Different Types of Re-queening Methods

The number of re-queening methods are covered as below.

The first step is to replacing the queen is to find and kill the old queen in the colony. If you want only re-queening some of your colonies, replace queens that are no longer laying large patches of brood or ones that you know that are the old or never able to produced big colonies. The normal method of killing a queen is to pinch from her head. Do not try to introduce a new queen until the old queen has been getting out from the colony for at least 36 hours. In some cases, you can wait longer then 36 hours. Don't wait more than three days, however, if possible. The simplest way to introduce a queen into a queen less hive you can also be a little risky. If a queen is young and laying eggs, it is often possible to just place her on to the frame of bees and watch as the bees accept her or not. If they start surrounding her, it is a sign that they are going to kill her soon. This referred to as “balling” behavior.

1. Candy Cage

This method is commonly method used to introduce a new queen. The introduction is done as was described in the installing package. Queens are usually shipped in candy cages to introduce. You can make up your own queen cages and candy if you are raising the queens. Make the candy by mixing high fructose clear corn syrup or with honey and powdered sugar. It takes a surprising amount of powdered sugars. The candy F ­ 15 must be soft but firm. If it is too soft, it will melt in the hive by heat and may kill the queen by covering her. Put piece of wax-paper between the candy and the screen of the cage to keep from drying out, and then staple the screen. The hole in the non-candy end of the cage is sealed with cork or piece of wood.

2. Nucs

Since queens are more easily accepted into small colonies, one method of re-queening is to make up small nucleus to introduce the new queens into colony. A nuc can also to be used for introducing virgin queens and queen cells that you find in your other colonies. It then serves as a mating nuc as the queen flies out and mates with drone. Once the queen is accepted and laying, combine the nucleus with a larger colony that you made queen-less one to two days before merging them.

3. The Newspaper Method

Perhaps the safest way to merge colonies is to put a newspaper between them. Put a few small slits in the newspaper with your hive tool so that the bees can chew threw it more quickly. This allows time for two boxes of bees to acquire same colony odor, which prevents fighting with each others. To do this with a nuc, first place the frames from the nucleus into a deep hive body. Put one sheet of newspaper over to the open hive you are going to merge it with and place it on top. Make some of slits in the newspaper with your hive tool so that the bees chew their way through.

4. Push-In Cage

Make rectangular 3 by 5 inch cage to push into the comb with queen underneath. It should be made out of 9 mesh hardware cloths. This method is often to used when introducing artificial inseminated queens. When this done properly, it is the safest method to re-queen. You can buy plastic push-in cages that work a little better, because the bees were less likely to chew around the edges. The advantage of a push-in cage is that it allows the queen to start laying eggs before she is released. Shake the bees off of comb that are fairly dark. Place the cage an area with a little open nectar or honey over a small patch of emerging brood so the bees that's emerge will tend her. It is not necessary that the cage over brood, but there should be few cells of honey. You must make sure that the push-in cage and pressed in firmly. Check the cage in 3 to 6 days to make Bend to make push-in cage be sure corners “bee-tight”. Push-in cage be sure the bees have not chewed underneath. If they are beginning to do this, you must move cage. Once the queen laying eggs or you are satisfied the bees are not biting the cage, you may release the queen directly in the colony.

5. Virgin Queens

Virgin queens can be introduced the same way as other queens, but they are sometimes very difficult because they are less attractive to the worker bees. A new queen will take 6 to 10 days to take her first mating flight, and another week after that before she is laying lots of eggs in the frames. If queen doesn’t mate in 14 days, she is too old to properly mate with drone. You have to expect a two-week break brood rearing with a virgin queen. For this reason, you may want to consider introducing her to a mating nucleus before killing the old queen and introducing her to the main hive. Another good alternative is to introduce her above old hive. Take a notched inner cover and place it with the notch up and facing the backing up the hive to provide a second entrance. Take two frames of brood and bees and one frame of honey and put them in a deep box above the inner cover. Seal the hole in inner cover. After 26 hours, introduce the virgin in the top of the box. In the next two weeks, check for eggs and broods. You can then use the newspaper method to merge the two colonies together, or you can just remove the double screen and allow them to merge. The new queen should be one that survives, but it is safest if you remove the old queen first before the introducing new.

6. Queen Cells

Queen-less hives accept the queen cells very well. Just find a dark comb in middle of the nest and mash down some of the cells with your fingers. Carefully, push the thickened bottom portion of the queen cell into the comb and use the mashed area for give space for cell to hang downward. The bees will attach the cell to comb and the queen should hatch out and accepted. Handle queen cells very carefully to avoid damaging the queen inside the hive. She is a very sensitive to mistreatment while at certain stages of development. Do not bend the cell when attaching it. Try to keep the cell warm during transport: 74° to 91°F is best, but don’t let it dry out, either. If the weather cool below 61° F, the best place to attach the cell is in the middle of the brood nest near top of the comb.

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