Successful Queen Introduction tips. - Page 5
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  1. #81
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    SE Queensland
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Have you seen the movie, "Groundhog Day"?
    It is a comedy about a fellow that wakes up every day and it is the exact same day as yesterday.

    Well it's Groundhog day once again on BeeSource because just like every year, it is story after story after tear-jerking sob story about queens not being accepted.
    But for me, as the poster describes their procedure, it is no surprise whatsoever.

    First let me say that I have installed several boxes of queens (hundreds) so far this year.
    Exactly one (1) has not been accepted.

    The first thing that you need to know is that the advice and procedures in almost all of the books is VERY, VERY POOR!
    And the information in the books is just repeated, over and over, book after book, never questioned and in my opinion and experience almost assures high failure rate.

    Before we talk procedure, let me tell you how VERY GRATEFUL I am for my mentor, Kenny Williams of Oregon that taught me how to have a 98% annual acceptance rate for queen acceptance.
    When I was new and asked him questions, he often replied with a question.

    Example: "Kenny, should I poke a hole in the candy plug with a nail"?
    "Why would you want to do that"? he asks in reply.
    "Well, so that the queen can be released sooner" I respond.
    "Why would you want the queen to be released sooner than later", he asks?

    The answer is: YOU DO NOT want the queen released in any big hurry!!!
    What we want is to pull the cork from the candy plug, place the queen cage between frames of mixed brood, or in the case of a package, centered and then LEAVE THE HIVE ALONE so that the queen can emerge in the dark, still and quiet of the hive, having had the extended time release of the candy plug to aquint the bees with her pheromone.

    Over and over and over and over I read, "I went back 2 or 4 days later to make sure the queen was released, and now I'm queenless"

    Again, WHY are you worried that the queen will not be released? Why?
    The queen WILL be released. Stay out of the hive!

    If a queen is not released, or is found dead later in the cage, it is for a few reasons:
    1) she died
    2) your package had a queen in the population
    3)she was a spent virgin.

    In 25 years of beekeeping, and thousands upon thousands of queen introductions, this has happened maybe twice.

    Do you want a 98% queen acceptance rate? Here are some PROVEN tips:

    1) Do not poke a hole in the candy plug.
    2) Always place the cage between frames of mixed, open brood (where the nurse bees are that are much more inclined to accept and care for her. Re-queen, drone layer replacement, laying worker, or hive start-up; all the same. Place her with brood and nurse bees. In the case of packages, just hang her centered in the hive.
    3) Fill the feeder with syrup.
    4) Place a piece of masking tape on the corner of the hive with the date she was introduced an DO NOT TOUCH the hive for at least 10 days other than to quietly fill the feeder without shuffling frames or otherwise making a disruption.
    5) After 10 or better yet 14 days, gently move through the hive frame by frame until you find the empty cage. Remove the cage and then reverse one frame with the dent left from the cage. They will almost always repair the dent with worker cells if you do this.

    So that is it. The problem that I read day after excruciating day her on Beesource is excess, needless micro-managing and cockamamie monkey-motion.
    I read books. I have an extensive beekeeping library.
    But when it comes to queen introduction, almost all the books give TERRIBLE advice.

    I never direct release. (no need to)
    No push-in cages.
    No monkey-motion.

    So here is a report:
    Today, I went to a yard of 64 hives that were all hard splits. (Hives directly split in half.)
    The splits were made on April 17th. Today is May 8th.
    I never returned to the hives after queen intro on April 17th.
    ALL of the queens were accepted.
    All I did today was to remove the cages and reverse one frame with the dent.

    Every year I shake packages for myself to start brand new hives.
    Last weekend I queen-checked 32 hives that started as packages on April 5th.
    After installing packages, I only returned to the hives on multiple times to quietly slide the lid aside and fill feeders.
    ALL of the queens were accepted.
    They were accepted using the time honored candy, time-release method and most important; NO DISRUPTION for the initial period.

    Ever heard of K.I.S.S.? That stands for "Keep it simple stupid!

    I hope that those of you that have been bamboozled by the cockamamie, monkey-motion procedures outlined in "the books" will try our procedure next time.
    And I am open for any questions.
    Great description and looking forward to following your method except for one point. Filling the feeder with syrup? We dont use feeders here on the sunshine coast in QLD australia. This part of the process, is it more about your local area or is this an integral part of introducing a new queen?
    What does giving syrup have to do if there is plenty of flowering trees about?
    Sorry if this is an amateur question?

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  3. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,528

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Bee Scared,
    The bees accept a queen more readily if there is nectar coming in to the hive. Hence the feeder. If you have a good nectar flow don't worry.

  4. #83
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    SE Queensland
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Bee Scared,
    The bees accept a queen more readily if there is nectar coming in to the hive. Hence the feeder. If you have a good nectar flow don't worry.
    Thanks mate. If requeening an existing hive where the intention is to kill the existing queen because she is a dud. How long should you wait after killing old queen before introducing new queen? Min,max and optimum times please.

  5. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,106

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Why wait? Dispatch old queen. Locate new queen beneath push-in cage. Remove cage 4 days later. Job done.

  6. #85
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    SE Queensland
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    I just wondered if I killed old queen and immediately introduced the new queen if the bees would be less likely to accept her? Though if waiting hours or a day the hive knows it's queen less and would be more likely to accept new queen? Didn't know if the bees could kill her in the cage before she even got released?

  7. #86
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    ky
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    what Michael Palmer said.

  8. #87
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,528

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    I don't wait.

  9. #88
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Order some nice II breeders and try this method....

  10. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Wayne, WV, USA
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    I've been introducing queens per the advice in Harry's OP: 10 for 10 so far, and four more queens to go this week.

    Thanks Harry!!
    "The amazing thing about the honey bee is not that she works, but that she works for others." St. John Chrysostom

  11. #90
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    There is a world of difference in introducing a virgin, a caged queen or a queen that was laying a few minutes ago. I've take a frame with the queen on it and put it in a queenless hive with good success. But she was laying before, is still laying and has her entourage. I would never try that with a caged, shipped queen who maybe was laying a few days ago or maybe was laying a few weeks ago...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #91
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    TI've take a frame with the queen on it and put it in a queenless hive with good success. But she was laying before, is still laying and has her entourage. I would never try that with a caged, shipped queen who maybe was laying a few days ago or maybe was laying a few weeks ago...
    Brother Adam requeened on a large scale this way. Pulling the frame with queen out of the hive to be requeened and swapping it for the frame with a laying queen from a nuc.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  13. #92
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    The method described by the OP worked like a charm (put it in the hive, don't poke a hole, leave it alone for 10 days). I ordered some Ferguson Buckfasts, took 3 days to get here. Ran a wet finger across each of the cages to give them some water. Weather prevented me from actually putting them in hives (2 splits and one laying worker) until after they had been in their queen cages a week. Had my doubts thinking she might starve, but dutifully followed OP directions. 11 days later I am 3 for 3 at successful introductions including the laying worker hive. I'm a convert.

  14. #93
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Joelton, TN
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    A real tried & true method, Harry. I did a cut out 4 weeks ago. No sign of the queen for 3 weeks but the colony stayed intact & was hauling in nectar & pollen after two weeks. I gave them another week to see if they would requeen, but they didn't, maybe because the old comb wasn't stable enough, don't know. Pulled the plug, set the new queen on the bottom of a new frame of brood donated from another hive, after 7 days I find the cage empty, & new eggs, larvae, & even new capped honey. Key is: leave them alone!!!!

  15. #94
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    SE Queensland
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Have you seen the movie, "Groundhog Day"?
    It is a comedy about a fellow that wakes up every day and it is the exact same day as yesterday.

    Well it's Groundhog day once again on BeeSource because just like every year, it is story after story after tear-jerking sob story about queens not being accepted.
    But for me, as the poster describes their procedure, it is no surprise whatsoever.

    First let me say that I have installed several boxes of queens (hundreds) so far this year.
    Exactly one (1) has not been accepted.

    The first thing that you need to know is that the advice and procedures in almost all of the books is VERY, VERY POOR!
    And the information in the books is just repeated, over and over, book after book, never questioned and in my opinion and experience almost assures high failure rate.

    Before we talk procedure, let me tell you how VERY GRATEFUL I am for my mentor, Kenny Williams of Oregon that taught me how to have a 98% annual acceptance rate for queen acceptance.
    When I was new and asked him questions, he often replied with a question.

    Example: "Kenny, should I poke a hole in the candy plug with a nail"?
    "Why would you want to do that"? he asks in reply.
    "Well, so that the queen can be released sooner" I respond.
    "Why would you want the queen to be released sooner than later", he asks?

    The answer is: YOU DO NOT want the queen released in any big hurry!!!
    What we want is to pull the cork from the candy plug, place the queen cage between frames of mixed brood, or in the case of a package, centered and then LEAVE THE HIVE ALONE so that the queen can emerge in the dark, still and quiet of the hive, having had the extended time release of the candy plug to aquint the bees with her pheromone.

    Over and over and over and over I read, "I went back 2 or 4 days later to make sure the queen was released, and now I'm queenless"

    Again, WHY are you worried that the queen will not be released? Why?
    The queen WILL be released. Stay out of the hive!

    If a queen is not released, or is found dead later in the cage, it is for a few reasons:
    1) she died
    2) your package had a queen in the population
    3)she was a spent virgin.

    In 25 years of beekeeping, and thousands upon thousands of queen introductions, this has happened maybe twice.

    Do you want a 98% queen acceptance rate? Here are some PROVEN tips:

    1) Do not poke a hole in the candy plug.
    2) Always place the cage between frames of mixed, open brood (where the nurse bees are that are much more inclined to accept and care for her. Re-queen, drone layer replacement, laying worker, or hive start-up; all the same. Place her with brood and nurse bees. In the case of packages, just hang her centered in the hive.
    3) Fill the feeder with syrup.
    4) Place a piece of masking tape on the corner of the hive with the date she was introduced an DO NOT TOUCH the hive for at least 10 days other than to quietly fill the feeder without shuffling frames or otherwise making a disruption.
    5) After 10 or better yet 14 days, gently move through the hive frame by frame until you find the empty cage. Remove the cage and then reverse one frame with the dent left from the cage. They will almost always repair the dent with worker cells if you do this.

    So that is it. The problem that I read day after excruciating day her on Beesource is excess, needless micro-managing and cockamamie monkey-motion.
    I read books. I have an extensive beekeeping library.
    But when it comes to queen introduction, almost all the books give TERRIBLE advice.

    I never direct release. (no need to)
    No push-in cages.
    No monkey-motion.

    So here is a report:
    Today, I went to a yard of 64 hives that were all hard splits. (Hives directly split in half.)
    The splits were made on April 17th. Today is May 8th.
    I never returned to the hives after queen intro on April 17th.
    ALL of the queens were accepted.
    All I did today was to remove the cages and reverse one frame with the dent.

    Every year I shake packages for myself to start brand new hives.
    Last weekend I queen-checked 32 hives that started as packages on April 5th.
    After installing packages, I only returned to the hives on multiple times to quietly slide the lid aside and fill feeders.
    ALL of the queens were accepted.
    They were accepted using the time honored candy, time-release method and most important; NO DISRUPTION for the initial period.

    Ever heard of K.I.S.S.? That stands for "Keep it simple stupid!

    I hope that those of you that have been bamboozled by the cockamamie, monkey-motion procedures outlined in "the books" will try our procedure next time.
    And I am open for any questions.
    Just a quick one, were about to requeen a few hives in the middle of a macadamia flowering. Bees go nuts getting nectar on macadamia and you really need to keep ahaed of them to stop them from swarming. Can you still take off honey supers when requeening or keeping away from the hive for 2 weeks. Was thinking of just lifting the lid and if filling up sticking a super on top but not going into brood??

  16. #95
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,158

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    A couple more tips:

    I cant tell you how many times we ship someone a queen and then when they receive it the recipient hive turns out to have a queen, either a bummer queen or a virgin... usually a virgin. No eggs does not necessarily mean no queen present. An easy way to avoid this is to add a frame of brood with eggs and wait 2-3 days. If they are truly queenless they will start queen cells and will be easy to observe. If one does not observe started cells they will never accept an introduced queen because they have some queen they are more dedicated to, even of it is a lame queen or a virgin.

    Also when requeening laying worker colonies; we find that it is extremely helpful to swap spots with a queen right hive so the LW hive receives the field force. This provides a nice boost to the unit and has really increased our success rate. This is in addition to the tips Harry recommended. By the time a colony has developed laying workers the average age of the bees in the hive is geriatric. Adding brood and swapping spots are very key to acceptance and cleaning up all the nasty drone brood aftermath.

    Lastly, if we are introducing queens or cells to a unit that has not been queenless long we like to lightly spritz the unit down with a HBH type formula. It really calms the unit down and we never see the cage getting balled or the cell getting torn down. Caution with this approach if you have been using HBH in your feed because the smell is pretty much a dinner bell and robbing could ensue. Bees are very trainable to odors.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  17. #96
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Interesting posts. Thanks to Harry and everyone.
    8 years, 8 hives

  18. #97
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Vestavia Hills, Al. USA
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    great info
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  19. #98
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Parthenon, Ar,USA
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Thanks Harry,

    Just read the entire thread. Really good info.
    Neill
    Herbhome Farm USDA zone 7a

  20. #99
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Just read this entire thread. Great info. A little worried as I helped a friend install a package. Day one put in the queen in her cage, day three I checked on her. She was released.
    I am concerned as I read here it is best not to bother them for ten days. We will be checking again in two weeks.

  21. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Successful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    There is a world of difference in introducing a virgin, a caged queen or a queen that was laying a few minutes ago. I've take a frame with the queen on it and put it in a queenless hive with good success. But she was laying before, is still laying and has her entourage. I would never try that with a caged, shipped queen who maybe was laying a few days ago or maybe was laying a few weeks ago...
    Like this info as well.

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