Your Requeening Techniques. How do you do it?

Mac357August 15, 2004

I've done the queen search frame by frame. I've also done the hive dumping method. Does anyone have another method they use to ReQueen?

I'm just wondering if you can put a new queen in, and when she emerges from the cage, will she battle it out with the old queen and the strongest survive? If the old queen wins, so be it. Any thoughts or practices? Thanks.

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The problem I've seen with letting them battle it out, is that the workers in the hive don't accept the new queen and kill here before or as she leaves the cage so she never gets a chance against the old queen in the first place. I don't want to risk a $10-20 queen at these very poor odds myself.

I can be a lot of work, but I always search for the queen and remove her (a day in advance if possible). I don't see any real way around it. You can reduce the search somewhat by putting queen excluders between each box several days (4 or more) in advance. Then when you go to look for the queen you know she's probably in the box that has eggs in it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 12:27PM
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I've thought about using the excluders too. I wonder how the large operators do it?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 11:48PM
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I am not a large operator but I have used excluders to force the queen down or isolate her. As I get older and my eyes get a little weeker, I have found that marked queens cut down on the search and saves you time. I run 12 hives hoping to grow into about 25 to 30 and I requeen in the fall. You can pay for a marked queen or you can marker her in the cage a couple days before you introduce her to the hive. Be careful do not mark her after she is loose, I did this and I think it masked her oder and the other bees balled her and killed her.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 11:22AM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

I haven't requeened, yet, but was able to find the queen by locating eggs, then looking hard in that area. No question when you find her...a very busy retinue, and a very different looking bee.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2004 at 8:54PM
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I was fortunate many years ago to be able to spend time with a master queen breeder. He was the president of ABBA in the 1960's. His method of finding the queen is methodical and orderly. He did not recommend trying to find the queen in a full size middle of the summer colony but if it had to be done, he could do so usually in 10 minutes or less.

The key is to disrupt the colony as little as possible. This means use the absolute minimum of smoke, move slowly and deliberately, and don't bump or bang the frames around as you remove them. Remove the first brood chamber frame either next to the side if there is enough room or the #2 frame by squeezing the others apart. When you have that frame out, carefully check it for eggs and a quick look for the queen. She will very rarely be found on this frame. Carefully stack the frame against one corner of the hive maintaining the orientation it was removed. Remove the next frame and this time look carefully for the queen. It should take about 30 to 40 seconds at the most to check by scanning in 2 inch wide strips from the top of the frame to the bottom and then back up again. Hold the frame over the hive while you are scanning just in case the queen drops off and don't tilt the frame more than 30 degrees. Scan the edge of the frame then flip it over and scan the edges again and then opposite side. Again, move steadily and deliberately! If she is not found, then stack that frame against the one previously removed and move on to the next frame until you reach the far wall. If she has still not been found, carefully check the inside of the box then start checking the frames again in reverse order as you return them to the box.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 12:04AM
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Dear STEVE and other fellow beekeepers. lets take your problem apart and see if it helps.
FINDING THE QUEEN. Do not look for the queen. Look for the circle of attendants around her. It is at least 2 inches in diameter. If the queen is laying with her rear in a cell you will not see her.So learn to look for the magic circle.

I have heard big time beekeepers talk about. relleasing the queen at the hive entrance and let her walk in with the resident queen still in the hive.
I started out using the WALTER KELLY method. It works for me. He punched thru the candy with a blunt twig. Killed the old queen and smeared her juices on the screen and put the cage between the bars above the brood chamber.
ii wish you all a good season
the Drone

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 1:56PM
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witsend22(6Pa Bedford Co)

not sure i would requeen automatically each year myself.

if the old queen is removed and the new one is in a screened enclosure the workers should be used to her by the time she is free of the cage.

don't like the idea of letting her walk in while the old queen or even queen cells are present. bees are too likely to eliminate her. if only they would eliminate a wax moth infestation so easily

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 3:21PM
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Always a good topic to re-read.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 3:16PM
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