Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

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reedyfork
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Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by reedyfork »

I recently made a split and immediately moved the hive to a farm about 20 miles away. I already had a purchased queen on hand that I bought that same day. I set the hive, let it settle for 30 min, and introduced the queen. I watched the reaction to her for 10 min and all seemed fine. Pulled the cork on the candy end, closed everything up, and came back 3 days later...

The bees seemed calm and happy when I came back, so I pulled out the cage and found the queen dead inside. Candy had not been eaten all the way through (just the tiniest hole) and her attendants were still alive.

Can the bees reject her and sting/kill her through the screen, or is it more plausible that she simply died somehow? They have made several queen cells, so all will be fine, but I'm planning to do this again in a couple weeks and want to make sure I didn't do something wrong...
Wally
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by Wally »

I would notify the queen supplier and hope for a replacement. You did right.
reedyfork
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by reedyfork »

My poor recent success with introducing mated queens continues... I made a split on May 22 and introduced a purchased queen from the same local supplier (but from a different queen breeder than the other one). She was accepted, everything seemed fine, and I did a first full inspection yesterday.

Found plenty of capped brood, larvae of all ages, and the queen on a frame looking healthy. BUT, I also found several supercedure cells (two capped and 1-2 uncapped). I assume the bees know something about this queen that I don't and I should let things play out naturally, right?
Jacobs
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by Jacobs »

I would let it play out. I have seen capped supercedure cells in a hive with a marked queen and have come back in a few weeks to find the marked queen still there and no sign of the queen cells. I haven't seen it often, but figure that something made the bees feel like the queen situation was unstable. Then they determined the current queen was ok. Just a theory. If your bees replace the queen and the new one needs to get mated, I'm seeing enough drones around to take care of the situation.
reedyfork
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by reedyfork »

My thought was to go back and knock down the cells. If they rebuild them, then let it play out. If not, assume the young queen, developing pheromones, stress of moving the hive, unbalanced worker population, etc. rattled them. Maybe once the queen has a full brood cycle and everyone settles down, they will all be happy.
Jacobs
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by Jacobs »

As long as she is laying, that sounds worth trying.
reedyfork
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Re: Unsuccessfully introducing a new queen -

Post by reedyfork »

So that's what I decided to do just now. Knocked down a total of 4 capped supercedure cells after seeing the queen again and lots of eggs. My next task is to figure out how to use these nice queen cells in the future instead of destroying them!
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