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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Requeen gone horribly wrong

    Hey folks,

    A few days ago I posted about this issue that I'm having with one of my hives. I requeened it, but did not check well enough for queen cells and they replaced my new queen. I requeened because they had a bad disposition. I discovered that they had replaced her on Saturday...and I saw a virgin queen running around in there. There were more queen cells, but I did not remove them.

    At the same time, I noticed their stores were getting way low, so I did some feeding. One quart on top of the hive and a gallon communal feeder in the beeyard for two hives to work on. This was a mistake because they have filled the brood nest up with it nicely...I've removed all feed now.

    Today I opened this hive to remove the other queen cells. I was afraid they would swarm, and they still might, I don't know. My first idea was to leave them alone and let them do what they want to do, but I couldn't help myself. I wanted to see if they had emptied those other queen cells, but they hadn't. There were about 5 of them intact. I removed them.

    Anyway, they were so aggressive I couldn't even believe it. When I removed a frame, they came off meaning business. They were bouncing against my suit and extremely loud. I did not use smoke. Was the worst they had ever been. I know that a queenless hive can be angry, but as of Saturday they had a queen (albeit a virgin). I'll do another inspection in a few days. If they are indeed still queenless, I'll probably move a frame of eggs from a calmer hive and let them make their own queen. Any other ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,016

    Default Re: Requeen gone horribly wrong

    One way to do it (if you can stand the bee aggression), and if you have a queen excluder, is move the whole hive 10 to 20 yards away & shake all the bees of the combs. Kill all queen cells and reassemble the hive, with a queen excluder under the bottom box to prevent re-entry of the virgin and put the hive back in it's place. Next day check under the excluder and kill the virgin if found. Give the hive a comb containing eggs from a good hive for them to raise a queen from.

    Please do report back how this goes, if it doesn't quite work out there are still things you can do.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Re: Requeen gone horribly wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    They were bouncing against my suit and extremely loud. I did not use smoke.
    And use smoke.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,898

    Default Re: Requeen gone horribly wrong

    I think Oldtimer's suggestion is a good one at this point. The only way to get rid of the virgin and any other queen cells is to shake the bees completely off the combs so you can see the combs completely without bees on them, those queen cells can hide pretty good sometimes when bees are thick on the combs. If by chance you don't find the virgin under the excluder, still give the hive a frame of eggs from the well behaved hive and in a few days you will know if you still have a virgin in the hive, if they don't build any queen cells the virgin is still on the loose, but really the excluder should get her. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: Requeen gone horribly wrong

    > I did not use smoke.

    That explains the aggression...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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