Last week I found No brood, no eggs, 6-8 queen cups, all empty, and no queen. THis is my weakest Lang hive. It has 4 mediums, top 3 mostly full of honey and some pollen, most honey capped.
So I ordered a new queen, which should be here tomorrow.
Checked again today, looking for a virgin queen I might have missed. Still did not see any queens. BUT there were 2 new queen cups and one of them I think might have brood, AND is found 3 other cells with brood in them! Still could not see any eggs. there were maybe 2 or 3 capped brood I must have missed.
I went over every frame in the hive.
So how should I requeen? I do not have a queen excluder. I do have some window screen. my plan is as follows:
destroy the queen cells.
Look again for queen and if I see one kill her. If I don't
put a piece of newspaper over the bottom two mediums, where it is most likely if there is a queen she will be, and install the new queen in the area above. after 3 or 4 days, poke a hole in the candy.
what do you think? any ideas?
This time of year it's more difficult than ever to tell if you really do or don't have a queen. If you see open brood odds are there is one there, OR there is a laying worker.
Introducing will fail if there is a queen or if there is a laying worker.
One way to tell is put in a frame of eggs and open brood from another hive and see if they start any queen cells. 48 hours will tell.
The most reliable method I know of for the actual introduction is a push in cage. The most reliabe beyond that is to do the push in cage in a nuc and then combine the nuc. The nuc method might even succeed if there is a queen, if the new queen is younger or is laying already in the nuc and the other queen isn't laying yet.
I try to help dave out whith what i can.Here is the deal We can not mess around to long First frost is comeing soon.I have seen a push cage someplace online.i think we could make one from #8 cloth.I do not remeber the size of it tho.How well does this work with some cold nights comeing soon?I have read that one should not join 2 hives after frost hits? So i think the push cage in the hive is the best bet right now>
Bob - I ordered a push cage from betterbee. won't be here until Friday. I cannot find that #8 hardware cloth anywhere around here. Maybe I will put the queen in a nuc this afternoon and then move her to a push cage Friday in the nuc. Then Monday join the nuc? That way Sunday I can go through the weak hive again and remove the queen cells again giving them 12 hours of queenlessness feeling?
>I have seen a push cage someplace online.
Betterbee sells them.
>i think we could make one from #8 cloth.
>I do not remeber the size of it tho.
It's not that critical, but about 4" square makes a very nice one. Smaller will work too.
>How well does this work with some cold nights comeing soon?
Just make sure it's in the center of where they are clustering, like in the center of the brood nest.
>I have read that one should not join 2 hives after frost hits?
It takes the bees a while to get reorganized. I will help if you can do the newspaper combine on a day when the night isn't expected to be so cold, and then consolidate the brood nest so they can all cluster in one place and keep the brood warm.
>So i think the push cage in the hive is the best bet right now
>Bob - I ordered a push cage from betterbee. won't be here until Friday. I cannot find that #8 hardware cloth anywhere around here.
I have the best luck with the local hardware stores. The big chain stores and chain lumber yards never have it. It's always good to have some #7 and #8 on hand. If you can't find it local, (it won't help right now) you can usually get them to order a full roll for you. I try to keep a roll on hand.
>Maybe I will put the queen in a nuc this afternoon and then move her to a push cage Friday in the nuc. Then Monday join the nuc? That way Sunday I can go through the weak hive again and remove the queen cells again giving them 12 hours of queenlessness feeling?
Make sure the nuc has been queenless at least 2 hours.
Thanks Michael and Bob.
Kona Queen just arrived safely, I will get to work.
let me know how it went Dave
OK, yesterday took two frames of brood with bees from my strongest hive and put in a 5 frame nuc with a division board feeder full of HFCS, dumped in a couple of frames of bees from the same hive, and added 2 frames of honey from the queenless hive. Let it set for 2 hours per MB's instructions with the entrance reduced, then added the queen in her cage with attendants, with the cork removed from the candy. All uneventful.
Received my plastic queen push cages from Betterbee tonight. THey have a neat little door that opens so you can put the queen into the push cage directly from the candy cage.
So I wonder if it would be ok if tomorrow I put her into the push cage? The Carnolians are sure dark! Should be easy to see the new bees from the old ones!
I hate to interupt the nuc, but since the push cage gets such good results maybe the sooner I get her in there and accepted the sooner I can try to join the nuc with the queenless hive? I was thinking of giving the nuc 5 days with the queen in the push cage, then joining it with the Q- hive.
>So I wonder if it would be ok if tomorrow I put her into the push cage?
The sooner the better. I'd put the cage over some emerging brood if you can. If not, then put her over some empty cells so she can start laying. Better yet, some emerging brood with a few empty cells too.
>The Carnolians are sure dark! Should be easy to see the new bees from the old ones!
Some of them are. Is the queen black? Some of the Carnis I get are black and some are not.
Hey Michael,thanks as always you are great!
Yeah the queen is really Black! the worker attendants are not quite so black.
OK I will go with the Push Cage this afternoon.
[This message has been edited by BerkeyDavid (edited September 24, 2004).]
one more question. SHould I still put a frame of eggs / brood in the hive to be requeened to see what happens between now and when I join it with the newly queened nuc?
As I understand it, if they fail to make a queen cell in 48 hours there is a queen i missed.
WHat if there is a laying worker will they still make a queen cell?
>one more question. SHould I still put a frame of eggs / brood in the hive to be requeened to see what happens between now and when I join it with the newly queened nuc?
I would if you can.
>As I understand it, if they fail to make a queen cell in 48 hours there is a queen i missed.
>WHat if there is a laying worker will they still make a queen cell?
No. From the bee's point of view the laying worker is a queen.
If they don't make one, I would assume you have either a queen or a laying worker. I'd try to find the queen, and if all else fails you can do a shake out of the hive a ways away and put the frames from the nuc in the old hive body. That will tend to disrupt the laying worker and help them accept the new queen instead. And if there is an old queen, she will also tend to not find her way back to the hive, or be the interloper if she does.
> the worker attendants are not quite so black.
I know it's a bummer but the attendants should be removed before introducing the queen. It cuts down on a lot of fighting. They are usually killed anyway. I do it by putting my right hand (In a latex glove) inside a plastic bag with the cage. Then I open the cage, on the non-candy end, and let the attendants out one at a time, killing them. Then I put the queen back in the cage and close it. Not a bad time for marking or clipping.