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Author Topic: Maybe........time to re-Queen  (Read 709 times)

Offline Captain776

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Maybe........time to re-Queen
« on: May 09, 2017, 02:52:25 am »
I have had this NUC since April 7.
I inspect once a week so not to disturb them too much except for filling the frame feeder every second day and I do this quickly with no smoke.
I see capped Brood, only a small amount of Drone cells, and no Queen cells. I have only seen one egg, no larvae, no pupae.
I also have never seen this Queen which is probably my inexperience to find her.
I bought 2 more NUC's last Tuesday and went through them in detail before leaving the Bee Farm.
I see plenty Brood, Eggs, Larvae and the Queen for each NUC........in the NUC's but not in the one I bought April 7.
I believe there is a Queen in there, the hive is quiet, very calm, lots of bees, but just don't see a lot of laying.
I thought they would have filled out the frames by now but still plenty of open cells and 2.5 weeks ago I added a new frame with a full sheet of foundation, many bees on the inside face but not building much.
I called the Bee Farm where I bought these 3 NUCS and would have been happy go pay the 12.00 dollars they charge for a Queen but after telling the Owner what was going on, she gave me a new one FREE
GOOD Customer Service

I have looked for this Queen at least 4 times, I know she can be anywhere, but most likely where the most bustling activity is, I know she likes to run to the other side of the frame you are looking it.

If I can't find her.........how should I introduce the new Queen.
Leave her in the Queen cage and see if the workers are sticking their tongues out or trying to sting her.
There is a big flow here now, so much in bloom without even including the rice fields which are heavy into the pollen stage, but it looks like the Queen I gave us just not laying.
Doesn't appear there is any laying going on
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline little john

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 04:48:42 am »
Before introducing your new queen, it's essential that you identify whether the old queen is still present or not - for if she is then you're almost certain to have a queen-fight on your hands - and 'Sod's Law' (aka Murphy's Law) says it will be your new queen who will be the loser ...

A pretty-much guaranteed way of finding your queen is to place two bee boxes one above the other, with a Queen-Excluder between them, and with a base under the stack.
Then shake the bees off a couple of combs - open brood combs (without ANY bees) are best, if you can pinch a couple for this exercise - and place them in the bottom box. Place the QX on top, and another box on top of that.

Then - systematically - shake ALL the bees from the combs of the hive in question into the top box. Place a towel or some other cover on top if they're a bit slow to descend into the lower box.  Eventually you'll be left with a handful of bees on top of the QX (there's always a few 'difficult' ones), together with any drones who may have moved-in as uninvited guests.  At this point you should be able to tell whether there's a queen present or not.

If there is, then catch her and make-up a very small nuc, if you want.  She may just be a very slow layer, and a spare queen is always handy.

But if you've established that the queen is missing, then re-constitute the nuc you've just dis-assembled, and return it to it's stand.  It may be a good idea to include those open brood combs in this nuc, providing the nucs you robbed them from have enough brood for now.

Then, you'll need to introduce the new queen.  If the old queen WAS present, then leave the nuc queenless for a couple of hours.  If she WASN'T, then just carry on - and - hang the mailing cage inside the nuc. (I prefer to place the cage above an inner cover open feeder hole, with an inverted small plastic food container over - within another nuc box or feeder shell - to make inspections more convenient).
Then - and this is the really clever bit (not my idea, BTW, I got this tip from a Dutch guy via the Internet) - each day, very gently wipe a tooth-pick, skewer, or similar, over the top of the mailing cage, where the bees will have clustered like hedgehog spines.  If there is ANY resistance as you wipe the skewer across, then the bees are still gripping the cage and thus are still 'anti-queen' - so replace the cage and try again the next day.  As soon as you are able to wipe the skewer across the top of the cage with the bees obligingly lifting their feet to let it pass under them, that is a sign that they've finally accepted the queen's presence.
Although the source I got this from said to release the queen at this time, I still prefer to wait another day, as belt and braces, then simply open the mailing cage and let her out.  To my way of thinking, that's a far preferable method that relying on candy-eating timed-release and just hoping for the best.

Good luck
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 12:03:54 am »
Thanks for your reply.
I am going to make one more effort to determine if there is a Queen in there before getting a new Queen.
The hive is quiet and very calm BUT I am not seeing eggs and Larvae like I see in the last 2 NUC's I got a week ago.
Not sure I can do it today, cloudy and rain on and off.
I will write back, what I find

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline little john

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 03:16:18 am »
Hi Bruce - so you've got weather problems too ?

We had a few days of warm weather in early April, which kicked things off and allowed an early inspection.  Since then it's been 'Winter weather', with strong North and Nor'Easterly winds coming down direct from the Artic.  This was this what greeted me this very morning:


Forecasters say we're in for a change.  I hope so, as the season is slowly ebbing away.
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 05:39:50 am »
Hi Bruce - so you've got weather problems too ?

We had a few days of warm weather in early April, which kicked things off and allowed an early inspection.  Since then it's been 'Winter weather', with strong North and Nor'Easterly winds coming down direct from the Artic.  This was this what greeted me this very morning:


Forecasters say we're in for a change.  I hope so, as the season is slowly ebbing away.
LJ

The only weather problem we have is........90-100 plus every day. Heat never bothered me, I was in Kuwait for 3 yrs, the hottest place on the planet.
Saudi, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain........will be hot but Kuwait is always a degree or 2 hotter.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 05:43:16 am »
I did a detailed frame by frame and checked each side twice, if there is a Queen in there, she is hard to see and not laying.
After that inspection, I took a ride to the Bee Farm and got a Queen and a few attendants........she is in the Queen cage on top of the Frames, I placed her in the middle where the bee activity was.
Tomorrow I will peek inside and see how she is being received.

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 01:00:41 pm »
Bruce,
If they are queen less, by now you will be able to release her. If the bees are not covering her with several layers of bees and you can move them with your bare finger with ease, let her loose.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 01:04:26 pm »
I also recommend you reduce the interval of the inspections, especially the ones where you are looking at every frame. when you inspect, have a plan as to what you are trying to determine. If you are trying to verify you have a queen, look for wet brood and eggs. When you find it and you see a good pattern, stop and close up the hive.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 12:44:14 am »
I also recommend you reduce the interval of the inspections, especially the ones where you are looking at every frame. when you inspect, have a plan as to what you are trying to determine. If you are trying to verify you have a queen, look for wet brood and eggs. When you find it and you see a good pattern, stop and close up the hive.
Jim

Thanks Jim, I value your advice and the advice of others.
I try to only go in a nice a week except to fill their syrup feeder and that is no smoke, just quick in and out like on the video in the next post.

Thanks
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 12:48:05 am »
Please take a look at this video.
I put her on top of frames at 3 pm yesterday and this was 10 am today.
To me.........it looks like they are accepting her, I watched closely to see if it looked like they were trying to sting her and it looked like all their faces pressed against the cage.

Take a look..........what do you think?

As you can see, all 3 hives are very calm and always have been and now I know when I thought I saw a robbing frenzy last week, it was just late afternoon orientation flights.

Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 07:28:02 am »
Bruce,
That is what you want to see when you add a queen. I would let her out.
You need to add a screen top board or inner cover to hives 2 and 3.
What are you feeding them? Never saw sugar water that dark.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 08:39:42 pm »
Bruce,
That is what you want to see when you add a queen. I would let her out.
You need to add a screen top board or inner cover to hives 2 and 3.
What are you feeding them? Never saw sugar water that dark.
Jim

Hi Jim,
I took the Queen out of that screen pouch and put a Yellow dot on her so she will be easier to find.
Then I put her in one of those plastic tubes with a plunger so she had more room to move around and give the dot time to dry and off gas, after a while I put the plunger and tube in the hive to make sure they were still attracted to her after marking.
At 6 pm, I peeked in to see if bees on the vent holes of that tube..........the holes in that tube won't let the Queen out BUT the holes are big enough for workers to get in, 6 bees were in there with her taking care of her, so I let them all out.
Now I will not go in there for at least a week, then see if I see eggs and larva.
They accepted her, so maybe I made the correct decision to re-queen.

The syrup looks brown because I am using Raw Sugar and I do not see any signs it is giving them dysentery.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 08:46:17 pm »
Hi Jim.......and others.........what is the benefit of a top board to top screen?
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline paus

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 09:21:26 pm »
Both top and bottom boards serve the same and different purposes, let me explain.  Top boards are useful on telescoping lid so that the proposes does not glue the lid down.  This makes it easier to remove the top of the hive with less trouble and does not disturb the bees as much as fighting a glued down tele lid.  The screened top board allows more air circulation and may be blacked out with greenhouse cloth or raised to allow more air as needed.  None of this useful for commercial Beeks I think.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 11:54:16 pm »
Hi Jim.......and others.........what is the benefit of a top board to top screen?
As Paus mentioned, the bees will propolise the lid down. If you only have a teloscoping cover on it then you will not bee able to get a hive tool in between them to get it off. The innerr cover is designed so that they can propolise below it but because of the small opening, they do not tend to propolise the telescoping cover.

I like having STB because I can lift the lid and see what they are doing with out disturbing them. I have learned to keep an insulation board in the top to hall keep the solar heat out of the hives.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2017, 08:46:57 am »
OK, got it, makes sense.
I can easily make those myself.

Thanks
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2017, 09:03:44 pm »
Very Happy.......this morning.
Went out this morning to fill feeders, only pulled one frame and she was on it and I know it is the one I added because I put a Yellow dot on her and she is the only marked Queen.
Happy I was correct and made the right decision.
Thursday I will check the 2 new NUC's and make sure they are laying well and if I see the Queens I will mark them, sure helps this old man see them.

Thanks

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline GSF

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 08:23:19 am »
Hey Bruce, Michael Palmer has a you tube video on how to tell if they're ready to accept the new queen. If you try to brush them off of the queen cage and they stick to it like Velcro then they haven't, if you can semi easily move them around then they are trying to service her, not kill her.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 12:25:22 pm »
Glad it worked out for you.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: Maybe........time to re-Queen
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2017, 03:45:32 am »
Hey Bruce, Michael Palmer has a you tube video on how to tell if they're ready to accept the new queen. If you try to brush them off of the queen cage and they stick to it like Velcro then they haven't, if you can semi easily move them around then they are trying to service her, not kill her.

It looked like they were very happy to see her as soon as I introduced her.
Next morning, I marked her and put her back in a tube n plunger to let the paint dry.
When I went back 6 bees had gone thru the plastic grating on end of tube and they were in with her, very obvious attending to her.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.