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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished going through a very vicious hive here in my backyard looking for the queen so I could kill her and replace her. I did find her finally, and pinched her. I have a new mated caged queen ready to go in. I'm thinking leaving the hive alone for about 4-6 hrs. and then introducing her after I remove all the attendant bees. I will also not uncork the candy end for a couple days. Do you think waiting 4-6 hrs. is enough in this situation, or should I wait longer to put her in?
 

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Put her on the front porch of the hive and observe the bees behavior toward her. If they start fanning you can do a happy dance. If they start to ball her, wait. I am perplexed by your statement of removing all the attendant bees....are you planning to shake the whole hive out??? :scratch:

Edited to add, I would not secure her to a frame without also observing their behavior when she is placed on top of the inner frames. They should show their intentions pretty quick. Are you planning on destroying queen cells?
 

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You need to wait 3 days before introducing a new Queen. Otherwise the old queens pheromones will still be in the hive and they will not take the new queen.
 

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Put her on the front porch of the hive and observe the bees behavior toward her. If they start fanning you can do a happy dance. If they start to ball her, wait. I am perplexed by your statement of removing all the attendant bees....are you planning to shake the whole hive out??? :scratch:
Perhaps jmgi is refering to the attendants in the cage with queen?
 

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I would suggest introducing the queen to a few frames of bees in a nuc or in a separate box. Using the candy method should work fine in that small hive. After a few days when she is released and everything is going well, then do a newspaper combine on top of the big hive. That is what has worked for me.

With really hot hives, and I have had them reject queen after queen when introducing directly into a big hive.
 

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I would suggest introducing the queen to a few frames of bees in a nuc or in a separate box. Using the candy method should work fine in that small hive. After a few days when she is released and everything is going well, then do a newspaper combine on top of the big hive. That is what has worked for me.

With really hot hives, and I have had them reject queen after queen when introducing directly into a big hive.
I agree this is the best way to requeen a hive. be sure to go through the big hive after 3-4 days and remove the queen cells the hive will start. Otherwise they will kill the new queen. You want them absolutely queenless.
 

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Requeening. First, be absolutely certain that the bees to receive the new/replacement queen are "hopelessly queenless".

Hopelessly queenless is when the bees have no queen, nor any means/resources remaining, that they might produce their own replacement queen from. A situation created by removing any/all queens that may be in the hive, then waiting four or five days, so any eggs that were laid before the queen was removed, have aged enough so that the workers would be extremely unlikely to be willing or able to attempt growing the larva into queens. After the waiting period, inspect the entire hive, very thoroughly (shaking all the bees from the combs, checking for any eggs or queen cells which may have been started). If you don't shake the bees from the combs, you may overlook a queen cell tucked between the comb edge and End Bar, etc. If you see eggs, there may likely still be a queen in residence - she will need to be located and removed - and the timeline reset.

Once you are certain the hive is "hopelessly queenless", then you can install the replacement queen, in her cage, and allow the bees to get used to her and release her. Apparently, many hives will only accept an introduced replacement queen, when they have no other option.
 

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>You need to wait 3 days before introducing a new Queen. Otherwise the old queens pheromones will still be in the hive and they will not take the new queen.

If you do that you will need to destroy all the queen cells. There will be a lot of them and they are not easy to find when bees often cover them with clumps of bees... I never wait longer than 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you think removing the attendant bees, and then setting the queen cage on top of the frames, and watching how the bees respond to the new queen is a trustworthy way of determining whether or not they will accept her?
 

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Requeening. First, be absolutely certain that the bees to receive the new/replacement queen are "hopelessly queenless".

Hopelessly queenless is when the bees have no queen, nor any means/resources remaining, that they might produce their own replacement queen from. A situation created by removing any/all queens that may be in the hive, then waiting four or five days, so any eggs that were laid before the queen was removed, have aged enough so that the workers would be extremely unlikely to be willing or able to attempt growing the larva into queens. After the waiting period, inspect the entire hive, very thoroughly (shaking all the bees from the combs, checking for any eggs or queen cells which may have been started). If you don't shake the bees from the combs, you may overlook a queen cell tucked between the comb edge and End Bar, etc. If you see eggs, there may likely still be a queen in residence - she will need to be located and removed - and the timeline reset.

Once you are certain the hive is "hopelessly queenless", then you can install the replacement queen, in her cage, and allow the bees to get used to her and release her. Apparently, many hives will only accept an introduced replacement queen, when they have no other option.
If someone killed the queen in a hive, say, pinched her head, that colony would be "hopelessly queenless" wouldn't you?
 

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I think an hour is long enough personally, I don't see why you would wait 3 days and have to deal with queen cells. They will know the queen is gone in a few minutes anyways.
 

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Everything works if you let it. Just not all the time.

I took queenless splits off of a bunch of hives, drove them 100 miles away in 2 hours, set them on the ground and stuck queen cages up between the bottom bars. Pretty good acceptance rate. Some I had to try again. I used queen cells in those.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think an hour is long enough personally, I don't see why you would wait 3 days and have to deal with queen cells. They will know the queen is gone in a few minutes anyways.
This is why I asked the question, as much as I want them to accept the new queen, I really didn't want to go through the process of waiting too long to introduce her and having to deal with queen cells, or having to set up a nuc to introduce her to, and then combine the nuc with the queenless hive. I realize queen introduction can be hit and miss, and there are ways to introduce queens to get a higher acceptance rate. If a quicker introduction, like I am planning, doesn't work out, its not the end of the world.
 

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Do what you need to do when you can do it, realizing that you may have to do it all over again if things don't work out as planned. Which it seems you already know. Seems to me you have a sound plan.
 

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Well, I just went out and put the queen cage on top of the frames and did the queenlessness test (Mike Palmer video) and it turned out exactly like in his video, the bees were not aggressive towards her, but immediately clustered all over the screen and began fanning. I was able to fairly easily move the bees off the screen without them clinging like velcro, so I'm going to take that as meaning this may work out. I left the cage in there, but didn't remove the cork from the candy end, I'll probably let it stay that way for another day or so before I let the bees chew the candy out. Will keep you posted on how it all turns out.
 

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I'm curious if the bees were less "vicious" now that the old queen was gone. Did you notice any change in behavior?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm curious if the bees were less "vicious" now that the old queen was gone. Did you notice any change in behavior?
It was only about 4 hrs. since pinching the old queen, and I really didn't open up the hive very long to insert the new queen in a cage, but they did still seem aggressive towards me as usual. I hear queenless hives can get cranky just from losing their queen, although I have never noticed that myself when I had queenless hives in the past, they seemed no different than any other queenright hive.
 

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If someone killed the queen in a hive, say, pinched her head, that colony would be "hopelessly queenless" wouldn't you?
No, not "hopelessly queenless" until they have no queen cells (in any stage of development), or any eggs or young larva they could potentially grow into queens. Only then are they truly, hopelessly queenless.
 

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If these were mild-mannered, typical EHB behavior exhibiting bees, I might consider recommending one of the usual protocol for requeening an EHB colony. But the OP has indicated that these are excessively defensive, which could indicate a touch of AHB genetics. My experience with AHB, here in the desert southwest, is that even after taking great care to ensure they are totally and completely "hopelessly queenless".

Even then, it is not always successful. Sometimes you need to move some frames containing emerging brood and nurse bees only to a separate location and then introduce the new queen to emerging brood beneath a wire introduction cage. Recombining these isolated bees, now accepting the new queen, back to the parent colony, can even then be most difficult.

In my initially successful requeening of overly defensive colonies. After I managed to have the isolated nurse bees/emerging brood accept my newly introduced queen, I then searched through the old ornery colony and destroyed all of their queen cells, except two or three, then I substituted larvae from the new queen for the larva presently occupying those cells. So the ornery bees raised their own substitute queen - they did accept the queen they raised for themselves.
 
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