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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I have to off my queen Anastasia. Her pattern is so spotty that three people have told me she needs to go. :(

This is my first hive and they are so sweet natured. The breeder who sold the nuc to me saw the pictures and said I have to kill her for my hive to have a chance over winter and that he would send me a new queen.

Any tips on how to do this? If I outright pinch her, won't the girls attack or something? Is there a more humane way to do things? I am not looking forward to this.
 

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i requeened a number of hives this year. (No offense to our southern friends, but all the southern queens were replaced.)

Simply take her away from the hive to do the deed. No need to spread bad vibes throughout the hive (though perhaps I anthropomorhize here.) Save the dead queens to use in the future as swarm lures in bait hives. I dropped them into a small jar with alcohol. That did them in and also is the medium of storage. Don't remember the reason it was recommended to keep them in alcohol except I read it here so I did it. (Dangerous thinking, I know..

More importantly, I first hived the old queens in nuc boxes with a frame of brood and honey temporarily until I knew that the new queen was acccepted. Then I gave them the alcohol bath and reunited the frames with their original hives. That way, I wouldn't possibly be left with queenless hives.

Wayne
 

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Wayne's advise about doing it away from the hive are good, but maybe for different reasons. I have never had the other bees react to her death with anger.

But...I have botched the task by having her drop off of the frame wounded onto the hive or in the grass in front of the hive enough to know that it is better to do it some distance away.

I have always placed the dead queen on the landing board based on some advise that I got 20 years ago. It was supposed to speed up the knowledge that they are queenless when you are requeening. I don't know if there is any validity to this, but I still do it. They crowd around her for a few minutes and then dump her off the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. It was very exciting. I had to do this on a cloudy day, went quicker than i meant to, dropped the frame with the queen on it, :doh: chased her through the grass and finally grabbed her and shoved her in a bug carrier. (thanks, kids!)

I thoroughly ticked off EVERYONE in the hive.:eek:

I only have 8 frames of foundation so I can't set up a nuc without risking the 8 frame hive. (I would love to be able to do that. Or just use her for an observation hive.)

The breeder is meeting me with a new queen today (he is awesome!) and I am confident that he will do it again if this queen fails. :applause:

I think that I will try the laying her on the bottom board trick so that they get the idea quickly.
 

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we can all understand your grief at the lost of your lovely (anthropomorphised) Anastasia, but it sounds like you are in very good hands with your breeder/mentor. how old was she and when did her brood pattern go awry, was she just a year old?
my local bee group also subscribes to the alcohol method for both killing the queen and making a lure for new hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JV, I think that she was only two. I got her this spring as a nuc. At the time her pattern was very nice. Almost solid frames of brood. We went into dearth and I thought that was why the pattern and numbers were suffering. That was 5-6 weeks ago. The breeder said that Russians will cut back on brood during dearth, but that the pattern should still be solid~ just a much smaller solid area.

The new queen is tiny in comparison. Let's hope she is a mighty mouse!:)
 

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we can all understand your grief at the lost of your lovely (anthropomorphised) Anastasia, but it sounds like you are in very good hands with your breeder/mentor. how old was she and when did her brood pattern go awry, was she just a year old?
my local bee group also subscribes to the alcohol method for both killing the queen and making a lure for new hives.
so do you just keep the queens in alcohol till spring then smear them onto the inside of the trap box ?
 

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I drop my old queens in a bottle of rubbing alcohol. I dip a piece of straw or a Q-tip into the rubbing alcohol, and then put the straw or Q-tip into a hive as a lure.
 

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A lot of folks have a hard time destroying the queen, for fear of being cruel. But have you ever considered how the bees eliminate the queen? I don’t imagine it’s what we humans would consider humane. They either ball her which cooks her or they throw her out to die of exposure, or at the mercy of predators like ants.
So after I thought about it in this light a quick and merciful pinch of the head is really doing her a favor compared to what awaits her by her own prodigy.
 
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