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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oakvale, MS 39656 USA
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    3

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    I was wondering how many on this board use Queen Cells to Requeen hives. We just recently tried this method for the 1st time. A commercial beekeeper winters his hives in our area and we can get cells from him at a great price. Depending on the day of the week they are either 9 day or 10 day cells. We tried to find the queen and kill her in all our hives. We only found 7 out of 13 queens. The ones we didn't find we split into 2 hives splitting brood and honey between 2 deeps. He says he has @90% sucess with this method. Just wondering if anyone does this and how you do it if different from the above method. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
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    393

    Post

    id like to know what he does to get 90% success???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,084

    Post

    He probably finds ALL the old queens. He also probably does it 8 to 24 hours before putting in the cells. He also may use cell protectors or wrap all but the ends in aluminum foil.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

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    Im going to try requeen my hives this year with protected queen cells straight into a queen right colony. I have never done this, but have been assured that it is a very successful and quick method of queen replacement. It is suggested to be done during the honeyflow, but I use excluders and dont want to trap any laying queen in my honey supers. So I am going to do it during my spring build up period, Likely have some surip on, so introduction might go smother. To me it seems as I am just initiating a supercedure, but I think Ill be careful not to promote a swarm. To beable to document its success or failure, I'll have to mark my old queens during splitting.
    Does any of this make sence? Am I overlooking anything? Perhaps I'm over simplifying things,. If it works for me, I should be able to keep good productive young queens in my hives for vertually no expense.

    Ian

    [This message has been edited by Ian (edited March 21, 2004).]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    All the things M.B. says will surely help. However, most folks that I am familiar with do it as Ian is thinking and that is forcing supercedure without any queen removal. The Canadians seem to be the ones who came up with the method in the first place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,084

    Post

    Dee does virgin queens without finding the old one, just heavy smoking and slip them in. She reports about 80% success (if I remember right).

    I have not tried it.

    I'm just guessing that to get 90% probably requires removing the old queen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Maybe I'm reading this wrong...But, Other than losing a day or two of egg laying (even if its more, are you replacing for poor production, or another?), why not kill the queen and introduce the cells a day later? There seems to be some risk with forced queen replacement with Balling(?), elevated swarming, and just really whether the right queen is killed. 90% seems high and even if it is lower, say 70-80%, than there are more successful queen introduction methods. And less time consuming than messing with cells, protectors, etc. Never really understood the advantages of using cells based on time, money, and risk.

    I like using queens in the queen cages. I now place all my queens on the bottom board, for both new packages and queen replacement. I can fish the empty cages out the entrance several days later, and do not have to open up the hive again. Hanging cages and having them start to build comb around it is eliminated. Never had a problem with doing this.

    Forgot to even mention the fact that queen cells have unmated queens that pose another risk factor vs the mated queen that comes in cages.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited March 21, 2004).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Post

    I think the point of doing the cells and not killing the queen is:

    Less labor finding the old queen.

    Less investment of money (if you buy the cells) or labor (if you raise the cells) because they don't require setting up mating nucs and checking back for eggs. Caging the new queen and doing an introduction.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 22, 2004).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    M.B. hit the nail on the head of why to do it......issue of resources. Cells cost little in comparison to mated queens and it takes almost no time to add a cell. Granted Ive seen success up in the 70-80% range but Id say 30-40% is much more realistic.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Wineman, If your raising your own cells, and I do, than I couldn't agree more. But I was referring back to original posts and buying. Based on your 30-40 rate, those cells better be cheaper than cheap. If a queen cage is 95% and cells are even 45%, than the cost better be less than half, and that says nothing of time, labor, additional hive downtime, etc.

    If raising my own cells, thats the way to go. If buying, I'll stick with the higher success of mated quenns in cages and cut down the time and labor.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Post

    To get a 40-70%, Success in replacement rate would be good,80% would make me sing. I'm a strong beleiver of keeping younger queens in my hives, to decrease swarming pressures. I dont practice what I preich. I cant afford to buy mated queens every year, dont have the time or resources to mate and replace MATED queens. If I can replace the older need to be replaced queens with little effort, and expense, I should beable to keep my operation more profitable.

    Ian

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