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Still in my first year, and have accumulated a fair number of bees from swarms, trap outs and splits. In Southern California, it hasn't been too difficult to keep bees alive, but they all seem to get aggressive after growing out of the first box. Dr. Eric Mussen from UC Davis at a local meeting Tuesday pointed out that southern hybrids will thwart attempts to requeen. I've split my worst hives down to keep them manageable and Northern queens have been ordered.

Is there a sweet spot for the number of frames in a split or other tricks to increase the acceptance rate for new queens?
I'm not too worried about honey crops this year, just want tee shirt bees:scratch:
 

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As a general rule, the smaller the hive, the better they will accept queens.

If you are dealing with hives that are in the VERY hard to requeen category, here's a tip. The day before you will requeen, move them to the other side of your site by preferably 40 yards or more.

This will allow all flying bees to return to the original location and join other hives.

What happens then is the older aggressive bees are gone from your hives making it easier to find the old queen. The bees that are left are young and these bees are much more likely to accept any queen you give them.

Just, use entrance guards to help them thwart robbing, young bees are not very good defenders (which is also why they accept queens). In say, a month, the hives can be returned to original location if you wish that.
 

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If you have the equipment I would recommend making a nuc for each new queen. Introduce the queen to the nuc and after she is laying, then use the nuc to requeen the main hive. Small colonies accept new queens better than large colonies, colonies in a nectar flow or being fed accept new queens better than those that are not. Queens introduced without the attendants are accepted faster than those with attendants.

I didn't see your post Oldtimer.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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When I've had to do this, I split the parent hive up by the box with each box getting a queen introduced (after I found the queen) including one box of empty drawn comb at the old location (all the boxes were in new locations). They were ten frame deeps. They were all candy releases and they were all introduced after the bees had been queenless overnight. I had four berserk hives at the time and each was broken up into about four boxes or so. One of them killed the queen anyway but the rest did ok. I double checked that one for a queen and later combined it with one of the boxes that accepted the queen.
 
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