How to reintroduce the Queen

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Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
264
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Location
Surrey, England
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
14
For 8 days I've had the queen form 1 of my colonies in a nuc.
During this time her colony has been queenless. I have reduced the number of queen cells to 1.

I want to reintroduce the queen to the colony, and move the queen cell the nuc the queen has been in.

To move the queen back into the colony, do I need to use a Queen introduction cage, or can I simply drop the queen back into her original colony?

Should I remove the queen cell before I do this, or can I do that at the same time I am reintroducing the queen?
 
I assume you did a split as they were about to swarm? If you put the queen back in now and leave the queen cell, they will swarm with her, simple. If you remove the queen cell and put the queen, they will wait until she lays so they can make more queencells and swarm with her.
 
I assume you did a split as they were about to swarm? If you put the queen back in now and leave the queen cell, they will swarm with her, simple. If you remove the queen cell and put the queen, they will wait until she lays so they can make more queencells and swarm with her.
I was trying to do a split to create a new queen in the nuc box. Despite my best attempts I managed to move the queen into the nuc box with the brood. Only discovered this yesterday, after 7 days.
Yesterday, after discovering my error, I removed all but 1 queen cell from the hive.
Is it possible for me to switch the queen cell to the nuc and the queen back into her colony?
 
I was trying to do a split to create a new queen in the nuc box. Despite my best attempts I managed to move the queen into the nuc box with the brood. Only discovered this yesterday, after 7 days.
Yesterday, after discovering my error, I removed all but 1 queen cell from the hive.
Is it possible for me to switch the queen cell to the nuc and the queen back into her colony?
In that case you probably can putting the queen back into an introduction cage or push in cage if you have. Personally, I would remove the queencell and unite the 2 together and try another split next spring.
 
possible for me to switch the queen cell to the nuc and the queen back into her colony?
Why not leave both in peace until the virgin has emerged and is laying? Give it 4 weeks and if mating has failed, unite the Q+nuc back with newspaper.

If you really want to unite her now, make up a strong nuc with the sealed QC, park it elsewhere (2 or 3 miles to keep the flyers) and unite the Q+nuc with newspaper.
 
Might only be early August, but drones have been kicked out of most of my hives. checking last week in between the showers a couple had some drones in (I think for supersedure), and there was very little nectar coming in. I think any mating now is going to be pot luck. If you want better odds, buy a laying queen in for the existing hive
 
I assume you did a split as they were about to swarm? If you put the queen back in now and leave the queen cell, they will swarm with her, simple. If you remove the queen cell and put the queen, they will wait until she lays so they can make more queencells and swarm with her.
Hi Jeff this is interesting, i introduced new queen to a demaree split that had been on a double brood box it was time of high flow and they killed the new queen and produced their own off her brood, whether she wasn’t performing, quick scenario, I had nuc that was failing as they binned a virgin queen, so I gave them sealed brood and had purchased a Queen for above hive, however the hive is queen right, in the interim the nuc produced several emergency QCs, over two days, I knocked them down and introduced new bought queen in cage, do you think they will do as you suggest above or because they were hopelessly queenless they will accept new queen, if that makes sence
 
Hi Jeff this is interesting, i introduced new queen to a demaree split that had been on a double brood box it was time of high flow and they killed the new queen and produced their own off her brood, whether she wasn’t performing, quick scenario, I had nuc that was failing as they binned a virgin queen, so I gave them sealed brood and had purchased a Queen for above hive, however the hive is queen right, in the interim the nuc produced several emergency QCs, over two days, I knocked them down and introduced new bought queen in cage, do you think they will do as you suggest above or because they were hopelessly queenless they will accept new queen, if that makes sence
Nothing is guaranteed with beekeeping. If the nuc hasn't been left queenless for too long, they may accpet her. Leave the tab on for 24h then remove it and let the bees eat through the fonadant. If they have material to make their own queencells, make sure you do not leave a single one or they will kill her.

My response to the OP was in relation to a split which I thought was made following swram prep. It's a different scenario.
 
I like to introduce a new queen within minutes at the most of making a hive/nuc queenless, the longer they stay queenless, the less chance of them accepting a new queen in my experience.
 
I like to introduce a new queen within minutes at the most of making a hive/nuc queenless, the longer they stay queenless, the less chance of them accepting a new queen in my experience.
My bees have been queenless for 9 days. Tonight I can reintroduce their previous queen, via an introduction cage, wait 24-48 hrs and release.
The alternative is for me to take a gamble and let the one QC I left with them emerge and mate. Likely in 3 or 4 days.
Which option would you go with?
 
If you have a settled colony with a laying Q then yes drones may be evicted , many colonies still have drones and there will be many to form the task of mating still.
 
My bees have been queenless for 9 days. Tonight I can reintroduce their previous queen, via an introduction cage, wait 24-48 hrs and release.
The alternative is for me to take a gamble and let the one QC I left with them emerge and mate. Likely in 3 or 4 days.
Which option would you go with?
unite them with the nuc the queen was in
 
Which option would you go with?
Your decision, Paul! :)

There is no right and wrong about any of these options, but consider that queen introduction as you propose is the riskiest choice, and introduction by uniting a nuc the most certain.

Perhaps you're wary of mating in August? Try it and see! If it works out you'll have a strong colony with a new queen which will over winter far better than with the old, and the old will over-winter well in a nuc.
 
Your decision, Paul! :)

There is no right and wrong about any of these options, but consider that queen introduction as you propose is the riskiest choice, and introduction by uniting a nuc the most certain.

Perhaps you're wary of mating in August? Try it and see! If it works out you'll have a strong colony with a new queen which will over winter far better than with the old, and the old will over-winter well in a nuc.
Thanks, Eric.
I really like the idea of a new queen in this colony. So, you're swaying me towards just leaving things alone.
I'm away on holiday for 2 weeks starting next week, which is making me nervous. I won't be around to try and fix any issues. It's cold and raining here, today. Expected to brighten up from tomorrow.

My nervousness is that I reduced down the QC's from 20, to 1 in the BB. I'm not a bee, so my decision to leave the largest, most mature looking cell doesn't mean it's viable. I guess I should have a good idea by Saturday.
 
My nervousness is that I reduced down the QC's from 20, to 1 in the BB. I'm not a bee, so my decision to leave the largest, most mature looking cell doesn't mean it's viable. I guess I should have a good idea by Saturday.
I'm not sure why you should remove all but one queen cells when these have been drawn under the emergency response - as is the case here. The reason to remove cells in swarm control is so that the bees are unable to swarm while still leaving the colony with resources to create a new queen.

Earlier in the season, I guess there might be some ambiguity about the purpose of queen cells. In your case here, it's not clear to me what could go wrong if you had just left all the cells.
 
I'm not sure why you should remove all but one queen cells when these have been drawn under the emergency response
matters not a jot, they will swarm just as easily if there are enough bees in there.
You may be fairly safe with a nuc, but with a full brood box.......
A bit too much obsession with putting labels onto Queen Cells - stemming from the usual corner probably
 
matters not a jot, they will swarm just as easily if there are enough bees in there.
You may be fairly safe with a nuc, but with a full brood box.......
A bit too much obsession with putting labels onto Queen Cells - stemming from the usual corner probably
Scouts were out looking in my swarm lure boxes. So, something was afoot.
 

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