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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    98

    Default Requeening questions

    Hi

    I have a couple of minor questions on doing a requeening.

    First, on killing the queen. Do I leave her in hive so that they "know" she's dead, or just give her a proper burial?

    Second, I've heard the hive needs to be queenless, but have seen varying times. What seems best? Overnight, 24 hours, a couple of hours, etc??

    Thanks!
    Chip Harlow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,515

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    I have crushed old queen onto the new queen cage. I have just taken her away and put the new queen cage in for three days before opening. I have left them queenless for a day or two and sprayed the bees and the queen with weak syrup with vanilla extract in a spray bottle and direct released the queen. But, people smarter than I do a lot of different things to ensure acceptance. The push in cages made of #8 hardware cloth over emerging brood is probably the safest and the way I would go if it were a high dollar queen or the only one you are putting in and you want to be very sure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    On killing the queen, I personally just pick her out of the hive & dunk her right into my "QMP jar" (jar full of ethanol alcohol, with lots of old queens in it, to make "queenly extract").

    For the timing of it, it would depend on why I was requeening:
    -Requeening to "fix" bad genetics (AHB, or russian/italian hybrids): I kill the queen, wait a week, kill all Q cells, wait a few more days (until ALL brood is capped), kill any new Q cells, so the hive's "desperately queenless," but doesn't yet have a laying worker problem, then introduce the new queen in a cage...let the bees eat thru the candy, and remove cage 3 days later.
    -Requeening for "GP" (general purposes...adding to the gene pool, trying a new line, or simply replacing a failing queen): I'd kill the queen, wait no less than 2 hours (as suggested in more than one queen rearing book I've read as the minimum time for a hive to "recognize their hopeless plight" after de-queening), then intro the new queen as above.
    -Requeening with a "VIP" queen (i.e. expensive "breeder", or other hard-to-replace queen): Place an empty box on top of an established hive (with a barrier, such as window screen between the 2 boxes); insert a couple frames (all bees brushed off) of honey & pollen in the new box, along with at least 1 frame (preferably 2-3) of capped, emerging brood (also, with all bees brushed off), and empty combs to fill the rest of the box. Direct-release the new queen into this box & close it up tight (no entrance needed, they won't have any foragers anywise) for a few days. The hive below will keep the temperature in your new box regulated, and the newly emerging brood will emerge into a "hive" where your new queen is, to them, already "their" established queen. Once the brood have all emerged & you have enough bees to regulate temperature & forage for themselves, take your new hive, set it up on a hive stand, and give them an entrance...then get busy grafting cells from that VIP queen you paid so much $$$ and went to so much effort for!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Farmington, new hampshire
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    i hate kiling queens but when i did it i just did it quickly. as far as requeening you can put the queen cage on top of the bars, screen side facing up and don't remove the cork yet, wait a day or so, look inside and see if you have bees caring for the queen through the screen, if so go ahead and remove the candy cork and let them release the queen as usual. you will need some sort of spacer in between the cover and the brood box. I just made a 2" spacer but you could use a super also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    I have very few problems killing or removing the queen and inserting a new caged queen immediately. I press the queen cage into a frame of brood with the candy exposed and leave them alone for at least 4 days, up to a week or more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    >First, on killing the queen. Do I leave her in hive so that they "know" she's dead, or just give her a proper burial?

    First, I would not kill her until you have the new queen accepted and laying. You can bank her in a nuc with a frame of brood and a frame of honey until you're sure you don't want her anymore. You could even keep her there for quite a while. When you are REALLY sure you want to dispose of her, drop her in a jar of alcohol. Keep it as the retirement home for all your old queens. It makes great swarm lure and is handy for many situations where you want the smell of a queen.

    >Second, I've heard the hive needs to be queenless, but have seen varying times. What seems best? Overnight, 24 hours, a couple of hours, etc??

    Overnight gives all the field bees a chance to discover there is no queen. More than 24 hours and they are pretty far along on a replacement queen, and may not tear those cells down when she reappears. In an outyard, where it's a long drive, I'd do 2 hours...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Requeening questions

    Thank you all! Michael, good point on the keeping queen until new queen is accepted. Although replacing one due to genetics, Russian cross, too angry for me. The other I will "store" in a Nuc
    Chip Harlow

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