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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a hive, 2 deeps, that has historically been angry and mean. It is a second year hive and has requeened itself at least 3 times. It now appears to be hopelessly queenless. (all though it may have a virgin running around). It apparently has been queenless about 6 weeks. I have added frames of eggs and nothing.

Fast forward, I just purchased 3 queens that should arrive Wednesday. Does anyone have ideas on how I can add these queens to 3 splits so that I don't loose them? I know how to introduce new queens, I am just concerned about the aggressive behavior of this hive and it's history with queens
 

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I have zero experience requeening a mean hive, but have read here that you will have better odds requeening if you are splitting the hive. If you have the resources, it might be prudent to use a push in cage in a frame of eggs/young brood with some empty cells to allow her to start laying before you release her. J
 

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I am assuming that your hive has good stores and the queen didnt shut down laying for some other reason or has swarmed again and are waiting for their new queen. Of course you checked for laying workers; Use a bee “sieve” first before doing your splits, keep your eye out for a queen that might have DWV, who is a virgin and has the pheromones but might be sterile (from experience). Either one of those scenarios would explain no brood. With the sieve you would hopefully see her and remove her. If you have another few hives to donate some frames of brood and let them settle; that would be good to requeen the way Fivej mentioned.
 

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Some good advice given already. The only thing I'd suggest is - that if this were my situation, I'd split 4 ways, not 3. Pick out your best combs for the 3 splits you intend to re-queen, and leave what's left in the 4th box. Place that box on the old stand, with your 3 splits a few feet away from it. That way, the older and more aggressive foragers will return to a queenless box.

With luck, the bees in the 3 splits will be more accepting of your new queens without those foragers present. Once the splits are settled - say, after a week - remove the 4th box from it's stand, and dump any remaining bees out. If the 3 splits are roughly equidistant from the old stand, then those foragers should - in theory - beg admittance to the splits, and will need to be on their best behaviour in order to be accepted. :)
LJ
 

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Some good advice given already. The only thing I'd suggest is - that if this were my situation, I'd split 4 ways, not 3. Pick out your best combs for the 3 splits you intend to re-queen, and leave what's left in the 4th box. Place that box on the old stand, with your 3 splits a few feet away from it. That way, the older and more aggressive foragers will return to a queenless box.

With luck, the bees in the 3 splits will be more accepting of your new queens without those foragers present. Once the splits are settled - say, after a week - remove the 4th box from it's stand, and dump any remaining bees out. If the 3 splits are roughly equidistant from the old stand, then those foragers should - in theory - beg admittance to the splits, and will need to be on their best behaviour in order to be accepted. :)
LJ
I never thought of that, thanks (for my own info) Im always learning something here.
 

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Both replies excellent advice in my view.

To add to it a little, in my view you should be prepared to lose at least one of the three queens. The reason for that is that you added eggs and nothing happened, there are only 3 explanations for that. The first is something did happen but you missed it, the second is the hive has a queen of some sort, and the third is laying workers are developing. Any of those scenarios mean that if you split 3 ways and put a queen in each, one of those queens will probably be lost.

But matters little in the overall scheme of things because if you end up with 2 with good queens, you have the option to deal to the still bad one down the track, and do a combine, shake, or similar to get rid of it.

Other thing with requeening hives that have been queenless and broodless, giving them a comb of unsealed brood at the same time as the caged queen settles the bees and improves the chances of the queen being accepted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All great advice. One question though. Would you all make up the splits ahead of time, Say today, Saturday ahead of the new queens arriving on Wednesday? I was considering doing that and hoping that would settle them down a bit. I could add the brood frames on Wednesday so they don't start queen cells in the interim
 

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Are you planning on moving the splits to a new location? If not, I would not try to split them up now as you no longer have nurse bees and all the bees have oriented to the hive location. When you make the splits, add the brood frame and queen, divy up the bees between the three boxes, close them in for a few days with feed, and remove the hive from the old location entirely. Open the splits back up on day three or four and wait a week before checking on the queens. But thats just me. Six weeks no brood is a long time and I would not expect all the splits to make it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you planning on moving the splits to a new location? If not, I would not try to split them up now as you no longer have nurse bees and all the bees have oriented to the hive location. When you make the splits, add the brood frame and queen, divy up the bees between the three boxes, close them in for a few days with feed, and remove the hive from the old location entirely. Open the splits back up on day three or four and wait a week before checking on the queens. But thats just me. Six weeks no brood is a long time and I would not expect all the splits to make it.
Understand and that's why I was going to leave them right where they are so that after I split up the hive, all the bee's will be flying around trying to kill me. If I take the splits away, I would loose so many of them.
 

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5j mentions a push in cage which can work well if seated against plastic foundation.
However,I use wax foundation and have had Qs killed by bees that dig in from the sides.

Another option that I now use often(introducing Rus Qs) is to remove attendants and tape the candy end for 5-7 days.In the warm and humid environment of a hive,Q candy can get soft and I have had Qs released in less than 24 hr and some disappeared.
 
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