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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    150

    Default Requeening problem

    I'm requeening a hive. This morning I found the queen and was in the process of catching and squashing her when she flew away. I stood there for several minutes to see if she would fly back to me like I've heard folks say they sometimes do, but I never saw her again.

    This queen has never been outside the hive at this location. She was a good 15 feet away from the hive stand when she flew off. There was an open box on the hive stand, another on the ground, and the 3rd that I was looking through. There are 6 other hives in the immediate vicinity.

    For some reason I've had a hard time finding queens this year and felt fortunate to find her thid morning. I'll look for her again this afternoon, but if I don't find her it doesn't necessarily mean she isn't there.

    How likely is it that this queen made it back into one of "her" boxes? I'm planning to install the new queen in its cage this afternoon. I'm hoping they'll be queenless and accept her.

    Any other suggestions?
    What one man can do, another can do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    I think it's more likely that she made it back. If you can wait 24 hours, you can check for queen cells. If you find them, you are safe to requeen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    150

    Default

    I guess I didn't plan ahead very well. I won't be able to check the hive tomorrow, but can check it the next day. I know there's a window of opportunity I need to hit. Is 48 hours too long?

    If I do see a queen cell, I should destroy it when I install the caged queen. True?
    What one man can do, another can do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    yep.........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Default Nuc it!

    Maybe in the mean time you can pull off a few frames and start a nuc.
    Then, when you have more time, you can check on the hives and make things right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Thanks for the input. Sorry if I didn't listen. Call me impatient. I went through that hive again this afternoon and never saw the queen. They seemed louder than usual. I'm too much of a newbie to be sure, but I interpreted the sound as the discontented roar of a queenless hive. I stuck the caged queen in and watched. They quickly covered her. I lightly brushed at them with my finger and they dislodged easily. I'm pretty sure it was "love", not "hate", but I've learned that "pretty sure" is not the same as "sure".

    I left the new queen in there and will check in 2 days (my next opportunity). What will happen if the old queen is still there? Can/will they kill the the new queen through the cage, or is she safe in there? I figure if I wait 4 days and don't see any eggs, that's good evidence that the old queen is gone and I'm safe to release the new one. If they release her sooner, I may never know for sure. Thoughts?
    What one man can do, another can do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    If the old queen is there, the new queen will die. However, it sounds like you may have gotten lucky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Will the new queen die in her cage so I can see her there next time I check? Or will they eat through the candy to kill her so all I'll see is an empty cage and never know for sure whether she's alive or dead?
    What one man can do, another can do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Indian Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    587

    Default

    the idea of the cage is to protect her until she becomes familiar to the existing bees. they shouldn't be able to kill her when she is in it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default killing in the cage

    bees don't like another queen in their queens hive. if you are lucky they will not be able to kill her, but if she has attendants, they might be killed, or even turned against her. check on her as soon as you can.. see if they are trying to sting her, (lowered rear) or lick her (raised rear/head down) that will tell you if she is in danger or not. (or so I was told when I asked how to know if she was ok)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon
    Posts
    150

    Default Interesting update

    After a 4 day introductory period, I released the new queen from her cage 11 days ago. While there I looked for eggs, figuring if I didn't see any then that would be more evidence that the old queen was gone.

    Well, I didn't see any eggs, but I did see a queen cell with larva in it. Its presence puzzled me. Why would they start a new queen when they had a new one already? Did they sense something wrong with this new one? After pondering what to do, I took the "first do no harm" approach and left it alone.

    Today I was checking the hive for eggs found none. I was disappointed. 11 days out, either the new queen was a dud or they'd rejected and killed her, or maybe she just needs more time before she starts laying?

    Coincidently, when I checked that queen cell, she was in the process of emerging as I watched. Yeah, it was pretty cool. I left her alone as she marched across the frame.

    Question: How will the hive react to possibly 2 queens now (purchased queen and new virgin queen)? Will they swarm with one of the queens? Will the 2 queens fight to the death? Will the bees just ignore one and let her die? Or maybe keep both queens in one big happy family?
    What one man can do, another can do.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    Sounds like the queen you introduced didn't make it or was defective. They can run two queens, but most reports say it's a mother/daughter arrangement. I would wait it out and let them get queen right before doing anything else. You need brood now more than anything.

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