Introducing a Queen

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The "best" way to do it

One interesting thing to observe on the beekeeping world is that each beekeeper has the BEST way to do something. All beekeepers are inventors and are constantly creating or modifying methods and equipment.

"How to introduce a queen" is not an exception of this, and you will probably find more than a dozen different methods on how to perform this task.

We will like to share some DO's and DON'Ts when introducing a queen bee that works for us. 

Queen-less hive

DO: This is obvious, bees will accept a new queen if they are missing the queen, they know that because the queen's pheromones are absent in the hive.

DON'T: An exception of this will be workers laying eggs (two or more eggs per cell). Don't waste your time and money trying to "save" this colony. DO: Remove the bees from the frames by shaking the frames or with a brush in a location far away of your apiary, merge the frames without bees to a strong colony, flying bees will fly back to the former hive location but since it is missing they will go to the nearest hive and adapt to their new foster home.

How do I know the hive is Queenless?

"BEST" way to know: You found and spare the old queen the day before.

OR... 

No eggs are present, but young larva is present and at least one queen cells is being pulled or is capped. Your queen most likely died or swarmed.

DON'T assume that if there is no eggs there is no queen, a virgin queen may be present and the bees may not accept the queen you are trying to introduce.

Quick test

Put the queen cage over the frames. If bees go happily and surround the cage, they are ready to accept her. DON'T open the cage. DO let the bees eat the candy to release the queen themselves. 

If the bees ignore the queen, they might not be ready for her. 

 

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