HELP PLEASE! re; Requeening

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Hello! This is my first post and Im new to beekeeping so...can anyone help??

I have just received a new mated queen via a friend in a plastic introduction cage along with about 6 'attendees'. The previous queen is dead and only by hours.

There are no eggs or brood as this was a collected swarm(a late one and the queen hadnt been laying at all which is unfortunate??!!....aswell as being very aggressive!). Im not sure whether to introduce the whole cage with all the bees, or to just introduce the queen in the cage and when to do it!? I have read several things now, some of which say wait an hour, and some a couple of days....some say it will be no problem introducing all the bees, and some say just to introduce the queen. I wish I knew!...

Any help or suggestions would be greatly apprecited asap. Thanks very much.

Aiden
 

winmag270 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Location
lichfield, staffs
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
Did you not get instructions on how to introduce your new queen, with her?
 

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
No instructions so here I am asking!
 

susbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
3,233
Reaction score
0
Location
Welsh Marches, by Montgomery
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
35ish
Has the swarm built up any comb? How long have they been installed in the hive? Are you 100% positive there is no other queen in the hive?

Assume that you have not tried a test frame of eggs for true queenlessness. Assume that there are no polished cells awaiting a newly mated queen to lay.

Trouble is that with the info so far whatever we suggest will likely be wrong.

However, covering myself for the colony definitely being queenless: a couple of hours is all you need then assuming this is a smallish swarm you can either removed the attendants whilst holding the end of a clear sandwich bag tight shut and squash them one at a time then replace the bung to keep the queen in. Some remove the plastic lid, some replace it with a sheet of newspaper tied round with thread, some leave the attendants in...I think that adds to fighting.

Then suspend between two brood frames in the middle of the brood nest surrounded by young nurse bees....another problem as you possibly have very few...and, in this case, hope for the best. Check she's been let out after maybe five days and hope they don't ball her.

Alternatively, have a chat to your BKA, tutor, bee buddy or mentor. It's hard to help when the timescale is right now...
 

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
The swarm has drawn comb on 3 frames and has definately no queen - 100% sure, no doubt about it.

They have been in the hive for 4 weeks now and just didnt seem to have anything about them. I had planned to requeen as an experiment but not this soon, and with some forward plannning. I suspect there are few young nurse bees in the hive and guess I will have to chance putting her in, and probably alone I think.

It may be hard to help with such short notice, but a few different experienced thoughts such as yours often contain the pieces of the jigsaw that make up the puzzle!

Thankyou very much for your reply.
 

peteinwilts 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,763
Reaction score
30
Location
North Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots and lots
a smallish swarm may indicate it was a caste, and the Queen may have been a virgin, so not laying. How did she die?

If the queen wasn't laying, the the bees must be on comb.

Let the attendents with the queen go before introducing the queen. Dust the bees heavily with icing sugar and push the queen and her cage down into the wax between two combs.

The fondant in the cage will act as a time release until the bees eat their way in.

Also, I personally would add some fondant on the hive. At the moment there is no brood and no queen in the hive, there is no reason for the bees to stay. The fondant may buy you some time until the queen is released.

As with some swarms, with no brood, if the bees are not happy they will try and move on (A swarm I recently caught in a bait box absconded from their new hive abandoning their brood - there is no guarentee). As your new queen should be mated, put her in the hive and put the QX underneath the brood box and leave it their for a week or so. This should prevent them moving on before they lay some brood.

The guys on the forum are HUGELY more experienced than I and may have better suggestions, but with only a year under my belt, that is how I would do it...
 

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
a smallish swarm may indicate it was a caste, and the Queen may have been a virgin, so not laying. How did she die?

If the queen wasn't laying, the the bees must be on comb.

Let the attendents with the queen go before introducing the queen. Dust the bees heavily with icing sugar and push the queen and her cage down into the wax between two combs.

The fondant in the cage will act as a time release until the bees eat their way in.

Also, I personally would add some fondant on the hive. At the moment there is no brood and no queen in the hive, there is no reason for the bees to stay. The fondant may buy you some time until the queen is released.

As with some swarms, with no brood, if the bees are not happy they will try and move on (A swarm I recently caught in a bait box absconded from their new hive abandoning their brood - there is no guarentee). As your new queen should be mated, put her in the hive and put the QX underneath the brood box and leave it their for a week or so. This should prevent them moving on before they lay some brood.

The guys on the forum are HUGELY more experienced than I and may have better suggestions, but with only a year under my belt, that is how I would do it...
Thanks for your reply. She died under the crown board, my fault. Definately not laying like. Im new to beekeeping but have collected a lot of swarms(and castes I guess) in my previous job. I collected this one from the ground by my car at work(I couldnt just leave it!), and I dont know how to tell a caste or even if anyone can, other than by checking if the queens laying or not? I just assumed after 4 weeks there should have been signs of laying. Im probably wrong!

The bees seemed particularly aggressive and very lethargic so had planned to requeen and give it a go anyhow, but just got thrown into it today. I know its getting late in the season and just hope I can get some brood going and get them through the winter.

Either way, its very good of you to advise me of your thoughts.

Thanks kindly.

AC
 

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Hi Admin,

I crushed the queen under the crown board,.... 100% sure, dead, deceased, gone!...hence the slight panic. I dont understand the test frame thing sorry, I'll have to look it up.
Is there likely to be another virgin in the hive though? Ive not read that anywhere. I honestly thought she would be the only queen there??!! I understood she may have been a virgin and thats why she wasnt laying.
I wasnt planning to keep bees until next year and after reading up more, aswell as spending some more time with my beekeeping friend, but couldnt resist picking these up for free. Hence, sorry if I seem a bit uneducated about the situation!

Thanks for your reply
 
Last edited:

admin 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Sorry about deleting my post above,I asked questions that you had already answered while I was typing.

Forget the advice I gave,as you have now said you know she is dead for sure.

p.s,loads of beekeepers plan to start up the following year but then a swarm comes along.
I dont blame you at all for grabbing them.
 

rae 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
826
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
OK, you know the queen is gone (got the body!), and it has only been a few hours, so there are no laying workers. This is good. After a few hours they should be having a good panic, so putting the travel cage in (probably without attendants), and letting them chew the fondant plug out seems like the best idea. What sort of cage is it?

(Agree on the difference in advice on attendants....the only way I've done it is without, but that doesn't mean that "with" is wrong..)
 

derwentmole 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Sorry about deleting my post above,I asked questions that you had already answered while I was typing.

Forget the advice I gave,as you have now said you know she is dead for sure.

p.s,loads of beekeepers plan to start up the following year but then a swarm comes along.
I dont blame you at all for grabbing them.
Admin, shes gone in so thanks for your replies! Keep fingers crossed now.

Regards,

AC
 
Top