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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Too late to requeen?

    Hello-
    It's been an interesting summer - started with 3 package hives:
    • Hive 1 - queen failed immediately, I introduced a new queen, and the hive started slowly but is doing well now. Healthy, solid brood pattern.
    • Hive 2 - queen was injured in mid-May during an inspection. The colony re-queened itself and although brood pattern is spotty, they seem to be doing just fine. Just added a couple honey supers as the 3 deep brood boxes are getting filled out.
    • Hive 3 - started like gangbusters and swarmed in early June. I captured the swarm (called it Hive 4 of course). The queen was a-ok in this hive until early July, when she mysteriously disappeared. Now I'm positively queenless and wondering if it's too late to requeen. Even if I can find one (or transfer a queen cell from another hive), the new workers wouldn't hatch for 3 or more weeks, at which time I fear that my old ladies will either be dead or unable to care for the young eggs and larvae.

    Any advice on what to do with Hive 3? Much appreciated.

    -Brent

    p.s. Hive 4 (swarm hive) is obviously behind schedule, but showing incredible growth. I'm ready for its 3rd deep brood box and hopeful that even if Hive 3 is a loss, Hive 4 may be able to build its stores and survive next winter.

    p.p.s. Hives 1 and 2 are located 1 hour north of Minneapolis. Hives 3 and 4 are located 1.5 hours south of Minneapolis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    It is not to late to requeen if you think the hive is strong enough or you don't mind feeding, or you could combine #3 and #4.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    You can requeen anytime as long as you can get a new queen from someone. You do want a recently mated queen to lay some though before winter so that she is proven and can generate some young bees before winter sets in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill91143 View Post
    It is not to late to requeen if you think the hive is strong enough or you don't mind feeding, or you could combine #3 and #4.
    I've requeened from a queen cage a few times and understand that process. From what I know, it takes a few days for the old hive bees to become accustomed to and accept the new queen. Therefore I'm suprised at the idea that I could just combine hives #3 and #4. Won't there be a high risk of fighting amongst the bees? I'd love to just stack the boxes and combine them into a single strong colony but would hate to lose both in trying.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    Okay...I replied too quickly. I now see posts about the newspaper method to combine colonies and that all makes sense. Sometimes you just need to know what keywords to search for...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBus View Post
    Okay...I replied too quickly. I now see posts about the newspaper method to combine colonies and that all makes sense. Sometimes you just need to know what keywords to search for...
    The newspaper combine works very well. However I usually use a double screen combine. That is where you take a double screened bottom board and stack one hive on the other with the double screen between them. Turn the top entrance 180 degrees from the bottom and leave the divider in for about 5 or 6 days and then remove it, and presto you have one really strong hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Too late to requeen?

    I've done the newspaper combine with good success. However I don't get a paper and on several occasions I've just set the queen less hive on top of the queen rite hive. I've personally never had a problem. I recently split a two deep drone layer and throwed a box on two different hives. I don't know which box had the bad queen but when I checked a week later the bees had sorted it out.
    While going thru 20 frames looking for the drone layer I'd picked up about 40 stings. I tend to lose some of my concern for their welfare at times like these.
    Your milage may vary! Woody

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