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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Seattle, Washington State


    I read or heard somewhere that if you are having trouble finding the queen in a queenright hive that you want to replace, place the new queen that is in her cage and place that cage inside of the hive. Wait a few minutes and take it out.

    The theory is that the old queen will check out and try to kill the new queen.

    Does this work?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! &

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County


    It does work but it is also a good way to lose your new queen. All it takes is a split second with the singer and your new queen is dead. The hive bees probably will help their queen in trying to kill the new queen. Bottom line is don't do it.
    When looking for the old queen use no smoke or if you must very little. There are several ways to find the old queen. Move the hive off the stand. Put an empty hive body on the old stand. Start filling it up with frames of brood that you have looked at for the old queen one frame at a time. Now if you did not find her then another method is same as above but put a queen excluder on the bottom box where it sits on top of the bottom board and shake all the bees infront of the hive. Wait a while and the queen will be kept out by the queen excluder. Another way is same as the first step but now you put a queen excluder on top of the frames and another hive body on top of that and it is empty. Shake the bees into the empty hive body and the queen will be left behind. This is an easy way to do it. There are more ways to do it.
    Good luck with these.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    New York City


    > The theory is that the old queen will check out
    > and try to kill the new queen.

    Why would she bother, and why would her "court"
    let her? There are lots of worker bees who can
    bite at the cage and harass the new queen, and
    there is no reason for a colony to risk a laying
    queen in "battle" of this sort.

    Where did you hear or read this theory?
    I'm interested in beekeeping folklore,
    moreso in the items that have somehow
    survived to this day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rockville, Maryland


    Chef, I know someone who tried that. She figured that it would take 4 or 5 minutes for the laying queen to find the cage. To be on the safe side, she checked after a minute or so. In that short amount of time, the workers realized that the game was afoot and tagged the new queen through the screen. To make matters worse, the hive got extremely cranky, and it took a good week for it to calm down.

    Bottom line -- unless you enjoy wasting money on queens and having hot hives, don't use this method.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Danbury,Ct. USA


    I found 2 queens last week by putting the hive through the excluder. Then when I wanted to steal some bees for a nuc, I filtered them too, so I didn't get a queen by mistake. I had a hive with evidence of a drone laying queen. (Drone brood in worker cells but in a cohesive pattern). I could find no eggs or young larva so I assumed there was a queen that expired. It was a comfort to run them through the excluder to eliminate the possibility of a queen being in there. If they kill my new queen, I know I have laying workers.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Rockford, Michigan


    dickm writes:If they kill my new queen, I know I have laying workers.
    Dick, then what do you do if there is a laying worker? Can I assume this hive has been without a queen for longer than a day and you're getting around to introducing a new queen?


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