last update - difficult queen install
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    707

    Question last update - difficult queen install

    Hi, all,

    this will probably be the last update and query about my situation. It appears my replacement queen is arriving this afternoon.

    recap: I picked up a package Sunday and when I got home the queen was dead in cage. I went ahead and dumped the package bees in the hive (in retrospect, might have held off on that). I attached the queen cage with dead queen to a foundation less frame and put it in the hive. The supplier said he would send a replacement queen.

    the hive: is a deep horizontal, ala Lazutin, so it is 17" wide by 33" long and 22" deep with deep foundation less frames (Frame dimenions 14" by 19"). I had placed a follower board in the middle of the hive, and dumped the bees on the side with the entrance and I put a tin can feeder from the package on the other side of the follower board. (This morning I placed a larger feeder on the non-entrance side of the follower board). Sunday night I placed a screen over the entrance hole to keep them from leaving, as I was pretty sure they would just go to the hive next door, which has a viable queen. The entrance hole is about a third of the way up from the bottom of the hive on the east side of the hive, but very close to the south end of the hive.

    the bees: I haven't opened up the side of the hive by the entrance, because well, they would just come out and it would be really hard to get them back in. I am able to indirectly verify that they are alive by the heat signatures detected by a thermal camera. The reading is hottest in the upper southwest corner of the hive. Also, this morning there was a small cluster of bees UNDERNEATH the tin can feeder. I would guess less than a hundred.

    the weather: has been in the high 30s, low 40s at night. During the day no higher than 60 degrees.

    So, I'm going to describe what I plan to do and please please let me know if any of it is stupid or you would do it differently, because I'm just making it up right now.

    I believe the queen will arrive around 5 p.m. I'm going to attach that cage to one of my foundation less frames. (Of course remove the cork from candy end of cage.) I'm also going to attach some old comb to the same frame. (There currently is NO comb of any sort in the hive.) I'm going to swap out this frame with the frame that I attached the dead queen in cage. Because I put a larger feeder in the back of the hive, I will remove the tin can feeder and encourage the clustered bees to move along. I'm inclined to leave the entrance screened overnight and remove it tomorrow a.m. Any bees that come out while swapping out the live for dead queen I'll try to dump into the back of the hive on the other side of the follower board.

    I would appreciate any feedback or advice!!!

    Thanks,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: last update - difficult queen install

    Any kind of slow release will be good. Odds are there is a queen that was loose in the package so odds are they will kill the new queen no matter how you go about it. If they are indeed queenless (doubtful) then the new queen should be readily accepted.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: last update - difficult queen install

    Hi, Michael,

    I deduce from what you are saying that if there is no queen, when I introduce the new queen, a typical three day introduction would not be necessary? I have read your books, so in previous installs I didn't bother with the "let them eat through the candy in three days introduction". I would just push the cork in on the other side. I would smear that hole with some "raw" honey, so it wasn't an immediately release. This worked fine.

    Having said that I'm about 100% certain there wasn't a loose queen in the package, because of the way the bees were clustering, or not clustering. They were on the ceiling of the hive, spread flat like a blanket, not the typical sort of inverted cone you would see around a queen in a newly installed package.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Any kind of slow release will be good. Odds are there is a queen that was loose in the package so odds are they will kill the new queen no matter how you go about it. If they are indeed queenless (doubtful) then the new queen should be readily accepted.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: last update - difficult queen install

    >I deduce from what you are saying that if there is no queen, when I introduce the new queen, a typical three day introduction would not be necessary?

    I would do a candy release anyway, but you probably could get by with a direct release if they've been queenless for a while. But it is far more reliable to do a candy release.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: last update - difficult queen install

    thank you for the advice Michael!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I deduce from what you are saying that if there is no queen, when I introduce the new queen, a typical three day introduction would not be necessary?

    I would do a candy release anyway, but you probably could get by with a direct release if they've been queenless for a while. But it is far more reliable to do a candy release.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: last update - difficult queen install

    Finally received the queen on Thursday; she was mailed on Monday priority mail. Why complain? The distance she traveled by mail: sixty miles.

    Anyways the install was a little kookie, but I can confirm (via inspection) that a fair amount of package bees stuck around and they have coalesced around the new queen.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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