Would you dare?
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Thread: Would you dare?

  1. #1
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    Default Would you dare?

    This was briefly mentioned at the queen rearing class I went to in May:
    Take a laying queen from one hive--do not cage her--and direct release into a queenless hive and she will be accepted immediately. The instructor said he's not tried this but has heard it goes fine. Too risky?

    I want to do this with the hive where I will put my grafted queens tomorrow. I want to move her into a queenless hive (after I check carefully for queen cells) without caging her first.
    Thoughts? Experiences?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 50 hives, TF

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Do I dare, disturb the universe?

    I think this is something brother Adam would do.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Will the queenless hive be hopelessly queenless or will there be eggs/new larvae? I have heard of dipping the queen in honey and toss her in but I would not do it unless I had some spare laying queens. Too chicken. I have had cells started even with a caged queen
    Frank

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    What Brother Adam did was remove the laying queen from a colony to be requeened, and add a laying queen that he had just removed from the mating nuc. Remove a laying queen and add a laying queen. A different situation that adding a laying queen to a queenless colony.

    He also said that if the new queen is something that you think is important or something you really care about...take extra precautions.

    I guess I would use a push-in cage over emerging brood. There is emerging brood? How long has the colony been queenless?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    I want to move her into a queenless hive (after I check carefully for queen cells) without caging her first.
    Thoughts? Experiences?
    Why? What's the issue with caging her?
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    This was briefly mentioned at the queen rearing class I went to in May:
    Take a laying queen from one hive--do not cage her--and direct release into a queenless hive and she will be accepted immediately. The instructor said he's not tried this but has heard it goes fine. Too risky?

    I want to do this with the hive where I will put my grafted queens tomorrow. I want to move her into a queenless hive (after I check carefully for queen cells) without caging her first.
    Thoughts? Experiences?
    I've been told similar things by a couple old beekeepers at different times in my career......take the queen and put her at the entrance of the queenless hive and let her walk right on in the front door......their claim is that she will waltz in there acting like she owns the place and the bees will bow to her heinous or some similar line ....now with that said, I've never tried it and often wondered if this idea of letting her in the front door works or if this was just a couple of gasbags screwing with the rookie back then...dunno

    Rich
    www.capitalbeesupply.com
    Manufacturers and Purveyors of Fine Beekeeping Equipment

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    I have even done it pulling a laying queen and replacing her with a virgin and it works fine. But I would be skeptical of doing it with a queenless hive.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    I've covered a virgin in honey prior to intro and had it work out successful but I'd bet it's one of them things covered by the dreaded 50/50 . It either works or it don't.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    What Brother Adam did was remove the laying queen from a colony to be requeened, and add a laying queen that he had just removed from the mating nuc. Remove a laying queen and add a laying queen. A different situation that adding a laying queen to a queenless colony.

    He also said that if the new queen is something that you think is important or something you really care about...take extra precautions.

    I guess I would use a push-in cage over emerging brood. There is emerging brood? How long has the colony been queenless?
    This makes sense.
    Astrobee, no specific issue as far as using a cage and I will use one as the queen I'm pulling is from my best backyard hive. That's why it's my starter hive. The hive she's going into has been queenless for 5 days. Too long. I have wanted to ask this since I heard it at the class. I will try it when mated queens are ready for the hives I want to requeen... I will do a mix of cages, and direct release right after failing queen removed. Thank you for the information.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 50 hives, TF

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    I will use one as the queen I'm pulling is from my best backyard hive.
    Yeah, if you consider this your best, then maximum protection is warranted. Good luck.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    What amount of time elapse since becoming queenless is the best and worst chance for acceptance?

    Some say a matter of minutes; -------24 hours; ---------- and some say a week to make sure they have no viable larvae to raise a queen instead of accepting the introduced one. Would the same odds apply to direct introduction as it would to caged introduction?
    Frank

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    [QUOTE=bevy's honeybees;1444817...The instructor said he's not tried this but has heard it goes fine. Too risky?[/QUOTE]

    I've heard it's usually easier to bet someone else's money...

    I've heard & read (a thousand times) that bees will generally attack & kill a foreign queen immediately. As a result, I've never tried it.

    It's probably a better bet to put the old queen in a small nuc with her some of her own brood.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Brother Adam was not just removing a laying queen and replacing her with another laying queen by direct introduction. He used one of his queen cages with a candy plug so that it would take several hours for her to be released.

    I have replaced queens as Brother Adam did with success, I have also tried direct release and had a laying queen immediately killed when she ran in. The queen had been removed from her nuc to requeen a colony for a friend, but upon inspection the supposed queenless colony had a virgin queen. When I returned home an hour and a half later, I was going to return the queen to her own nuc so I thought I could save a little time and not make another inspection of the nuc to release her, I just opened the nuc and ran her in. The bees did not ball her, the first worker she ran by jumped on her back and stung her. Taking short-cuts always cause me trouble.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    I was recently thumbing through the Laidlaw and Page queenrearing book...they have a whole section on direct introduction.

    I've dredged a laying queen in honey and done a successful direct release, but I'd rather bet someone else's money on such a thing.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    This topic came up when Michael Palmer spoke at my local bee club meeting in April. I was curious so I tried replacing one laying Queen for another. It worked out well.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    I think you can test bees reaction a bit before releasing: put the queen in a cage and watch. In critical times of the year they instantly accept her.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    I actually do this direct introduction a couple hundred times every year.

    My mating nucs are 4 way. Two nucs on either side of a central divider. The two are separated by a movable division board feeder. At the last catch, we remove the queen on one side of the feeder, remove the feeder, move the removed queen's combs over against the remaining queen, and put the feeder at the side wall. The remaining queen does just fine with the other little colony combined with her's. No fighting, no balling, no queen loss.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Mike, to me I would call that a 'combine' rather than an 'introduction'
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Agreed - I've had success with combining small (nuc) colonies. I can't knock direct release, as I've never done it.

    However, the last thing I'd do is drop one of my best queens directly into a queenless hive - as the OP is questioning. ANY kind of slow release - be it a regular cage with candy, or push in- those would be my first choices.

    Introducing her right on the frame of her own brood that she is on would be even better, and with 3 frames of her own brood is almost a slam dunk.

    But that's just me - betting my own money...
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Would you dare?

    Having caught a few swarms and extra queens to experiment, I also tried the direct release without removing the existing Queen. Placed her on the landing board followed by a little smoke. A few days later both marked queens were on the same frame. Motivation from a great presentation, a flow and some luck.....things worked out. It may have simulated a supercedeure.

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