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Author Topic: Ghoulish use of the Queen  (Read 3315 times)
CapnChkn
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« on: April 18, 2011, 02:23:09 PM »

I was talking with my Mother the other day, we were discussing what happened with the queen in a new swarm, and she said, "Your father and I tried re-queening, but we didn't like taking the old queen and smearing her all over the inside of the hive."

You don't know my Mother.  I thought about this for a minute, and then said, "Why would you be doing that?"  To which she replied, "To get the smell of the queen inside the hive, to keep the bees there."

Now as you may have guessed, my parents were from the old school of keeping bees, what today is referred to a Bee-haver.  Banging on pots and all that kind of stuff, so my question is:

Has anyone ever heard of a practice like this?  Where the heck did she pick up an idea like this?

Honestly; keeping carcasses preserved in a jar of alcohol is creepy enough.
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hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 04:14:31 PM »

Many older beeks still kill the queen and leave her on the bottom board or on the top bars thinking that the hive will know it's queenless sooner. I'm not convinced. I guess smearing her all over the hive is an extension of that?

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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 05:02:26 PM »

It may fall into the category of there is no wrong way, it all works. 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 10:56:30 PM »

Your mother is correct, this was a common method of lurering a swarm to a new hive or  holding a swarm in a hive once caught.
Today we use lemon grass oil or the essense eau queens pickled in alcohol to achieve the same thing.  I never liked doing it as I thought even a queen deemed in need of replacement was of better use in a nuc being or rearing a backup, than smeared all over the insides of a hive box.  Then too, it was discovered that a frame of brood w/eggs worked as well, if not better, than smashing the queen for holding a swarm in a box.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 11:41:50 PM »

Yes I have heard of it.  No, I have never done it.  I drop her in some alcohol, though, and use that for swarm lure...
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Michael Bush
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 12:27:47 AM »

Oh HO ho!  Thank you for the clarification.  Mom is full of little tidbits of information that don't have any basis in reality.  Someday I may tell you about the dragon "Toothpick sized Stick" and the fair damsel "Lawnmower."

Well, I don't mean to imply anyone is a Ghoul by making the queen juice.  "If it works, it's true!"  Anyway, that statement in the conversation was re-queening, removing the old and replacing her.  I might see the whole "keeping the swarm in a box" if the queen was dead, but not when you have a new swarm or a working hive and re-queen.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 01:13:04 AM »

The more common thing I've heard is squishing the old queen and rubbing her on the cage when introducing...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 01:17:27 PM »

It occurs to me I also implied "Old School" also means "Bee-haver."  That wasn't my intention.  I've thought this one over and because it's on the Internet in writing, I decided it needed clarification.

I'm 52 years old, not a rebellious youth.  When I say my Mother is/was "Old School," I need to point out I've also been handed pills for whatever imagined ailment I might mention.  Once she handed me a bottle marked, "Parasites."  She said, "I put this under my tongue and I felt SO MUCH BETTER!"  I looked at the bottle and the ingredients written there contained tapeworms, nematodes, and other nasty's in an infusion of alcohol.

My parents ran outside water to the quarter acre pond for years.  I never got a good answer for why, but when the pump burned out, it was replaced with one that will not carry the same load.  Just to keep the peace, I turned the water WAAYY down.  I finally got the report back that I needed to turn the water up or "the fish would die!"  The pond is about 6 feet deep at the driest.

Like I said, "You don't know my Mother."
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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
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