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Author Topic: Using a queen excluder to find the queen  (Read 221 times)

Offline LKBruns

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Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« on: July 07, 2016, 01:32:51 PM »
I have a hive I would like to requeen.  I have seen videos that use queen excluders to confine the queen.  This narrows the search down to a single box.  How long do I wait after installing the queen excluders to try and narrow the search.  By the way I am terrible at finding eggs.  Brood is my best bet.

Offline GSF

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 02:13:31 PM »
Jump in there and try to find her first, then put the queen excluder on if you can't. Watch for robbing.

Check out Michael's bee math, that'll give you a resource when you find yourself in this spot again, and again, and again. (sounds like experience speaking don't it?)

Why do you want to re queen?

http://bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
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Offline little john

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 02:15:10 PM »
If you have several boxes, simply split them and place them several feet apart.  The boxes where the queen isn't will become distressed and start making wide sweeps in the air trying to find her.  That's a much quicker and less disruptive way of narrowing down the search to one box.

Even with one box to search through, I sometimes still have difficulty finding unmarked queens - if it's imperative that I find her (and only if), then I resort to using a Marburg Box, but you could always use two boxes with a Q/X in-between instead.  Shake the bees off a frame (or two) of brood - place them in the lower box, then start shaking bees out into the top box.  Most will go down into the lower box, and eventually you'll spot that elusive queen, amongst the drones - which will also be unable to pass through the Q/X.

Hope this helps
LJ

Offline LKBruns

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 02:21:21 PM »
The hive is somewhat more aggressive than I'd like.  Once I order  and have a queen in hand I'm going to have to find her.  I figured knowing which hive body she is in will make life easier.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 07:45:25 PM »
Littlejohn is close to a technique we use for sneaky queens.
If the hive has a bottom entrance, put a QX on the bottom box with the brood in the bottom as well, shake all the bees from the top boxes onto the ground or a board if the hive is on a stand, all the bees enter through the bottom including the queen.
Put the hive back together and the bees will find their way through the Qx to leave the queen in the bottom.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2016, 02:48:19 PM »
If you put an excluder between each box and come back in 4 days any box with eggs in it has the queen.  All eggs will hatch in 4 days.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Using a queen excluder to find the queen
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2016, 09:57:37 AM »
I don't have any excluders that I trust so I would split all boxes and move them at least 10 ft away and leave the original location empty.  The one that gains in population has the queen.  Then I would move that hive again on the day I was going to look for the queen to get rid of the foragers.  Good luck.
If you still can't find the queen you can split again into two nuc boxes.  All the queenless splits can be recombined into one hive and a mated queen added.
Some people might not like this option but it is probably the one I would do.  Once I have isolated the queen to a single box I would snuff it out.  I am not looking for a queen in a hot box of bees.
Brian Cardinal
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