re-queening

Aegis(z9 CA)April 11, 2005

I've got a couple of queens coming this week, and then I will try my hand at re-queening. My only concern is timing. I don't know exaclty when the little ladies will arrive, so they might have to sit around for a day or two until I am free to insert them.

My question is: How long can I wait on the requeening, and how should I keep the queens?

-dr

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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

dr-
There's not that big of rush. The obvious answer is: the sooner, the better. But I've kept several caged queens with just their attendants for two weeks while they traveled from their home land to Tejas in just a cardboard box. Keep them warm and out of direct sunlight (dark is preferred) and give them daily a small drop of water. They can eat the candy plug or if it's too hard, then give 'em a drop of honey (this is only necessary if they're going to have an 'extended' cage stay).
There is also a technique known as "banking" your queens which allows you to keep caged queens for a much longer period of time. But this doesn't sound like your question.
In any case, collect them from the postal service as soon as possible to get them under your control and then you can set your own schedule.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 9:24AM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

Thanks for the input, txbeeguy. Everything seems to have worked perfectly.

The 3 new queens arrived Wednesday (13 Apr), I looked for my 1st queen Thursday, then again Friday with success. Pulled her, put in the new one.

Saturday I tackled my nasty hive...verrrry strong hive, 2 full supers and about 3 million bees, mostly guards. No luck, but did get a handful of bees under the veil. Too many bees (and an eye swollen shut) to find the queen. Introduced the bees to Mr. Shop-Vac. Searched again on Sunday with no luck. Given that I had spent 3+ hours looking for the old queen I decided that I must have killed her accidentally, so I inserted the new queen.

Meanwhile....Saturday morning I made a small observation hive (4 frames) and stocked it with bees from the nasty hive and the 3rd queen.

On Tuesday (19th apr) the observation hive was ignoring the new queen, so I dug out most of the candy and said "good luck".

This weekend I opened all the hives and had ALL THREE take their new queens. Wow!! The observation hive was my insurance policy....I was going to use it as a nuc if something had gone wrong.

BTW...I had kept the queen from my first hive. She might be 4 years old (don't know). Interestingly, last fall her hive had died down to her and a dozen attendants. I believe mites had destroyed that colony. The nasty hive had also had mites, but seem to have defeated them. I took a couple of frames from the nasty hive and gave them to the almost dead hive. 3 months later the brood boxes were almost full. She's a good queen (to my limited experience), and still in a tupper ware container waiting to meet her fate...

Anyway...here's a composite photo...the cage on the left after one week in the hive, and my 20 month old daughter enjoying her obs. hive.

-cheers
dr

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 11:17PM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

One more thing....

With regard to the nasty hive.... Everything pissed them off...smoke, motion, days ending in "y". If I did anything with that hive, I was very careful to keep my distance for a couple of days.

However, today, when I looked for the queen, I was shocked to step back 2 paces and not have any bees bouncing off me. I startedd to head back to the house the "long way" to lose the bees, but realized I didn't have to, the bees were suddenly much more civilized. And after only one week with the new queen.

-dr

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 11:32PM
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