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I read in other threads about guys who re-queen by just killing the existing queen. Is it really that simple? I'd love to get some wild bee genetics mixed in to my bees, but ...
 

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I wouldn't pinch the old queen until I knew I had a new queen. How about doing a split, and then 4-6 weeks later, do a newspaper combine? Let the best queen win.

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Before you pinch the old queen just make sure the bees have the raw materials necessary for raising a new queen; plenty of eggs and very young brood, plus pollen and honey stores. Sometimes you have to add more frames of eggs if they don't start right away, so I would be hesitant to kill the queen unless I had other hives available to steal eggs from. In the case with only one hive, I would move the old queen and a couple frames of brood with bees to a nuc box and if your old hive fails to raise a queen then just recombine them.
 

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The downside to this method is it takes the better part of 30 days to get another queen laying. Can you do without 30 days worth of bees in the best part of the flow or anytime for that matter. I am assuming this is a production hive that you simply want to requeen for whatever reason.
 

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Additionally, instead of pinching her when the time comes, I put her in a small vial of high-proof vodka. The "Queen juice" makes a tincture of queen pheromone for swarm trap baiting.
 

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I have read somewhere that clipping one of the legs are a good method. The bees should then start superseedure, and one should have a laying queen while waiting for the next.

Also, this are said to sometimes result in a mother/daughter colony IOW - two laying queens in the colony.

I have not tried it myself yet, as I am a novice, but it may be worth looking into.
 

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I have read somewhere that clipping one of the legs are a good method. The bees should then start superseedure, and one should have a laying queen while waiting for the next.
Now I REALLY like this theory but it is the first I have ever heard of it. Sounds like a reasonable method for a novice to requeen their only hive or two with little honey capacity loss if you like the current queen performance.
Anyone tried this?
 

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One method I use for requeening is to graft a batch of queen cells from my very best queens, then move the less-desirable queens into nucs (for temporary holding). Once the original queens are living in nucs I give their parent colony a ripe queen cell. I keep an eye on the new virgin queen(s) and if I don't like how they look I may replace them with even another ripe queen cell. I usually have a few queen cells being cultured almost continuously. By this time though, I check to make sure there are no "rouge" queen cells in the parent colony (if there are, I destroy them). If even the second virgin doesn't look acceptable (though this is very rare), I will remove five empty combs from the parent hive and give them to the original queen, in her nuc, while removing the nuc frames (now full of brood), giving them to the parent colony. I may not swap all five nuc frames with empty comb, just those with a fair amount of brood. I will swap these frames leaving most of the bees in their respective hives. Then I may continue with even a third queen cell -- or.

Another way I like, is to have nice queens, mated and laying in 5-frame nucs or 2/3 frame mating nucs, then if a production queen goes missing or looks to be failing I can quickly replace or restore her by just removing the resident queen to a nuc (if they have a queen), then, after clearing out any queen cells, I can just insert the entire nuc, into a corner of the receiving colony; frames, bees, queen, and all, after removing enough frames to make the space available. This usually works quite well, I've rarely lost a new queen this way. In my area, most of the year, newspaper combines are almost always fatal (just too hot - the bees quickly overheat), so I don't use newspaper combines any more. Even without resorting to newspaper combines or scent masking the new queen and the nuc bees are most often readily accepted.

This way I am only "pinching out" virgin queens that don't meet my standards or mated/laying queens that are weak or failing, after they have already been replaced in their parent hives. Then I "pinch out" and replace the weak/failing queens, now living in nucs, with ripe queen cells after their parent hives have already successfully received their replacements.
 

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Now I REALLY like this theory but it is the first I have ever heard of it. Sounds like a reasonable method for a novice to requeen their only hive or two with little honey capacity loss if you like the current queen performance.
Anyone tried this?
Inspired by your reply, I found these quick links (with my comments on why they may not be regarded as good enough sources):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee
(Mentions balling of predators, AFAIK, european bees normally don't do this.)

http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natural-beekeeping/top-bar-hives/seasons/
(He have not actually tried it)

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/legpulling.html
(friend of a friend tale)

I do not remember where I originally read about it, and that it could result in a two queen hive.

Still, if you have a few hives, it might be worth a try in one or two of them this year. Should give a good indication on weather it's a good method.
It may depend on what race of bees you'we got.
It would be great if this method could be confirmed by other beekeepers who have actually done it.:)
 
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