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This is my year for asking questions and hopefully learning some new skills and methods and I appreciate the advice and guidance that this forum offers.

So I just shook all bees from a poorly performing colony into a five-frame deep nuc box. Getting rid of all old comb. I gave them three frames foundation and a frame each of honey and of capped brood (didn't conveniently find a frame with pollen so I may have to give pollen sub for a while.) The colony was in process of superseding, with several capped supercedure cells. I am thinking it best not to let them use their own stock for superseding, since there could be disease and their own queen might be compromised, but instead to provide a queen cell from a healthy colony. What might be the surest way to introduce another colony's queen cell? Is there hive scent to queen cells so that this now-nuc might destroy an introduced queen cell? I did leave one frame with queen cell in temporarily, thinking it would give the bees reason to stay in this new box since they now have no open brood to keep them there.

All advice welcome... This is an experiment; I don't know if this is going to restore the colony to health or if they have some disease which will persist. That's for another post...
 

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I am curious Karen, what did you see in this colony that it was performing poorly?
 

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I have been told by by many experienced beekeepers that I respect to never interrupt a supercedure. I have always taken that advice so will throw that out there. J
 

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Hmm, I replied Fivej but don't see that so I'll repeat: the hive seems diseased in some way. (I posted about this in the pests and diseases forum earlier: https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...e-Are-there-any-labs-doing-diagnostic-testing) I happen to have a queen cell made via a Snelgrove manipulation, and it's day 11, meaning that it should be past the super sensitive phase of days 8-11. To be safe I could wait till tomorrow.
 

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Ok, I just read your other post and replied there that Beltsville is still open. I see what you are trying to do and it seems like your experiment is well on its way so go for it. I have no idea if they would kill a QC from another hive, but I doubt it. You shouldn't shake the bees from the frame with the QC on it so if you wanted to play it safe you could smoke the hive fairly heavily or spray lightly with sugar syrup. Hopefully some others will chime in. J
 

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Karen is the original queen still in the hive? If so, even though they are attempting to supersede, there are still probably 50 to 50 odds that they will destroy an introduced cell. Unless you put the introduced cell in along with the whole comb it is on, that greatly improves the odds.

I have read your linked thread, not going to go into the whole thing, but essentially I think the queen may be getting the blame for some other issues in the hive, meaning a new queen may, or may not, fix the problem. However if they are attempting to supersede, nothing to lose in allowing that process to continue.
 

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All advice welcome... This is an experiment; I don't know if this is going to restore the colony to health or if they have some disease which will persist. That's for another post...
Hi Karen - I'm really pleased you wrote that, because on your other thread I was tempted to ask why you were intent on investing even more time, effort and resources on a colony which has been functioning poorly for some time, has dwindled down to nuc size and is now queenless. The reason I didn't ask that was partly because it didn't answer your question about testing, and partly because I thought questioning your motives might be thought provocative.

There's not much I can add to what Oldtimer has written, except to recall what a former professional beekeeper I once talked with told me. He stressed that a colony is only as good as the queen, but at the same time a queen is only as good as the colony. Most times a colony has a good 'spirit' (as in 'team spirit', not the religious variety), but sometimes it doesn't have (or loses) that vital spark - that 'get up and go' which all colonies need in order to survive. Whenever this occurs, an unlimited amount of resources can be wasted on such colonies, invariably to no avail.

An experiment for educational purposes is of course a much different kettle of fish, but I thought the above might be worth posting - for the benefit of anyone faced with a similar chronically hopeless case they may be intent on saving. :)
LJ
 
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