Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS => Topic started by: Beeboy01 on June 04, 2021, 08:26:33 pm

Title: Requeening Time
Post by: Beeboy01 on June 04, 2021, 08:26:33 pm
I decided to take on requeening two hives this week, one was a small two high nuc that's been sputtering along for a couple months and really wasn't doing anything except toss a swarm or two. The second was a double deep that was the source of the double nuc and had the same problems except to a larger extent.

  I called the local apiary store yesterday and found that they had queens ready for pickup today which made yesterday afternoon interesting as I tried to pull the old queens 24 hours ahead of installing the new ones while a thunder storm rolled in. Dequeening the double nuc went well with the old queen getting set up over on the nuc rack in the top box. By then the storm was just about on me so it was time to duck and run.

  Today after picking up the two queens I installed one in the nuc with what looked like instant acceptance which was cool but then I had to deal and with good old #4 which was pissy on a good day. The plan was to tear down the hive looking for the queen while culling out some wonky comb and replacing the boxes. Once the hive was dequeened I was going to let it sit for a good 24 hours before introducing the second store bought queen which was sitting a separate 2 frame nuc of brood and some house bees till needed with the candy plug taped up.

  Getting back to #4 well that hive wasn't in a very good mood, one of the girls crawled up my pant and gave me a pop and they showed a little Africanized defensive behavior. After a complete tear down I realized there wasn't any recent queen sign, no egg or younger brood and I didn't spot any hatched queen cells so I'm guessing the old queen either failed or swarmed just like it's offspring. I guess luck was with me, another big thunder storm blew through just when I was closing #4 up which didn't help it's mood.

  So my plan really hasn't changed, I'll wait till Sunday to introduce queen #2 and see if #4 accepts her and then clean up the extra nucs in about a week combining them with the rest of the hives. Made a bit of a mess of the bee yard with extra boxes of bees set up here and there.
Hope this works, requeening isn't my forte and with the price of queens now a days I'd hate to loose one because I did something wrong plus I'm tired of hive's #4 attitude.

Only question I have is how long should I wait to check the nuc and #4 to see if the queens were accepted. I usual check in about a week to see if the candy plug been removed and the queen released then leave them alone for about another two weeks. I'm mainly concerned about #4 accepting the queen, did I miss anything?

 Getting ready to set up a table at the local flea/farmer's market tomorrow to sell some honey. Pulled 10 gallons of Saw Palmetto last week and need to make room for this year's crop, Covid slowed my sales down last year and I still have most of what I pulled from last year on the shelf. 

Sorry about the long post and thanks for any advice.
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: rast on June 04, 2021, 08:51:47 pm
I don't wait 24hr to introduce a queen, if I am dispatching a queen, I put the caged queen in at the same time. they can start pulling cells in less than a day and ignore that caged queen you put in after they start.  With no eggs/larva, you only have to stay ahead of the laying workers requeening. Checking, if I let my impatience get the best of me, 1 week, my preference is 2 weeks, that way if I mess up and upset them, maybe they won't blame that new queen.
  Good luck with the sales, did you decide on $15 for a pint on your side of the state.   
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: iddee on June 04, 2021, 09:03:39 pm
I agree with rast on putting the new queen in immediately. I agree with you on checking in 7 days and then waiting 2 more weeks. But, I only check enough to see eggs and close it right back up.
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: Beeboy01 on June 04, 2021, 09:09:37 pm
Rast, I'm asking $10.00 a pint or 2 for 18.00 and 18.00 a quart for now. Not sure what the going rate is in the area but 8.00 a pint was too low. I asked around at the local club and I'm in the ball park for pricing.
  Waiting at least 24 hours was recommended by the guys at the store so I'm going with that. They are in my back yard behind my shop so I don't need to make a second trip to an out yard or anything. 
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: TheHoneyPump on June 05, 2021, 02:30:28 pm
It sounds like the queen intro into the nuc is going fine.  Leave them alone 7 to 10 days.  However, my question is why did you set the old queen aside. You do not like her performance, she is of the swarmy mediocre genetics you are trying to get rid of in that hive and the others (4). Just go kill her now, like right now, and combine those resources (bees etc) into the other hives than can benefit from them.

On hive 4. Glad you did not put the queen in yet. Because if you did the bees will assuredly kill her.  Not because they are pissy, but because of the condition of the hive you described. There is high likelihood that there is a virgin(s) running around in there right now just looking for a fight. In this case, here is what I would do: Leave hive 4 alone for now. You will see why in a few moments along below.

Virgins are hard to find and are extremely disruptive to the beekeepers plans. They can be dealt with by method of time or by advanced queen finding techniques. In your case, lets choose to use time as it is the easiest and has no detriments to the end result of having your hives requeened and advancing.

Leave that 2nd new queen (4s new queen) in a nuc and proceed to get her introduced and laying in the nuc. This gets her established and smelling good while in a safe place. Leave her in there for 2 weeks. The end result, the end hive, will be advancing in parallel as she will be combined later.

Wait and monitor hive 4 for 2 weeks. At that time go looking for evidence of a queen. (eggs, larvae). At that time you should be able to find her and promptly kill her. If there is no evidence of a queen, even better, you can proceed with your tear it down plan by removing the hive and distributing the resources to other hives, including moving that new queen in the nuc up into a full box and placing her box where hive 4 was and had been removed from.

To introduce that new nuc queen into the hive 4 after you have killed their queen, there are two very high success methods you can use. One is by using a push in cage. You can google that method rather than my describe in detail here. The second is by inserting the whole nuc into the hive. My preference is the nuc intro method for established queens.  There is no need to wait more than an hour or so after killing the undesirable queen. Kill her, go have a coffee, then go back to the hive and requeen it.

To do the nuc insert method, make sure it is a nice warm sunny day with no thunderstorms to well up on you. Goto the hive 4. Open the hive and spread the boxes, with no covers, so all are fully exposed to air and sun.  Go into the bottom brood box and from one side of the box, furthest from the entrance if you have reducer on, remove the number of frames that coincides to the size of the nuc being used. Leave the hive open and spread out like that for 20-30 minutes, exposed to air and sun. Now go get the nuc and insert it as a frame-pack into the open space you made in the bottom box. Ensure the frame the queen is on is placed in #2 position, near one side of the box. If you are really worried about her safety, put a push-in cage over her as well. Leave the hive open for another 10-20 minutes. You can be cleaning up the other stuff around your bee yard while you are waiting for the bees to settle. Proceed to put everything back together and close up. Leave them alone for 1 week. It should be smooth sailing from there on.

Bottom line, do not requeen 4 just yet. Unless you know how to find and deal with virgin queens.

Hope that helps!
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: Beeboy01 on June 05, 2021, 05:02:53 pm
HP there isn't any real reason why I put the old queen aside, maybe I would rather have her as backup until the introduction of the new ones succeed. I'll dispatch her during the week just so I don't try something stupid with her down the road. As to #4 I introduced the new queen in it this afternoon when I got back from the flea/farmers market and the bees seemed to accept her with no balling on the queen cage. Whether or not #4 had a virgin queen was on the back of my mind when tearing it down yesterday. When I transferred the  frames to the new boxes I gave them a real good going over and I'm pretty confident there wasn't a virgin running around.

  The flea/farmers market went well and more than paid for the queens. Still have some extra bottled honey and with this year's crop coming in I need to make it a regular stop maybe once or twice a month. 
Title: Re: Requeening Time
Post by: TheHoneyPump on June 07, 2021, 01:13:10 am