View Full Version : Growing a few replacement queens
02-04-2005, 08:07 AM
I was looking for the best way to do this with the least amount of expense and effort -- ok, I'm cheap and lazy. I guess I could just remove all the queens and let them raise new ones. That may help with population control during the midsummer dearth.
But could you just remove the queen from one hive and, assuming they will grow more than one queen cell, put one of these queen cells in each hive to be requeened? Actually, instead of trying to cut out queen cells and leaving holes in the comb, could you just drop the entire frame with the new queen cell(s) in the hive to be requeened (a day or two after removing the old queen)?
None of my current queens really seem to be superior to any of the others so genetics really isn't a factor.
Do the queen cells need to be capped before moving or will the hive to be requeened (and queenless) pick up in queen cell development where the first hive left off?
02-04-2005, 03:34 PM
You could do it that way but timing is important because if done at the wrong time you would induce severe swarming.
I have not been impressed with the quality of queens raised this way. They just don't quite measure up in many respects.
If you only raise queens from one hive, you would of necessity be narrowing your genetic base. This is not a good thing to do from a long term perspective.
To de-queen and let the bees raise a replacement is a very old method of controlling swarming and under a few conditions may make a lot of sense. There are timing issues to consider and you have to be prepared to remove all but one queen cell to do this.
02-04-2005, 04:31 PM
>But could you just remove the queen from one hive and, assuming they will grow more than one queen cell, put one of these queen cells in each hive to be requeened?
That's a typical method.
> Actually, instead of trying to cut out queen cells and leaving holes in the comb, could you just drop the entire frame with the new queen cell(s) in the hive to be requeened (a day or two after removing the old queen)?
That's how I usually do it if there is only one, but sometimes they build several on one frame.
>I have not been impressed with the quality of queens raised this way. They just don't quite measure up in many respects.
The bees often start with a four day old larvae in an emergency. To prevent this from resulting in an inferior queen, cut out any cells capped over at 4 days from when you made it queenless. That way you keep the youngest ones.
02-04-2005, 05:48 PM
The easiest way to raise quality queens with the least amount of time and equipment would be the following.
In a two deep colony, take the second box and raise it above the other seperated by a double screen, and at least two empty boxes. Make sure that the second box on the top has fresh eggs and nurse bees, and that the bottom box has the queen. You will have queen cells, and can either pull entire frames with queen cells or cut out the cells for introduction to nucs, etc.
You have a hive that can be easily re-establish back to normal, the hive never was left without a laying queen, the hive normally raises very high quality cells in this manner, and no grafting or much labor is involved. Nice if you need from 5 to 10 queens.
>In a two deep colony, take the second box and raise it above the other seperated by a double screen, and at least two empty boxes.
dont understand exactly what you mean (and atleast two empty boxes) i understand a deep with the queen and a double screen snell board, but are you saying stack the other queenless deep with the brood on 2 empty deeps or 2 empty shallows with no frames in them or does it matter what size empty boxes you use? is that right? I like the way this method sounds, even I might can do this ;) .
02-05-2005, 05:08 PM
Yes that is correct. I would use two empty deeps if you have them but mediums do work. You want the raised box of bees to think they have no queen.
02-05-2005, 07:45 PM
Another easy way of getting good queen cells is to go through your hives right before swarming starts. (Here that's April 1st). The hives that are going to swarm have made maybe 4 or more queen cells, often on more than one frame. Just take a frame that has a queen cell, making sure you leave at least one other queen cell for that colony. You would then combine this frame with other bees (using newspaper trick, or wetting with sugarwater) and you turn one hive into three (assuming you catch the swarm).
The timing for this method is good because the bees know when the earliest time to raise a queen is. They wait 'til there's enough drones of mating age, but they'll have queens ready at the earliest possible date. This way you'll have splits made up early, in time for them to build up strong by years-end.
Swarm queens are not emergency queens- they've been carefully selected and all are capable of being good queens. I like to take a frame that has two queen cells, and leaving at least two, just in case a cell gets damaged, etc.
02-08-2005, 10:18 AM
When producing queens as you have described, what do you provide the upper section with for an entrance?