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Thread: Re-queening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Oregon Coast


    Greetings! I'm new on the board but I've been reading posts for some time. I'm on the Southern Oregon Coast and have three hives--started them mainly because we seem to have lost all our wild bees over time and I wanted better pollenation for my apple orchard. Ended up with lots of honey! All three of my hives are double deep brood hives with a single Western super during the nectar flow. Mostly blackberry here--sort of wild country. My Question is this:

    What happens if you re-queen with a new caged queen without removing the old queen from the hive? I just can't seem to find her in one of my hives but suspect she's there somewhere. I really want the vitality of a new young queen--seems to work real well here to re-queen every year. What are the risks of hanging a new one in that hive anyway?

    Thanks in advance for any info.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    NE Calif.


    Dont do it. They will kill the new queen if there is already one in the hive.Seperate the boxes with an excluder.In 4days the box with eggs will be the one to hunt for the queen in.Its best if the weather is nice and nectar is coming in for best chance of acceptance.Replacing queens in strong hives is always dicey but there are ways to minimize the risk-mainly through the use of a nuc or split off the hive then joining it back later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Erin, NY /Florence SC


    Chances are the bees workers will release the new queen and promptly kill her. If you can't find her here are a couple of suggestions:

    1) Use less smoke when you enter the hive to avoid running her.
    2) Check frames during the height of the day when most of the field workers are out, less bee to look through.
    3) check frames with open comb and eggs more thoroghly
    4) Shake all your frames through a queen excluder and smoke the workers through. The queen and drones will become obvious quickly.
    5) Place your queen cage in the hive for about 10 minutes and then check the frame, often the queen will come looking for the intruder.

    You will need to destroy her before introducing the new queen.

    Good Luck!


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