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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i have been requeening using cells the last few years today i thought i would look very close at some hives that had been done 14 days ago. Here is what i found i looked through about ten random hives in the yard all nice size hives (brood box and 3 supers) so it took a while to find the queens.

In 8 of them the new queen was the only one i could find. she had just started laying, in the other 2 hives, the old queen was the one i found, no new queen any where.
Now on the two that still had the old queens they were the biggest hives of the 10 also they had the most solid brood patterns that you could find all in all they were both awsome queens.

So my question is who decides to requeen? The bees or the Queens? Maybe if the queens are not 100% the bees supercede her using my cell, but if she is a great queen they kill my virgin after she hatches?

Or does the virgin try to kill the old queen and the stronger one wins? any thoughts?
Nick
 

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My first thought is, why did you try to requeen your hives? If your queens have as good a pattern as you say they do, what's the point?

The way you ask the question about who decides to requeen, the queen or the bees? Neither, they don't decide anything. this is important to understand. The colony is an organism. Who decides that your liver should function? Or better yet, which part of your body decides that it is time to void waste? There is no descision, it is a bodily function.

So is supercedure or in your words requeening. Though I think of requeening as something the beekeeper does to a colony in which the queen is inadequate.

So, supercedure. That is the colony organism's reaction to an inadequate queen, a queen that isn't laying enuf eggs, isn't giving off enuf trans 2-9 dycenoic acid, or something like that, aka queen pheremone.

Do I assume correctly that you knew which queens were the ones from cells and the others were the old queens is because the old queens were marked? had you gone through all of the colonies that you wanted to requeen and found the old (marked ) queen? I'm just thinking that supercedure may have happened and the new queens weren't from the cells that you gave the colonies. How would one know?

They may have killed your cells before they hatched. If they didn't need a new queen, why let it hatch?
 

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Most people requeen annually (or sooner) because they want young prolific queens going into a flow. Also, it gives a break in the brood cycle which helps control varroa. We requeen with cells the same as Swarm_trapper and have similar results. We don't try to find the old queens, just give them a cell up in the supers. If you're raising your own queens it's no problem to make hundreds, or thousands, of cells. ;)
 

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Most people requeen annually? Really? They do?

Now I make alot of splits to replace deadouts and to make nucs to sell, but I never replacean overwintered queen, unless she is laying a poor pattern. But maybe I'm doing it wrong.

I bought around 400 queens this past spring. At $12.50, shipping included, that comes to $5,000.00. If I had requeened the rest of them, 300 colonies, then that would have cost me another $3750.00. Would those new queens have made me that $3750.00 plus more, because otherwise I wouldn't think that it would have been worth the trouble.

But I am here to learn. maybe I should get me 100 queen cells, next March, and stick them in hives and see what happens. Should I do that and not split them? Or do it after splitting them? Or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i requeen every year, maybe to you mark it is a waste of time but when we only have 10-20% dead outs in a year vs. 30-40% it makes sense to me.

the reason i do all my hives instead of just the poor ones is i don't have time to look through every hive right now to decide i just requeened 250 hives this morning and now have time to supper bees yet today.

no the queens were not marked but it is very easy to tell as i was requeening very dark italians with pure yellow, red headed cordovons.

Quote: I bought around 400 queens this past spring. At $12.50, shipping included, that comes to $5,000.00. If I had requeened the rest of them, 300 colonies, then that would have cost me another $3750.00. Would those new queens have made me that $3750.00 plus more, because otherwise I wouldn't think that it would have been worth the trouble.

Well mark incase you didnt read the posts we are talking about requeening with cells, if you are buying you cells you can easy requeen a operation of 1000 hives for 3,000$ if you raise your own all you have is your time. Do i feel i make an extra 3000$ a year due to requeening?

of course! or i wouldnt be doing it this year.
Nick
 

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Then, knowing that about you and your level of beekeeping I really don't understand your question? Is it what is going on in a colony of bees that make it accept a queen cell or reject the queen cell provided them? Is that the question?

Because, I still think that my answer is a valid one. Neither the queen or the "bees" (as you called them, which by that I guess you mean the workers?) decides anything. The colony reacts to a lack of queen substance and replaces the egg laying organ, the queen. The queen doesn't decide to replace herself.

I must be missing something in your question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the question is: there is a laying queen in the hive and i stick a cell in. the virgin hatches who decides which will be the new queen.

do the bees kill the virgin or their mated queen which ever they chose
or do the queens fight it out and the stronger one wins?

I always heard that the virgin kills the laying queen cause she is more agile and quicker, but that really doesn't make sense that the virgin kill the old queen and then goes out and mates other wise i would probably have a 10-20% queenless hive Due to mating flights gone bad.

My new thinking is that maybe some of the time the virgin goes out and gets mated then when she gets back the two mated queens battle it out, or the bees kill one of the mated queens?

hopefully this question is clear
 

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Swarm_trapper; I can't answer your question except to say that many, many times we end up with 2 queens in the hive after giving them a cell. I had one a little while back with 3 queens on one frame; drifter I guess! When this happens the two seem to work well together for a time and then, usually, the old one disappears. Here's a scary one: we had bought 2 Glenn breeder queens a while back ($100.00 queens) and introduced them to the hives, no problem. Last weekend my son and I were checking on them and found another queen in with our breeder. Yikes! Quick way to lose a C-note. :eek:
 

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I probably don't understand what's really being asked here, but I too am here to learn. If you put a queen cell in a colony that has a resident queen, why wouldn't that queen kill the cell? do the hive bees stop her? If that queen is failing, why aren't there supercedure cells? Do you look for supercedure cells before introducing the queen cell? What is the possibility that the cell hatches before the resident queen can get to the cell and the cell queen happens to win the fight? I'm not sure I see a decision being made,,,,more a reaction to given circumstances.
I will defer to more experienced minds than my own.:scratch:

Rick soMD
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yea fish stix i hear you i have found a few hives with two, so my thinking is that the bees are doing the killing maybe the one with lesser pheramone? But with a great flow we see two queens as the bees are happy or two busy to notice? yea i never thought about the drift factor.

Rick what we do when requeening like this is super the bees up then in a day or two run through and stick a cell in the top super of every hive that way your old queen should be in the bottom and the new cell will be way up top thus giving her time to hatch but also all the cells are in cell protectors to keep them safe from the workers. and possibly the queen?
 

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My new thinking is that maybe some of the time the virgin goes out and gets mated then when she gets back the two mated queens battle it out, or the bees kill one of the mated queens?

hopefully this question is clear
Okay, that appears more clear. I think we need to understand what virgins queens do after emerging and what they do between then and getting mated and what that time line is. I'm not sure about the time line, but I believe that virgin queens have to mature a day or two before taking orientation flights and then mating flights. I don't think that they emerge from tjheir cells and fly to mate right away.

So, therefore, I doubt that a virgin queen which emerged from a cell that was placed into a queen right colony would take to flying and then return to dispatch the old queen. I believe that they get together and duke it out first, and then, if the virgin over comes the queen, then she goes out and gets mated.

I don't think that I have heard of the workers killing queens. They ball newly introduced queens and they will tear down queen cells, but do they kill virgin queens? I'm not sure about that. Maybe they do.
 
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