Queen switch-a-roo

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Has anyone bought a package of bees but replaced the queen with a different breed? I have 2 NWC on order for spring. One for my "hail Mary" hive (riverbee name for it) :) and wanted another hive as well. I'm not sure if I can place different breed of hives side by side or in the same yard. I was thinking about taking the queen from the package and selling her.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the only problem I have even heard about Crazy8 is with russian bees and most especially with trying to install other 'races' of queens into russian hives. I have really never experience or known of any large problem of having various kinds of bees setting one next to the other. I just cannot see that this would represent any kind of problem.

    have I done what you describe before? well yes I have and on a fairly large scale (truckload and multiple hundreds of packages). a queen in a package of bees that is being shipped is though (likely hold pretty much across the board) to keep the bees in the package with cluster a bit tighter and keeps them with an uplifted attitude.

    as to my experience at the end of the long haul we simply removed the caged queen in the package and put in a cage queen of our preference. we did this primarily because we need enough packages to complete a fairly large order and the original queen in the packages were not what the customer had ordered.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    tec is right about the russians crazy8, they are a might bit picky about their queens, although russian queens can be placed in hives of other breeds. and what tec said....also the 'buzz word' provides some genetic diversity.

    (queen switch-a-roo......:lol:)
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I got some Russian queens when they first came on the market from Kellys,my bees didn't accept them well.I found if i started them in nucs and introduced them with the newspaper to hives, i had no problems, except they were a little hot and always had queen cups going when i inspected them. I've never had a problem wiyh setting different breeds of bees next to one another. Jack
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Crazy8, needless to say, the queen that arrives with a package may have spent time with the bees during transit. Be sure you give the new substitute queen several days caged with them so they can adjust to the new queen's scent.
    Also, if you sell the package queen, you might want to candidly reveal that you don't really know if she's a proven layer or not...unless you do know.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Member

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    The queens you get might NOT have any attendants! I don't know how long the queens would survive, not in contact with the package.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Ray is correct in that queens without attendant will not last very long. You can of course set up a fairly simple queen bank (small number of young larvae and feed set above a queen excluder on a nicely populated hive) and keep queens alive for somewhat extended periods of time.
     
  8. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Ok, you guys have lost me on the attendant thing. I was hoping if all works out have my packages all placed in their new home and when my queens come in do the ol' switch-a-roo.
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    crazy8,
    queens typically come with 'attendants' in the cages, what ray meant is that if your queens are without workers to feed her, give water, she would not last long, likewise, if she were separated from the package, the bees could not care for her.
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Whether or not the queen coming with the packages have attendance will depend on the package supplier and whether he raises his own queens and stores them in a queen bank, or has the queens with attendants in the cage to care for the queen after she is removed from the hive until placed into the package with the bees. Most packages will not have attendants in with the queen as the the queens are caged, placed in queen banks, and them transferred to the package so bees are always available to look after the queen.
    If you can time the package arrival with the arrival of the queens you want to place in the hive their are beekeepers that will supply bulk bees with out queens. This is a bit risky as if one gets delayed because of weather for mating you could have a big bunch of bees and no queens to put with them.
    Once the queen is established and laying. Disturbing the hive to re-queen is another risky hive management maneuver where some thing could go wrong. The new queens once established may not be any better than the ones that came with the package bees.
    I know people on this forum put a greater value on local weather resistant queens as being superior but remember that most of these queens are only a few generations past coming from southern produced queens.
    When the replacement queens arrive start then in their own nucs as insurance to replace a queen that is failing or lost and let it build up and over winter as insurance against winter losses.