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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,715

    Default Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I've been re-reading Brother Adam's "Beekeeping at Buckfast Abby" since we are in winter. I came across something that I don't think I caught on the first time I read the book. Brother Adam used a system to requeen where he would take a queen from a nuc, cage her and introduce the cage to a full hive, minutes after he removed the old queen. Then, it would take the bees only a matter of minutes, not the three days it now takes, for the bees to free their new queen. Brother Adam theorized that there was no such thing as "colony odor" and a queens acceptance had nothing to do with her smell, but rather had everything to do with the queens attitude. He claims that a laying queen behaves perfectly, and as such will not have any acceptance issues. Obviously, a queen bought in the mail will need a longer waiting period, since she hasn't been laying.

    This, however, flies in the face of everything I knew. I've been taught that a queen's QMP is a distinct smell that is unique to the queen. A new queen, even a daughter queen, will have a different smell, and it takes approximately three days for the old QMP to wear off, at which point the new queen can be accepted. For this reason, the queen candy is used, in which it takes workers approximately three days to chew through the candy. I've also done combines using newspaper for similar reasons, since it takes the workers three days to chew through the newspaper, sufficient time to have the old QMP wear off.

    Was Brother Adam's book written before science knew about QMPs? Or am I otherwise missing something? Does anyone use Brother Adam's method of requeening?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I believe he's saying just that, that it's not the queen's particular smell. It's whether or not she's a laying queen and how she acts when she's introduced. We do this all the time when uniting side by side mating nucs. Pull one queen, the divider, and they go together. No fighting.

    Brother Adam also said to take further precautions if the queen is one you really care about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,715

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    So why is it necessary to do a newspaper combine? If it has nothing to do with odor, and I wanted to combine two full hives, I should just put one on top of the other.

    I've tried to introduce frames of brood, with bees, to an additional nuc that was weak and I've had the queen balled. Was it something other than QMP that caused them to ball her?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I have used Brother Adam's method of combining. Expose all the bees to light for a few minutes. It has always worked for me. I remove a few frames from the boxes and lean them up outside and spread the remaining frames wide apart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,557

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I don't use newpaper unless each half has a queen, or if I'm unsure about queens in each. I agree that it's the condition of the queen that matters (also the condition of the bees you are introducing the queen into as well). If I'm introducing a queen that is not in laying condition, then I use a cage. If she's in condition, I let her loose on the combs. I check using methods similar to Mike Palmers youtube, setting the queen cage on top of the bars or on the front entrance and watching the bees reaction to her. If they feed and groom then I just pop the cork and let the cage lay till she is coaxed out by the bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,379

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    If they feed and groom then I just pop the cork and let the cage lay till she is coaxed out by the bees.
    Hey Ray, so you just lay the cage on the top bars and the queen will come out and dive down into the frames? Ever have one fly off after emerging from the cage? Just asking questions.

    I laid the queen cage on the queen less nucs last year (they were queenless for about 2 days, no eggs or young larva) and when I did they were fanning around and acting all goofy/happy like, they were feeding her through the screen and not agressive at all, it was pretty neat to watch! I suppose I could have cut her loose right then, right?? Perhaps with the hole facing down in between the frames? My next thing is to put a caged queen on a queenright nuc and see the reaction, just for my own observation. Let the balling begin!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I re-queened a colony only a couple hours after I pinched the old queen. They acted just like the Palmer video depicted but I still did not release her immediately, I waited two days just to make sure.

    I don't use newspaper anymore. If I know one half is queenless, I just place it on top of the queen right hive, So far so good.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,557

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    No, I've never had one fly off, but I'm sure there'll be a first time. At least I've learned from these forums to stand tall and let her see me and come back.

    Yes, it sounds like you could have released her there on the spot since they were seeming to accept her with grooming and feeding.

    But like I said above, as much is depending on the bees you're introducing the queen into, as there is depending on the queen and her condition. For an example, I setup 5 nucs of 4 frames each. I then drove to get queens from a breeder, they were banked but I don't know for how long. I drove them home and set cages on top, all five accepted so i released them all. The nucs had just been made up about 4 hours earlier, maybe 5. If I had set the nucs for 2 days and then tried it, I'm sure there would have been some failure as the nucs by then would have started queen cells of their own from their own bloodline. The way I did it, they had not even set long enough for the bees to actually decide what to do about their newly queenless situation, and the queens were in good condition as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Brother Adam's Method and Theory of Requeening

    I had a split that needed a queen , i let it sit 2 days . When i pulled the plug off she went ,taking bees with her . It was the last one i had banked . Its a shame i dont have a photo of the look on my face . I was lucky because that day Brac put up a ad on here for a queen he had extra . A couple weeks later i was in that yard with the property owner . One of his empty hives now had bees in it . Both turned out to be dandy layers . I dare not claim to be as smart as a bee , but heres my penny . Its attitude ..leadership . Bees know this . Like a master chief , get to work . I did the newspaper thing a couple times , they were threw it in a day . I think they know when they are weak . Why would we add frames if they werent ?

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