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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA

    Default Queen Acceptance Question

    Are a small number of bees more likely to accept a caged queen than a large number of bees?

    With the change in the weather, it's warmer now, and some nectar coming in I am making nucs w/ one frame of brood, two empty combs, and two frames of foundation. Figuring I have two more weeks before I go North and maybe two more weeks before I get back here to retrieve the nucs to take them back home in NY.

    So, these bottomless nuc is above an excluder on top of a strong colony to get bees on the frame of brood. Not having more frames of brood I am guessing I won't have as many bees up in the nuc boxes when I take them off of the hives and move them to another yd, where I will add caged queens to them a cpl days later.

    Does this make sense? Do you think I will have better acceptance doing this? Better? Worse? The same percentage?
    Mark Berninghausen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Queen Acceptance Question

    Yes, this make a lots of sense to me. Young nurse bees are more willing to accept a new queen. Doesn't matter how
    many frames you have in the nuc hive. The more bees you have the chance of a successful hive is better.
    If you have the mated queen rather than the virgin that would be the way to go.
    My only concern is not having enough nurse bees to keep things warm with only one frame.
    Two or more frames are better for them to go foraging one week later. This will help you much
    so you don't have to feed them often. Don't forget to feed them too thin syrup and patty. You can also combine the nurse
    bees from another frame from a different hive too if you have them. Remember, with the nurse bees the more the better but with
    the forager bees the less the better so they not balled your new queen. But again it all depends on the level of acceptance of
    the new queen bee, see at

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    New Albany, Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Queen Acceptance Question


    Yes, smaller colonies are more receptive to a new queen. While a student at ASU, we used to break down Africanized colonies into 2-frame splits and requeen them. The smaller splits worked best.

    However, 1 frame of brood and bees with 2 empties, and 2 foundations seems a little risky to me. What if the weather turns and the nectar slows? It could work out just fine, but there are always the what if’s.

    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Queen Acceptance Question

    I had a similar question that I had posted in the general forum.

    What's the optimum environment for virgin introduction?
    I will be using medium frames in queen castles or divided 5 frame nucs. It has been suggested that using two frames is better than three...

    The virgins will be about two days old when I get them.

    I have read conflicting advice concerning the makeup of the bees/brood. I have been led to believe that nurse bees and emerging brood was best, with little or no open brood.

    Is this true?

    When people are heavily smoking bees or spraying them with syrup (or using ammonium nitrate) before releasing the virgins, are they doing this with a nuc or hive that also has a population of field bees? Or is this also recommended with nurse bees?

    There's so many variations...

    Is there an optimum environment for virgin introduction?
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Herrick, SD USA

    Default Re: Queen Acceptance Question

    Mark: I would consider smoking the bees into the upper box and then set your nuc off to the side away from the returning "field force" of older bees. I think your introduction success will be more directly related to the higher percentage of young nurse bees rather than simply the overall population of the hive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney


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