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Author Topic: What would be considered a good 'indication' of acceptance at introduction  (Read 1219 times)

Offline OzBuzz

  • Queen Bee
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Hi Everybody,

What would be considered to be good behaviour when you introduce a Queen cage? What would be considered bad behaviour? I introduced a Queen cage today - the hive has been Queenless for 4 days (with some brood and no eggs laid i.e. no apparent laying worker). When i introduced the Queen cage the workers climbed all over the cage quite quickly. They were poking their tongues through the grill and almost tasting the Queen and the other workers... how can you distinguish what is friendly and what is aggressive?

Offline AllenF

  • Galactic Bee
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Aggressive to me is the bees biting the cage and balling over it.  If the bees took happy, you should be good.

Offline Michael Bush

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Eggs are a good sign of acceptance.  :)

Seriously, though, bees with their abdomens curled into stinging position are a bad sign.  But no matter how many accept her, it only takes a couple of dissenters to cause problems, so I'd do the slow introduction.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline OzBuzz

  • Queen Bee
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Cool, thanks guys... there was definitely no biting at the cage and also no curved abdomens to sting - it seemed all they wanted to do was lick the Queen and the other workers - is that one of their many ways of spreading pheromone - by tongue? Also, what does balling look like? is it a very 'manic' or 'hyperactive' crowding of the Queen with many bees deep? i noticed that the cage got covered with bees very quickly but they were all one bee deep and intent on shoving their tongue through the grooves. Also, i could easily brush the bees off the cage if i wanted (which i read somewhere was also an indicator as to whether they were being aggressive or not)

Offline AllenF

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Bee balling =  When a new queen is available, the workers will kill the reigning queen by "balling" her, colloquially known as the "cuddle death"; clustering tightly around her until she dies from overheating. This overheating method is also used to kill large predatory wasps that enter the hive in search of food and may be used against a foreign queen attempting to take over an existing colony.[3] Balling is often a problem for beekeepers attempting to introduce a replacement queen.  copied from wiki    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee

Offline OzBuzz

  • Queen Bee
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Queen release and acceptance was a success! I did a quick inspection yesterday and she was happily strutting her stuff!