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Deon

NZBF Introduce capped Queen cells or virgins to hives?

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Hi all,

I have managed to successfully graft some queens to requeen my hives, should I dispatch existing queens and add cells in the hair roller type cages to the hives or let them hatch and introduce then as virgins.

I have enough resources to have a couple of mating nucs but not enough for the 5 cells I have.

Three of my  hives are strong enough double box hive that I could temporary split and then add cells of virgins to the temp boxes as full size mating nucs and then when mated dispatch queen. Just coming into main flow should I split and depower? Should I risk dispatch of existing queens before having mated replacements?

thoughts?

 

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Be interesting to see what advice you get. 

 

Newbeek myself, I’d hedge my bets and put old queens aside in nucs. That way if it all goes bad, you can always move them back

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I would use cells rather than virgins. Virgins have become popular recently for some peculiar reason but they were tried and discarded 50 years ago for good reason. I would only re-queen a hive at this time of year if it was queenless or the Queen was really poor. It is not good practice to mess with a hive just before the honey flow and on top of that any form of re-queening at this time of year can sometimes lead to swarming. I re-queen by dequeening and putting in cells at either two days or nine\ten days but I won't be doing that until mid-February because I don't want to interfere with the honey flow and years of experience has taught me that doing so before that time can lead to extremely poor results. I have tried protected cells in January with fairly indifferent results. A lot of people think protected cells are the way to go and it is certainly an easy method but the results are variable.

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@Deon I had a cell hatch in a matchbox as I was carrying it to it queenless hive.

I slipped it into the hive no problem .

I did read somewhere that they can accept virgins if they are just hatched .

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I introduced a virgin to a queenless hive as an emergency measure 3 weeks ago. The virgin was free and available via a kind offer from a local beek.

 

looked in for the first time today. Should have just merged as my I instinct told me at the time as no sign of eggs or brood.

 

however, I will be setting up some mating Nucs on Monday and introducing 10 day cells so we shall see what the results are.

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7 hours ago, DeeGeeBee said:

I introduced a virgin to a queenless hive as an emergency measure 3 weeks ago. The virgin was free and available via a kind offer from a local beek.

 

looked in for the first time today. Should have just merged as my I instinct told me at the time as no sign of eggs or brood.

 

however, I will be setting up some mating Nucs on Monday and introducing 10 day cells so we shall see what the results are.

I think it is more interesting to try different things , even if they may not work .

Its the advantage of it only being a hobby .

I have 4 hives . 

I only really need two. But having 4  leaves me with lots more options .

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8 hours ago, DeeGeeBee said:

I introduced a virgin to a queenless hive as an emergency measure 3 weeks ago. The virgin was free and available via a kind offer from a local beek.

 

looked in for the first time today. Should have just merged as my I instinct told me at the time as no sign of eggs or brood.

 

however, I will be setting up some mating Nucs on Monday and introducing 10 day cells so we shall see what the results are.

Maybe give her another week before any action, funny how often eggs appear when one is about to go to plan B.

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7 hours ago, tudor said:

Maybe give her another week before any action, funny how often eggs appear when one is about to go to plan B.

Very true. Sometimes inaction is the best course of action. I think my mother used to call it patience ?

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After the advice given I think I will save the best two looking queens and put into nucs until after Xmas then intro them as mated queens. I’ll try then to graft more for the remaining hives.

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So you don’t waste the cells (if you still have them), you could put a super between the two brood boxes of each hive. Make sure the old queen is in the bottom. Use two QEs, cell into top box with a rear or side escape for that box for when the virgin wants to mate. 

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On 17/11/2018 at 11:55 PM, tudor said:

Maybe give her another week before any action, funny how often eggs appear when one is about to go to plan B.

Another week later, and still queenless.  Merging it is then.

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@DeeGeeBee I have not yet merged or combined hives, is there much risk to the queen of the good hive? or is the process fairly straight forward and safe?

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8 hours ago, Deon said:

@DeeGeeBee I have not yet merged or combined hives, is there much risk to the queen of the good hive? or is the process fairly straight forward and safe?

The most risk to a queen when merging is if the queenless portion is large and stronger than the queen rite portion. In this case, it’s safer to cage the queen with candy for release. 

 

One mistake  not to make is to put a small QR hive in the position of a strong Queenless hive. The returning foragers will kill the queen 

 

So yes, there is always risk to a queen while merging, but this can be minimised by getting the right technique. 

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 I never give a moment's thought to who or what is where, rustle rustle with the paper slash with the hivetool plonk with the box job done. There's an awful lot of overthinking goes on here.

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7 minutes ago, yesbut said:

There's an awful lot of overthinking goes on here.

I agree.  (Heck that is a problem).

Far too many people overthink what are simple jobs, and look for problems that generally don't exist.

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17 minutes ago, yesbut said:

 I never give a moment's thought to who or what is where, rustle rustle with the paper slash with the hivetool plonk with the box job done. There's an awful lot of overthinking goes on here.

 

This is how you manage hive creep...

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5 hours ago, M4tt said:

The most risk to a queen when merging is if the queenless portion is large and stronger than the queen rite portion. In this case, it’s safer to cage the queen with candy for release. 

 

One mistake  not to make is to put a small QR hive in the position of a strong Queenless hive. The returning foragers will kill the queen 

 

So yes, there is always risk to a queen while merging, but this can be minimised by getting the right technique. 

i have got away with an uneven join by putting a 3/4 super between hives and then later putting the queen right hive  box down lower.

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As another data point, I merged a fairly strong queenless hive (3 boxes) with a nice single box queenright hive up top.

I used newspaper and it went great but because I didn’t use and excluder the next stage has been horrible. Brood in nearly every frame. Im sorting it now and suspect I still will be in a month.

Next time I something new I’ll ask her first rather than just follow the book.

Edited by cBank
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12 minutes ago, cBank said:

Brood in nearly every frame.

What is upsetting about that ?

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29 minutes ago, cBank said:

As another data point, I merged a fairly strong queenless hive (3 boxes) with a nice single box queenright hive up top.

I used newspaper and it went great but because I didn’t use and excluder the next stage has been horrible. Brood in nearly every frame. Im sorting it now and suspect I still will be in a month.

Next time I something new I’ll ask her first rather than just follow the book.

How would you have used the excluder to do what you seem to have wanted?- which seems to be that at least one of the 3 boxes was honey and now has brood.

 

I'm curious- as I am yet to figure out how to requeen using a QR nuc when there are honey boxes on. (I know the answer is catch and cage the Q......but.......)

 

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1 hour ago, cBank said:

As another data point, I merged a fairly strong queenless hive (3 boxes) with a nice single box queenright hive up top.

I used newspaper and it went great but because I didn’t use and excluder the next stage has been horrible. Brood in nearly every frame. Im sorting it now and suspect I still will be in a month.

Next time I something new I’ll ask her first rather than just follow the book.

 

The good news is that you now have four potential colonies. Split it up onto new bases, add cells to three of them... voila! Increase... ?

 

And, you'll still get a honey crop off the parent hive.

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4 hours ago, yesbut said:

What is upsetting about that ?

 

I am careful when I open up and very careful when in the brood area. Having the queen potentially anywhere is not ideal I don’t think. I also don’t extract like you do, I’m spoonless, so cant do partial frames. 

I have a nice lazy way of uncapping with a heat gun and there is no way I’m going to toast brood!

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2 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

 

The good news is that you now have four potential colonies. Split it up onto new bases, add cells to three of them... voila! Increase... ?

 

And, you'll still get a honey crop off the parent hive.

 

Im trying to reduce numbers!

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4 hours ago, Mummzie said:

How would you have used the excluder to do what you seem to have wanted?- which seems to be that at least one of the 3 boxes was honey and now has brood.

 

I'm curious- as I am yet to figure out how to requeen using a QR nuc when there are honey boxes on. (I know the answer is catch and cage the Q......but.......)

 

 

I’d have done exactly the same but put the queenright section above the honey with an excluder between.

After a week I’d have put the queenright section to the bottom, move the excluder such that it went (bottom to top) new queenright box, old brood box, excluder, old brood box, honey box.

This leave one old brood box above the excluder, and I’d have all the mankiest frames here and cycle them out once hatched.

 

I did nothing of the sort and now have a multi stage cleanup with little patches of brood in 30+ frames. 

Edited by cBank
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4 hours ago, cBank said:

 

Im trying to reduce numbers!

 

We all are...

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