Requeening failure means empty Flow Frames

Back on April 7th the ladies in my Flow Hive began following the urge to propagate and made some swarm cells. I caged my queen, moved her, some food and brood to a nuc and let Nature take its course. Now I’d been advised on more than one occasion that going about requeening in this manner was a risk - an incalculable risk at that. I decided to take the gamble rather than purchase a mated queen. I DID purchase 2 mated queens earlier on March 18th but they both were well underway with their own colonies and besides, if they failed requeening, I could fold the old queen back in right?

Right. Except I shot myself in the foot by using that queen a short while later in another colony.

Well, at any rate, I learned something…


Yup experienced the same thing with my strong hive at the apartments, let nature run it’s course to end up having cast off one too many swarms and no viable queen. At least the hives at my house are really strong and working the Flow frames currently. The hive at the apts is back down to a single box now with one chance left for a queen. I’ll probably requeen the hive soon before it’s too late.


It took one of my hives 2 rounds of queen cells before they requeened successfully. The first made 2 sorry looking emergency cells which hatched but I suspect the virgin queen died while mating because of cold weather. Second round made 6 queen cells and they finally have a new laying queen.

So after 5-6 weeks of being queenless and giving them 1 frame of eggs per week (the one frame was drones…whoops), we are queenright.

I wonder what percent hives successfuly requeen the first try? Feral hives only get one chance in nature.



Hi Joe, I read in my early days that a queen has a 1 chance in 7 of failing. I have always remembered that. I find that a 1 chance in 6or7 is fairly reliable. No one should ever assume that a new queen will automatically be successful. I never do, I’m always prepared for queens to fail. That’s why I make more splits than I think I need at the time.

Sometimes I’ll take a frame of brood from a very recent positive queen-right split to add to a split that I suspect the queen has failed.


Hey Bobby, another nice video, thank you. Always enjoy hearing your town’s bell ring the hour :slight_smile:

Sorry to hear your Flow frames will miss the season though - any chance for a late summer bump in your area?

@Eva thank you. There really isn’t anything of significance. Historically, our main flow in North Georgia ends right now (mid-May). There is a bump in mid/late-June with Sumac and Sourwood. Those 2 tree species are found near me but not in significant numbers. I will be transporting hives 30 or so miles north to try to catch the sourwood flow but will not be taking my Flow hive as the hives will likely go for some time unattended.


Sorry to hear what has happened, Bobby! Good info tho

Had plenty of mishaps in my 9 months as a beek. Loads to learn and never give up, me thinks

Good luck with the requeening!