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Author Topic: Requeening advice.  (Read 1320 times)
Wesley
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« on: May 14, 2011, 12:32:09 AM »

Today I gave three russian hybrid queens to three mixed italian hives. The hives had swarmed but had queen cells in all three. The queens hatched all on time but 10 days later no eggs, no queens to found, and they are buzzing like they are queenless.  The hives had a little capped brood, no eggs at all, no grubs. So I put the wooden queen cage where the last of the capped brood was located and I left the corks in both ends of the cage. Plan to go back in two or three days and pull the cork out of the candy end. The bees did not seem agressive towards the queen cage. Does this sound like a good plan to you guys? Any advice?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 02:06:58 AM »

>The queens hatched all on time but 10 days later no eggs

I wouldn't expect eggs for two weeks (14 days) and they may not have any for 21 days from when the queens emerged.  Odds are you have virgins in the hive.

The other issue is that Russian queens are hard to introduce.  I'd make a push in cage.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#pushincage
http://bushfarms.com/images/QueenConfinement5.jpg
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 07:23:24 AM »

Do yourself a favor and get some two or three inch shims. Next time, put the queen cage above or below the inner cover. (On top of the frames) This eliminates placing queen cages between frames, messing up your comb, and not being able to check the cage without opening up the frames.

You can do a simple finger test after 48-72 hours. It's simple....pick up the queen cage and move the bees off the screen with your finger. If the bees move easily, and you can see the queen running around all excited, she is probably accepted. But if the bees have a death grip on the screen and are covering the screen (sometimes like a small golf ball like sized clump) and will not let go of the screen, they are not taking her. For the most part, most hives during a flow, will take a new queen very easily, many times even with a virgin. This does not mean they will not kill each other. It just means without the pheromones of a laying queen, some hives will allow two queens. While others may not. I have had many queens accepted, then quickly disappeared a week or two later.

I don't find Russians hard to introduce. Unless you have a hive that is not ready to accept a new queen. There is at least one study (I think published last year in one of the bee mags) that had shown no difference in Russian queen introductions as compared to other queen being introduced. Look at it this way...if you are introducing an Italian queen into a previously Italian queened hive, and have problems...nobody says "It's because you were introducing an Italian queen". But the moment one is introducing a Russian queen into a previously queened Italian hive, and you have problems, it always assumed "Hey, it's because you were requeening with a Russian".

One of the things I have found out, is that later summer requeening of packages, and for many that means upgrading their queen to other stock more readily available like Russians and Carni stock, is that queens are harder (Or simply may take a couple days longer in the cage) due to the flow ending, etc. It just seems later in the summer, everything from queen rearing, queen introductions, etc., become harder and harder. Many times, this is when beekeepers are requeening packages, and then it's just reasonable to blame the queen type.

One last advice....always remember, you have about 10-12 days after the last of the brood is uncapped before you start developing laying workers.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2011, 08:23:49 AM »

>But if the bees have a death grip on the screen and are covering the screen (sometimes like a small golf ball like sized clump) and will not let go of the screen, they are not taking her.

That's a great description!
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Michael Bush
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Wesley
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011, 03:20:55 PM »

When I put the shims down on top of the frames  should I face the screen towards the hive? When I put the queens cages in the hive yesterday they seemed curious but were not biting or stingng into the cages. I think the virgins did not get mated because of all the bad weather in North Mississippi. Virgins are really hard to find. If there are vigins in there who have missed the window of opportunity to mate will the bees do away with them?
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Wesley
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 03:27:38 PM »

Thanks for all the good advice!! Smiley
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sc-bee
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 05:33:51 PM »

I have had no unusual problem introducing Russian Hybrids to Italians or Mutts. I usually leave them a few extra days (2-3) with the cork in evaluate and then pull the cork and let the bees release if they look like they are ready to accept. This is how I was instructed by a certified Russian Queen breeder. 

>If there are vigins in there who have missed the window of opportunity to mate will the bees do away with them?

I have not found that to be the case with mine. She may be mated but poorly mated. They may eventually supersede her, but I usually have to do the task. I get more supercedures on introducing new queen than I do poorly mated swarm queens. You will have to look for eggs and then evaluate from there pattern etc.

Pull a frame of honey and a frame of capped brood, add a frame of drawn comb or foundation w/feed if no flow when they need it and bank the queens in nucs until your evaluation is finished. Add more space as needed.

The longer they are in the cages the worse they are for it! You probably have no idea how long they have already been banked.
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Wesley
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 06:39:17 PM »

Well I went back today and the bees seemed quite calm. They were not balled around the queen cage, only one layer. They seemed to be feeding the bees inside. When I touched the bees on the queen cage they moved away quickly and the queen was running around quickly like she wanted out. So I removed the candy end cork and put a small nail into the candy to make a hole. Hopefully it will be a success!! The only strange thing I saw is grin I had a couple of nearly full honey supers on the hive sitting on the ground by me. I set the queen cage there for a few minutes while was checking somthing else in the hive. The bees in the honey supers from the same hive did not seem to like the queen as much as the bees from the brood chamber. I am assuming the queen phermone has not spread that far. I raked them off quickly and put the lady back in the brood chamber where I got her. grin
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