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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    York, South Carolina
    Posts
    136

    Default queen attendants

    Hi:
    I have just read (in two places) where Ray Marler has indicated the attendants in the queen cage should be removed before you introduce her to a queenless hive. I thaught they were necessary to keep the queen alive. I know Ray wouldn't say this without a reason so could someone (possibly Ray) explain this to me.
    Thanks
    Barney
    What\'s smarter than a talking Parrot-----A spelling bee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    938

    Default attendents

    The worker bees you put in with the queen attend to her while being shipped

    When the hive you are going to requeen or the divide you are going to place the shipped queen in When hive has been without a queen 12-24 hours and you place the new queen into nuc or hive after removing the attendants the bees in the hive they will be her care takers through the cage because they have realized the are queen less Just make sure you place her where there is some brood in the frames

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default

    Barney...

    Yes, what Velbert said. Also, having attendants in the cage with the queen, they can be possessive and fight with the bees in the hive and the queen can be damaged. The bees in the hive are queenless and they know it and want the queen, they don't want any strange bees along with her. Also, sometimes what the attendants might be are older bees caught to be put in the cage with her to care for her, instead of younger nurse bees maybe?

    I purchased a couple breeder queens from Glenn Apiaries and they recommend removing attendants and introducing the queen in a pushin cage.

    A pollinator who I worked his hives with for a year also stated that he had more problems with queen introduction if he left the attendants in the queen cage. He always removes them, and I do likewise now.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Default

    I can see this with a push in cage just to get them out the way but not with a regular queen cage, I have never removed attendants and had no problems, what about anyone else, is this something that happens a lot removing the attendants, I never heard of this, maybe I need to come out from under my rock more often but I still don't think I will ever remove attendant, I look at it like introducing Russian queens in Italian hive's, its all in technique and timing. maybe one day I will try it and see how it works, never hurts.
    Ted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default

    This issue of removing attendants or not when introducing queens is debatable. One beek says yes, another says no. The litterature I've read more often than not says remove. The longtime (over 10 years) beeks I know personally say remove. Here is a link or two...

    http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=2&gl=us .....

    All our Russian Queens were introduced in cages with workers (attendants) removed prior to introduction. It is well known that attendant workers may become defensive and release alarm pheromone. This creates fighting and Queens can be killed, or injured, during this behavior. By removing the attendants we eliminated one additional condition that may have caused colony workers to reject a new Queen.

    http://www.igs.net/~pilgrimventures/...ion_Method.htm

    http://www.rweaver.com/queen.html

    http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkCD/manag...equeening.html

    http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=5&gl=us

    In the end, what works for you most often is what you should do.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default attendents

    I have never removed the attendents,I usally spray 1 to 1 sugar water mixed with honey B healthy or vanilla extract on the queen cage and on the frames,never had a problem.Maybe just lucky?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I do not remove attendants. And except for one case this year, where the queen disappeared and was never to be found in a hive I re-queened for a friend, I almost have never had a problem.

    Queen introduction problems can exist for many reasons.

    1) Introducing a strain into a hive of a different strain. Although research has said otherwise, I see a longer period time of acceptance for introducing one line like Russians into a hive of something like Italians. It's not that I lose more queens, it just takes longer to be accepted.

    2) I see beekeepers lose queens due to making splits or requeening a hive and immediately placing a queen into the hive. I have found that waiting 24 hours, or at least 6 or 8, is best. The bees need a period of time to realize that the queen is gone.

    3) I know some who have had queen introduction problems due to queen cells already started within the hive. Many times, if the have already knows its raising a queen for whatever reason, they will be more reluctant to take a new queen. And second queens and virgins also are a reason not usually seen as why a queen was killed. (they just know that a few weeks later, the pretty marked queen is gone, and another queen is there)

    4) I do not generally mark or clip a queen prior to introducing into a hive. I think that the bees due in fact react to such foreign smells as newly painted queens, and can sense "damaged" queens as with clipping. I think it best to mark or clip a queen after introduction, if it necessary. Far less impact of such manipulations after she is already established.

    I also think that heavy smoke, spraying with sugar water, etc., as already mentioned does help. I lose very few queens after all interfering actions mentioned above are eliminated. A good part of my queen business is from those telling me stories of killed queens after a previous situation. I hear them say they were removing attendants, trying to get the push-in cage in place, etc., and somehow lost the queen as she flew away or something else happened.

    If you do your work up front, and introduce the queen properly, there is little loss in requeening with attendants. Certainly not any difference between with or without attendants that would make it worth my time or effort to sit in my truck with the windows rolled up wearing a queen muff.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    I have never removed the attendants when requeening, and, until this spring I never lost a queen (except the one I accidentally released in my second year of beekeeping, duh). This year, my first two packages of Carniolans (from a breeder in Ohio) had the smallest queens I have ever seen. They were barely the same size as the workers. Added per usual and the bees released them without my help. Two weeks later, no sign of eggs or queens. I was lucky and a master beekeeper nearby had just gotten in some NWC queens from Strachan. Even though one of the colonies developed a laying worker, the new queens were accepted and have done fine. Again, I introduced them with their attendants.

    Bill

    ############################
    I get stung, therefore I see more clearly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default

    I've made a couple comments about attendant bees that has caused quite the discussions and some confusion, possibly, for some people. So please bear with me and let me say that there are many things to do or that can be done in beekeeping that is not "right" or "wrong" ways to do them... they are just the ways we do them because that's the ways we are comfortable doing them with the experience we have at that time.

    Some people remove attendants when introducing queens in cages. Some people don't. The people that do, I'd be willing to bet, did not always do so and they still had good success. I agree with BjornBee that the risk of losing or injuring the queen while removing attendants might very well outweigh the increased queen acceptance by removing the attendants. I also agree that other things done to the hive that we are introducing the queen into is as much or more important than removing the caged queens attendants. If you are not comfortable removing caged queens attendants then by all means, Please Don't!

    I was just asked my opinion on introducing A.I. queens and I gave it as according to what I think and feel because of my past experience and learning. It does not make my answer right or wrong, it's just the way I do it, and I hope when you introduce queens that you ask questions and seek answers and then do it your way, the way you feel the most comfortable doing.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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