BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS

Swarm Queens

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Lupus:
The first swarm issuing from a hive is usually the old queen. Old swarm queens are often considered suspect and replaced by beekeepers collecting swarms.

I had a similar experience with the swarm I just housed. My swarm was smaller and the queen was not laying after a week. I used a hive tool on her, created a honey flow with syrup and gave them a new commercial queen.

I frequently put the queen cage on the top frames of the hive and watch to see how they react to her. If they: swarm over the cage in large numbers, bite at the wire, try to get their stingers into it; I do not leave it in the hive. When the workers act relaxed and try to feed and groom her and her buddies I either just let her out over some brood frames or soften the candy and let them release her.

If after a couple of days they still do not seem to want her I pull 3-4 frames of brood and young nurse bees from my busier hives. I put a screen or Dual Screen divider on top of the swarm hive and place the 3-4 brood frames over it, filling the rest of the super with foundation or comb.  
This basically makes a young nuc over the swarm. Young nurse bees usually accept queens easily within a day of being over the queenless swarm.

I have one of those young nucs over a split that did not want their new queen in my apiary. Tomorrow I will: pull the nuc and screen off the split, place a sheet of newspaper over the top of the split, and place my young nuc on top of the newspaper. The bees will slowly chew through the paper gradually uniting into one happy, queened hive. A queen laying eggs with nurse bees to protect her is about as safe as she can be.

The nuc introduction method involves some labor but it is one of the safest ways to get a new queen into a hive. Many queens get killed when  queen cages are just shoved in and left.

Good luck!

TJ:
I think I will try your young nuc over the colony method. It sounds very logical. Will the new Queens pheremone be able to reverse or suppress any laying workers? Would these older workers ever accept the new Queen once they have gone bad? Maybe I should just keep the seperating screen in until all the old, cranky bees have died off.  If I have older workers coming in the bottom with nectar, will they pass it through the screen to the younger colony above it? I love the theory of it. The older swarm, which is huge, can feed the growing nuc above, but they can't get at the Queen. At some point in time the swarm below will be smaller than the nuc above, and by then they should all "know" one another and can be combined. I'm going for it.

Finman:

--- Quote from: Lupus ---

I frequently put the queen cage on the top frames of the hive and watch to see how they react to her. If they: swarm over the cage in large numbers, bite at the wire, try to get their stingers into it; I do not leave it in the hive. When the workers act relaxed and try to feed and groom her and her buddies I either just let her out over some brood frames or soften the candy and let them release her.

 pull the nuc and screen off the split, place a sheet of newspaper over the top of the split, and place my young nuc on top of the newspaper. The bees will slowly chew through the paper gradually uniting into one happy, queened hive. A queen laying eggs with nurse bees to protect her is about as safe as she can be.

Good luck!
--- End quote ---


That is my favorite methods too. Laborous but sure.

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