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I am a second year beekeeper and have two hives that I would like to requeen. The hives have are Italians and I got the new Minnesota Hygienic queens today but cant find the old queens. What should I do now? The beekeeper that I got the queens from said I needed to put them in today but without finding the queens in the hives, I still have the new queens still in their boxes. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Do you have a friend/mentor who can help?

All the old tricks apply. Look for where eggs have been laid. Don't look for an individual bee, look for a different pattern of bee movement on the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the idea about mentor. Unfortunately, he was gone this weekend. How long can the queens stay in the little boxes until i can try to get a nuc set up?
 

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There are several methods to finding the queen, first since you need to find her now. Separate the boxes and set them behind the hive stand. After a few minutes look to see which one is getting the most action form the returning forging bees. This can be an indication that the queen is present in this super.
Take an empty super and start transferring frames into it starting with the two outside frames 1 & 10 carefully looking for the queen. Take a look down inside the box right after you pull the frame for the queen running around to the other side of the next frame. Then proceed to remove succeeding frames placing them in the empty super you brought with you. Finishing by looking carefully at the bees left inside the now empty super. With luck you will have found her and won’t have to do the same thing with the other super.
If you still haven’t found her ( which happens) don’t fret she can be good at hiding form you. The next is a little more drastic.

Place a queen excluder on your bottom board and put an empty super on it then place the outer cover on it, put a sheet on the ground in front of the bottom board and shake and brush the bees off the frames onto the sheet so they can walk back into the empty box, putting the frames into the box as you shake them off. As you shake the bees off watch for the queen as they march back into the hive, she is often spotted in this parade. A second person is very helpful, my wife suits up when I need to do this operation. If you get to the second super just shake and brush the bees off and set this one aside. If you haven’t found the queen yet all is not lost. In a short period of time most of the workers have passed threw the queen excluder and are back on the comb.
Remove the super and pull the queen excluder and start looking for the queen the population of bees are greatly reduced and the queen won’t have any cervices to hid in, there will also be a lot of drones. By this time you will find the queen, hopefully the weather will be nice for you because by this time they will be a little ill tempered.
Usually when I have to work this hard to find her pinching her head don’t give me as much grief. Put the hive back together and wait a few hours then introduce the new queen.

Good luck.
 

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Take a frame of open larva from hive one, and put into hive two. Close hive. Open hive in 3 to 5 minutes and remove that frame. Most of the time the queen will be there, inspecting the strange smelling brood and spreading her pheromones on it to claim it as hers in her hive. Then do the same thing, take a frame out of this hive of open larva and put into hive 1, wait 3 to 5 minutes and then open and remove that frame, and look for the queen.
 

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if you cant find her now just put the queen cage in its respective hive.(wihout exposing the candy) and the bees will feed her. i have kept a queen like this for a week. if you have any nucs you can also make a split with your new queen and when you get someone to help you then you can combine the split back to the parent hive.
 

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Hey 11x, I lost a queen that way. they killed her and her attendants THROUGH the cage. I did use Rays method a few days ago and right as rain, she was there on the new brood frame!
 

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Hey 11x, I lost a queen that way. they killed her and her attendants THROUGH the cage. I did use Rays method a few days ago and right as rain, she was there on the new brood frame!
devdog,....that's interesting. I would guess that the presence of the attendants in the cage wih the queen had alot to do with them all being killed. I've temporarily banked caged queens for a day or two , without attendants, on the top bars of queenright colonies, and the queens are never killed, but are fed. There's some initial hostility, but no stinging through the wire mesh.

Ray Marlar....that's a neat trick you mentioned about slipping in a frame of open brood from another hive to attract the queen to it. I'll have to remember that next time I have trouble finding a queen. ;)
 

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They took out all the attendants first, then i removed them and put her back in all by herself. I checked later in the evening(about 7 hrs later) and she had a stinger imbedded in her face. I brought her down here to the powder room and let her loose, pulled out the stinger, and put her back in the cage. She went back into the Nuc an hr later and was dead by morning. Another stinger stuck in her. Felt really bad, like i sentenced her ot her death....
 

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Also, when i went to go get my Nuc from Don...aka Fatbee\man, he taught me a nifty trick. He said if you cannot find her, listen to the bees. If you have 2 supers and a deep he said Take off a super and set it aside and listen. If the main hive is all quiet for a couple of minutes, then take off another and stack it on top. If the bees get loud on the super you removed, the queen is in the main box, if the main box gets loud, the queen is in the super. I tried it on a queen i could not find and lo and behold, she was in the super, walking all over the honey oddly enough!
 

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They took out all the attendants first, then i removed them and put her back in all by herself. I checked later in the evening(about 7 hrs later) and she had a stinger imbedded in her face. I brought her down here to the powder room and let her loose, pulled out the stinger, and put her back in the cage. She went back into the Nuc an hr later and was dead by morning. Another stinger stuck in her. Felt really bad, like i sentenced her ot her death....
Yea, that musta been hard to have her die like that. I think even though you removed the dead attendants, that the parent hive's workers were still hostile because the stinging phermones were probably still present all over the cage. Like if you ever noticed when you get stung once, it releases a phermone that the other bees smell, and before you know it you've got other bees after you even though you may have quietly stepped back from the hive.
 

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Yeah, my 3 yr old called it his "queenie" and we had to have a burial ceremony for her beside my boxer i had to put down.....I was not happy that i sentenced her to her death, and lo and behold, the hive had a queen.
 
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