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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    198

    Default thanks in advance

    Another day another problem. I have a have hive of bees that I made queen less last month by pulling their queen. I have tryed giving them queen cells, and while it is possible that they have a virgin that hasn't started laying they are still queen less. I have queen cells started that will be ready next week to move to mating nucs. I'm wondering if it would be better to spilt these bees up into two frame mating nuc's, or just give them a couple queen cells. The other part of the question is I should be getting 4 mated queens in next week. This hive may have laying workers, and I don't want them to kill on VHS queens. The problems are that these bees maybe to old to start a new queen from a cell, and the problems with older worker bees excepting a new queen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    Your best bet is to give this hive a frame of eggs / uncapped brood. If they are queen less they will start new queen cells. If they have a virgin, that is not laying yet, they will not. The longer you wait, the less young, nurse bees this hive will have, and if indeed this hive is queen less, the more chances they will develop laying workers.

    These young nurse bees are critical in raising/feeding young bee larvae, queen larvae included. To remedy this, you can also add a frame with some capped/emerging brood.

    The more young, nurse bees you have, the better they will also accept a new laying queen if that is the route you choose to go. However, before you add your new VHS queens, you need to make sure that the hive is queen less and that also it has a high number of young, nurse bees.

    Some other folks here might suggest a different approach...This is what I would do, and believe me, I killed a few good queens by getting impatient and thinking the hive is queen less.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    A couple questions. How big/strong is this colony? It's difficult to get a large colony to accept a new queen or cell. If this colony is large your idea of breaking it up into smaller units has merit. Smaller units accept a queen more readily. If you decide to install one of your new queens (I advise against it) you may want to try using an introduction cage. This is a cage pushed into the face of a frame of emerging brood. No other bees inside the cage but the queen and the emerging brood. Emerging brood readily accept a new queen. This also gives the new queen a chance to start laying. This will increase her pheremone production, aiding in acceptance.

    Just curious, why did you pull the old queen?

    How long, total time has the colony been queenless?

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    A couple questions. How big/strong is this colony? It's difficult to get a large colony to accept a new queen or cell. If this colony is large your idea of breaking it up into smaller units has merit. Smaller units accept a queen more readily. If you decide to install one of your new queens (I advise against it) you may want to try using an introduction cage. This is a cage pushed into the face of a frame of emerging brood. No other bees inside the cage but the queen and the emerging brood. Emerging brood readily accept a new queen. This also gives the new queen a chance to start laying. This will increase her pheremone production, aiding in acceptance.

    Just curious, why did you pull the old queen?

    How long, total time has the colony been queenless?

    Wisnewbee.
    Honey Luv Farm
    wisnewbee, I believe i can make one of those out of 1/8th hareware cloth. how far off the surface of the comb should the wire be. I'm thinking of making a square 8" cage with one side that faces the comb open.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    An introduction cage can be any size, and yes, you can use #8 hardware cloth. I made mine a little on the larger size. Mine are 5"x8". They cover a good chunk of comb. You want the top about 3/8" off the comb face, bee space. You can leave her in there for about a week, then direct release her. Sometimes the bees will burrow under the wires to try and release her too. #8 prevents this.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    An introduction cage can be any size, and yes, you can use #8 hardware cloth. I made mine a little on the larger size. Mine are 5"x8". They cover a good chunk of comb. You want the top about 3/8" off the comb face, bee space. You can leave her in there for about a week, then direct release her. Sometimes the bees will burrow under the wires to try and release her too. #8 prevents this.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm
    Will 3/8 keep the bees that want to sting her from being able to?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    She should be fine with that amount of space. A queen introduction cage has the highest rate of acceptance. Tha't why I use it and recommend it.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    Check on my queen cells yesterday. My queen less starter hives I used were not queen less. I had given all but one of hive queen cells, and had given up on the new queens. The rain that we have been getting this spring may have slowed the love affairs down some.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: thanks in advance

    Would adding a box of brood with it's bees and a laying queen, using a newspaper combine on top of the queenless hive give better acceptance?

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