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First week of July I made up 20 splits with new Minn. Italian queens. Made the splits 3 days before intro of the queen cage. All queens were released within a week and now I am going back through them to check on the progress and am not having any success. I have check 10 so far and only have 1 that took. We had a stretch of 100 degree weather in the Mid-Atlantic mid month and I am wondering if that heat played a role in these failures? Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Did you check the splits for queen cells that may have been started before the new queens were placed in them? When I have made splits and waited 24 hours as recommended, the splits have always started queen cells.

I have better luck making the split and introducing the caged queen within an hour, not exposing the candy, comming back in 24 hours and checking for no aggression, then expose the candy or direct release the queen.
 

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The biggest problem I've seen is that the bees can often get though the candy too fast (which is accelerated by those who insist in poking a hole in the candy). Baring any special conditions (drone layers, etc.), I'd expect a 95% success rate when queens are released in about 4-5 days. Most will be accepted faster than that depending on the conditions. When relying on the candy I've seen queens released as quickly as 18 hours and most hives will be though the candy far quicker than 4-5 days which is not good except in ideal conditions.

It doesn't seem to matter which style of cage is used, 3 hole, California, JZBZ, etc. While I generally get pretty good success just placing the cage, I get much better success leaving it for 4-5 days and doing a direct release if they aren't biting the cage. Or alternately putting tape over the candy for 2 days then removing it to allow then to be released normally.

A good honey flow and young bees can increase acceptance as can how long the new queen has been laying and how long she has been caged or banked. Lack of the former and other conditions will reduce acceptance and increase the time necessary for good results. I'm guessing your heat limited the flow and kept the old bees at home.

I do normally wait 24 hours before introducing queens myself with no noticeable problems.

-Tim
 

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Good words tarheit! I modify 2 things. I make the hive go 48 hrs minimum w/o queen. I put the queen in the hive and corked for 2 days. Then I pull the cork and let it happen on its own. It takes another trip for this however.
 

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If you made the splits the first week of July and they had young larvae, you may have young queens that have not quite started laying yet. They would start laying over this next week in most cases. They may have made their own queens as AR was indicating.

Richard
 

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If they start queen cells, most of the time they're not going to accept another queen. When we introduce a queen we let the hive sit queenless for 3-4 hours then install the queen cage with the candy cork pulled. I would guess our acceptance rate is above 90%. If you let them sit overnight, then check every frame for cells! And don't use open brood in your splits if letting them sit over 3-4 hours. Even with capped brood the bees will find eggs or young larva around the edges and build cells.
 

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I rarely wait more than 24 hours when I re-queen but I always let them take their time letting her out of the cage. Some still don't take. I have a hive at the house right now that just won't do anything right. I'm probably going to combine rather than waste another queen. I don't think heat plays a role. At least in my experience. I queened up a couple of splits during that heat wave we had here in NE and the colonies took right off.
 
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