Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How common is it to find an old queen that hitched a ride in a package mixed in with the workers? Just shook out a half dozen packages and while dumping the clump into one of them, a bright red dot caught my eye and sure enough, there was a fat old queen down with the commoners. These bees have had two queens in the package, one free running and one caged so I'm wondering which one they are most likely to accept?

i know she's a 2008 model, but I'm thinking of keeping her to start an extra colony. I could grab a handful of workers from each of the package hives, or a frame or two from an established hive, put one queen in and get them started building wax. My plan for all these Southern packages is to requeen as soon as I can raise or buy locally grown queens so I'm not concerned about her longevity.

My immediate decision is whether to leave Red Dot with her package mates or the new queen still in her cage.

Wayne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
It's not real common but it does happen. The red dot could be for a different year or strain that someone marked with red because that's what they had.

Leave the marked queen in the hive and use the caged one for another hive. Leave the caged queen corked for 3 days or more so her new workers can get used to her. I would plan on replacing that old queen so don't make your extra split to big. You may have to use that one for a queen that fails in one of the other packages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
yeah it happens - i had one last year and then 4 this year -- out of 12 packages - so the odds are there - and im not complaining one bit -

this year was a bad year for package makers in cali so they were probably in a hurry and didnt pull queens before shaking - or they had a lot of two queen hives ???

i think of it as a bonus check !!!!!

oddly this year i ordered italians and got 4 carnis for free!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Leaky queen excluders DO happen...

What's neat is that a couple of nucs that I made this year, after going back through them, I've been finding some double and one TRIPLE queened nucs. Though I've heard that a full 10% of all colonies are double queened, I don't typically find that in nucs that I've produced.

DS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I was told by a guy at Brushy Mountain Bee farm that when a queen in a queen cage arrives dead, 9 times out of 10 there's another queen that was accidentally shaken n2 the package and the attendants decide to superceed the queen that they're in with in exchange for the queen in the package.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top