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How long do you wait to replace a removed queen?

Hello, welcome to a new category, Beekeeping - Intermediate. I realised that we didn’t have a category for general beekeeping that was more than the basics.

As the title describes, I’d like to know how long beekeepers on the forum wait before inserting a new queen after removing the original. I understand that for best results, wait at least 24 hours, however, what if opportunity to wait isn’t available and how likely is it that the colony will reject the new queen if she’s inserted immediately (caged queen) after the original queen is removed?

I see that Randy Oliver promotes instant replacement but I was surprised to see this as it’s the first I’ve heard.

Hi Bianca, whenever I replaced queens in the past, which I haven’t done for about 12 years, I used to instantly replace the older one. Maybe that was how it was explained to me when I first started out, I just forget why I did it like that. Last time I purchased queens, the supplier said to kill the queen one day, then add the new queen on the following day. I must have been time poor at the time, because I did it the old way.

If you use the Snelgrove method, using a matchbox and some nurse bees from the recipient hive, you can do it in under an hour. Never had it fail, yet… I first did this in about 1988, but the method is much older. :wink:

Judging by the fact that I’ve yet to remove a queen (deliberately anyway) - I must still be a beginner :nerd_face::grin:

Interesting! Thanks Dawn, this is great.

I considered doing it but was concerned how I would get the queen out of the little plastic cage without hurting her. It’s tough plastic.

Note that I’m not one to join the routine queen exchange program, I don’t believe this is necessary for backyard beekeeping. I’m replacing a queen from a hive that has struggled to expand further than about 4 frames for almost a year and I’m concerned for their survival. I’ve tried everything else and can personally only put it down to the queen. I’m curious for why the colony hasn’t superseded her.

Most queen cages have an easy release method, depending on design. It is either flipping out a tiny cork, or opening a flap on the cage. Not hard, just takes a little preparation :wink:

Hmm, maybe the end nozzle twists off. Thanks Dawn.

Do they look like these?

If not, a photo would help… :blush:

Yep, that’s exactly them.

Then on the flat part next to the nozzle, there should be a flap that you can unclick and lift up. No candy, and immediate exit for the occupant(s)

Here is a video:

Woohoo! Life hack. He’s so quick, I wonder how many times he’s done that.

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I agree, he is pretty slick! But then he is a Brit, after all! (Or should that be whinging pom, like me?) :rofl: :wink:

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