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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Default Queen Introduction---need help

    Hi there,

    I recently lost queens in two hives due to operator error. I have two new queens set to arrive very shortly. I know for certain that there are no laying queens in either hive, but there may be a non-laying queen that I couldn't spot as I did see an opened queen cell in one and some queen cells that were pretty close to being ready to release a new queen (I removed these).

    My question is, if I introduce a new laying queen and there is a recently hatched non-laying queen in the hive, will they kill the new queen that I introduce? There is little chance that I could spot and existing queen due to a very large hive population.

    Any thoughts on the best way to introduce the new queens?

    Thanks,

    Jamie
    Time, Tide and Formation wait for no man.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default

    You are going to have to find the queen(s), or your introduced queen is probably toast. Michael Bush has a section on finding queens on his site that might be helpful.
    It is sometimes helpful to split the colony into two, and go through each box slowly frame by frame, setting the frames aside as you eliminate them from having a queen. If going through them frame by frame is too much, I would suggest shaking everything through a queen excluder. You will still have to differentiate between the queen and drones but that might be easier than the entire population.

    But my question would be, have you considered just letting them have the queen(s) they might have made themselves? If you think you have a virgin running around in there, why not just give her a few days to mate? With introduction time of a store bought queen you won't gain much if any time. I would give them a frame of eggs, see if they start a cell. This will tell whether or not they are queenless. If they don't they have a queen and I would let the virgin run. If they do they are probably queenless and you can then introduce your purchased queen.
    Sheri

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    217

    Default

    If you can't find the queen do this: Pull several frames of brood and brush off all the bees. Put the frames in an empty super. Put a queen excluder on top of your hive. Put the super with the brood frames on top of the queen excluder. Bees will pass through the excluder and cover the frames of brood but if you have a queen she will not pass through. After several hours remove the super with the brood frames and set it on it's own stand with a bottom board. Introduce your new queen to this super. If you would rather not set the super on a separate stand you could leave it on top of the original hive and after a few hours repalce the queen excluder with a double screen. Then intro duce your new queen.
    Bee just and just bee

  4. #4

    Default

    If there is a virgin queen in there she will be able to get through the queen excluder so the method above will only work if the queen has been mated.

    A virgin queen will take a couple weeks to get mated and start laying eggs. You should wait at least that long before trying to introduce a new queen.
    BEE-L snob since 1999
    What's a swarm in April worth?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    A simple test would be to add a frame of eggs to see if they start a queen cell. If they do they are queenless if not there is a good chance there is a queen runing around in the hive. I would bank the new queens in small made up nucs that can be added to the hive once you find out what is going on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default

    >My question is, if I introduce a new laying queen and there is a recently hatched non-laying queen in the hive, will they kill the new queen that I introduce?

    Yes.

    > There is little chance that I could spot and existing queen due to a very large hive population.

    And because it's probably a virgin and you would have trouble finding her in a two frame nuc because she hides, she runs AND she's small.

    A frame of eggs and open brood is always the best thing in these situations. It won't interfere with anything the bees are doing or have done to resolve their situation, but it will give them the resources they need if they are hopelessly queenless. The odds are that they have a queen. But there is the possibility they are queenless and a frame of open brood will mitigate that problem.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallaci...nobroodnoqueen

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenspotting.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the helpful information. I have two new queens inbound and will make some nucs to bank them until I can figure out what is going on. I have had tremendous difficulty in spotting queens in crowded hives with numerous drones.
    Time, Tide and Formation wait for no man.

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