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Author Topic: "Demon" colony needs a new queen  (Read 1646 times)
Stone
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« on: October 11, 2010, 10:16:35 PM »

This is a long time coming but I believe it's time re-queen at least one of my colonies.  But I'm just not sure if it's too late in the season to do it.  I have 3 top bar hives, and I took my last harvest of honey comb from my "demon" colony today. They were all over me in a heartbeat the moment I opened up the hive.  When I was done, I tried to lose them by walking into the upper meadow and into a stand of trees about 200 feet away.  They stayed right with me all the way.  Even went at my dog relaxing on the porch - poor fella.  Took me about twenty minutes before I could even walk into the house.  And they were waiting  for me when I walked out again!  The thought of dealing with these bad girls first thing in the spring is not very appealing. 

First question: I'm on the western side of the Catskill Mountains in NY State. Gets into the 40s at night (We've had frost on some nights.) and is still going up to the low 70s on some days.  Not too many of those left.  Is it too late to introduce a mated queen?

Second question: If it's not too late, who would you all recommend I contact at this time for such a queen?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 12:40:06 AM »

I would requeen in the early spring.  There will be less bees to mess with and you will be able to tell if she's laying, as it's late enough now that she may not start.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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Michael Bush
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 06:32:04 AM »

Stone, when you work your bees, you're smoking them every time before you go in correct?


...JP
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Stone
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 08:55:35 PM »

Usually.  But since I was pulling a couple of top bars of honey from the end, I didn't use smoke.  Didn't want to taint the honey. Had sugar syrup and Honey Bee Healthy spray though. Helped, but the guard bees were relentless.

Even when I use smoke on these girls, it's still a battle - just not as bad.  When I step into the bee yard and get within a feet of the hive, they start zinging me.  No, I don't use Old Spice.  Smiley

Two things could have effected them: There was a low pressure system moving in (I found out afterward). And I had spilled a little Lemongrass oil on my gloves earlier . But I'd imagine they would have liked this - not get angry at it!
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010, 09:07:25 PM »

your sugar spray is more apt to taint the honey if it's not capped.  if it is, there isn't much you can do to damage it.

you may be surprised to fine them docile in the spring, or they may requeen themselves before you get around to it.  bad time of the year to do it now  unless you are in the south.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 12:44:42 AM »

The right amount of smoke is just a little and it should be cool smoke, not fire breathing smoke... smoke is by far the most effective way to keep bees calm.  Sugar syrup is not even in the running...
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Michael Bush
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 08:07:48 PM »

For a demon hive?   You always need to go in there with a priest.    grin
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Stone
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 08:37:49 PM »

You got that right.  Worked great!  She was the one holding the smoker. Smiley
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