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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    This spring has been one of my most challenging springs. My plan was to make splits and raise queens from my carniolian breeder queen to sell, and to requeen my whole operation. With many of my splits and nucs, I would let them go queenless for one day, then I put either a cell in (using cell protecters), or put in a mated 2013 queen. Many of my colonies would either refuse the new queen, (hatching queen, or the new mated queen), and would raise their own, or, allow the new queen to lay for a while then supersede her. These, as you know, are set backs and very challenging to deal with. I have alot of carniolian strain in my operation, maybe that is a trait of theirs. Have you all experianced these, and how did you deal with this? When I see them superceding and not accepting a good egg laying queen, I normally curse under my breath, and just let them have their way.
    Also, what is your experiance with putting a new queen in a double deep colony full of bees, but have been queenless a week or two? Thanks and best of wishes.

    Jim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,696

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    You let them go queenless too long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    I agree more than a few hours is too long. They will start queen cells sometimes as quick as 12hrs. Then you have to go through each frame and knock down all the queen cells or they won't accept a new queen. If you miss one cell acceptance problems are sure to follow. And its hard to make sure you get everyone in a double deep hive.

    I normally just add the new queen at the same time as I remove the old one. I do leave the cap on the candy side of the cage. Then go back two to three days later and remove the cap on the candy side and let them eat the candy away. This way it will take them 5-6days to release the queen. Don't normally have much trouble this way. If you give them the candy end right off the bat they will sometimes get the queen out too fast. That's why I like to leave the cap on for a couple before I give them a chance to release her. Then after you expose the candy leave them alone for a couple weeks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    I make a split, move it a short distance from the donor colony in the morning and then add the new queen just before dark. The older bees fly back to the donor and my nuc is mostly nurse bees that readily accept the queen. If it is a little weak after the new queen is accepted, you can trade positions (nuc and donor) to increase the field strength before hauling to an out yard. Other ways work too but this is what I do since I split in one 7.5 acre pasture.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Take the old queen and make a nuc from her or kill her. Put in new queen in cage right away. Always good acceptance because of young bees emerging. We tape the candy hole and make a small hole in masking tape to slow release. Works like a charm and remove the release cage months later.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Nomadland, NY, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Not sure what your weather has been like but you could also try feeding while introducing the new q and/or cell.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,253

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Lot of Queen failures coming out of Georgia in 2103. Must have shipped to 50 different people on the east coast last week that had either dead or superceded queen in packages that were delivered to the to the NE from Georgia this spring> Whats up? Weather failures?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Honey-4-all,
    I'd suspect that shipping packages with nights as cold as others are posting (in the 30's) is a big part of the problem. Over-wintered nucs would fare better, as would waiting for better weather. Are queens being checked for laying pattern after mating? Might let them lay a bit longer...just a hunch, I'm not over there and don't have a crystal ball.

    Beekeeper032000,
    I'd suggest not killing an old queen, but banking her or making a nuc with her until the new queen was accepted. Making a nuc is preferable if you have enough bees, but I figure you know that Have you read Dr. Susan Cobey's article on the Cloake Board Method of Queen Rearing and Queen Banking? I got it off her website, but her site seems to be off-line for now. I'll contact her and see where to find it.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-13-2013 at 08:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Kilocharlie,
    Thanks for your info. and the advise. I do think that is a good idea keeping the "good" old queens by nucing her. I do that sometimes, but not as often as I probably should.
    Yes, here in Ga. we have been having abnormal cold spells and rain. Many of the queens that I've raised and re-queened with have been superceded, also alot of drone layers,(queens that have not been properly mated, or laying workers). Well, every year has its own challenges. Best of wishes to you.

    Jim.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: swarming, superseding and requeening full colonies with lots of old workers

    Jim,
    Yeah, it is difficult to know if an open-mated queen has indeed been mated unless the breeder waits 2 weeks or more to check the laying pattern first (I use 3-frame and 5-frame nucs and really let the queens get started good before I judge the laying pattern). Then it's a race to get her to her new home and laying eggs ASAP. If she's too long in transit, it takes her a while to get started back up again, especially if it gets cold, all the while in a foreign hive and a dubious welcoming committee that wants to kill her. That's why I love Dr. Laidlaw's cages - they really help protect her get her going laying eggs again.

    Some club members are having a lot of success just buying a nuc and newspaper combining instead of re-queening, which DOES get honey in the box pretty quick due to colony strength...I'm starting to lean that way myself, as I figure the split happens earlier in the year that way, too. I'm still running a small operation, so the cost isn't so big, especially when it's MY nucs, but I can see that being a cost problem for larger companies with thousands of colonies. Maybe a good second-to-last resort before the "divide-and-destroy" method on LW's? A little more expensive, but it keeps your colonies strong, saving medication costs, etc.
    Best wishes to you, too.
    Casey

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