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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Question

    Of the two options, can anyone suggest which would be better and the advantages or pitfalls of each.

    #1) I would like to take queen cells out to an isolated yard, and install queen cells at the same time as I pinch the old queen. Is this favorable to do at the same time or is a time lag between pinching and introduction better? And what kind of realistic loss could be expected?

    Assuming day 1 is egg being layed, and day nine would be capping of the queen cell, and day 16, queen emerging, then what day would be optimal for queen cell introduction, and the move involved in getting them to the yard? I would normally pull queen cells out on day 13 or 14 for nuc placement, but how much earlier can you do it without a major increase in damage odds to the cell.

    Does it make sense to assume that if one of the queen cells dies or is not accepted, that an egg layed by the old queen would be started for a replacement, knowing that a queen cell is within the hive or would this cell inhibit construction of a new cell?

    #2) Would be to take caged queens and also pinch the old queen. If the queen is not accepted, and even though she survives for some days in the cage, would this inhibit queen cell construction. I am concerned that if the eggs(lavae) go beyond day #4 or 5, and then the queen is killed or balled afterwards, I would have a dead hive.

    In either case, I may not get back to this yard for a couple weeks. I would like to do the option that would be better in terms of odds, not only from accepting the queen cells or caged queens, but from a point of the hives raising a new queen if needed. Could a caged dead queen, or a dead queen cell, inhibit new construction past the point that the bees could not do that with the last eggs laid by the old queen?

    Comments?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Bjorn-

    There was a recent short-but-interesting thread about introducing queen cells on BEE-L:

    http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-...bee-l&P=R17377

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3

    Post

    hi there. I think that I would requeen at the same time i kill the old queen with queen cells. That is normally what I do.

    Matt
    Columbia City, Indiana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I followed the standard "dequeen and let `em stew for 24 hours" last fall and then introduced a caged (marked) queen. All seemed to go well. I didn't get back to the hive for a couple of weeks. When I did, I found torn down queen cells and no marked queen. The bees obviously didn't want my queen at all

    It was quite late in the season and I figured there weren't any drones left (this was late October). I did finally find the virgin queen, pinched her, and introduced one of Michael's black ferals. I'll never introduce a queen into a colony I left queenless for a day or more again without checking for queen cells *before* they hatch.

    If you're going to do a one-trip requeening with queen cells and no return trip for a while to check up, I'd pinch the old queen and introduce a queen cell, in a queen cell protector, at the same time. She'll have plenty of time to emerge and remove any queen cells the bees started, if the bees don't do it first. This is the approach I've heard a lot of beekeepers use. Many don't even bother to dequeen the hive at all and stll report success rates in the 80% range.

    From what I've read, queen cells that are within a day or 2 of emerging are considerably more durable than younger ones, but that's cutting it close.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    992

    Post

    Bjorn,
    First of all it is easier to requeen using a queen cell. George is right when he says you can have about 80% success without finding the old queen. Just make sure you use a cell protector. Put the cell in the day before it is suppose to hatch. Keep them warm and carry with cell hanginf down. Do not turn upside down or shake them. If you want to find the old queen and kill her your acceptance rate will approach 95%. Wait at least two weeks to check...it takes one week to mate and another week to lay so would be even better to wait 3 weeks before checking.
    As for requeening using a queen. You MUST find old queen and kill her. IT IS VERY HARD TO REQUEEN A PARENT COLONY!!! It is much better to pull 2-3 frames brood and some honey and start a nuc above a double screen and introduce the new queen there. Make sure you do not have old queen in the nuc. If you cant find her, shake all the bees off the frames, place above a queen excluder and about two hours later remove queen excluder and replace with double screen. This is how I make up over 200 nucs in a day, then simply setting hive body off on a pallet and taking to another yard. After new queen has sealed brood, find old queen, kill her and unite colony. For almost 100% use a cage to let new queen lay. JZ BZ had some plastic cages that allowed queen to lay and also had the candy area so the bees could release her. Just remember it is very difficult to requeen a fulll size colony.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,168

    Post

    If for certain logistical reasons a delay cannot be allowed before cell introduction I would recommend cell protection also. My favorite is usually the roll of duct tape I keep in the truck. Just make sure to leave the very tip exposed so she can emerge without getting trapped. I also add the cells at the last possible moment before leaving the yard, starting with the longest queenless first.
    JBJ
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    98

    Post

    I don't mean to sound ignorant here, but I am curious about these "Hair Roller Cages" everyone is talking about.

    I've never Re-Queened with a queen cell before, but I am contemplating it this spring.

    Do the "Hair Roller Cages" work like the cages mail-order queens come in? I mean, the queen hatches inside, and then eats through some fondant candy to get released a few days later, giving the hive time to get used to her?

    If not, wouldn't the old queen just come up and destroy the cell as soon as you put it in? Or even the field bees, as they are not used to the new "Smell" of the queen cell?

    How do they work exactly?

    --Jon D.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    >I don't mean to sound ignorant here, but I am curious about these "Hair Roller Cages" everyone is talking about.

    http://www.beeequipment.com/products.asp?pcode=329

    This is the cage and it goes over the cell cup holder. If you put the cap in, it confines the queen so that if you have a bunch of queen cells in a cell finisher and one emerges that queen can't kill all the others. If you leave the cap out, it acts as a cell protector because the bees can't tear down the cell from the side (which is where they always tear one down from) and the queen can still emerge. But a piece of aluminum foil works as well for a cell protector.

    http://www.beeequipment.com/products.asp?pcode=507

    This is a cell protector. It just protects the sides of the cell so the bees don't tear it down.

    >Do the "Hair Roller Cages" work like the cages mail-order queens come in?

    No.

    >I mean, the queen hatches inside, and then eats through some fondant candy to get released a few days later, giving the hive time to get used to her?

    No. The cap is either in or not. But you can leave it in, wait a few days and then release the queen. But from my experience the odds of her surviving are much better if she can just exit the cell. The workers aren't that interested in a virgin queen.

    >If not, wouldn't the old queen just come up and destroy the cell as soon as you put it in?

    Laying queens aren't usually looking to destroy a cell and if she did want to she'd tear down the side and sting from the side. With a cell protector she can't do that. You could also put the queen cell above the excluder if you want to keep her away from it.

    > Or even the field bees, as they are not used to the new "Smell" of the queen cell?

    Hence the reason for the cell protector. But I haven't found them to tear queen cells down much, especially ones that are about to emerge.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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