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I installed 3 saskatraz queens about a month ago. One hive had been queenless for a couple weeks, another I made queenless the day before the queens arrived, and the 3rd I made queenless just minutes before I installed the cage. I checked them all at 10 days. The hive that had been queenless for weeks still hadn't released the queen. I released her and she ran down between 2 frames and was accepted. The other 2 hives had released and accepted their queens. All 3 are doing well now.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
There is another possibility.
Many of us that bought California queens this year noticed that the candy was much harder than normal.
I started hearing this from a number of beekeepers and then found a few that were not yet released after as much as 12 days.
It made no sense because it was happening to queens from different producers.
Then I was told (don't know if it's true) that most California queen producers buy their candy from a single source.
I noticed that my last box of queen's candy was back to normal consistency like it has been for years and years.
Maybe they got the message.
 

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Harry,

I agree that candy could have been the issue, but since two others (assuming from the same batch) got released normally, that makes me concerned there may have been issues with the third one. The poster didn't provide details on how the bees were responding to the caged queen, so we're just guessing, but I would certainly want to go back and evaluate.

BTW, this is a great thread that you developed!
 

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I checked on this hive today and the queen is doing great. It's a marked queen so I'm sure it is the one that wasn't released from the cage.
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Thank you for the information. Once the queen is installed and waiting to be released, should the hive entrance be closed or open for the initial 10 to 14 days?
 

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Discussion Starter #108
Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

There was a very good and valid concern expressed on another tread that I thought would add to the discussion:
I've always considered the candy release method flawed, because there's no way of knowing for sure whether the queen has actually been accepted prior to her release.
So my answer to this, (even though it wasn't a question) is:
I know for sure that the queens are released and accepted based on years of statistics.
It is very rare that I have non acceptance.
When I go back and queen check and find a hive that did not accept the queen, I slam the brakes on and CAREFULLY examine the hive, frame by frame looking for an old, beat up non laying queen that I missed, or a spent virgin queen.
There again, if I find that I missed something when I placed the queen cage in a hive, that is my failure; NOT the failure of candy release procedure.

Really, I should not state our acceptance rate at 98% because the 2% is almost always my screw-up at missing something.
We introduce hundreds of queens every year with the candy release method, turn our back, walk away and return hopefully within 2 weeks.
If everything in beekeeping was as reliable as queen introduction, life would be a lot easier!
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Thank you for the information. Once the queen is installed and waiting to be released, should the hive entrance be closed or open for the initial 10 to 14 days?

There is no need to close the entrance during queen introduction.
In fact, I cant think of any reason to ever close an entrance other than for a couple of minutes after OAV delivery.
Some beekeepers like to block the entrance when they move a hive or two.
We never block entrances.
:)
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

What about this situation :
Swarm 1,5kg after 2 days arrive to me
I want to use foundationless frames and let the bees do all drawing
I will buy queen from another place and introduce her after adding swarm into hive ...
So :
I this possible ? any advice what can be problem here
Will bees accept queen and how to introduce her the best here ?
How long will bees need to draw all comb ?
will they make too much mess ?
Is it bether to split to 3 nucleus 500gr bees each nucleus and buy 3 queens ?
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Thanks for the great thread. When I have used this method with European bees (granted, not much experience here), I've had a high acceptance rate. Doing so with Africanized bees is another matter. I've had somewhat less than a 50% success rate, and this generally involves splitting the hives so they are small, if not tiny, leaving the cage plugged for 6 days, removing the plug and letting the bees release her themselves, and then leaving the hive alone for 10 days. Last time I tried this with 4 splits from 2 small hives, and they killed 3 out of 4 of my $35 queens.
 

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Hey everyone looking for some guidance. I have an extremely aggressihve hive that I’m completely over their attitude and want to requeen. The honey production is nice but when you get hit 35-40’ away from the hive by guard bees I draw the line. My question is how soon from pinching the current queen do I introduce the new bought queen in her cage? Thanks for all the help.
 

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If you think the hive is nasty now, 15 min. after you pinch the queen they are gonna be downright hostile. I like to wait about an hour when doing splits and this is very similar. David at Barnyard Bees recommends no more than 24 hours and introduces his new queens pretty much right away. Separate the boxes while you hunt down the mean queen. Set the new caged queen on the brood box that is making the most noise. Evaluate the bee's response to her. Reassemble the hive with the new queen (still in her cage) if all is well and cross your fingers.
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Really, I should not state our acceptance rate at 98% because the 2% is almost always my screw-up at missing something.
We introduce hundreds of queens every year with the candy release method, turn our back, walk away and return hopefully within 2 weeks.
If everything in beekeeping was as reliable as queen introduction, life would be a lot easier!
Statistics are so often used to support arguments - but I wonder how useful statistics really are in our everyday lives ?

Take for example weather forecasters: "there's a 80% chance of rain". Now from a remote academic perspective, that statement may indeed have some relevance - but for the individual farmer who's trying to decide whether to spray or not, or for a person who's concerned about whether to wear a raincoat that day - then it's either going to rain, or it's not going to rain. And that's a 50/50 binary situation from their point of view - for those 'on the ground', as it were.

Perhaps a better example would be crossing the road. In a remote rural area, such as where I live, I think it would be fair to say that there's probably a 98% (or thereabouts) chance of crossing the road without injury with your eyes tightly shut. So - should we then disregard the normal practice of looking-out for traffic before we cross such a road ? Isn't it far better to make a check, even though for 98% of the time, that check proves to be unnecessary ?

As I see it, it's the same when introducing mated queens. I'm sure you're absolutely right, from a statistical point-of-view, and this will no doubt be relevant for those introducing large numbers of queens, when a tiny percentage of failures can be offset against the not inconsiderable time needed to make individual checks on such large numbers. But what of the small-scale beekeeper who is about to introduce just one or two queens, or someone who has made a very expensive purchase, and for whom failure isn't considered to be an acceptable option ? Isn't it then far wiser for that person to make a simple check for acceptance before either directly releasing, or before allowing the candy to be accessed ? It's such a simple thing to do (like checking for traffic before crossing the road) in order to avoid becoming that 1 or 2% statistic.
LJ
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Well john, given a 98% success rate for introducing mated queens. I would certainly hope that people would have far better crossing the road odds than that. For example here on our very busy city streets I think maybe there is one person hit by a car for every several million street crossings. But I would suggest that if want to cross the road. you have someone hold your hand. As for checking on an introduced queen being as easy as crossing a country road. Your kidding right? Probably not. more likely not one point of your argument has any validity. So although I am not really a fan of statistics myself. I certainly prefer them to your completely made up and ludicrous data.
 

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If you think the hive is nasty now, 15 min. after you pinch the queen they are gonna be downright hostile. I like to wait about an hour when doing splits and this is very similar. David at Barnyard Bees recommends no more than 24 hours and introduces his new queens pretty much right away. Separate the boxes while you hunt down the mean queen. Set the new caged queen on the brood box that is making the most noise. Evaluate the bee's response to her. Reassemble the hive with the new queen (still in her cage) if all is well and cross your fingers.
Thanks Jw. I’ll give them an hour or so and introduce the new queen. I had thought about how aggressive a seemingly calm hive is before losing their queen and what this hive is going to be like after I pinch her. I was next to that hive last night for about 3 minutes and had 7 guard bees follow me as I walked back and forth across the back yard, then down the opposite side of the house, across the front of the house to the garage on the side, which is 200’ from the hive. How do I know there were 7 bees? That’s how many I swatted and stepped on so I could take my suit off to go inside.
 

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if you haven't washed your suit and/or gloves in awhile that might help. the scent of the stings lingers on them and tends to get them agitated right off the bat.
 

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if you haven't washed your suit and/or gloves in awhile that might help. the scent of the stings lingers on them and tends to get them agitated right off the bat.
Thanks for the reminder! I usually keep my suits pretty clean but haven’t washed them lately and I’ve never washed my gloves. They are all in the washing machine now!
 

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Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

Well john, given a 98% success rate for introducing mated queens. I would certainly hope that people would have far better crossing the road odds than that. For example here on our very busy city streets I think maybe there is one person hit by a car for every several million street crossings. But I would suggest that if want to cross the road. you have someone hold your hand. As for checking on an introduced queen being as easy as crossing a country road. Your kidding right? Probably not. more likely not one point of your argument has any validity. So although I am not really a fan of statistics myself. I certainly prefer them to your completely made up and ludicrous data.
I think all the smoke from the fires must have blinded you, you sure didn't see L J's point.
 
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