Introducing new queen question
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  1. #1
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    Default Introducing new queen question

    So three days ago I took five frames of various stages from 3 different 3 story Nuc's and started a 5 frame split. I have checked and checked for a queen. I ran them through a queen excluder, no queen. Yet, when I put a caged queen on the split, some, not all of the bees are aggressive to the cage trying to sting her. The other bee's display a typical surrounding her looking calmly in at her.

    Now as an aside, when I first received her, she was piping. My research suggested that virgin pipe and that a queen less hive wont accept a virgin queen. I received the queen from a reputable source so I am not certain she a virgin.

    My question is simply, is the split rejecting her? She is still in the cage so I can remove her if so.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Your continued presence will get your caged queen killed! They blame her for the disturbance. She is after all a stranger and not to be trusted. If the candy is exposed, stay out for three days and check to see she has been released. If she has, slide the frames close together and wait another ten days before moving any frames. Feed if necessary but otherwise stay out. By that time, the brood that has emerged will be the nurse bees and attendants surrounding her. They will have never known any other queen and will protect her.

    If after that three full days or more your queen has not been released, remove three outside frames and turn her loose at the bottom of the hive where she can scurry under the frames not take off flying. SHE CAN! Replace the frames and stay out for two weeks. Mucking around in the hive earlier can result in the queen being balled and killed.

    There will be lots of time later to pull frames and study. A new colony getting established is not the time or place,

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Your continued presence will get your caged queen killed! They blame her for the disturbance. She is after all a stranger and not to be trusted. If the candy is exposed, stay out for three days and check to see she has been released. If she has, slide the frames close together and wait another ten days before moving any frames. Feed if necessary but otherwise stay out. By that time, the brood that has emerged will be the nurse bees and attendants surrounding her. They will have never known any other queen and will protect her.

    If after that three full days or more your queen has not been released, remove three outside frames and turn her loose at the bottom of the hive where she can scurry under the frames not take off flying. SHE CAN! Replace the frames and stay out for two weeks. Mucking around in the hive earlier can result in the queen being balled and killed.

    There will be lots of time later to pull frames and study. A new colony getting established is not the time or place,
    Thank you Vance. I understand what your saying. Would you re-cork the cage for the three days, then pull it?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    No, I assume they are eating thru the candy as we speak. Just do as little to disturb as possible. When she is released after three full days, stay out for ten more days to two weeks. That is what I have learned at a cost in killed queens and failed splits.

  6. #5
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    Jun 2016
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    I have had mated queens in queen cages next to each other and they were piping back and forth. So maybe it's something they can do when young but not once they get older or something. The longer you wait before getting into the hive after putting in the queen cage the better. I do 10 days before I even open it up to check. By then she is out and usually already laying. But either way come up with a plan/timeframe and try to stick to it. Best of luck

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    "If the candy is exposed, stay out for three days and check to see she has been released"..

    I still like the Harry Vanderpool method of introduction just stay out of the hive completely for 10 days. I have never found the need to go in to check and see if she has been released after three days? Unless you have rock candy in your cage they'll eat through it fast enough. Having said that, I prefer using push-in cages if I'm not in a hurry. Make a split, put the queen under the push in cage and release her on day 4. Pretty much foolproof. Make sure you look for any fresh eggs before you release her just in case there happens to be a laying queen present. I usually make up a lot of splits from my overwintered nucs by elevating 3-4 frames of mostly capped brood above an excluder and then just go back the next morning and take those frames for my splits with 99% certainty that I don't have a queen there.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  8. #7
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    Default

    I guess my question was about whether I should leave the queen in the hive given the aggressive behavior. Vance's comment made perfect sense

    I re-corked the cage before I got Vance's recommendation, regardless, I will stay out of the hive for three days, then uncork the cage and leave it alone for ten

    Thanks everyone for the responses

  9. #8

    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by WRLCPA View Post
    So three days ago I took five frames of various stages from 3 different 3 story Nuc's and started a 5 frame split.
    One of the issues I run into regularly is that if the nuc isnít hopelessly queenless, then they may start to make their own queen. For whatever reason they may favor their homemade queen to the store bought mated queen.
    Putting the cork back in was, in my opinion, a good idea. Also before removing it I would carefully inspect each frame to be certain that there arenít any emergency cells. If you find any cut them out and leave the cork in for a few more days.
    At that point you should be good to go.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #9

    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    I have been doing some later season splits for the past week. I ran into this exact situation. The queen cages that I get the bees will often eat through the candy in less than 24 hours. Any more, I cap the candy so the bees cannot get to it and install the cage. I go back in five days and check for emergency cells. I ran into one today that had half a dozen emergency cells that I removed. I left the cap on the candy and will remove it in a few more days.
    It works for me. I havenít noticed any problem with acceptance failure because of my intervention. I usually make anywhere from 50 to 100 nucs each year.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I have been doing some later season splits for the past week. I ran into this exact situation. The queen cages that I get the bees will often eat through the candy in less than 24 hours. Any more, I cap the candy so the bees cannot get to it and install the cage. I go back in five days and check for emergency cells. I ran into one today that had half a dozen emergency cells that I removed. I left the cap on the candy and will remove it in a few more days.
    It works for me. I havenít noticed any problem with acceptance failure because of my intervention. I usually make anywhere from 50 to 100 nucs each year.
    Thanks Dan, You may have hit the nail on the head. When i made the split as I said I put frames of various stages INCLUDING fresh eggs. There were still some in the hive today, about three days past the day I made up the split. I won't let her release till the eggs are caped brood

  12. #11

    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by WRLCPA View Post
    I won't let her release till the eggs are caped brood
    You can release her sooner than that. If there were eggs, 7 days from the split should long enough for them to be hopelessly queenless. But...if they've made emergency cells, you will want to wait another few days after you remove them all.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  13. #12
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    Default

    I agree with danman. They need to be hopelessly queenless. I killed an introduced queen by not making absolutely sure all emergency cells were gone.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bicklebok View Post
    I agree with danman. They need to be hopelessly queenless. I killed an introduced queen by not making absolutely sure all emergency cells were gone.
    Perfect, Thanks guys, this all makes sense and my instincts to re cork the cage I think was spot on. I will follow up with results

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by WRLCPA View Post
    There were still some (eggs) in the hive today, about three days past the day I made up the split.
    If you still have eggs tomorrow, I would look again for a queen!
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  16. #15
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    Default

    I had 3 queens to intro into some 5 frame nucs. I used those plastic queen cages that have the tube on the end. Didn’t have any candy plugs on hand so I crammed marshmallows into the tube. 5 days later 2 of the 3 were released, the third one they ate about 3/4 of the way thru the marshmallow and gave up. Queen was fine, so I direct released her and she got right to work.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    If you still have eggs tomorrow, I would look again for a queen!
    Ok, So as planned, I just checked the split and indeed there are queen cells galore, so with this experience behind me, I have decided to go in a different direction. I am going to make another split, this time I am going to attempt to make it hopelessly queen less. I can achieve this from a nuc I have, that is currently re queening itself so I can definitely get frames with no eggs. I will let the split I just looked at re, queen itself and thgive the new split the caged queen tomorrow

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by WRLCPA View Post
    Ok, So as planned, I just checked the split and indeed there are queen cells galore, so with this experience behind me, I have decided to go in a different direction. I am going to make another split, this time I am going to attempt to make it hopelessly queen less. I can achieve this from a nuc I have, that is currently re queening itself so I can definitely get frames with no eggs. I will let the split I just looked at re, queen itself and thgive the new split the caged queen tomorrow

    Update. Made the extra splits from a hive that is in the process of re-queening. Made absolutely sure there wasn't young queen in the hive by shaking bees through a excluder. Made up 3 three frame splits. Came back 1 hour later and they were humming. Good sign they were queenless. Placed queen cage on top of the frames and the workers came up to her fluttering their wings and feeding her. She was up on the screen accepting the feed. A minute (Literally) the hive was calm. I think she is in good hands now

    The other two, I took two of three frames from original split that now had queen cells and placed them in the new splits.

    All in all, the original 5 frame split actually became 4 3 frame splits. FEED FEED FEED!

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Piping does not indicate that the queen is a virgin. It indicates she is a queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Introducing new queen question

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Piping does not indicate that the queen is a virgin. It indicates she is a queen.
    Thank you Michael. Appreciate that

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