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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to bees. My first attempt, I somehow lost the queen, never saw her after the bees released her from the cage. I have a "used" hive with lots of comb from previous bees. Another problem, apparently I overfed sugar water to my new bees, so now many of the cells have some honey in them, and there's nothing else. Apparently the queen never got started. Requeened today after maybe they were a week without a queen.
Two questions:
When do I let the queen out? They seem to be accepting her today. The guy who sold her to me said to wait a week, but do I need to wait that long?
How do I know not to let them have too much sugar water during this process. Seems a bit tricky.
Thanks very much,
Bill
 

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You can never give the bees enough sugar syrup. My rule is to stop feeding when they have filled two deeps with sugar/pollen/brood. Then it's time for the bees to start bringing real nectar into the hive and filling some honey supers. How are you introducing the queen? I would use a queen cage with a candy plug, but that is just my preference. If I had a frame of drawn brood, I would put her in a push-in cage on the face of this comb. When the brood hatches out, they will immediately accept her, she will begin laying eggs, and you can let her loose. That is, of course, if she has been mated. Either way, I would definitely give the bees at least 4 or 5 days to accept the new queen. I also recommend leaving the hive queenless for a day or two (sounds like it was already) before presenting them with a new queen.

justgojumpit
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot, Jumpit. That's a sigh of relief you hear. I've got her in a cage with candy inside, but I'll have to undo the plug myself. (Kind of a homemade job, I think.) I'll wait the four or five days and let her loose. There's no brood in the hive now, just a lot of empty comb made by previous bees. So I wonder what happened to the queen that died? I know she was freed and was in the hive for a short time. Then - the mystery. I just heard that some other people have also lost queens from this batch. Does this sort of thing happen very often, and what would have happened in the queen-making process that would have caused a "bad batch?"
Thanks again, really appreciate your insights.
Bill
 

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poorly fed queen larve produce queens that will be inferior in quality, and the bees are more likely to reject them. This could be due to the beekeeper trying to raise queens in hives that are not as strong as they should be, and therefore cannot feed the queen larvae enough royal jelly for them to develop optimally. If the queen cage has a sugary, creamy plug of "queen candy" in one of the three regions in the cage, poke a small hole through the candy with a small nail. The bees will eat through this candy to release the queen on their own.

justgojumpit
 
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