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Hi there, I've found mixed answers to this question but nothing definitive (as everything in beekeeping). I was thinking about an easy and low risk way of requeening many hives at a time. I feel that finding the recipient hives queen is a major stumbling block in that it takes time to find her and then you have to wait a while before adding a queen. I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on adding capped queen cells to queenright hives as far from the brood nest as possible. Would this lead to a 2 queen situation? A spercedure? Would the workers simply tear it down? And if so, could the cell be protected with a push in cage until she hatched. It seems like a low risk, fast and easy way to requeening colonies but I'm wondering if there's downsides
 

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how many people doing this have done it with the old queen being marked, I've never had this work unless there already was a queen cell in the hive.
 

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I believe in one of Michael Palmers videos he said you can take that queen cell put it up in the honey supers above an excluder (above the excluder is important) and the new virgin will supercede the colony and possibly have 2 queens for a while. Protection not necessary for the QC because it is above the excluder. Does anybody know the success rate for this low labor option?
 

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Oh Man...my bad...of course above the excluder would never work! Why does it work then...because the QC is far from the brood nest? Does it need to be protected? Is this an efficient method of requeening?
 

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I always assumed a Virgin could fit through a queen excluder. Am I mistaken? I generally run queen excluders during a honey flow, this would be a really nice way of mass requeening.
 

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65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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The thorax of the Queen is what limits her going through the excluder not her abdomen. Virgin or mated that is the limiting factor.
 

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>I always assumed a Virgin could fit through a queen excluder. Am I mistaken?

You are mistaken. Generally they do not fit through an excluder. Their thorax is full size when they emerge. Only their abdomen gets bigger after mating.
 

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>I always assumed a Virgin could fit through a queen excluder. Am I mistaken?

You are mistaken. Generally they do not fit through an excluder. Their thorax is full size when they emerge. Only their abdomen gets bigger after mating.
I know this is generally accepted but I've had (unfortunately) a lot of experience with this in queen right builders. My conclusion is that newly hatched virgins rarely squeeze through an excluder but a few days later as they get into flying shape all bets off on an excluder containing them. As a matter of fact I have (with much chagrin) watched them squeeze through.
 

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I've seen a laying queen get through an excluder, but that's an exception. I've also seen a queen stuck in the excluder from trying to get through it. But in general I would say a virgin is unlikely to get through an excluder, but that doesn't mean they never do.
 

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I've seen a laying queen get through an excluder, but that's an exception. I've also seen a queen stuck in the excluder from trying to get through it. But in general I would say a virgin is unlikely to get through an excluder, but that doesn't mean they never do.
Yes, some queens are apparently a bit smaller. I've found it a safe bet that unless you have a bent wire on your excluder that a queen that gets through once will probably do so again.
Yes, I have had a lot of virgins hatch above excluders and my method of finding them in a large heavily populated builder is to smoke the bees in the upper box down through the excluder. It works pretty much flawlessly on a clumsy newly hatched virgin but all bets are off once they slim down.
 
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