What is your experience with requeening a fully populated Italian hive (three deeps) during this time of year? I live in SE minnesota, it looks like we're about halfway through with goldenrod season. I ordered a few queens to replace two of the two-year old girls and this one queen that seems to have gone AWOL. I've read differing methods from feeding during the introduction phase, spritzing with HoneyBHealthy, taking a few frames of bees and making a nuc for a week and reintroducing the queened nuc.
As long as the new queens are caged w/ attendants and the cage has a candy/cork plug, dispatch the existing queen, wait for ten hours or so and insert the cage w/o the cork. I would go the extra mile on the AWOL hive and make sure that there’s no queen there.
Not only do you have to verify there is no queen present but you also have to be sure there are not laying workers or that the bees have not started supercedure or emergency cells.
If the workers have started or even thinking about making their own queen, the introduced queen may not be accepted or initially accepted and later killed as cells mature.
In a three deep colony it is easy to miss started cells without brushing off or shaking through an excluder.
I introduced one on wednesday in a colony that had started likely supercedure cells. I removed old queen, shook off bees, destroyed cells and taped over the candy plug. I will go in today and see if there have been any obvious new cells started and uncover the release sugar.
This queen cost me 60$. I have lost some in similar conditions when the bees decided to make their own queen. To be cautious you need to be certain they are hopelessly queenless.
My queens are set to be shipped out tomorrow (2 or 3 day shipping), so today I put excluders between the boxes to isolate the queen until the replacements arrive so as to make it easier to find her.
Unfortunately, this is the time that I was going to put on formic pro. For the suspected queenless hive, I was thinking I'd use a good dose of OAV. The other two hives--I wonder if using the formic pro would be detrimental to the queen's acceptance/survival.
We're about halfway through the goldenrod bloom, and it hasn't been a big thing for the bees in years past. In terms of nectar flow and queen laying winter bee eggs, do they generally draw from the reserve honey to feed the babies, or would it be better to feed up with the 2:1 sugar?
I live in SE minnesota if that helps guide your answer. Frost is usually towards the end of september.