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I am in mid-MD and want to replace some queens. Problem is I have a hard time finding them. I have double and triple 10-frame brood chambers. Currently they are all supered up. Is searching frame by frame all the way to the bottom to find and remove the old queen the only way to go? Any tips to make requeening easier? I know requeening is necessary for strong hives, but is always appears to be such a daunting task. I've had only modest luck. Usually I find the girls requeened themselves. But I want to get a better handle on it than that. Ideas?
 

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My 1 hive this spring surprised me and exploded, I was worried about them just surviving winter. I ended up throwing a medium brood chamber on top of the deep/medium brood chamber I already had so I understand your dilemma. I plan to split this week and I use a quiet box when I need to find the queen. Basically an empty hive body to place extra frames and then go one at a time through each one. It's more involved with more brood chambers, that's why I'm getting back to just a single deep or deep/medium. I also have several spare bottom boxes to place each brood chamber with a top so essentially I create 3 separate hives and go through each one separately. That keeps them pretty quiet until I recombine after finding the queen.
 

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re: Finding queen. University of Guelph had two great ideas- 1) find a frame that a queen would usually be on- open space, around some open larvae. 2) Study pictures of a queen. Studying pictures of a queen did it for me. Went to Pinterest and pinned a bunch of pictures. Soon it will train your eye to them. They also move differently and the entourage face her.
 

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How does this sound? Put an empty box on a bottom board. Shake all your frames off into the empty box and either put empty frames or frames that have no brood on them into the box. You have now located your queen. She is in the bottom box. Now, put the boxes with all your brood frames on top of that. Close up the hive.

Tomorrow when the foragers leave to forage, and all your nurse bees have moved up into the boxes with brood in them. The queen will be all by herself in the bottom box, or with house bees that are trying to draw out those frames where she is. If she doesn't walk out the entrance. She should be pretty easy to spot.

There is also the idea of a shaker box, but that is a bigger explanation.
 

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She most likely won't be in the supers unless the brood nest is in the supers. Keep looking until you find her. That is practice, and its the best way. Shaker methods are for if you run out of time such as you would if you were introducing a queen cell. Then as a last resort shake them through a queen excluder. This is messy and puts all your bees into the air and likely ticks a few of them off, so suit up well. Remove all the boxes from a hive. Put an empty box on the hive stand and put a queen excluder over it. Put another empty box on top of that. Shake all the bees into the top empty box and run them down with smoke. You'll find the queen on the excluder.

Don't regicide old queens right away. Move them to a nuc just in case the re-queening doesn't work. Then let the old queen lay the rest of the season and make brood bombs for your production colonies. When you dispatch queens put them in a small bottle (like this) of isopropyl alcohol and shake. Death is almost instant. Several queens will fit. Leave the queens in there until you need to make room and the pheromones will diffuse over time into the alcohol. The alcohol can be dabbed on a cotton ball and then put the cotton ball in a swarm bait hive.
 

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He might learn how if only someone would tell him how. :scratch:
I agree. I’m more apt to answer a question that’s been asked often AFTER I hear they’ve searched but couldn’t find or didn’t understand.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Finding queens gets easier the more you you do it. But to get started, you usually do not need to search every frame, just the ones she is most likely to be on. Look for the frames that are either laid up with eggs and very young larvae, or a frame of emerging capped brood. She probably won't be on frames of solid capped brood or frames that are honey. No absolutes in beekeeping so she could be on a honey or capped brood frame, that is just not where I would spend much time looking.
 
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