I have a queenless hive that i have requeened 2 times and failed each time. I
have requeened other hives with positive results. Each time the queen was released from the queen cage but I have not found the queen or signs of brood. Another thing I notaced the wax/propulis between the frames is almost tarry. I am almost tempted just to let them go. At $ 15 per queen this is getting expensive. Any thoughts? Thanks Dan
If you have another hive I would just add a frame with eggs and let them raise some emergency queens, much cheaper than buying queens. But if this hive has been queenless for over a month you may have some laying workers that have to be removed or they could kill all queens they find. I guess laying workers can't fly very well so if you shake or brush them all out of the hive 100 yards away then return all of the hive parts to the same location as before, the laying workers get lost but most of your bees return to the hive.
If you swap frames with a queenright hive, to raise a queen, I would brush all bees off the frame that comes out of the queenless hive to make sure you don't introduce any laying workers into the good hive. I don't know how much trouble they could make but it is a easy precaution to take. Good luck!
The eggs are the cheapest, but if you want to buy another queen, try making a "push in cage". You make it out of #8 or #7 hardware cloth. Basically it's a box that when pressed into the comb sticks out 1/4" and is mabye 4" square or less. The idea is that you put the queen in, and you can put the attendants that came with her in the cage and push it into the comb. The queen starts laying in the comb and the hive is much more likely to accept a laying queen.
I had the same problem with a hive. A experienced beekeeper told me to try this. Get a 1oz. bottle of peppermint extract. Then get a 32oz. spray bottle. I bought mine at wal-mart. Take about one-fourth of the peppermint and place it in the spray bottle. Then fill the spray bottle up with water. If you order a new queen spray the new queen and the bees in the hive. Wait about 2 days then check back. If you see any bees acting like they are pulling on the wire on the queen cage, spray the queen and all the bees again. Wait another 2 days. Go back and check again and this time remove the plug from the candy end. The way that it was explained to me was that the peppermint confused the bees and only the scent of the new queen would be noticed. Sounds crazy but it worked for me.
Howdy Kay --
It sounds fine to shake all bees off away
from the hive, but it has never worked for me. ALL the bees get back to the hive location before I do.
It seems a waste to pour good money after
bad by repeatedly wasting good queens.
I suggest that you place a small colony
on top of the loser by newspaper method. The
laying workers disappear and if there is a
bad queen below, the good one top is usually
the one which survives.
I agree the most reliable method is to combine with a queenright colony or nuc. There are several ways to do this. If you have a colony that has a old queen that you want to requeen anyway, you can take the old queen (who is already laying) and frame of eggs and brood and make a nuc. They old hive will raise a new queen or you can order one and requeen it. You combine the nuc with the laying worker hive by the newspaper method. Bees will seldom reject a laying queen.