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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    137

    Default How long to be queenless before new queen

    I pinched some queens in several hives that I wanted to add a new purchased queen to. I pinched them on Wed. but then it was Sunday before I had the queens placed in their cages in the hives. So by the times she gets released they could have capped their own queen cells.

    Will my queen run through the hive and kill all the other found cells or is there a risk she could miss one, it emerge and they battle it out. How long do people let a hive be queenless before putting the caged queen in? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    More than likely they will either ball and kill the queen in the cage or they will just ignore her and let her starve. And she will never be released from her cage.
    The reason is since they have drawn out queen cells they will not consider themselves queenless. Prior to introducing your queen cage check if they have any queen cells and destroy them.
    You could have introduced the new queen in an hour or so, it donít take long for them to figure out that Mom is gone.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
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    137

    Default

    So should I go in now and if the queen is not released kill any cells I find and then put the caged queen back?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default

    Be extremely thorough at searching out queen cells, they can be hidden over against the end bars on the edges of the comb, and even on the face of the comb. Bees guard their queen cells, stationing themselves over their outer surfaces, screening them from view and often make it extremely difficult to see them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    Default

    Check if the queen in the introduction cage is alive, if not leave them alone if you destroy any queen cells now you will only make them hopeless queenless. You can always try to introduce another queen later, and avoid the risk of developing laying workers.
    If she seems alright remove her put her in a safe place and do a thorough search like Joseph Clemens suggested, destroy any queen cells you find close them back up and wait around an hour for them to settle down then re-introduce the caged queen. check back in four days to see if she has been released. If not let her out.
    If you find the queen cage empty, close them back up and leave them alone for at least a week, things might have gone well and you donít want to disturb them to much during the introduction period. Then look for signs of eggs, if so count your blessings and move on.
    Waiting four days to introduce a queen after destroying the old queen is way to long, the bees will sense the loss of the queen in less than an hour and start to react, and will start to raise queens in 24 to 48 hours larva that are one to three days old make the best queens, So time is critical.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    137

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback. If they start to raise from 1-3 day old eggs then the cells should not yet have been capped when I put in my queen. I thought the hive "knows" of the presence of the queen from her pheromones. If they only have nearly capped cells what makes them feel that they aren't queenless. Would queen cells already be putting out pheromones? In the future I won't dequeen until I have my new ones in hand- just trying to understand the why. Thanks again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Not one to three day old eggs, but one to three day old larvae. Eggs generally hatch near the end of their third day (72 hours) of existence. As soon as they hatch and become larvae they are good candidates to be raised as queens. The older they are as larvae, before they begin being treated as future queens, the better their chances of becoming poor queens. Conversely the sooner, after the egg hatches before being treated as a future queen, the better their chances of becoming an outstanding queen. Most colonies with active, laying queens will have appropriate queen candidate age larvae at nearly all times. So when a colonies queen fails or is lost, emergency queen cells are soon created from some of these larvae.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-24-2008 at 11:08 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,435

    Default

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

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