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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve never had such trouble before this year requeening hives. I’ve always had good luck with pulling an old queen and putting a new mated queen in using a push in cage over emerging brood, or using queen cells. This year though, I’ve lost 5 queens when the hive built their own queen cells out of existing eggs and killed the new queen as soon as they could dig a trench thru the comb and get to her. Several nucs managed to tear down queen cells even though they were in cell protectors. One hive I pulled the queen, waited 5 days, destroyed all the queen cells they built and used a push in cage for the new queen. Next day she was dead in front of the hive, I opened it back up and found a queen cell ABOVE the queen excluder. Seriously. And no, that wasn’t from a rogue queen.
Have I just been lucky all these years,or hives won’t accept a new queen unless they have been hopelessly queenless for weeks?
 

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I have had some like that before.I have ended up putting in a frame of eggs and brood after they have become hopelessly queenless and let them make their own queen.
 

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Hey snapper. We all hear the term hopelessly queenless. My assumption is that means there are no more eggs or young enough larvae for them to make a queen. Is this the correct definition or is there some play in this like other terms in beekeeping? I suppose one could say they are truly hopeless when all cells are capped or even if after those bees hatch. Just curious if there is an actual definition to hopelessly queenless. J
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hopelessly queenless is when they have no queen and no way to make a queen. Without intervention the hive will go laying worker and eventually succumb.

I often let them make their own queen, but in some cases I want to change queens or I don’t want to miss a month of brood. The situation above, it was a hot hive that I wanted a new queen line in, not more of the same. My nucs, I want the queen I grafted from a superior hive, not whatever they had lying around. Mostly I’m fishing for any advice about introducing a mates queen into an active hive and get acceptance. It’s worked for me before, but for some reason, it just isn’t anymore, or it’s luck one way or another.
 

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I have had an introduced queen killed and the bees raised one of their own. I think some lines of bees are more inclined to stubbornly decline an introduced queen if they have any way to use their own genetics. Have read that in such cases a weak nuc can be made up of strictly non flying young bees and they will readily accept a different lineage queen. After she is laying, use the nuc to requeen the other hive. Newspaper might be good insurance.

If it is a valuable queen I will keep the cork in for three or four days and check to see if the bees are making cells. I know it is advised not to be peaking into a hive when a new queen is being introduced but if she is still caged, I think not a problem to do a check for started cells.
 

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I have had an introduced queen killed and the bees raised one of their own. I think some lines of bees are more inclined to stubbornly decline an introduced queen if they have any way to use their own genetics. Have read that in such cases a weak nuc can be made up of strictly non flying young bees and they will readily accept a different lineage queen. After she is laying, use the nuc to requeen the other hive. Newspaper might be good insurance.

If it is a valuable queen I will keep the cork in for three or four days and check to see if the bees are making cells. I know it is advised not to be peaking into a hive when a new queen is being introduced but if she is still caged, I think not a problem to do a check for started cells.
YEP!!!!
 

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Yes - a good summary.

The only suggestion I'd add is - while checking for rogue q/cells, just run a ****tail-stick or similar gently over the cage to check for acceptance - doing so may well be overkill, but for a valuable queen I think such a simple measure is justified.

If there's any doubt at all in your mind, then - as Frank says - make-up a very small nuc, get that queen introduced and laying, and then build-up from there. In my experience it's when changing over from one sub-species to another when extended 'refusal to accept' from mature bees is most likely to occur.
LJ
 

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I have pretty much given up using any kind of cage to introduce queens, 99% of introductions are done direct, lose about one in every hundred, which is pretty good odds.
Have introduced 160 in the last two weeks, a few of them black bees into buckfast colonies... and only lost two, one of them was my fault though.
 
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