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Here's some information on my requeening efforts, and I welcome your advice.
My lone hive swarmed this spring so I have a relatively young queen. I was concerned though with the hive's temperament and some spotty brood patterns and decided to order a new queen.
I isolated the hive bodies (three mediums) with queen excluders and determined she was in the middle box. But doggone if I can find her. I tried two days in a row. I never found her after the supercedure and marked her but all was well with egg laying so I didn't concern myself too much.
I took out a middle frame to restrict her to one side of the box or the other and examined each frame. There were freshly laid eggs so I know she was in the box. The outside frames were mostly honey and the inside frames had lots of open cells or open or closed brood cells.
To stall for time, I put the new queen in a nuc with capped and uncapped brood, pollen, etc. I'm thinking that I'll try Mr. Imirie's double screen to seperate the two queens in one hive, or, place the nuc on top of the existing hive after she's had time to lay eggs and the nuc is queenright.
So what should I do next? Keep looking for the old queen and kill her or just be patient with the nuc. I am assuming that at some point, the old queen and the new queen will meet. How can I make sure the new queen is the winner?
Thanks, JustBob :confused:
 

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You can't determine who will win. Don't do that!!!!

Keep her as confined as you can. If you had her down to four frames you could have put them in a nuc and then the next day requeened the hive. Can you still do that?

Hawk
 

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I would NOT let them duke it out- you've no guarantee the new queen will win.

At this point, I'd put the box with the queen on a queen excluder over another hive body and gently smoke `em down. Give them some time to vacate the box. Remove the frames one by one, examine them, brush them off, and put them aside. If you don't find her on a frame, when all the frames are out, your queen should be scurring around on the excluder and easy to find. Of course, smaller queens can squeeze through an excluder so this isn't fool proof but if you've been able to restrict her to a single box with excluders, chances are it will work.

I've had a few queens that were really hard to find- they were not much bigger than the average worker and similarly colored. I eventually spotted them because they acted differently- scurrying around while the workers were more or less stationary on the frame. Often, I had to go through a hive 2 or 3 times before I found them. Reducing the number of bees you're looking at helps- gentle smoking is in order. These hard-to-find queens have always been on a frame fully covered with bees.

George-
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey, that's some good advice. I'm thinking she must be closer to the size of the workers. I'm familar with how the queen scurries about and was looking for that activity. Some of the frames were so covered with bees that they kind of bearding and dangling off the frame. I'll try the gentle smoking to reduce the bees on the frame. I was thinking, dang, this is supposed to be a fun hobby, how do other beeks find the queens? She must be harder to find than the average queen. I'll keep trying. At least I've got the new queen taken care of for now.
JustBob
 

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If you're having trouble finding a queen, then don't smoke at all. It will only make things worse. At most, just a gentle puff at the door and the top. You can always brush the bees off of a couple of more frames of brood and leave these with the old hive and remove all the rest of the potential frames that could have the queen with the entire box because she may be hiding on the side or on the excluder. Then combine the nuc with the now queenless hive. Then you can spend a lot of time with a calm little hive finding that queen and then combine it back. It will be MUCH calmer with just one box of young bee.
 

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>>If you're having trouble finding a queen, then don't smoke at all.

Aye. I've taken to blowing on the bees gently to get them to move around the frame so I can see. They usually just move away. I don't smoke at all except mebbe a wiff across the top of the frames- not down into the hive- if I'm looking for the queen.

George-
 

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If all else fails, shake the entire hive into
an empty box below which is a queen excluder,
and below which is yet another empty box.

The upper box keeps the bees (and queen) from
going every which way when you shake/brush,
and the lower box is where the bees go to get
away from the smoke you will puff down at them
every so often.

At some point in the process, one should see the
queen above the queen excluder.
 

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In fact breath (especially Hawks) is like an attack Pheremone to bees. They often key in on this as a locator when the hive is disturbed. Recently one of the channels had a guy showing different responses of AHB to stimulus in the area of a wild hive. Blowing in their vicinity was certain death!
Light smoking at the entrance and accross the frames combined with slow methodical movements is key to not getting the bees and thus the queen running.
 

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I knew as soon as I punched the button I'd set myself up. actually I've heard it's the carbon dioxide in the exhalation. I don't believe it. I don't think my lungs are efficient enough to make that much difference in what I inhale and exhale.

It must bee granpa Hawk's secret honey BBQ recipe. gotta floss before bking.

Hawk
 

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What Michael said. I've heard that breathing on bees can set them off, but it doesn't do that to my bees- they just calmly disperse from the immediate vicinity but they don't fly or attack.

I wouldn't do it if it didn't work


I used to poke at them with my finger, and they definitely didn't like that.

There was a discussion recently on BEE-L about this. Whether it's the CO2 or something else, or a combination of things, nobody seems to know- I don't think anything was concluded. What was clear is that bees don't like it. What varies is their reaction to it.

George-
 
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