About Bees – Other Methods of Queen Introduction

Queen Bee in hive

Queen Bee in hive

The regular mailing cage, when used to introduce queens, is uncertain at best. When a honey flow is on, this can be used quite successfully, but when there is no honey fIow, if the mailing cage is to be used, it is improved by tacking a piece of tin over the candy for two days. This is then removed, to allow the bees to ea.t out the candy. Just before the time to release the queen, acceptance is more certain, if the colony is given a good feed of syrup made of equal parts sugar and water. This feeding also applies to the Push-in Cage.

Emerging Brood Method of Queen Introduction

In introducing a valuable queen, when the extra work involved is no objection, the Emerging Brood Method is excellent. Four or five frames of brood are placed in a hive, after brushing off every bee. The queen is released in the hive with these frames, and the hive closed bee tight for five or six days to give time for the bees to emerge. The entrance is then opened to one bee space only so that robbers cannot rob it out. If no honey flow is on, this must be watched carefully, and if robbers molest it, it should be closed until more
bees emerge.

In using this method, the queen should always be ordered clipped since she is apt to get out and fly away. 1 had some sad experience along this line years ago, and have never forgotten the lesson. Many other methods are in vogue, such. as the “Honey Daub” and the Smoke Method; but I advise the beekeeper to let these alone, since they are inferior in every way and cause heavy loss.

Requeening

The question, asked us probably more than any other, is, “When is the best time to requeen?” Our answer is, “It depends entirely upon the condition of the colony to be requeened.” If in the month of May or June, a colony is found with a poor or failing queen, it should be requeened at once. If this is done it may build up to a strong colony and make a surplus. Colonies requeened in July have an abundance of time to build up strong for the Fall, and if there is an Autumn honey flow, they should be in prime condition to make a
surplus.

Systematic Requeening in August

August is recommended as the proper time to do general requeening as the colonies have then ample time to ,fill their hives’ with bees before Winter. Some advocate requeening every year; others, every other year. I believe in California and other states where queens lay more or less the year around, a good policy is to requeen every year, all colonies, except those having extra good queens. In the North where queens have a rest during the long Winter, most good queens will hold out for two years, and some for three; altho
if a queen is given an opportunity of laying as she should, she seldom does as good work the third season as a younger queen would do.

Here is the original 1926 page:

About Bees – Methods of Queen Introduction

About Bees – Methods of Queen Introduction

Here is a video that shows how to check, split & requeen a honey beehive: