Hello fellow beekeepers,
I am considering requeening my hives with Carniolans. They are
Could someone comment on what issues are involved with this? I've
been told it is not as easy as just introducing the new queen. Many
times the colony will supercede the introduced queen.
There are a lot of different methods. The simplist is just put the queen cage with the cork removed from the candy end on top of the brood nest. This works most of the time.
Rarely they do kill the new queen, but not very often. If you want to stack the odds in your favor there are other things you can do. One is kill the old queen about 12 hours or so before you introduce the new one (like late afternoon the day before you introduce her in the morning). Another is take some emerging brood with nurse bees and put them in a box above a double screen board and introduce the queen to the nurse bees first then combine afterwards.
Axtman suggested putting a wire cage over the queen in the middle of the brood nest and I think this would also help because the nurse bees usually accept the queen, it's the old field bees that are the problem.
This is also one reason the double screen board method is very successful. If the top part of the hive opens the opposite direction of the old part then whatever field bees are in the top part leave and come back to the bottom part, making the top portion all nurse bees.
I usually just put the cage on top of the brood nest with the cork out of the candy side and have had very few problems.
I use a carni type queen. It should be no big deal with acceptance. But much of commerical queens seem to be superceded as you state. Not much you can do about this. The superceded queens will be from the carni stock but will just be open mated. I rarly bring in queens as I firmly believe in a local acclimitized stock. Ones you have the stock type you like just breed from them and work on your queen rearing skills :> ) In time the stock you have after open mating will be neither carni or what have you but rather a strain that is good for your area, rather unlike any you can buy.
I might suggest trying Russians. I ran 50 Russian queens last year. Seemed relatively mild, produced plenty honey, maintained small cluster over the winter, seems to be expanding nicely now, 2-3 died so far, which is very good wintering ability for my area of the country. In addition to the above qualities, no treatment for the mites was applied, and on repeated be examinations, no evidence of mite activity has been detected. Government labs have spent alot of time money effort bringing these here to try to address the problems with the mites. I hope more beekeepers use this genetic pool.
I am going to disagree with Michael's statement that hives "rarely" kill an introduced queen. The meanest bees around here, which there aren't too many left as I have been importing gentle strains for 30 years, almost always kill a queen that comes through the mails. I always introduce mailed queens above a double screen. It is the behavior of mailed queens that gets them killed. Once they are laying and established in a nuc, they are easily merged with the mean bees.
Last year I successfully introduced 6 queens using this method:
Mix up some sugar water, add some vanilla extract till you can smell it easily. After punching a nail hole in the candy plug of the queen cage,spray it and the queen with the vanilla spray and the bees on the top bars. As far as I know they accepted the queen without problems.
Also you could find the old queen, kill her and squish her all over the new queen cage. I don't even like the sound of squishing a roach under my shoe so personally I couldn't do this.
>I am going to disagree with Michael's statement that hives "rarely" kill an introduced queen. The meanest bees around here, which there aren't too many left as I have been importing gentle strains for 30 years, almost always kill a queen that comes through the mails. I always introduce mailed queens above a double screen. It is the behavior of mailed queens that gets them killed. Once they are laying and established in a nuc, they are easily merged with the mean bees.
I've had the bees kill the new queen once and it was a very vicious hive at the time. They accepted the second queen under the same circumstances. But that's my experience. I do think the double screen method is the most foolproof.
Thank you all for your advice.
My bees seem to be pretty gentle considering they are bees. I still do get stung occasionally.
My plan is to create a split leaving the old queen with the established hive and move the new nuc away to allow the foragers to return and then introduce the new queen the following day.
That way the pheromone from the old queen will have a chance to dissipate and I'll have nothing but nurse bees left.
if possible move the nuc out of foraging range of the old hive(miles away),i've heard of field bees from the extracted frames coming back with friends to rob out the nuc.
>if possible move the nuc out of foraging range of the old hive(miles away),i've heard of field bees from the extracted frames coming back with friends to rob out the nuc
If there is no nectar flow on at the time you do the split this is more important. If there is a flow they usually don't rob, but if there's not, they will clean it out in no time. A very small entrance helps, also if you notice any robbing close it up with some grass. They will get the grass out in a day or so but by then the robbers have their attention elsewhere. But if you have a place a couple of miles away, that's ideal.
I have found that if you spray the cage with a solution of sugar water and Honey B Healthy you will have no problems with acceptance.