Introducing new queen
We can't find the queen in our hive so are planning to pick up a new one tomorrow. How do we introduce her to the hive? Was told we might have a virgin queen so if we do how do we find her? The queen we are picking up tomorrow is a laying queen.
Thanks for your help.
Before buying and attempting to introduce a new queen, I'd be sure the hive was indeed queenless. If you have a virgin queen, then its going to be hard to find her in a big hive. If you try to introduce a new queen in a hive that has a virgin hive, you'll likely loose the new queen. My recommendation is to wait about a week and check back for signs of a queen. You don't need to physically see her, just evidence that she's in the hive (eggs or larvae) . Again, the first step is to be sure you really need a new queen - this could save you money and time, may even save the hive.
eggs or larvae
Eggs & larvae are near to none. We're thinking a new queen is the only way to save this hive. We really need details on how to introduce her and I mean real details.
I agree with Astrobee.
No need getting a newly bought queen killed if you already have one, no matter how poorly she may be performing.
I would make absolutely sure there was no queen present and if not introduce your new queen using the method detailed below..
What people are telling you about needing to determine your hive is queenless is not something to trivialize. This is THE most important thing to assure success in introducing a new queen. Just because there are no eggs right now might mean you are queenless but it might mean you have a virgin or mated queen which hasn't started laying yet. Were there open cells in this colony? If there is a virgin or newly mated queen in your colony, she WILL kill your store bought queen, if she doesn't die in the cage from neglect prior to emerging.
To determine this you could sit on your hands for a week or more, not an easy thing to do, I know. If you have a frame of very young brood, just hatched, to give them, they will start a queen cell if they need one. If they do you can introduce your queen at that time with a very good chance of acceptance. If they don't start a cell that probably means there is a queen in the colony.
Let's say you are sure there is no queen in your colony. Your new queen will most probably come in a cage with candy that is corked so the general population of bees cannot access the candy. She will probably have attendants in this cage with her. Release the attendants prior to putting the cage in the colony, but it is a bit tricky to do. It is wise to do this inside where the escaping bees will fly to a window, in case the queen accidentally gets out also.
Suspend the cage between the center frames of the brood nest, making sure the bees can access her for feeding. We recommend you don't remove the cork right away, give them a few extra days to get used to her. Sometimes the candy is not hard enough and she is released too soon. After a few days remove the cork and give them access to the candy and let them release her that way.
ETA I agree with making sure you don't have a Queen, first and foremost. I waited several weeks before deciding to requeen my hives. Then, as I am up in Alberta, where the season is so very short, we decided to requeen as our colonies were getting so small and we needed to build them up before the season is over and we needed to get the stores up before winter arrives. HTH
Did you install a package of bees? if so then putting the new queen in would be the same as when you put in your original Queen in. If not then I would suggest watching this youtube video for the part where the Queen is put in:
You will need nails (bent at right angles - see picture on my blog at: http://bee-tales.blogspot.com/2008/06/requeening.html ) and a small marshmallow)
Basically remove one outer frame from your hive. Then move the frames a little so there is space between frames closer to the centre. Remove the cork from the Queen cage (carefully so as not to let the Queen and her bees out and so as not to injure any of them). Stuff some marshmallow into this hole. Enough to block the hole but not enough to injure the bees inside. Just enough to mean the bees will take a couple of days to eat their way through the marshmallow.
Stick the nails carefully in the upper end of the Queens cage like in the picture on my blog. Going by the picture on my blog, hang the Queen cage from the nails between frames in the hive in the gap left by the removed frame. You will see worker bees crawl over the Queen cage instantly to meet the new Queen. Close up the hive and leave for a few days. Check the hive in 3 -4 days to check the Queen has been released. If not then release her. Close up the hive again and leave for at least a week or more undisturbed. I left my hives for two weeks as if the bees are constantly disturbed during this time they can blame it on the new Queen and kill her. After two weeks I opened up the hive and found LOTS of brood
>>>Remove the cork from the Queen cage ..... Stuff some marshmallow into this hole.<<<
Installing a new queen not acquainted with the colony is different than installing a queen which has traveled with the package and to whom the bees are already familiar. A marshmallow can be eaten through within a day and that is too soon for that new "stranger" queen to be out in the general population. If you MUST use a marshmallow, leave her corked for a few days first.
Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri
Oh I didn't know this - it worked well for us thankfully in two of our hives a few weeks ago. The new Queens were accepted very well. Very well indeed!
But thanks for the information - I will remember that in future! Good information to know!
I urge you to slow down and learn more before throwing a new queen at the problem. Honestly you haven't really described the problem/situation of this hive adequately enough for anyone here to recommend requeening. It may benefit you and this hive if you gave us more details.
Originally Posted by Rosies
If there are ANY eggs you have a queen (of course excluding the laying worker case). If there is a queen present, and this seems to be the case from your last post, who is under-performing, then you need to remove her from the hive BEFORE attempting to requeen.