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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default October Requeening

    I'm going to be requeening a couple of my hives this week and was looking for any suggestions you might have. I have never requeened this late in the year and was wondering if there is anything I should be aware of, anything I should do differently than Spring or Summer requeening?
    To everything there is a season....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    864

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Just make sure the queen cage is down in the center close to the brood area where the workers are instead of up top. She'll need to be down where they are so they keep her warm enough while they work on releasing her.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    I haven't done it this late, but I would appreciate if you share what you did since you are close to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Good point Rusty. I use upper entrances on all my hives so they still have a frame or two of brood in the top box. I"ll make sure the cage is inserted with the brood, shouldn't have to remove the top box.

    Just went through the colonies this evening and took out the old queens. Will introduce the queen cages tomorrow afternoon and then give them a day or two to adjust before releasing them if they are not already out.

    The weather has been very mild and it looks like that will continue for the next 7 to 10 days, 60's - 70's. I don't know if I would want to try this if the weather was more normal for this time of year. I usually don't look for queens when I inspect, I'm more interested in looking at the brood. It took me a couple times through to find them. I'm going to have to start marking all my queens, they can be allusive at times. Will keep you posted merince.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Virginia, Minnesota
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: October Requeening

    I had a hive go queenless and I got a queen from someone and introduced her. But 2 weeks later there is no brood and I can not find the queen. A friend had a frame with a number of queen cells so I put them in the hive after shaking off the bees that came with them. I still have drones in the hive, hopefully a queen will hatch and mate. Weather is nice but will be turning cooler in a day or two. 50's for highs. Do you think there is a chance she will do a mating flight? I think there were 8 cells on the frame, maybe too many?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    I think it's too late for a flight and I think there would't be drones available either.

    Also, you chances are that you actually still have your queen, but I won't go digging for her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: October Requeening

    I re-queened mine back on the 4th of this month. I just put her cage in the brood nest and waited about 5 days before I went in to make sure she had been released. She had and was fine. I want to check to see if she is laying any, but not sure if I'm going to go back in. Don't want to disturb them too much.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Virginia, Minnesota
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Merince, assuming I don't have a queen and assuming the cells produce a queen or queens, and assuming one queen survives the battle but doesn't make a mating flight, what happens? Is a virgin queen of any value to the hive?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Longtom:
    The virgin has a limited timeframe to get mated - about 2 weeks. After that she is a drone layer. No value to the hive as she cannot produce worker brood.

    I suspect that your queen has shut down production due to the lateness of the season. I also suspect that the bees are going to tear those cells down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Virginia, Minnesota
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Thanks Merince, this sure is a learning experience. So if I understand you, there is no harm in leaving the frame in? Or should I pull it so that a new hatched queen doesn't kill one I might have in the hive? I haven't had brood for over 4 weeks. I had inserted some capped brood frames 2.5 weeks ago when I tried to re-queen but they have since hatched. I was concerned that the hive was honey bound and a queen didn't have places to lay. I was feeding 2.1 and just stopped.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    longtom:
    It is definitely a learning experience.

    If your daitime highs are in the 50s, I would not disturb this hive. Any additional inspections will have a high chances of crushing and rolling her. If the queen has stopped laying she will be smaller and harder to spot and also runnier than a laying queen busy with her job. She will be in the corners and under the frames or in the frames' corners and covered by other bees making it almost impossible to spot her.

    Additionally, even if your hive is queenless, there is not much you can do - you cannot ship a queen from the south due to the low temperatures. I hope I am not sounding snarky when I say this, because I don't intend it, but this it - you've done your best and you just have to wait and see if they make it through the winter.

    For next year - start your winter preps in late August / early September. That will give you at least a month to fix any issues such as requeening, feeding, etc.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,890

    Default Re: October Requeening

    I requeened 5 hives about ten days ago using a regular candy release - between frames of brood. Checked on them yesterday - 5 out of 5. My queens here are all still laying though - that probably improves acceptance I would think.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    David,
    I think you are right that brood and feeding improves acceptance. I just checked out Cookeville, TN - your daytime highs are in the high 70s and the lows are in the 50s. I doubt you would be diggin into the hives to check for queens if the daytime high was in the 50s.

    Thank you for the update!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,890

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Well, also I started the process 10 days ago. I imagine that it gets more dicey every week now. And of course the farther north you are the later it is relatively speaking.

    And yes we are having some beautiful weather at the moment.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Well, the queens are in. I think they will be in good hands. I laid the cages on the top bars for a minute before inserting it between the frames. It was just seconds and the bees everywhere were headed her way, like a magnet. I didn't see any aggressive behavior, just a lot of fanning around the queen. The mood of the entire hive changed almost instantly. Pretty impressive pheromones. I'll check in a few days and make sure she is released.
    To everything there is a season....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Mike, Mine went exactly the same way. They all came a runin' and were fanning. It was like xmas for them. Kind of impressive to watch. Hope all goes well for you. Let us know how it goes when you check them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: October Requeening

    OK, well I haven't been back in the hive in about a week. I kind of think that the bees have shut down production for the winter. I was feeding when I went queen-less and stopped after the new queen I bought was released. I had seen some robbing attempts and put up a robbing screen and after that only saw a couple bees fighting for a couple days. The worry was I have seen yellow jackets fly into the entrance in the early morning and come back out, didn't look like there was anyone guarding. Was wondering if anyone else has had an issue with yellow jackets doing this and if I should be worried. I know they are bad this year and I do have the entrance reduced to the smallest (2 Bee) size and a robber screen on. Thanks for any thoughts.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: October Requeening

    My guess is that they are taking advantage of the bees being clustered. Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about it. The yellow jackets and hornets have been especially bad this year, so I am planning on trapping for them in the spring.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Yeah, I put up some traps to hopefully help, but am at a loss of anything else I can do, besides hope they aren't messing with my bees. It's been nice (except for today) but they haven't taken any feed, so I took it off. Hope they make it and will keep checking their weight.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default Re: October Requeening

    Well, this all worked out just fine. I went in and released the queens two days after they were in the hive before the weather cooled off. Was keeping my fingers crossed after releasing them so soon.

    Today it has been 6 days since their release and the temperature right now is around 60. Weather is going to go downhill fast and this might be my last chance to poke around in the hives so I went back in today to check on the queens. A couple frames into the brood nest area I found eggs and young larvae so I buttoned them back up. All is well, onward to my winter chores.
    To everything there is a season....

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