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This summer i'm going to try to requeen all of my hives with cells. I know it can be trickier requeening full sized hives, so I need some advice on how to do so. If I understand it correctly, i can pinch the queens the day before and add a protected cell to the brood nest with relatively high acceptance, especially if I feed sugar syrup. Am I missing anything, or will a strong hive just ball the virgin as soon as it emerges and raise their own queen. Ive also heard of this method without dequeening first, but heard mixed results from 20% to 95% acceptance. I might do better to just setup a nuc with division board but all that costs time and money. What are your thoughts.
 

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Remove the queen to a nuc, then when you have a laying queen in the colony pinch the old queen and join them together. Having a backup queen saves many colonies that would be lost if the new virgin fails to mate and return to lay. Is there a reason you plan to requeen with cells instead of with mated queens?
 

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Usually, that is a very good reason. I thought you may have been intending a brood break to help with varroa mites.
 

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I hear you on the money part, dfortune. I'm wanting to do the same thing and use a specific colony of mine for the queen cells. The donor colony is gentle and has made honey the last two years. Last year was close to 110# but this year it looks like it will be a bit lighter harvest (excess rain?). I've got a strong colony beside it that always keeps a large population of bees but has yet to give me a surplus...this is my oldest hive, it has had it's chance. :waiting: I'm thinking about splitting the non-productive hive in two, remove the queen, and give both of them cells from the productive colony. I've got another hive that is just existing...making a little surplus and fair population, but I haven't gotten much honey at all from it in the last two years...I want to requeen it with one of the productive hive's cells, too.

I'm curious about when, after harvest, would be a good time to attempt to get the bees to draw the cells and the virgins to get mated...? After the flow during the dearth?...I can feed, no problem there. Or wait until the fall flow of goldenrod and aster?...seems that would be getting a little late in regards to drones.

I'm looking at either the cell-punch or cut-comb techniques for the queens and will probably use that older, high-population, low honey production colony to do the raising the queen cells from the donated larvae. dfortune, how are you going to raise your queen cells? Btw, I'm up the road a piece from you, north of Opp in Luverne, off of US331.

This will be completely out of my comfort/knowledge zone...but gotta figure this out sooner or later! ;)

Ed
 

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This will be completely out of my comfort/knowledge zone...but gotta figure this out sooner or later! ;)

Ed
That's the best kind. Make a few trial runs. Moving brood frames above an excluder will start cells without a major shakeup of the hive. It may not be as reliable or productive as famous methods but there is very little investment for the practice. Try them all including grafting. Who knows your practice runs may make some good queens. You will be better each time.
 

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I'm in the same situation:

Have some hives that started swarm preparations, made some nucs with the old ladies and started a new batch of grafts wich I want to use.

What's the regular procedure in requeening using QC's? The theory says that a more powerfull colony is reluctant in accepting cells.

Should I wait a few days and tear down all queen cells in the queenless colonies and then on the 10th day give them my riped cells?
 

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Romania? - Nice! I spent several weeks in Bulgaria a few years back, but never made it across the Danube. Didn't have time to investigate the local apiculture - too many other demands for my time...

"What's the regular procedure in requeening using QC's? The theory says that a more powerfull colony is reluctant in accepting cells."

My experience fall in line - more powerful colonies are not receptive to our intrusions/intentions. Smaller nucs of the same are much more receptive.

"Should I wait a few days and tear down all queen cells in the queenless colonies and then on the 10th day give them my riped cells?"

That should result in a decent rate of success*. There are so many variables...

* How do you define success? 100% is unrealistic, 70 % is highly successful(in my opinion) and I found 50% to be satisfying, if not disappointing...

You will only get better by learning how to avoid the mistakes you have already made once ( or twice)...

Best of luck - gone to goog Sibiu.
 

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Thanks.
I already limited my expectations... it's more realistic in my 2nd year. I'm still very dazed and confused :).
I'm not really from Sibiu city, but from Sibiu as county. I work in the city though.
 

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Try them all including grafting. Who knows your practice runs may make some good queens. You will be better each time.
I guess I'll start by crawling and then see if I can stand up and run. ;) I'm getting excited about the prospects of getting some nucs started from my best hive. Yesterday, I hobbled together a frame to for starting the queen cells on...2-1/4" vertical space in one section and 2-1/8" in the other one...I hope that's enough room for the queen cells to hang from.

Thanks for the encouragement, Salty.
Ed
 

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Never find queens if you don't have to, and the wonderful thing about requeening with cells is you don't have to... just put the cells in.
So the bees will accept the new virgin queen while the old queen is still there? What happens between the virgin and the old queen? Co-existence? Duel to the death? This is very interesting and sounds great!!!

Thanks, Michael, for the feedback!
Ed
 

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Never find queens if you don't have to, and the wonderful thing about requeening with cells is you don't have to... just put the cells in.
WOW, I hadn't heard that before... Can you elaborate on what happens. I would think it would force a swarm? or do the bees treat it like a supercedure and kill the old queen. Love to have you tell us a little more about that. Of course there is the added risk of the mating flight..
Thanks
 

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>So the bees will accept the new virgin queen while the old queen is still there?

It's just a supersedure to the bees...

> What happens between the virgin and the old queen? Co-existence? Duel to the death?

Usually I would say co-existence for a while and eventual disposal of the old queen. Virgins are looking for virgins to kill. Laying queens aren't looking for anyone to kill...

>I would think it would force a swarm?

Why? Not unless they were already planning to swarm in which case it would not "force" a swarm, but they may swarm anyway...

>Of course there is the added risk of the mating flight..

But less risk as they often have the old queen to fall back on...
 

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>So the bees will accept the new virgin queen while the old queen is still there?

It's just a supersedure to the bees...

> What happens between the virgin and the old queen? Co-existence? Duel to the death?

Usually I would say co-existence for a while and eventual disposal of the old queen. Virgins are looking for virgins to kill. Laying queens aren't looking for anyone to kill...

>I would think it would force a swarm?

Why? Not unless they were already planning to swarm in which case it would not "force" a swarm, but they may swarm anyway...

>Of course there is the added risk of the mating flight..

But less risk as they often have the old queen to fall back on...
Great stuff to know Mr. Bush, Thanks a lot...
 

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Mr. Bush, one more question about requeening with cells. Could you use it to "SUPERSEDURE" a laying worker hive?
 

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Michael, this last bit of exchange is pure gold!!! This knowledge will make re-queening so much easier. I really don't have but one hive currently that I want to requeen, but it will definitely get a couple of cells when the times come and the old queen can disappear into obscurity. :)

The idea that this is kind of like a supercedure is very helpful...a pseudo supercedure. Thanks for sharing this and noting the point that the old queen is there for backup in the event the virgin ends up as mockingbird food on one of her mating flights.

Thanks again!
Ed
 

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Am I wrong here, I though a queen right hive will tear down a queen cell if
you add it in without a cell protector cage.
And how old is this cell before adding? No wonder why I cannot add a qc into
a queen right hive. Majority of these qcs got destroyed.
 
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