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Author Topic: What to do with old Queen?  (Read 2654 times)
Two Bees
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« on: September 03, 2010, 04:36:33 PM »

Had a hive that was rather small and only had one frame of brood.  Decided to combine with a really strong hive using the newspaper method.  If I don't have another hive that's queenless, what do I do with the old queen from the weaker hive?
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tandemrx
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 05:24:58 PM »

I had to euthanize one of my queens a while back for the first time.  It was really tough to do.  Cry

She was laying really poorly and even state inspector said she had to go.

When I got the new queen I did put old queen in a nuc with a couple frames of brood/nectar in case the new queen wasn't accepted, I would at least have a back-up, but new queen worked out fine and old queen continued laying poorly & minimally.

Really hate to kill something, but if I just banished her to a tree in distance she would die anyway - and that would be more cruel I think  huh.  So, she got stepped on.  Undecided

And really the "old queen" was not old.  I had just gotten her this year, but she just couldn't perform well after months of trying.  She started out mediocre and went downhill from there.  Never could build up that nuc at all.

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hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 05:27:28 PM »

Drop her in a jar with a little rubbing alcohol. That'll be your swarm bait next year.

Scott
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Two Bees
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 05:41:41 PM »

My wife didn't want to hear that!   Cry
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 05:55:39 PM »

How many cockroaches have you stepped on?  How many ants?  Sorry but as much as I love our hives as eusocial beings, the individual insects in them are not sentient.  I don't think they have souls waiting to join with Gaia.  As long as their death is quick and painless I have no problem dispatching them.  And if they can serve a useful purpose as Hardwood suggests, that's a good thing.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 06:53:04 PM »

Good point...................but I don't "know" most cockroaches, ants, spiders, and such.

I have kinda got to "know" this queen since I started the hive as a nuc and watched her hatch out and lay her first brood. 

Now, stop it..................I'm getting all misty!

Shane, come back!


 
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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
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skatesailor
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 08:04:13 PM »

Drop her in a jar with a little rubbing alcohol. That'll be your swarm bait next year.

Scott
Could you expand on this a bit? Do you freeze her until next year or keep her in alcohol. Then what? Thanks
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jgaito
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 08:08:27 PM »

this could get deep.  perhaps it already has.
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iddee
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 08:58:51 PM »

A 35 MM film canister works, or an old medicine bottle. Fill it halfway with alcohol and drop her in. Instant death, no pain. Then use a few drops of the alcohol on your swarm traps. Adding a few more queens just makes the lure stronger. Keep the lid on and replace alcohol if evaporation does happen.
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skatesailor
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 09:29:21 PM »

Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a try.
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hardwood
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 10:16:57 PM »

Before you know it you'll have several pint jars about half filled with queens and alcohol.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2010, 09:28:17 AM »

Shane, come back!
Now that's the funniest thing I've heard all week.   grin
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 10:12:30 AM by FRAMEshift » Logged

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AliciaH
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 12:27:44 PM »

Drop her in a jar with a little rubbing alcohol. That'll be your swarm bait next year.
a 35 MM film canister works, or an old medicine bottle. Fill it halfway with alcohol and drop her in. Instant death, no pain. Then use a few drops of the alcohol on your swarm traps. Adding a few more queens just makes the lure stronger. Keep the lid on and replace alcohol if evaporation does happen.
Before you know it you'll have several pint jars about half filled with queens and alcohol.

Really?  I mean, seriously?!  The pheramones will infuse the alcohol rather than the alcohol wiping them out?  And, you can really use that to bait swarm traps?

Sorry, but this sounds like something my Dad would say, then stand there next spring laughing his head off and say, "What, you really believed me when I told you that?  Ha! Ha! Ha!"  He's done that sort of thing to me so many times I can hear him laughing even though I haven't tried it yet.

And he wonders why I have trust issues...
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tandemrx
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2010, 01:05:26 PM »

I was thinking the same thing alicia  Smiley
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Two Bees
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 07:33:32 PM »

Interesting thing about that queen lure................

If a swarm already has a queen whose leading the pack, why would the swarm be attracted to the pheromone of a dead queen in alcohol?

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hardwood
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 07:36:21 PM »

Swarm lures (from Dadant etc.) and lemon grass oil simulate queen pheromone. Why not use the real thing?

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 09:08:08 PM »

Interesting thing about that queen lure................

If a swarm already has a queen whose leading the pack, why would the swarm be attracted to the pheromone of a dead queen in alcohol?
That is a very good question.  If the differences in pheromone are enough to inspire hives to fight each other, they should affect attraction in a lure situation.  Good for you for thinking critically instead of just accepting the received wisdom of common practice.
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tandemrx
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 09:35:17 PM »

My understanding is that the swarm lures that are sold by dadant and others is not the queen pheromone but the nasanov gland pheromone from worker bees that is used to by workers normally to "mark the entrance when a swarm is moving in; to mark a source of food . . . . ; to mark an aerial trail as a swarm is moving from its parent colony to a new home site" (italics quote from ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture). 

Dadant's even calls it "Nasonov"

So, the lure is not a queen substance, but a worker substance that is what they release when they are fanning the entrance to a hive.

I think someone does make a queen pheromone substance, but that is used to try to anchor a swarm to a hive once they have moved in.

Swarm lures (from Dadant etc.) and lemon grass oil simulate queen pheromone. Why not use the real thing?

Scott

Of interest, as I read about pheromones, if bees are forced to walk on glass beeds and those glass beads are washed with alcohol, the alcoholic material placed on another object becomes attractive to bees after the alcohol has evaporated.

So I guess it isn't too far of a stretch to say that if queens are dunked in alcohol, the resultant alcohol might offer up some pheromones that would do something (maybe not attract a swarm, but possibly anchor a swarm?)
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kathyp
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 09:45:15 PM »

i think that i read that the idea is to attract the bees to what appears to have been a once lived in hive.  we know that bees are attracted to abandoned hive sites.  that's why it's so important to make sure a removal site is cleaned up and sealed.  i'm guessing that the scent of the old queen just lets the new swarm know that this was once a lived in hive and a good place to go.......
used comb in a swarm trap would be the same kind of attractant.
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iddee
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 10:43:45 PM »

AliciaH, I do not think Beemaster would allow that on the forum. If someone was putting out false info and laughing about it later, I'm sure he/she would be banned quite quickly. Queens in alcohol have been used, or the alcohol has, for many years as a lure.

Now, whether it works or not is another matter, but it must do some good or the idea would have died long ago.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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AliciaH
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2010, 01:18:10 PM »

Iddee:  Yea, I know, I was just funnin' with y'all.  I've learned so much from this site that I know a joke wouldn't get played like that unless it was in the humor section.  Wink  And even then, it's pretty obvious!

For me, who has never used alcohol for more than sterilizing, however, it was an initial shock to realize that it could be used in this fashion.  Of course, we use alcohol to preserve bees when we ship them off for testing, so it makes sense that the queens pheromones would be preserved and could be used later, too. 

It's one of the reasons we all come here and discuss things, right?  To learn new things and to learn how to look at some things differently for a new perspective.

Thanks, again, everyone, for the information I'm continually absorbing! Smiley


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AllenF
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2010, 06:42:26 PM »

The queen in the alcohol does work better than the worm in the bottom of the bottle. grin  With your old queen, set her up in a nuc and see if you can get her through the winter , if only for the fun of it.   4 and a half frames of honey and a half frame of brood.  You never know.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2010, 04:45:42 PM »

I put them in a nuc until I know I won't need them (usually that fall) and then I drop them in a jar of alcohol with all the other retired queens to make swarm lure.
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