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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
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    17

    Default When requeening, release the helper bees?

    I am requeening a queenless hive. I bought a packaged queen and was wondering if I should release the attending bees that came in the cage with her but keep her in the sealed package until I'm ready to pull the cork and let the house bees eat through the candy.

    Thanks.

    RG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    I've heard that it does increase acceptance rates, but I haven't personally seen much of a difference. Seems like extra work to me, but when you just spent $18 a queen (plus shipping) it seems like easy odds-raising. YMMV.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
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    17

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    Thanks for the info. I was more worried about muffing it and seeing my $22 fly off into the sunset. I'll tell ya how this goes.

    RG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,593

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    Xgrove,

    You might want to read this thread:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239699
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    Thanks, BeeCurious.

    So the consensus there is "remove the attendants". What is the rationale behind it? Is it that the foreign bees provoke the house bees and in the ensuing struggle injure the new queen?

    RG

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    When I pay $100.00 plus $45.00 for shipping there is no question about removing the attendants.
    I use long twezzers to pull out the attendants.
    Do not pull the queen out!

    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    That's my understanding. In any case, there doesn't seem to be any harm in removing the attendants...

    And if you are a hobby-beek, it's not like you have to deal with hundreds of queen cages.

    My queens came out first most of the time but then walked right in...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,910

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    It will take a couple days to eat through the candy after you remove the cork or plug over the candy, if it has one. Attendants or atendantless is like direct release - everyone has the right way to do it and everyone else is wrong. Spraying the attendants with sugar water will increase acceptance. A better indicator is if they ball the cage when you put it in. I have replaced literally hundreds of queens with attendants without issues and I do not have time to remove attendants or wait a day after killing the old queen. It would be better to wait a day or two but that is travel time for both trips. If you injure or accidentally lose the queen was it worth it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    Spraying the attendants with sugar water will increase acceptance.
    If the attendants are removed there is less need to "increase acceptance"

    A better indicator is if they ball the cage when you put it in.
    Bees balling a cage containing just a queen would be an excellent indicator.

    I have replaced literally hundreds of queens with attendants without issues
    And if you had a problem you have a lot of resources...

    I do not have time to remove attendants
    This is the nice thing about being a hobbyist. We are able to invest far more time and money...

    It would be better to wait a day or two but that is travel time for both trips.
    I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that xgrove would be walking to his backyard twice...

    If you injure or accidentally lose the queen was it worth it?
    What is the current value of a cage containing a dead queen and attendants?

    I removed attendants this Spring for the first time with the aid of a queen-muff and It couldn't have been easier...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: When requeening, release the helper bees?

    I just thought I'd add one more data point to the discussion.

    Since I didn't feel confident in releasing the attendants, I put the corked queen cage into the hive to check the temperament of the house bees. After three days I checked them and everybody was alive and the cluster around the cage pretty mellow. I then popped the cork and pierced the candy. Two days later the hive evicted a virgin queen. (The replacement queen was marked so this was not her.) Two weeks or so later there is lots of capped and uncapped brood.

    RG

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