So I'm requeening my hives; they are a little too hot for my liking.
I've found 2 queens so far, but two of the other hives are proving to be a little too ellusive for me.
Tried swapping a frame of open brood (read on here that it may draw the queen out, due to strange queen-smell)... no luck.
Tried completely tearing one hive apart and shaking all bees through a queen excluder... but of course, they don't feel like crawling down through a queen excluder! So this hive has been split... I'll give it another day then start looking for eggs. Wherever the eggs are, thats where the queen is. The queenless split can get a new queen, and once I find the old queen and eliminate her, they can be recombined.
arrggg... frustrated. My new queens arrive today! Can't wait to get these girls calmed down a bit, and be able to use my front yard without fear of getting nailed!
just splittig'em calms'em down quite a bit so you neednt wait for new bees(21 days) for the use of your yard. just putting in a new queen dosent do it, you must have new bees with new genetics to have more docile bees.
I have always been pretty good at finding queens, but one time I was facing the situation that you are with one hive. I had seen her before and knew that she was a small dark queen. I did the excluder thing where I put an empty box on a bottom board, then an excluder and then another empty box. I shook all of the frames onto the excluder
I was also surprised how many bees flew or crawled up the side of the box. The thing is the queen didn't do any of those things. She headed toward the dark and so even though 95% of worker bees didn't go through the excluder, she tried and I found her.
This method works and it's easy.
Put queen excluders on the hive, wait 5 days, look for natural cells or eggs and divide.
The excluders keep the queen in one part of the colony.
No wasted time shaking bees or looking for the queen.
And, if you want to you can look for eggs or natural cells on day four.
Brother....Ok...place two empty combs in a box. Shake all the bees into that box. Place queen excluder over the box. Place comb with brood over the queen excluder. Next morning lift off top box. The queen will be between the two bottom frames with a handful of bees...the rest will have moved up to the brood. Take out queen (kill or keep her but remove her from the area) , remove queen excluder. Remove box with two frames from hive stand. Place box with brood frames and all bees on hive stand. Shake any bees on two frames into brood box. Go away for the day. Come back in the evening or next morning and intro your new queen.
well, it worked! I 'split' the hive yesterday when I couldn't find the queen. Went out tonight... the old box has quite a bit of activity at the entrance, bees are generally not in a good mood. So I go to the other box! 3rd frame in... there she is!
My new queens arrived today too. I had caught all my queens in the last two days, and put them in queen cages, but left them in their respective hives. Tonight they all went into a queenless box for 'safe keeping'.
New queens go in tomorrow. It's not very nice outside right now, and I'd rather wait till the weather is clear and the old field bees are out flying before introducing the new queens.
On a side note, I'm requeening a swarm of mine... found the queen on the frame, but in the process of caging her, I dropped her in the grass. Found her, grasping firmly around a long piece of grass... just looking around and holding on!
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