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2187 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  gconran
It has been 20 years since I had hives, and now it is time to get back into beekeeping to get my teenagers involved.

I recently picked up some nucs, and I have a poor performing queen. Several queen cells and many drone brood. No recent eggs.

I plan on re-queening the hive. After killing the current queen, is it three days before I should place the new queen (with in the cage) in the hive?

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If they have cells they will more than likely kill you new queen :(
It works best for me, your experience may vary, to take out (pinch) the old queen and immediately after, place the new queen in the hive for candy release. <Oops, forgot to mention any and all queen cells should be carefully searched out and destroyed also.>

Often moments after removing the old queen, because I kinda like being different, I do the quick release test
--►I release the new queen onto a frame of brood (if there is one), otherwise I just pick a frame, if the bees form a court and treat her with respect (don't start balling her), I often leave her like that and close everything up (this works about 95% of the time). If they act even a little bit hostile, or I have to dig her out of a ball of angry bees, then I put her back into the cage and wait for the candy release.
I don't know about that Joe. I made a nuc queenless 24 hrs ahead of placing my new expensive caged queen in the hive. I could not stand it so I went and checked on them the next day 24hrs after the install. It looked like to me the bees were on the screen trying to feed the queen through the cage so i decided I would let her out. Well apparently they had not accepted her and within 30 sec she was dead. I tried to get her back and put her back in the cage but it was too late. I installed three new queens, so I think I will wait atleast three days to even check on the others. JMHO
Every so often that has happened to me too. Though I have gotten pretty good at the quick rescue, I almost never lose one to a ball anymore, as soon as I see the ball starting to form, I just force my fingers through the ball of bees and gently extricate the queen and return her, solo, to her cage.

Those newly redesigned JZsBZs plastic molded queen cages help --► if the bees are hostile to the queen, almost always one or more will force their heads through the cage "bars" and get their head stuck, sometimes decapitating themselves. If they are accepting of the queen, usually no bees do this.
What happens if you don't pinch the queen, but simply ensure there are no queen cells, and then put a caged queen in? Will the bees kill the old queen, or do you have a mad max scenario until one of the queens is dead?
If you don't remove the old Queen and give them time to realize they are Queenless as soon as they get the new Queen out they will ball and kill her.
If they aren't showing aggressive signs to her after a couple of days, would that probably indicate that there isn't another queen running around? I can pull the cork out then and let them release her.
First you must find and kill the old Queen, remove all Queen cells. If you don't find the old Queen you could have a Virgin around somewhere. If you check the new Queen after a few days and they are obviously feeding her it would probably be OK to release her. Good Luck!
Yup, I'll look again for any queen tomorrow, and continue to check the activity on the cage. Today didn't seem friendly - the bees appeared to be clustering around the cage, but not in a loving, caring way... Kind of like the queen was inside giving them the finger, and they were outside chanting that they will huff and puff and ball the hell out of her when she emerges.

Needless to say, I haven't removed the cork yet (it's only been 2 days since I put her in there).

I'm doing my best to not disturb the bees too much, but heck, seeing that this is my 'learning year', I might as well see what happens, and learn from it ;)
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