Queen Acceptance: Difference between attacking and accepting?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by CarrollwoodBees, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Here's a good question, I think. I read that you can tell if a hive has a queen already if when you try to introduce one, they bite at the cage. How can you tell if they are biting or feeding? Anyone have a video? or links to a video?

    I put the new queen in this morning on a nuc I separated out yesterday. Theoretically, the old queen's pheromones are gone and they're ready for another queen. (Loyalty apparently not being a bee character trait.) They came up and stuck their mouths at the cage. No one seemed especially agitated, but they were very curious. No sounds whatever.

    Since we are told not to open the box for 2 weeks, I won't know if she made it til then. Just curious...
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You're in nice warm Florida, the Sunshine State---not up in the tundra. I don't think you have to wait two weeks before you check for acceptance. One week should be plenty for them to release the queen and get used to her. I'm assuming that it was a mated queen you introduced. Virgin queens tend to be "nervous" and are iable to fly off in her efforts to avoid you when looking for her---and she might not be laying yet after just one week.
     

  3. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I put 4 queens in over a week ago, and when I placed them in the splits, the bees immediately went to them to check her out, and if you are lucky enough to witness the event when they are SO glad to see her that they immediately start their fanning motion - that is quite a wonderful site to see.

    I live here in north central Arkansas and we have been experiencing cold - wet weather - but I finally got to peek inside on the 8th day to see how things are going - and all my queens were released and the bees were just quietly doing their thing - I didn't even use smoke - they didn't seem to mind I was there. Now I will wait another week or so to go through the hive to see the queen and look for eggs, but I was always advised to give them a good time to get acquainted and set up their new home.
     
  4. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    thanks, efmesch, you're a mensch (I hope I got that right and didn't just insult you. ;>)
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "Here's a good question, I think. I read that you can tell if a hive has a queen already if when you try to introduce one, they bite at the cage. How can you tell if they are biting or feeding? Anyone have a video? or links to a video?'

    cwb, this is what you want to see when you introduce a queen, these photos are from a post last year:

    a queen

    "a good initial ‘greeting’ of this queen by the bees. these girls were happy and eager to receive her. i placed the cage on top of the frames to watch how they might accept her, and within minutes they were scent fanning. the hive went from a crabby roar to an excited and contented hum. the girls were placing their antenna in the cage and were passing her pheromone along to other sisters in the hive, rather than trying to get their butts in there with stingers. "


    Requeening June 24 2012_008.jpg Requeening June 24 2012_005.jpg Requeening June 24 2012_003.jpg Requeening June 24 2012_001.jpg

    i like to place my queens in and watch the bees reaction, just watch them and what they do, and how they receive her. the bees were caring for her, and scent fanning around her. a very good sign. hope this helps.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    :coolphotos:
    RB, that's known as "learning bee talk". One can't be a real beekeeper without learning to listen to what the girls have to say. They'll tell you loud and clear when they're happy---or when they're not.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "RB, that's known as "learning bee talk". One can't be a real beekeeper without learning to listen to what the girls have to say. They'll tell you loud and clear when they're happy---or when they're not."

    isn't it ef? so very, very true, when we finally relax, and clear our minds of everything else...... and just watch and listen to what the bees have to tell us!
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    How can you tell if they are biting or feeding?

    tecumseh....
    well actually a contrasting picture at least in the short time frame and 'obviously' opposed to riverbees photo would be the same cages with almost no bees on the queen introduction cage. so... although sometimes described as the workers being hostile to the queen in the package what you are more likely to notice is a total disregards for the new queen.... why should they be concerned since they already have one. I will also suggest that there can be a significant difference in response between a queen in an introduction cage with or without attendants.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    A Tecumseh snip: I will also suggest that there can be a significant difference in response between a queen in an introduction cage with or without attendants.
    efmesch: "Significant" sounds to me like the understatement of the year. I think it's more like the difference between sucess and failure. Leave the attendants in and you're almost guaranteed a fight. As much as the hive may need the queen, the home bees will be protecting their turf from the unwanted "invaders" and the antagonism spills over to the queen that the attendants want to "protect" from them. My policy has been ALWAYS to release the attendants before placing the cage in the hive. They can take care of themselves (or not) but once without the attendants, the queen will turn to the home bees
    for help and speed up her aceptance.
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I will also suggest that there can be a significant difference in response between a queen in an introduction cage with or without attendants."

    "I think it's more like the diference between sucess and failure. Leave the attendant in and you're almost guaranteed a fight."


    the queen in the photographs i posted had 4 attendants, i employed a slow release method, (always do). the hive appears to be my strongest hive this year.
    my queens, ordered from the same supplier, always come with attendants.....i leave them in, and really do have to say, i haven't suffered an issue with the attendants being in the cage. :grin:
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    some people do like to remove the attendants and claim there is less problems in this that with attendants. I generally don't remove the attendants myself and often buy queen with and without attendants and can really see little difference in acceptance rate. as a general rule the attendants are added if the queen is being shipped thru the mail.
     
  12. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    At times the candy can be hard and it takes longer than the 3 days for the bees to chew thru it so I have always poped the cover pull the queen cage and if the queen is not out I release her and push the frames together so the bees don't build burr comb in between the frames. this i do on the 3rd day
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "some people do like to remove the attendants and claim there is less problems in this that with attendants. I generally don't remove the attendants myself and often buy queen with and without attendants and can really see little difference in acceptance rate. as a general rule the attendants are added if the queen is being shipped thru the mail."

    yes tecumseh, i myself have talked with beeks that do remove the attendants, for my own experience, i have never done so. most of my queens have been shipped, 3 days to get them here, even from iowa, so, always with attendants....when my mentor was supplying me with queens, a 4 hour drive, he always included the attendants to care for the queen. i have always been curious about how the attendants are received with the queen, each and every time i place a queen in, and have watched closely in the cage. just something i do.

    "At times the candy can be hard and it takes longer than the 3 days for the bees to chew thru it so I have always poped the cover pull the queen cage and if the queen is not out I release her and push the frames together so the bees don't build burr comb in between the frames. this i do on the 3rd day."

    apis, i wouldn't disagree about the hardness of the candy, i typically stick a small pin in there to sort of guage how hard it is. i keep russian bees and queens obtained from the rhba, (and survivor mutts of) and they can be quite persnickety on requeening. i have yet to find one of these queens not released on the 3rd or 4th day.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well as Apis has mentioned... there can be great differences in how hard or how soft is the queen cage candy... this may be one of the hardest task for me to learn over the past couple of years is how to make up the candy so it is soft but not too soft, hard but not too hard. for too hard a nail to create a small hole in the queen cage candy seem to help and some people do this routinely.

    I have also noticed relative to the time required for release that the smaller plastic introduction cages that the release is very fast when compared to the traditional three hole queen introduction cage.