Quick Question for Anyone Around: I'm new to all of this. I have 3 just about fully drawn deeps (no queen excluder) that were installed this spring. I'm queenless (no eggs or brood for over 2 1/2 weeks) which was confirmed by a friend with bee experience upon inspection last Monday. He said to buy a new queen which I have done today. He told me to introduce the queen to the lowest deep. Q---Is this correct? (I already know about taking the cap off and putting in a candy plug so it'll take a few days for the workers to dig her out.) Q---Also, when should I check to make sure she's been released? Q---What should I do with the frame that I am removing for the one week? I assume remove all of the bees and hide it from the bees for a week and then put it back. (The frames don't even have capped brood in them.)
[This message has been edited by OldScout (edited July 07, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by OldScout (edited July 07, 2004).]
>Quick Question for Anyone Around: I'm new to all of this. I have 3 just about fully drawn deeps (no queeen excluder) that were introduced this spring. I'm queenless (no eggs or brood for over 2 1/2 weeks) which was confirmed by a friend with bee experience upon inspection last Monday.
If a queen died it takes more than 2 1/2 weeks to raise a new one and have her get mated and have her start to lay. It's at least three weeks for this to all occur if the weather is good. It's POSSIBLE and even LIKELY that there is a virgin queen or one who has just mated and hasn't started to lay yet. IF there is, all attempts to introduce a queen will fail. If there is NOT then they desperately need a queen. The only way I know of to tell for sure is give them some eggs and young brood and see if they start a queen cell.
>He said to buy a new queen which I have done today. He told me to introduce the queen to the lowest deep. Q---Is this correct?
Probably. I would introduce the queen over where the youngest bees are and that is usually where the brood chamber is, but since all the brood has emerged that is harder to identify.
>I already know about taking the cap off and putting in a candy plug so it'll take a few days for the workers to dig her out.)
That's one method.
>Q---Also, when should I check to make sure she's been released?
I don't open the plug until I check back in a couple of days and assess the situation. If the bees are still biting the wire and trying to harm her, I don't take the plug out. If the bees are feeding her through the screen, I might just release her directly or I might pull the plug and let them eat the candy. It depends how warm I think her welcome is.
>It's re Q---What should I do with the frame that I am removing for the one week?
I wouldn't remove a frame. I'd make a shim. Take some 3/4 by 3/4 wood and cut them to make a frame the size of a hive body and put it in to make room for the cage. If you don't want to actually BUILD the shim you can take one by twos and cut two of then 20" and two of them 13 1/4" and just lay them on the edge of the hive body to make a shim. Put the cage in and set the body on top of that. You could also just make a push in cage and you won't need the shim and you'll have the most reliable method of introduction short of a combine with a nuc.
>I assume remove all of the bees and hide it from the bees for a week and then put it back. (The frames don't even have capped brood in them.)
You can do that if you want.
My guess is no matter what you do, there is probably a virgin queen and the new queen probably won't get accepted and a few days after you find her dead you'll see eggs and brood again. But you may be queenless and it may be the best thing. Only a frame of brood or another week will tell for sure.
> Q.--introduce the queen to the lowest deep.
How about introducing her in the (queenless) top box, with a Double Screen Board under it (http://www.beesource.com/plans/screenboard.htm)?
That's an honest question. I'm also new and am looking for expert opinions.
That way if you are truly queenless, you can just pull the DSB. But if a stealth queen does show up, your introduced queen is safe, and you can deal with one of them as appropriate.
If I put the new queen above a DSB with some bees, how does that let me know there is a queen below? Maybe I missed something. I would, if I had it, put some brood in the suspected queenless hive and put the queen and a frame of bees in a nuc until I sorted it out.
Using a DSB doesn't let you know that there is a queen below, and observing what they do with a comb of brood with eggs seems like a good way to establish their queenlessness. But couldn't building queen-cells complicate an introduction?
I was responding to this:
>My guess is no matter what you do, there is
>probably a virgin queen and the new queen
>probably won't get accepted and a few days
>after you find her dead you'll see eggs and
Isn't introducing over a DSB similar to finding the queen and putting her off in a nuc for safe keeping, except you don't need to find the queen? So if you can't find the queen (because she is out mating or something), then it is an option. No?
Yes, it's a way to keep a nuc on top of a strong hive.
Wrap up. This is what I ended up doing and why. Based on MB's system, I made a spacer frame and placed the queen box on top of the lowest deep, then the spacer and then the second deep. I also placed two nails on the sides of the queen box to prevent the box from being pushed sideways and falling anywhere. I choose to pop the cork and insert the candy plug because I only have the two hives and didn't have any other use for the queen (or a way to feed her) if the hive rejected her. I figured that I had already spent the $15.00 so that was a past cost. So, either the hive will accept the new queen and everything is fine in beeland OR the hive will reject the new queen (most likely because there is a new virgin queen lurking around somewhere) and everything is fine in beeland again. Its not as if I had another use for the queen somewhere (being a first year newbie) and this way, its $15.00 insurance that the girls are happy. Is this thought process close to accurate??????
It'll work. I always figure you never know when you might need a queen. Everyone should have a nuc around for "spare parts".
>Everyone should have a nuc around for "spare parts".
How long do you keep your "spare parts nuc"? Do you just combine at the end of the season and dispose of a lesser queen?
I keep my nuc almost for ever. I just let them keep building up. I use a 5 frame nuc. When winter starts coming in I shift two 5 fram nucs together and place a full size (I use 3/4 frame suppers) supper on top. I do get rid of one queen. One that is not doing so well and isn't quite the way I like them to look. The supper I place on top of the two nucs is full of honey. I let them go into winter and in the spring I split the brood back into the two nuc boxes. This way my production hives are not stressed and can raise queens for me. I also have nucs on top of my production hives. I winter them that way too. I have had great success. I do not do anything special for the nucs this way I get the best bees (queens) coming thru the winter. I do not use FGMO on them but my production hives I do. I have to since I need the $$$ to keep going. I figure if the nucs die then there was something wrong with them. This year I had a 90% success rate with them. These nuc queens are now working my production hives and they have on top next years queens (nucs). The hives that will give me thier eggs from queens I combine the nuc with the hive below and remove one of the old queens. She will be placed in one of the split nucs that I will run during the summer. This way there will be an establishe hive to place the virgins in. I also do that to the cell builder/queen rearer hive. I use a queen right hive to be my cell builder.
Hope this helps.
I used to always combine them but lately I've been trying to figure out how to winter them. I'm going to try a styrofoam nuc this year ans see how that goes. You can always steal brood and bees from it occasionally to keep it small, or let it grow if you want more hives.
bjerm2- So you do you put a double screen then and the combined (2 nucs) on top of that so that they stay warm during your cold snowy winters?
MB- not a bad idea... hadn't thought of styrofoam. How will you keep them with enough food for winter?
The nucs sold by Betterbee are intended to use as a nuc/feeder. You just dump the syrup on the bottom of the nuc to feed them. I haven't had a nuc go through much stores before anyway.