View Full Version : Queen Introduction
07-28-2011, 12:36 PM
I have a hive that has been queenless for sometime (about +45 days) and I just received a queen yesterday. I immediately installed the cage, but first took a few minutes to observe the hive's reaction to her.
I couldn't ever get a vibe from the hive whether they were excited or angry, but definitely a reaction. I have been expecting a laying worker situation since they have been queenless for so long, which may cause rejection of this new queen. Could someone with more experience with re-queening provide feedback or thoughts?
07-28-2011, 01:21 PM
Not a whole lot of experience to draw from but when I intrroduced a caged queen to a trap-out hive this past Saturday, I noticed a distinct difference in the tone "hive song" from the bees. It went from something very disjointed to a mellow, much more consistent humming.
Did you notice anything along these lines?
Paul E. Turley
07-28-2011, 01:51 PM
I noticed an increase hum, I thought that to be a neutral response because they would be react by humming either way.
07-28-2011, 02:12 PM
It didn't appear to be an aggressive response to me, but I too am interested in a more "seasoned" keeper's response.
You could alway just keep an eye on the landing board over the next 5~7 days. A sudden increase in pollen loads should likely be considered good news.
Paul E. Turley
07-28-2011, 08:51 PM
I would expect laying workers after 45 days. How do you know it's 45 days? I would treat as laying worker hive as far as getting them queen right:
07-28-2011, 11:44 PM
My apologies, I forgot that I did add a frame of open brood on June 26. They made an emergency queen cell, but never capped it. This frame of brood may have eliminated any laying workers at the time. Do you think they have had time to develop again?
By the way Mr. Bush, I've read your articles several times...thank you for your contributions to less experienced guys like me!
07-29-2011, 02:31 AM
They looked pretty accepting to me, but the proof is in the pudding. lol. I would have pulled the candy cork and installed her... then gone back a week or two later to check the center frame for eggs... if there were eggs, I would ease the cage out and close her up for another week to let her get good and settled in... If there were no eggs, I would have checked the cage to make sure she wasnt still stuck, and if not, I would look for her and eggs on each frame... if there were no eggs, but there was a queen, Squish and add a frame of eggs from another hive (repeat once every 7 days upto 3 weeks until they hatch a draw e-cells, usually its the first frame)... if there were no eggs, and no queen, add a frame of eggs from another hive (again 1 every 7 days upto 3 times until they draw e-cells)... if the e-queen is not something that you want to go into winter with (I wouldnt), then you can replace her with another queen after she has mated and started laying... This will reverse the laying worker condition and get you back to an accepting hive. Hope this helps!
07-29-2011, 09:05 AM
I did go ahead and stick the cage in the hive right after I turned the camera off. I'm not sure if I messed up or not, but I also added a clean frame of open brood (no bees attached) at the same time.
07-29-2011, 12:36 PM
You did it right. Just wait seven days from the date that you installed her and the frame of eggs, then take a peak at that egg frame... if there are cell, she didn't make it. Lol. But most likely, she took just fine and you will have nothing to worry about. Good call btw on installing the queen and a frame of eggs... that was one of dads tricks to easily see if she took. Lol.
08-10-2011, 07:26 AM
After 8 days of the queen being released from her cage, I see no new eggs, larvae, or capped brood. I'm assuming that she didn't take. I have two spare queens and will break the double-deep down into singles and split into two hives (after a vigorous shake out). This queen less hive is already well-stocked with honey and pollen, so I'll only need to add a few frames of brood.
I may sound like I have it well-planned, but I'm lacking confidence...am I on the right path?
08-10-2011, 08:20 AM
Yep. On everything except for the lack of confidence. ;-) You need a queen? Or maybe a buddy to drive up and graft a few cells for ya? I can be kinda handy in a pinch. Lol.
Ps.. if your not seeing any eggs or larvae at all, you may not have to worry about laying workers... they may take a queen... you can test this by offering one still in the cage and check the next day to see if they are chewing on the cage, or feeding her through it...
08-10-2011, 10:48 AM
I suppose I can't tell the difference between chewing on the cage and trying to feed the queen just yet.
I'm going to move the splits to a cotton field about 5 miles away, where it is in bloom. About 150 acres planted on a hunting lease. Have a good water source, should be a good place for them to make it, just hope the wild hogs leave the boxes alone. Will take a third, more established hive so that I can exchange brood frames from it if needed.
Thanks for the offer! This hive is a lost cause and I can experiment since I have these spare mamas lying around. I'm not really sure that it would be worth the drive north this late in the year unless you wanted to trap some wild hogs in the river bottom (cotton is too tall to spotlight them anymore). I'm going to use the two sunkist queens that I received this past weekend. If anything can get the colony to a sufficient population before fall, it will be those ladies!
08-10-2011, 07:09 PM
Bees that are after the queen are hard to move aside with your finger. Bees that are not will easily move out of the way.
08-10-2011, 07:23 PM
Thanks Michael! That actually solves a lot of questions, bees from the earlier queen introduction were difficult to move.
08-18-2011, 07:32 AM
So the first queen in this video wasn't accepted. I split the hive down single deeps, added several frames of brood along with lots of nurses and a couple Sunkist queens.
These ladies were so eager to go, they ate through the candy in 3 days (I even forgot to punch a nail hole through it). I confirmed that the queens were on the comb,ready to lay!