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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Looking for some advice. I have a very weak medium lang hive--broodnest size of 1/3 of two med frames. They are having a hard time getting going while my other hive has started to explode the last few days. This weak hive was a swarm from my original hive and queen is most likely the original so going into her third year. Didn't treat for mites either so they were also weakened to start--large hive originally (broodnest filled one med) but winter bees died off fast in Jan.

    So this is my plan: pinch the queen and add a package w/ a hygienic queen. I still have plenty of capped honey and empty drawn frames for them so I'm not too worried about the cool weather (pollen patty on top too).

    Question: can I just pinch the queen 24hrs prior to adding the package and add the package directly w/ the caged queen or should I do a newspaper combine w/ the weak hive and package?

    If latter I assume I put the weak hive on top of the hived package--which would still be on fully drawn comb w/ stores. Should have an upper entrance for the weak hive as well, correct?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,823

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    I would pull the old queen and just shake the package on to the weak hive. Everybody will be disorganized and they won't fight much. Put your queen cage in with the candy exposed and release her in three days if she isn't already out. No problem if you have the old queen out. That would be the least disruption I think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Sounds good. Will probably spritz w/ a little 1:1 w/ HBH so they are busy cleaning sugar off themselves as well. Need to scrape the frames down too so this will add to the confusion in the weak hive.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Add some vanilla to your Surup. It will mask there smell add shouldn't fight at all.
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,582

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Just in case I would wait a few days before pinching the old queen.
    Who knows what will happen after the new queen is released. So
    hopefully they will all like each others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    beepro, who knows what would happen? If both queens are running around at the same time eventually there is going to be a fight, and then who knows what would happen, you're right about that. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,243

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Why not install the package above a closed inner cover on top of the original colony, allowing both queens to lay for a period of time before you unite.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Take the original queen,two or 3 frames of bees/ food
    Place in a Nuc in the original hive position.Add the
    package and queen as you planned.
    This way you have a back up,also the old queen may
    explode in the laying dept.she may have been holding out?
    Then you will have a nice Nuc

    IMHO more is better

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    The problem is that the weak hive only has 2/3 to 1 medium frame of bees total--the cluster spans 1/3 of 2 frames when all foragers are in. With the cold nights this past week they have been losing pupae. At least the mite levels are way down now! Think they stopped rearing all together during the winter. Just not enough bees to provide the climate control for the broodnest to really expand until it warms up. They probably would come back this summer but it'd be a waste of my time from a production perspective. If my other hive weren't a fixed frame warre I'd simply shift some frames around.

    I figure if I add the package then the broodnest will be exploding right as the flow here really gets started--luckily spring is a month later than last year here. Don't really need to add a new queen but the current one is old (at least 3 yrs) and I have a feeling they would supercede anyway.

    I'll probably cage her w/ some workers for a while just in case something happens. Was lucky to find someone to send me a package on such short notice though I'm not sure I trust their claim of hygienic traits yet but we'll see--getting the package early next week. Anybody ever hear of Georgia Bee Supply?

    Guess the other alternative is to move them to a nuc in the same place and use the extra combs and some capped honey stores for the package. Just want to maximize my chances of harvesting honey from a second hive this year--want to fund an extractor purchase and have had lots of requests for honey over the last year. This would replace my original hive that succumbed to mites this winter I guess. I do feel bad pinching the queen as I don't think the weakness is her fault but she is getting up there in years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    I have had no dealings with Ga. Bees
    I've seen you tubes of him
    I also remember folks here on BS knocking him for
    Something with his methods,he also killed a snake on the video
    So he got blasted about that
    I think he's been around for a good while
    I'd buy his bees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    You can put the old queen in a nuc for a few days and when you're sure you don't want her, drop her in a jar of alcohol. After you have enough retired queens, you'll have the best swarm lure additive ever.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Malta
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Hi all

    I am a hobbyist bee keeper and I come from Malta (I know you're going to say where the hack is Malta but it's a small island beneath Sicily in the middle of the Mediterranean).

    My question is, I have a hive and I know that the queen is old I know that she's in there but not laying much. I was thinking to replace her but couldn't find her.
    any suggestions pls.

    thanks and regards
    JPG

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    If you raise a few queen cells from a hive that is doing well, and put a queen cell in, the new queen will likely replace the old one.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,582

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    ganni025, what you can do is to put 2 frames in another hive box. And place this
    hive box on top of the existing hive.
    Usually when you separate them there is less bees to look thru the frames.
    With less bees covering you can find her better. This is call divide and conquer.
    Also, if you look thru the frame with new white eggs at the bottom you will find
    the queen running around.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    spritz the cra_ out of them... make them so sticky you think they will all die... (the won't) When we do additions to queen boxes we dump straight hfcs on them so the look like caramel corn... stops all the fighting and taking off. solves all the problems of mixxing hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Malta
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Aha that's a good idea, isn't there for any chance some sort of queen catcher for it to be done automatically.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Malta
    Posts
    7

    Exclamation Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Hi Michael thanks for your reply, that would be a good idea and it would be done by itself but wouldn't the bees swarm in that way and I would loose an amount of bees together with honey.
    Does the new mated queen kill the old queen,
    does the old queen kill the new queen prior while still in larvae stage.

    could i put a larvae from another box in a queen cage and put it sealed in that particular box, when i asked some maltese bee keepers told me that you would find the old queen on the cage trying to kill the unhatched queen cell.
    Last edited by ganni025; 03-30-2013 at 05:26 AM. Reason: Not enough info inserted in msg

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    Made up my mind. Moved the weak hive to a medium nuc--w/ only one box. Cluster spanned 25% of three frames and queen was still there. Broodnest was about the size of a fist on 1-2 frames w/ a few pupae and some nice fat white larvae--so no brood disease. Not sure if mites are still an issue--still get 1 or 2 on the bottom board. Put a frame of capped honey on each side of the 3 frame cluster and kept the pollen patty on top--still have another cold spell before it warms up for good, hopefully.

    If the package I get is big enough I will add a half pound or so to this nuc and see how they do. Plan to re-queen this summer once they've built up regardless. Time to try and incorporate some good genetics instead of playing w/ the package industry genes. The package I'm getting they claim to be "Georgia hygienic" bred from MH stock but I'm not sure if they really had MH drone saturated mating areas to ensure fixation of the recessive hygienic trait. Guess if they don't treat (they claim not to) then the selection pressure may be there to help maintain. We'll see.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Queen replacement and package addition at same time

    >Does the new mated queen kill the old queen

    Probably not. The bees will eventually quit feeding the old queen.

    >does the old queen kill the new queen prior while still in larvae stage.

    No. The workers might, but probably not.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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