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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #9272  by AdamD
 16 Oct 2020, 13:40
Nigel, I think you are going beyond the beginners level - don't forget that beginners need very simple information (remember how many new beekeepers will see a drone in the hive and ask whether that's the queen) and there are so many possible scenarios in beekeeping that a course would last for months and months to cover them all. If the basics are sound, then that's all we can do as a start. Beyond that, there should be association help for specifics - or this forum.
You're right that queen introduction can be difficult and is a topic in it's own right.
 #9274  by NigelP
 16 Oct 2020, 14:46
Never saw the need for a "beginners" level. I know I got very frustrated at being talked down to on the course I did many moons ago, as did many others on it. A lot of us felt a bit "cheated" at the low standard of teaching.
As I've said previously in our area around 50% give up beekeeping due to getting the hive from hell and not knowing how to deal with it. Obviously it's a point i feel quite strongly should be included in any course as should methods for finding queens. IMHO it isn't particularly advanced, just more detailed than the usual re-queen advice many receive. Dead easy to demonstrate and once seen usually remembered and more importantly it works.

And yes you could write a book on re-queening techniques. I've yet to come across one that was 100% effective for mated queens.
 #9279  by Bobbysbees
 18 Oct 2020, 05:13
NigelP the technique for finding the queen sound easy enough. If it comes to that point next year ,when they start boiling out of the lid and going hell for leather at my face i may give it a try.
As for requeening. I thought it was more risky to use a virgin queen. As it can be a bit hit or miss weather they come back after their mating flight.
I have read that when requeening that slowly slowly catchy monkey is the best way weather its with a virgin or a mated queen.
Using a virgin might have the advantage of a brood break though and give a good chance for a veroa treatment. With 100% uncapped brood it should be dam affective too.
 #9281  by AdamD
 18 Oct 2020, 10:56
Although we are off topic - .....
Virgin queens are not that reliable for re-queening colonies in my experience, even if they have only just come out of a queencell in your hand (better to keep her in somehow so she emerges in the hive). As you point out, slowly is the best method - just whipping a queen out ans putting in a replacement a couple of days later can be quite unreliable during certain parts of the year. Best is to make up a strong nuc without the flying bees and then introduce the queen to that. Once she has been accepted and there is plenty of her brood, then uniting can occur. Problem is, if you have a crabby colony that's stinging your neighbours, the natural desire is to do something quickly.
 #9283  by Patrick
 18 Oct 2020, 13:12
AdamD wrote:Problem is, if you have a crabby colony that's stinging your neighbours, the natural desire is to do something quickly.
Agreed - which is why context is everything. If you keep bees close to people I think securing a back up location you have got permission in principle to put a hive on is actually a far better immediate option than trying sort out in situ by requeening. Sort it out at your leisure, not in a crisis. But it is always the simple throwaway comment “you need to requeen” that is loftily and largely uselessly proffered. Keeps Queen breeders busy I suppose.
 #9284  by NigelP
 18 Oct 2020, 16:12
AdamD wrote:
18 Oct 2020, 10:56
Problem is, if you have a crabby colony that's stinging your neighbours, the natural desire is to do something quickly.
Absolutely....isn't that a time when association apiaries have their uses :D
 #9286  by AdamD
 19 Oct 2020, 09:42
Before I had an out apiary, and in my second year, I did put a hive in the wheel-barrow and walk it around to the neighbours field as the bees were following and stinging around the garden at any time of the day. This made me decide that I should raise my own queens as this was a bought-in one. It also highlights the need for somewhere to put the stock if it becomes unpleasant or unmanageable.
 #9303  by Chrisbarlow
 21 Oct 2020, 10:04
Patrick wrote:
19 Oct 2020, 15:43
Be interesting to know what city beekeepers do. Any out there?
I have bees in urban/built up area's. If a colony is nasty I take them to another site in the middle of nowhere.

As for beeks that don't have that option, I suspect one of the below

Cul Queen and merge with gentle colony
Cul Queen and hope they raise gentler daughter
Sell em and quit
Give em away and quit
Ignore neighbours
Ignore bees and hope they swarm
Ignore bees so they are not disturbed.
Move em out to second apiary which belongs to some one else.
Kill colony
Let em die out over winter and quit
Let em die over winter and aquire calm bees
Prey to their chosen God

I suspect there are other things that folk do as well
 #9311  by Patrick
 21 Oct 2020, 18:50
A comprehensive range of options Chris! I am sure the last option is not restricted to urban beekeepers 😁.

I suspect that quite a few in that situation hope that if the queen leaves with a swarm then her daughter will miraculously turn out docile. Sadly it rarely transpires.

Culling a nasty queen as soon possible has to be the best option.
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