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  1. #1
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    Default requeen best method

    Hi, All! I will be receiving a new queen bee soon. And have read up on the different methods to introduce the
    new queen into a hive. Seems like everybody use different ways to do it that works in their situation.
    Don't want the queen to get kill again this time. Hive already queenless for 2 weeks now with more field bees than the
    young bee. No brood or larvae in the hive now.
    My question is after I put the queen in the hive, how long should I wait to check on the queen before releasing her into the hive? Do I have to wait for certain days or just release her to test like the bees willingly to feed and accept her on the first try?
    Is there a best method over another? Any experiences or pointers would be very helpful.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    What kind of cage is she being shipped in?

    The usual (note only done this once, but my reading indicates.....) way is the cage has a candy plug that she and her attendings eat through from the inside while the hive bees eat the candy from the out side by the time they meet they are used to each others smells so no fighting.

    All I did this year (18 days ago actually) was to wedge the queen cage between two frames and come back a few days later to check for eggs, found some so left her to it (I didn't see her till today when I moved the hive to a bigger TBH).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    I cant say that this is the best method but here is how I do it.
    When I first get the queen from the mail I like to put a few drops of sugar water on the screen to give them a drink. Then I put them in a somewhat dark location till I get to the hive. When I get to the hive I pull the cork out of the queen cage and using a toothpick I make a small hole down through the candy. Next I suspend the cage, cork/candy side up between two of the center frames and in the back of the brood box. To do this I take a wire tie from a bread wrapper and thumb tack it to the end of the queen cage making sure not to block the hole any. Next I take another tack and put it in the frame and wrap the wire around it so that the cage is just below the bottom of the top bar of the frame. I make sure the screen side of the cage is facing between the frames and not pushed into the comb this allows the bees to see and come in contact with the queen. Also make sure candy/cork hole is not blocked any at all. I close the hive up and come back in three days. If the queen has not been released I completely remove the candy and put the queen cage back in the hive. I come bacjk the next day and If the queen is still in the cage (very rare) I pull the screen off of the cage and place the queen on top of a frame. A week after the queen has been released I come back to look for eggs.
    This is how I do it but I am sure there are many other ways.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Don't want the queen to get kill again this time. Hive already queenless for 2 weeks now with more field bees than the
    young bee. No brood or larvae in the hive now.
    OK well I can see your new queen getting killed again.

    Reason is, there may well be a virgin in the hive by the time the caged queen gets released.

    If the queen was killed 2 weeks ago, if there was any young larvae in the hive, the bees will have raised a new virgin. The new virgin will ensure that the caged queen gets killed when it is released, regardless of what method you use for the introduction.

    This can be solved though but first a couple questions. Was there any brood in the hive before the queen was killed? And secondly, you say there is now no brood in the hive. The brood cycle takes three weeks so this will indicate the queen being killed at least three weeks ago, so are you sure the queen was only killed 2 weeks ago? Reason for these questions is to figure out where the hive is at so we can correctly tell you what to do to get your queen introduced safely.

    Other thing, I don't know your area. Are there any drones in the hives where you are at the moment?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    Using wooden queen cages, it is easy to tell what the bees are 'thinking' by place the cage with queen, between brood frames and squeezed between the top bars screen side down. No brood? Well, place in center of active bee area.

    If you leave it for 24 hours, and then observe, workers will be crowded onto the screen trying to get at the queen if they do not accept her. If accepted by them, there will be workers on the screen but they won't be acting aggressive.

    Lacking the visual hostility, I just release the queen on the spot with no problems. If the workers are hostile, forget about it.

    Also, acceptance is better if worker bees which came in the queen cage are first released before initially installing the queen.

    I hope this helps, but truthfully, it is quite easy to determine the hive's intent towards the new queen in this manner.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    I got the queen bee today. This time it was a different behavior by the worker bees. I strap the little plastic queen cage onto an empty drawn out frame. I put the frame next to the hive as I was preparing to make a slot in the hive to put in. Then not even one minute into looking at the hive for a good spot, 7 worker bees flew onto the small white plastic cage. At first they were a bit aggressive toward the whole new cage and queen inside. Then after a minute or two they calm down and started fanning and licking the queen's tongue when she stuck it out the cage. I think that is feeding her, right? Is that a good sign of acceptance of her?
    Then I made a slot and put the frame with the queen into the hive. Immediately, all the worker bees fanning, flying, crawling all over this cage. It was a different fanning like a fanning during the swarm to say the queen bee is here I think. Then they stopped after 3 minutes or so when they calm down again. Maybe a signal fanning this time? Then 5 minutes passed and they are all over the cage now and fanning on the spot, not running around aggressively like when I provoked them at hive check day and 2 bees starting to eat the candy. I wonder what would happened if I bought a Carniolan queen bee instead?
    The beekeeper sold me a big fat juicy laying queen bee. I think she's an Italian/Carniolan mixed mutt. He show me the hive with various stages of seal broods, young larvae, and worker bees. And they are gentle bees too. It was a 4 frame hive transferred into an 8 frame hive I think.
    Here is the guilty part. I felt guilty for taking his queen bee leaving the hive queenless now. He told me he has other small box queen bees to spare. But turning around he showed me a big hive instead. So maybe he's reality not matching his minds a bit. My feelings was Somehow I don't think he's telling me the truth though. Anyways, just the guilty feelings in tearing apart a good hive. But he has other bigger hives with more bees as well next to the one I bought the queen from. Maybe he can raise a queen bee in it or the hive will raise a new queen by itself. Time wise, it will take a long time for that maybe 2 more months until early April because of the cold weather and no drone bees yet? He offered me the entire hive for a cheap $70. But seeing that I messed up so many times I don't want to kill this good hive as well with all the broods and all. He was desperate to sell me this hive alright for $70 bucks. But I told him, Papa (thinking he dressed up like an Italian,) I don't have the $70 now as he was sealing up the hive entrance with a piece of foam. You told me to just bring in a lesser xxx amount just for the queen bee yesterday on the phone. Then he took the foam off and said alright just take the queen bee then. I have no choice and very desperate for a queen bee now so I said o.k. not sounding too desperate for that. With 2 weeks of queenlessness, I am very concern of laying worker bees as they are lots of them in the hive now bringing in nectar and pollens on a good sunny day. I am thinking ugh oh, they are taking in resources now all over the hive frames but will see later whey they starting to lay worker bees if I cannot find them a queen now. Wheeww, glad this issue is over with. For her safety concern, I will just leave the queen in the cage for another 2 days before releasing her. Is this a good overly concern or should I do something else like releasing her now. Hopefully they will still feeding her. Oops, I forgot to put some honey and water onto the mini cage screen too. Goofed up again! Luckily, only a 20 minutes drive home. Thanks all for the good tips. And so sorry for the confusion. Sometimes I'm confused too. Don't know how people can manage with 50 or more hives.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    That is a good sign. But, now comes the hard part. Leave them alone for atleast 4 days. Then when you do go back in just remove the queen cage. New queens need time to be completely accepted before too many intrusions. Newly accepted queens can get balled if you check on them too much. Give them some time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    The reaction of the bees to the queen that you describe sounds very good. Perhaps there really is no queen and this new one will work out for you. Let's know how it goes.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    John, I have not release the queen bee yet. She is still inside her cage now between the 2 frames since this morning. The candy got stuffed all the way up the tube. Lots of candy. The beekeeper told me to take good care of her and I said I will. Now for the worker bees that is another story. At least I got her home safely and she's still alive when I put her inside the hive.
    You think it might take 4 days for the worker bees to release the queen after chew thru the candy? If that is the case then I will leave them alone for another 4 days. What happens if the queen is still inside her cage after 4 days when I check on her? Should I release her at that time?

    Oldtimer, yes, two queens already dead for this hive. I don't want another one to die this time. For the last 2 weeks I been checking the hive for a queen bee at least once a day. So must been 17 times or more that I look inside. I check on both sides of the frame and again. And then look at the bottom of the box but still cannot find her. So after they killed the second queen and the seller did not call me for his lost queen, I would assume my hive is queenless by now. With only 4 frames it is easy to spot the queen like we did today at the seller's house. I got good at it now that I spot her first than the bee owner. I'll keep an eye on her this time.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    How many hives do you have?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    One now. One already completely dead. Confusing: I should say 2 already dead but I keep on replacing the worker bees and new queens. The original hive the queen got balled and only few workers remaining now. Maybe less than 20s unite with the new Italian bees. Confusing, huh! I know.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    All this sounds to me like you have been trying to introduce queens, to hives that already have one. Not finding a queen does not mean there isn't one.

    However, see how you go with this latest queen you have introduced. Hopefully it will work out it does sound like the bees are OK with her. But if it doesn't work out, post on this thread so we can work through the issues and get your hive properly requeened. If this happens, you will have to answer some questions about the hive plus do a few things a little different.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    Alright then. In a few days we will see the result when I release or the bees release the queen. Thanks, much.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    I have a question that now the queen bee is inside a small plastic cage strapped on a drawn out empty frame inside the hive. All other 4 frames have nectar and pollens mixed in at the upper middle 1/2 of these frames. There are other frames with some open cells without pollen or nectar as well. But not too many open comb cells.
    My question is where to release her at the best spot on the frame? Should I put her on the same empty frame or put her on a frame with some open comb cells, pollen and nectar?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: requeen best method

    Here is a quick update: I think this issue is already resolved. I think it has to do with the level of acceptance.

    I just cannot wait for another day to check on her again. So Monday I put her in, Tuesday I marked her, this morning I released her into the hive. The marking is o.k. too because yesterday I marked a whole bunch of worker bees when they are feeding on the syrup on a sunny day. So many with the same color inside the hive hoping to confuse things a bit.
    I found out it would not matter where I put her but in the middle of the hive where all the bees congregate at.
    A couple of bees aleady gotten inside her cage to mingle with her when I checked this morning. But she cannot crawl out yet because the candy hole is too small. Using the method of checking for acceptance, I saw that they form a circle around her right away. So they are accepting her and some licking her paint and some licking her legs. There is not any sign of aggression and no fanning either. Everybody is just very mellow. She would not move and being submissive when they checking her out. Looks like a good release for me.
    I did feed the worker bees 2.5:1 syrup yesterday. I been putting the syrup outside but only yesterday in the low 60s that they feed. Maybe they smell a sign of life. And put a patty inside the hive since December just now that they are feeding on it also. Not much honey inside but lots of pollens mixed in with the syrup. They're also gather nectar from the local flowers too. Six frames full of nectar now. So I put 4 more drawn out frames for a total of 10. Hopefully somewhere for the new queen to lay. This hive is now complete but I have to leave them for another 10 days to check for eggs again. Ohh, what a long wait. Hope I can control myself without going in there anymore.

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