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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

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    Hi Everyone,
    Last year was my first year in dabbling in the art of re-queening.An older more experienced beekeeper taught me how to use eggs to create queen cellcups.I've no doubt the way he taught me was the right way because after several attempts I'd had more sucsess than failures.
    His opinon was to eliminate a good queen from a good hive and use her eggs to make other queens.His theroy being "If its a good queen then use the good genetics to make other queens"(makes sense).
    But I went against that theroy because if I have a good queen why should I eliminate her.Instead I chose a weaker hive with a weak queen and eliminated her,then I left the hive queenless for 4 days.After that time had passed I returned to the apiary and chose a strong hive with a strong queen,opened up that hive and removed a frame with eggs laid that day using those eggs to put in the self-made cell cups on my custom made frame.
    I then opened up the queenless hive and removed any queen cells the bees had formed themselves then I put in the frame with eggs from the good queen and with the hive being queenless for 4 days it left them no option but to create a new queen from the eggs I had given them (understood).
    Anyway it seems to work as I said earlier I had more sucsess than failures.So I'm posting this topic because I'd like to hear your thoughts on the way I've been re-queening.Also the other beekeeper that taught me never mentioned anything about marking or clipping and this year I plan to do a more extensive re-queening project so I have some questions I'd like to ask.

    Q1 How to safley clip a queen and what are the
    benefits?
    Q2 How to mark a queen and what is the
    international colour code?
    Q3 What is the best time of year to re-queen?
    Q4 How to use a dead queen to lure a live queen?

    I realise that these questions must of been asked a 1001 times but I'm only a beginner on re-queening and still have a lot of doubts.Any replys will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,311

    Post

    >His opinon was to eliminate a good queen from a good hive and use her eggs to make other queens.

    Eliminate? As in kill? Remove? Put in another hive? I eliminate the weak ones and the mean ones.

    >His theroy being "If its a good queen then use the good genetics to make other queens"(makes sense).

    I agree with that part.

    >Instead I chose a weaker hive with a weak queen and eliminated her,then I left the hive queenless for 4 days....

    But this leaves that hive queenless for four days before you even give them a queen to raise and then another 28 days or so before that queen is laying. That's a long time to not have a laying queen in the hive.

    >removed a frame with eggs laid that day using those eggs to put in the self-made cell cups on my custom made frame.

    Laid that day or hatched that day? I've never had luck with an egg that isn't already hatched and floating in royal jelly.

    >Q1 How to safley clip a queen

    Practice on drones. Make a tent out of your fingers and catch them by the wings or by the throax (not the abdomen). Put your index finger from your left hand under them and they will grasp it. Grasp ALL the legs on one side and hold the queen (drone for practice). Use a pair of manicure scissors (I have some with blunt ends) and clip the wing on one side. I take about half. I wouldn't take any more than that. Some people take less.


    > and what are the benefits?

    Well, you MIGHT (if you are paying attention) see that the hive is trying to swarm and get a chance to head it off. It won't stop them in the long run, but it will stop the old queen from leaving.

    She won't fly. [img]smile.gif[/img] I did some installs today and one flew. I clipped the rest because I got tired of that concept. [img]smile.gif[/img] I marked them all too.

    >Q2 How to mark a queen

    One dot on the middle of the shiny spot between her wings. I use an enamal pen from the hardware store usually.

    Again, practice on drones. Use a color that isn't a color any of your queens would be like NEXT years color.

    >and what is the international colour code?

    Queen marking colors:
    Years ending in 1 or 6 – White
    Years ending in 2 or 7 – Yellow
    Years ending in 3 or 8 – Red
    Years ending in 4 or 9 – Green
    Years ending in 5 or 0 – Blue

    >Q3 What is the best time of year to re-queen?

    Ask 10 beekeepers get 12 answers. I like fall. Queens are cheaper. Quality is good. The supers are off so I don't have to move them all just to requeen.

    >Q4 How to use a dead queen to lure a live queen?

    Lure a live queen to what? I kill the old queens in alcohol and use it to lure swarms.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

    Post

    <Eliminate? As in kill? Remove? Put in another hive?

    Eliminate as in kill.

    <But this leaves that hive queenless for four days before you even give them a queen to raise and then another 28 days or so before that queen is laying. That's a long time to not have a laying queen in the hive.

    Sorry didn't quite explain my self properly.The hive that was left queenless produced 12 queens,those queens were then used to replace other weak queens in a straight swap.So basically I sacrificed the production of an already weak hive to better 12.

    <Laid that day or hatched that day? I've never had luck with an egg that isn't already hatched and floating in royal jelly.

    sorry! hatched that day because I remember the royal jelly part.

    <Lure a live queen to what? I kill the old queens in alcohol and use it to lure swarms.

    I've heard a rumour that if you take a queen kill it and then freeze it to preserve it,then when you want to hunt out another queen you put the dead queen on the bottom board of the hive luring the other to attack it,then you catch the live queen and do as you wish.Don't know how true it is but it must be worth a try.But now I'm curious to know more about using her to lure swarms,thanks for answering the other questions you've cleared a few things up for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
    Posts
    247

    Post

    Michael:

    You mention that you kill the old queen with alcohol and use it to lure swarms. Can you please explain that further... How do you use setup the bait box and where do you put the queen, etc...?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    I think your technique is an improvement on your mentor's method. The only misgiving I would have is that the "weak" colony needs to be strong enough to be sure that the queen cells you provide are well cared for. I'm thinking that any reasonably healthy colony would have a sufficient population of nurse bees to accomplish this.

    How long do you leave the queen cells in the breeder colony?

    To Michael: I'm also interested in your swarm-luring technique. The English language is failing me . . . I'm not sure whether "it" is the old queen or the alcohol you used to kill her when you say "I kill the old queens in alcohol and use it to lure swarms."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    457

    Post

    BeeBear & ekrouse,

    In other posts Michael has said he uses the alcohol for the lure. The alcohol absorbs the queen scent or whatever from all of the queens soaking in it. I don't know how long he leaves them queens in there though.

    Pugs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,311

    Post

    >Eliminate as in kill.

    I never kill a good queen. I keep them for three or four years or until they are failing in order to raise more queens from them. If you want her out of her hive so it will raise queens, put it in a nuc with a frame of brood and a frame of honey and keep her around. Or requeen one of the failing hives with HER.

    ><But this leaves that hive queenless for four days before you even give them a queen to raise and then another 28 days or so before that queen is laying. That's a long time to not have a laying queen in the hive.

    >Sorry didn't quite explain my self properly.The hive that was left queenless produced 12 queens,those queens were then used to replace other weak queens in a straight swap.So basically I sacrificed the production of an already weak hive to better 12.

    My point is that you left that hive queenless for four days BEFORE you even put the queen cups in for them to raise queens. I would just remove the old queen and 12 hours later put in the queen cups. That way they probably won't have started a new queen yet, but they will know they are queenless and they didn't have to go four days being queenless.

    >sorry! hatched that day because I remember the royal jelly part.

    Yes, that's the best method I know of.

    >I've heard a rumour that if you take a queen kill it and then freeze it to preserve it,then when you want to hunt out another queen you put the dead queen on the bottom board of the hive luring the other to attack it,then you catch the live queen and do as you wish.

    I've never seen a queen looking in another hive for a queen to attack. The queens that are flying are either orienting or mating. Otherwise they stay in their own hive.

    >Don't know how true it is but it must be worth a try.But now I'm curious to know more about using her to lure swarms

    That, an old queen is useful for.

    >You mention that you kill the old queen with alcohol and use it to lure swarms. Can you please explain that further... How do you use setup the bait box and where do you put the queen, etc...?

    I usually use a fer drops of Lemongrass essential oil on the middle of the middle top bar of a bait hive. Since I've been collecting queens in a alcohol jar, I've started putting a few drops of the alcohol that the queens were drowned in on the top bar also.

    I don't use the queens, just the alcohol. I leave the queens there indefinitely. It gets better with more queens and more time.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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