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Author Topic: First time Queening a swarm. Need advice or confirmation.  (Read 1254 times)
doug494
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« on: June 29, 2013, 12:37:22 PM »

About 4 weeks ago I caught a swarm.  Did not know if I got the queen or not so every week I gave them brood and eggs from a stronger hive.

I never found eggs in the hive.
They would make queen cups but not full cells.
Never saw anything that looked like a queen.
They always remained pretty calm and easy to work.

So 36 hours ago I put a bought queen in with the cork left in. Also gave them some more capped brood (with the bees on the frame)

Today I thought I would take the cork out and let them release her (still no eggs).  They were definitely a little more aggressive.  almost like they didn't know they were queen-less, but now they do.  There was a dozen or so bees crowding the cage and were holding on tight, so I assume no acceptance.  I left the cork in.

So will they accept her in the next 24-48 hrs?
Should I go ahead and remove the plug, assuming they will accept her by the time she is free?
Could this just be the nurse bees that came with the frame from the stronger hive not accepting her (since they were never really queen-less)?
How long will the queen survive in there?

My plan is to check tomorrow.  If they are not biting I will pull the plug, otherwise start putting together a nuc so if this goes another couple days and can move the queen there and replace this hive after it fails.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 11:02:30 PM »

Doug,
Sounds like you have a vergin queen in there. Do not un cork the new queen until they stop attacking the boxed queen. Vergin queens are hard to see.
Jim
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doug494
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 06:58:15 PM »

Update:

Checked today (5 days) from queen intro.

The hive was calm
Still no eggs or visible queen loose in the hive.
There were even more bees around the cage and they were even starting to build comb on that frame.  Of the bees that were on the cage, it seemed a few might still be biting the cage, but I really think I saw some sticking their tongues out.  It also,seemed as though some of the bees in the cage would come up to the screen and go mouth to mouth with the bees on the outside.

Is it possible some bees accept her, but others do not yet?

I this point I think I will check again tomorrow or the next day, and if I see similar behavior I'll remove the cork and let them release her.

Any thoughts?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 01:10:20 AM »

Try moving the bees from the cage with your finger. If they move out of the way, remove the cork. Sounds like they are ready.
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doug494
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 08:10:19 AM »

I did.  Most moved easily.  Maybe 1 or 2 were a little harder.
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doug494
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 01:15:45 PM »

Ok.  So yesterday I went to pull the plug and still didn't like their attitude towards my queen.  I looked through the hive more and saw open brood, and then saw a few eggs.  Neither should have been there.  So I took the cage out of that hive and they are on their own for a while longer.

For the queen, I took her home to let her relax.  Before I left the apiary, I created a 8 frame medium nuc with a frame of open and closed brood and a frame of honey/pollen.  I left them overnight so they would know they were queenless and today put the queen in with the cork pulled.

I'll check again Sunday.

Hopefully I will be able to save the queen and requeen the other hive if it actually fails or have a start to a new hive.
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 01:38:42 PM »

you did well to not rush the queen release.  most people are in such a rush to get her in there that they end up making a mess of it.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 02:43:05 AM »

whereas I agree with kathyp, most people do rush it, I notice you posted this june 26th and then said it was 36 hours prior you put the queen in, and then gave the update about removing her today. thats 11 days with the queen in the cage. thats pretty long, imo. the bees will feed her and go mouth to mouth, and you should be able to tell if they are actually hostile towards her. as you've already done, by brushing them with your finger/seeing if they are biting the screen/etc. when you put the cage in, how did you have it facing, btw? I'm for having the opening NOT facing the wax foundations to either side, but up and down myself (o a queen box that is open on two sides with screening.
  How you should do it I think really depends on what your plans are for the queen you have. if you really have none then put some candy in it and let them release her. one of a few things will happen, the two queens will fight, one will win and life goes on. the bees will kick her out or harass her out, life goes on, and that isn't likely. or she's the only queen and will be/is accepted...and life goes on. If you have a alternative for the queen then well, you probably do want to save her, but then it is on you to find at the least queens sign, or the queen. if you supplement with frames of brood/bees from another hive then next time do it with a frame of brood, bees and eggs that are two days old, and notch the bottom of the 2 day eggs downward at a 45ish degree angle. like in this video at the 30 minute mark, give or take:
http://youtu.be/inGtBz0LB2I they will make queens....and if you have a queen already, she'll kill them through the cells probably before they hatch...if not they'll fight and well one will win...life goes on, and keep supplementing with brood frames when you do it, and in 10 days after if you have them to spare.
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doug494
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 10:08:40 AM »

You're a few days high.  The original post was the 29th.  The queen went in the evening if the 27th.  So call it 6 days.  Plus, I picked her up from Kelley the same day myself so she was never in the mail.

I do agree that the time in cage was getting high.  1 attendant had died.  That's why I moved her to the nuc, so she could be released by 11 days.

I put it in facing up, sitting on the bottom of a foundation-less frame.

As you say it is on me and part of this is a learning experience.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 03:25:42 AM »

Not sure why I seen it as the 26th...must be 3am dyslexic....  duh.
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