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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bedford Ky. usa
    Posts
    15

    Default Requeening a queenless hive

    This is my first hive and it went queenless within the last two weeks,have'nt detected laying workers as yet,I have ordered a new queen.My question is what is the should I say safest way to introduce this new queen.Should I place her in the main hive ,or should I use a nuc and screenboard to introduce her?I have no brood to keep worker bees in the nuc with her if I use this method, would it be acceptable to provide them with food/water and close the entance.Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Requeening a queenless hive

    your queen will come in a queen cage probably with a few attendants. on one end of the cage will be a candy plug with a cork or tinfoil covering it. remove the cork, or foil, and place the entire cage on top of your frames . place some shims or a spacer to keep the cover off the queen cage. the attendants, as well as the bees in the hive will work at the candy plug and release the queen. if she is not free in 3 days release her into the hive. if they have been queen less they will welcome her with open arms.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: Requeening a queenless hive

    The above method usually works, but not always.

    The best queen introduction method out there is Dr. Harry H. Laidlaw's push-in cage. It is a rectangle of wood made such that the inside dimension is 5" x 7" x 7/8". The top is covered with #8 hardware cloth, and about the inside perimeter is attached a 1" strip of sheet metal protruding 3/8" below the bottom of the wooden rectangle. (You could modify it to fit a medium frame if you use all mediums - I just make an entire medium frame up as a Laidlaw cage for 6 11/16" tall Illinois medium boxes.)

    There are NO candy escape holes in the Laidlaw cage. The beekeeper inspects to see if the host bees are still forming an attack ball, trying to kill the foreign queen, or if they have begun to feed her and tend her, signifying acceptance. The beekeeper, not the bees, releases her after they have accepted her, not before.

    A frame of flat, empty comb is brushed free of bees, the mated queen is placed on the comb and trapped under the cage, which is pushed in so that the sheet metal goes in down to the wood. This protects her and gives her some room to lay eggs, which brings up her queen pheromone levels, causing the bees to accept her as their new queen.

    100% acceptance rates are the norm with Laidlaw cages, except for a damaged or infertile queens. You can see them in his book, Contemporary Queen Rearing, available through Dadant and Sons, and through Wicwas Press, www.wicwas.com.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-05-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Requeening a queenless hive

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,789

    Default Re: Requeening a queenless hive

    Bee sure you do not have a virgin queen in there, because if you do, your purchased queen will not be accepted. A good way to test is to put the queen in her cage on the top bars of the brood nest and watch the reaction of the nurse bees. If they fan and come to the cage and feed the queen through the wire then you are queenless and they are accepting the new queen. If they ball the cage very tightly with aggression, then the hive is not queenless and they will not accept the new queen. Check out this Youtube of Michael Palmer showing the test...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX3BgnOkozs

    I mention this because of the time line you give of being queenless. Hives don't very often just go queenless. Granted it does happen, but not very often at all, as a percentage of all the hives out there. I find, when it happens to me, it's because I've killed or injured a queen during inspections.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: Requeening a queenless hive

    One more thing to check is to see if there is any pollen at all...with no pollen the queen is not likely to lay eggs. This would be a normal response to low or no pollen, as pollen is needed to rear brood.

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