get, but it is better than losing my marked queen and having to do this all over again next spring with an unmarked queen.  Which is always a possibility no matter what.

Do I have to pull all the frames?  Or can I pull a couple and just slide the others over to look at them?  I don't want to miss any, but if I can minimize my time in there it would help me out.  Especially since it takes so long for them to get off of me so I can get out of my suit.
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Kevin Goats
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 02:35:25 PM »

Hey, it sounds like you have a mix of bees like I do ( I don't know their genetics ). How did you decide what queen to get and where did you get her from?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 03:49:33 PM by Kevin Goats » Logged
sarafina
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2009, 04:35:58 PM »

I searched on here and found a couple of suppliers and decided to go with the Walter T. Kelly company.  I was thinking of trying a Russian queen just to try something different, but when he said they were a bit more aggressive than his Italians I decided to stick with the Italians.  Having a hot hive just wears you out and I was at the point I didn't care if the Russians would build up faster - I wanted a hive I could work.  The shipping was cheaper with Walter Kelly because he doesn't overnight them, but he does guarantee live delivery.  I had no problem - he shipped my queen on Thu and I got her on Sat. 

I wasn't too happy with my local Post Office, though.  My husband's Amazon order came that same day and wouldn't fit in the mailbox so the carrier brought it to the door, but left our mail INCLUDING my package that said URGENT LIVE BEES on it in my black mailbox with it 94 degrees outside!  I got her right away and wasn't going to leave the house until after the mail had run.

Where did you get your queen?  Mine came with a package from R Weaver's in Navasota.  I had heard of others who got hot queens from there, but my queen from last year was fine and still is.  I won't be buying from them again, though.

To give you an example of what I have been dealing with:  I took a pair of tweezers and picked out all the stingers from my gloves from yesterdays queen-hunting adventure.  I counted them as I pulled them and put them on a paper towel and I got 160 total - 89 from my left glove and 71 from my right glove!   shocked



I told my husband he did REAL GOOD when he bought them for me.  He has to tape them to my suit since they don't have elastic and they are very bulky but I never would have been able to re-queen without them - they are STINGPROOF!
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sarafina
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2009, 04:45:27 PM »

I put my new queen in the hive this morning.  They definitely knew they were queenless because they were in an uproar!  I smoked the hooey out of them and it just made them madder.  As soon as the first puff hit the entrance, they came pouring out and came right after me, but I looked like the Michelin Man (er.. Woman) and had my leather welder's gloves on so they never got me.... muahahaha....!!!

I pulled the shallow super off and laid the new queen cage on the frames and watched the bees.  They were crawling over the screen. but weren't balling her or biting the cage.  I took that as a good sign and wedged her between 2 frames with lots of brood and watched some more.  I swear the noise level of the hive decreased right away and they were still just crawling on her cage so hopefully they will accept her.  I dumped the old dead queen in on top of the frames for them to carry out and put the shallow and cover back on.

I left the cork in, so I will probably take a half-day vacation Tuesday and come home at lunch and pull the cork and look for queen cells.  That should get me to the weekend when I can remove the (hopefully) empty queen cage and button it up for a couple of weeks.
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Kevin Goats
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2009, 05:24:07 PM »

My hives came from a man in Berkville, TX. They were already an established hive with first year queens. This in hive was strong from the start but not overly aggressive. I just need to split the hive because they are packed out. So, my need for a new queen (the split). Let everybody know how it goes.

                                                          Thanks for the info, Kevin
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Natalie
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2009, 09:37:04 PM »

Glad to hear the requeening went well, thank heavens you had those gloves.
Keeping my fingers crossed that you have good acceptance.
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sarafina
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2009, 10:39:06 PM »

Glad to hear the requeening went well, thank heavens you had those gloves.
Keeping my fingers crossed that you have good acceptance.

Thanks, Natalie.  I'll post an update next weekend.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2009, 11:47:37 PM »

I've been following your experience! I thought I had it bad when I got 20 stings a couple weeks ago. So glad you have such awesome gloves! Doesn't proper gear make all the difference? I used to do it with just a veil, long sleeves and regular pants. Not lately.

I wish you the best of luck with your new queen. Sounds like this is a hobby for you, right? It sure would stink to have a hobby become a dreaded activity!
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sarafina
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2009, 11:58:14 PM »

I've been following your experience! I thought I had it bad when I got 20 stings a couple weeks ago. So glad you have such awesome gloves! Doesn't proper gear make all the difference? I used to do it with just a veil, long sleeves and regular pants. Not lately.

I wish you the best of luck with your new queen. Sounds like this is a hobby for you, right? It sure would stink to have a hobby become a dreaded activity!

Thanks, luvin honey!

Well....... I can't tell you how much I have dreaded going into that hive to look for the queen!  I think it gave me tummy problems worrying about it!  When I got my new queen in the mail I knew I had no choice and yes, it takes all the fun out of a hobby.  I am glad I had my other hive, which is a joy to work, so I didn't give up.  Today I didn't mind at all since I knew they couldn't sting me through my suit or gloves and I wasn't going to be out there long enough to pass out from the heat LOL.

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sarafina
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2009, 01:28:45 PM »

I went in this morning to pull the cork on the queen cage.  There were a lot of bees on the cage, but they brushed off easily and the queen was alive and fattened up a bit.  She looked kinda puny after her shipping ordeal.  Anyway, I buttoned it back up and will check the hive again on Saturday to make sure she has been released and remove the cage.  So far, so good.

I am also going to collect a sample of bees to send to Texas A & M for them to evaluate the bees for AHB genetics.  They do it for free and I would like to know if that is what I am dealing with or if I just got a particularly aggressive strain of Italians.
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sarafina
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2009, 03:15:10 PM »

Pulled the queen cage this morning and it was empty, except for a couple of workers poking around.  Candy was gone and the cork at the other end and queen had been released.  I didn't inspect every frame as I didn't want to chance harming my new queen, but I pulled a few in the middle, found one queen cup and cut it out. 

I also collected bees in a jar to send to A&M and they are now floating in alcohol in a plastic jar, ready to put in the mail on Monday.  I saw a video a few days ago of someone collecting a "cup" of bees for a powdered sugar roll test.  They shook a frame of bes off into a box and scooped them up with a measring cup and poured them into the jar.  Well, I thought - hmm... looks simple enough so I took a small box out there with me, shook the bees into it from a frame I was inspecting (after making SURE my queen wasn't on it) and started to scoop up the bees with a measuring cup - just like in the video.  It was like herding cats.  They weren't being as calm and patient as the bees in the video, but I didn't expect it with my bees anyway.  I finally got enough in my jar and sealed everything back up.  I used my feeder lid with the holes and just dripped alcohol on the top until they finally gathered at the bottom enough to open the lid and pour in the alcohol to preserve them.

I don't know how long it takes for A & M to make a determination, but I will report back on this thread once I find out.
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sarafina
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2009, 12:57:46 PM »

Texas A&M received my sample of bees last Thu - I will report on their findings once I get them.

I went into the hive this morning to check for eggs and uncapped larvae and did not find any.  I did not check every frame and only checked the top deep since it started thundering.  I looked behind me and a thundershower was heading my way, so I buttoned up the hive and will check it again in another week.  They went berserk as usual as soon as I started pulling frames.  I only got stung once through my jacket on my arm, so not bad at all.  I sugar-dusted my other hive and had the top deep off and they were agitated, but not aggressive and didn't follow me to the back door of the garage like the bees from the other hive do.  What a difference!

So, at this point I don't know what the status of my hot hive is and whether or not they accepted the new queen.  If they didn't and killed her and I destroyed the only queen cell they had then they may be queenless and have no capability to make a new queen.

I am not throwing any more money at it with another queen.  If the hive dies I can't say I would be upset and I NEVER thought I would feel that way about my bees, but that was before I had to deal with this one.

I also thought about putting a frame of eggs from my gentle hive and let them raise a queen from those genetics.  My only concern is she would mate with the drones from the old queen and I would be right back to the same situation, since the aggressive traits seems so dominate.  I'll have to think about that one. 
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kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2009, 01:22:50 PM »

you could put a frame of eggs in and see if they make queen cells.  if they do not, it's a pretty good bet that they are queen-right.  if they do, you can try combining them and split in the spring.  you can also consider splitting them in the spring anyway.  that often helps the temperament of a hot hive.  if they were good  producers, they might be worth saving.  between requeening and splitting, you have a reasonable chance of keeping them. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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