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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Question How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    Noob question: I have a laying worker colony that needs requeening (posting about that as well) and may have to pick up the queen on the day I shake out the hive. I have been told to let the bees find their way back to the original hive once they are shaken out, but to give them two days before introducing their new queen (which I expect to do very carefully, cage etc.).

    But what is the best method for keeping the new queen and her attendants alive and well during those two days? I have a nice warm laundry/furnace room to keep them in, btw.

    Thanks for the help,
    Janet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    A laying worker hive will most likely kill the queen no matter what you do unless you give them open brood for at least two weeks (preferably three) before you introduce her.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    Thankyou for that Micheal, and I have read your page. Alas it does not address my situation, new beekeeper with a single hive. I have no brood and no hope of getting any, no other hives to give the bees to.

    This is still a big hive as it boomed in the summer. I have little to lose trying to requeen as queens are $25 and the packages I would have to buy next year if I let these girls die out are $200.

    So while I know the requeening is a tough sell to the resident ladies, I would appreciate advice on everything I can do to try and make a requeening work.

    Regards,
    Janet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,334

    Default Re: How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    Janet, Michael Bush has been at this a lot of years and is no doubt correct in his assessment however I might be able to add a suggestion here that might help you. One thing you might try is to build a push in cage for the new queen using some type of stiff wire mesh that you can bend into a 3"x 3" or larger open bottom cage with a height of about 3/4". Then remove a comb from your hive that has some open cells and honey in it and shake all the bees from it, place the queen and her attendants into this open bottom cage and press it into a part of the comb that has some honey and open cells for her to lay in, then place it back into the hive. Leave her in here until the workers outside stop tearing and biting at the cage. One word of caution, the outside bees will often start trying to dig under the comb so keep a close eye on her and perhaps they will accept her, and it might be best to shake out all the bees from the hive about 50 yards distant before inserting the queen and perhaps the laying workers will not return to the hive, you must act quickly to resolve this problem, time is of the essence.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    WWW gives good advice. It is risky to try and requeen but a large push in cage will give you your best hope. I would make it bigger than the one in my video.

    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: How to keep Queen alive ahead of hiving...

    I keep mine in a card board box with an open top. Then keep them on top of the refrigerator, give them one drop of water each day. You want to keep them at room temp. out of drafts. Other than that there is nothing special you need to do to keep them for a day or two.

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