Advice please - winter losses

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@NickM , you can say goodbye to your new queen in the bottom box. Introducing a new queen to an older angry workforce is a guaranteed death sentence regardless of the frame of emerging brood.

Personally I would cage the queen with a push in cage and in 5 days when there is no more viable larvae to raise a new queen, split them or do a vertical split with a 2 sided board.

If you split you can put a nuc where the hive was and add the frame with the queen (leave her caged). The rest is split in 2 nucs but leave them near the original site. Put a new queen in each, leave the tab on so they can't be released. This will give time for the flyers to go back to the original hive. Remove the tab after 36h.

The nuc with the old queen can either be dispatched or the queen killed and let them die off. In my apiary I would have killed the queen and shake the b#st#rds out but as it's in your garden, not an option.

I would go through this lengthy process because you are trying to introduce buckies which have not been laying for several days to feisty mongrels which have a habit to kill anything you give them!
 
One could try the honey dunk intro and make sure the new Queen is is slathered in honey and placed on the top bars, the bees will clean her up and then may accept her.
 
you can say goodbye to your new queen in the bottom box. Introducing a new queen to an older angry workforce is a guaranteed death sentence regardless of the frame of emerging brood
:iagree: you are dumping a new (alien) queen into a box of confused older foragers which are the most agressive component of a bee colony, I'd follow Jeff's advice and make up a nuc to introduce the queen to.
 
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Some feedback on requeening a nasty double-brood colony

After following advice above from Jeff and JBM I caged the nasty queen under a push in cage in the bottom brood box, and split the upper box into two smaller colonies, each of which received a mated queen from BMH. Then a week after that I went back into the lower brood box to nuc the queen and destroy any queen cells. Unfortunately she had escaped her cage and was running loose. It took me three sweeps to find her, not helped by angry bees pinging the veil, and by foragers coming in loaded with dandelion pollen (finding a red-marked queen when every frame was covered with moving reddish-orange dots made my eyes spin). Found her at last, introduced her to the hive-frame chest freezer, and a week later cut out all the emergency cells and put in a frame with eggs from my Good Queen. Today I found two open charged queen cells under construction on this frame, and I will select the better-looking of these in another couple of days. The angry colony is already calmer after the loss of her Evil Majesty, and both the BMH queens are accepted and laying.

So thank you very much for the advice - all seems promising at the moment!
 
Some feedback on requeening a nasty double-brood colony

After following advice above from Jeff and JBM I caged the nasty queen under a push in cage in the bottom brood box, and split the upper box into two smaller colonies, each of which received a mated queen from BMH. Then a week after that I went back into the lower brood box to nuc the queen and destroy any queen cells. Unfortunately she had escaped her cage and was running loose. It took me three sweeps to find her, not helped by angry bees pinging the veil, and by foragers coming in loaded with dandelion pollen (finding a red-marked queen when every frame was covered with moving reddish-orange dots made my eyes spin). Found her at last, introduced her to the hive-frame chest freezer, and a week later cut out all the emergency cells and put in a frame with eggs from my Good Queen. Today I found two open charged queen cells under construction on this frame, and I will select the better-looking of these in another couple of days. The angry colony is already calmer after the loss of her Evil Majesty, and both the BMH queens are accepted and laying.

So thank you very much for the advice - all seems promising at the moment!
Well done.
 
Some feedback on requeening a nasty double-brood colony

After following advice above from Jeff and JBM I caged the nasty queen under a push in cage in the bottom brood box, and split the upper box into two smaller colonies, each of which received a mated queen from BMH. Then a week after that I went back into the lower brood box to nuc the queen and destroy any queen cells. Unfortunately she had escaped her cage and was running loose. It took me three sweeps to find her, not helped by angry bees pinging the veil, and by foragers coming in loaded with dandelion pollen (finding a red-marked queen when every frame was covered with moving reddish-orange dots made my eyes spin). Found her at last, introduced her to the hive-frame chest freezer, and a week later cut out all the emergency cells and put in a frame with eggs from my Good Queen. Today I found two open charged queen cells under construction on this frame, and I will select the better-looking of these in another couple of days. The angry colony is already calmer after the loss of her Evil Majesty, and both the BMH queens are accepted and laying.

So thank you very much for the advice - all seems promising at the moment!
Well done ... it's never easy dealing with an excitable colony ... I've been plagued today in my allotment area (right next to my apiary) by a couple of over enthusiastic guard bees ... just a couple but they were annoying and pinging me .. I gave up in the end and put my jacket and veil on so that I could finish planting out my runners and french beans without worrying whether one of the little blighters was going to decide that kamikaze was required. However, if this behaviour continues I shall be following you down the path of requeening. I'm hoping it's just the fact that it's a colony that has been opened twice in three days and want to be left in peace - but - I'm not tolerating bees that won't let me near the hive without the guards getting defensive. End of ... I've told them the gatepost looms for her majesty if they don't behave.

It's a huge colony so I may well just split them and buy in another queen if it continues, I'm not a fan of pot luck queens in this area - some are really good but I know a few people who have some vile colonies from open mated queens - and they are not that far away from me ... and worse still - they tolerate them because they believe they are good honey producers !
 
Hi again. A quick update and some further advice would be welcomed. As suggested I have tried caging the queen using a press in cage, with the plan being to add a frame of eggs from a calmer hive after 5 days. On two occasions the bees have managed to go through the wax from the back of the frame and free the queen! I can’t actually face going through the hive again to find her as they are really defensive. So I am considering the following:

I have two smaller nucs that are building up nicely (probably will transfer to a hive this week). I plan to split the big defensive hive (currently on double brood), remove the queen so both are queen less. Keep returning and remove emergency queen cells until they are hopelessly queen less. Then unite with the two smaller hives (newspaper method). I figured two smaller defensive hives are easier to deal with than one massive one that goes mental when they’re opened. That will then give me two hives well resourced with calmer genetics.

Thoughts?
 
Can I please ask a follow-on question?

Following excellent advice on this forum, back in April I split an angry production colony into two splits in nucs (each supplied with a mated Buckie queen), leaving the parent colony to requeen from a donated frame of eggs.

One of the Buckies has taken off like a train and has moved into a production hive. The other is slower but is beginning to outgrow its nuc.

Meanwhile the production hive (its temper much improved) has requeened and is filling rapidly with eggs and grubs, but the cells that are capped are mostly drone cells. Plus there is a patch of drone brood above the QE. Plus the brood box contains a small number of what I suspect are supersedure cells. I have been through the BB several times but cannot find the queen. I think she is a drone layer, and may even be a scrub queen; small enough to slip through the QE, and too much like a worker for me to find her. Whichever - the bees are trying to replace her.

My question is what to do now, with the aim of having productive bees in a production hive. Do I

1) Put the slower Buckie nuc into a bigger hive; and let the production hive requeen in situ, recognising that the additional brood break means there wont be many foragers come July
2) Move the frames of drone brood and the supersedure cells from the production hive into a nuc elsewhere in the apiary (shaking in all the bees to get the DLQ in there too) then combine the Buckie colony over newspaper with the flying bees from the production hive. The new nuc can then requeen from the supersedure cells at its leisure.
3) Beef up the production hive with frames of brood from the Buckie queen, effectively using the Buckie nuc as a brood factory to provide a workforce while the production hive requeens.

All views welcome
 

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