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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    11

    Question

    Hello all been real busy building new frames (100) and feeders.I'm ordering new packaged bees and I was wondering should I get the queens marked and the wings clip?,and should I order 3#or4# packages again thank's for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    You should definitely get them marked. It not only helps you find them, it lets you know if they've been superceded.

    Clipped is more controversial. Personally I kinda like them clipped. It helps in finding them and they can't swarm, but I don't really care that much about the swarming aspect, because you need to avoid them WANTING to swarm. The people who don't like clipped say that clipped queens get superceded more often. Another advantage is that if they get out of the cage when you're trying to remove the nurse bees, they can't fly off.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited April 08, 2003).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Smile

    Being ever so fugal, I mark them myself.
    You can get small jars of paint at
    the local department store. Look in the models section.
    Marking helps find them but sometimes the paint wears off, Avoid water based paint as it will come off quickly.

    ------------------
    Dave Verville
    Fremont, NH USA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    I have not spent that much time handling queens. I expect to this year because I intend to raise some. I was always afraid she would fly off if she got loose from the cage, so if I got a unmarked queen (which happens sometimes despite my ordering them marked) I would introduce her and mark her later on the combs, because then I wasn't afraid of her flying off. I wish the more experienced among us would share tips for handling new queens for marking and for letting out the nurse bees without losing the queen. I have no really good methods myself. Specifics would be most helpful here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Michael,

    For marking queens, take the cage into a small room with one window (bathroom?) Allow her to climb out and if she is calm, pick her up by the wings (both wings.) If she flies, just turn off the light and she will light on the window. Then she is fairly easy to pick up by the wings. Then put the cage down and with thumb and forefinger, either grasp her on both sides of the thorax (not abdomen) or grasp three legs on one side of her body. If grasping her legs you must be firm so that she is unable to try to pull away and injure herself. Assuming you had your marking tool handy, grab it and put a dot on her thorax. Introduce her head back into the cage, and she is usually very cooperative in going back in. A little pressure from behind with a finger helps if she is stubborn.

    To let attendants out, go into the same room, uncork the cage and cover hole with your finger. Hold the cage so the hole is pointing up. Watch the queen, and when she is not near the hole (bottom of cage,) move your finger and tap the cage to encourage the attendants to come out. If the queen moves to the hole, just cover it back up. No need to panic though, if she outsmarts you and starts to get out, don't mash her in the process of trying to get her back in - just let her fly and use the window trick again. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

    ------------------
    Rob Koss

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    Unfortunately I don't have a small bathroom with a window. I guess I need to build a small box with a window and two arm holes with sleeves to do such manipulations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    "a small room with one window"
    Or use the cab of your truck.

    Most of the time I just pick them off of the frame, mark'em, blow on them a little bit,
    plop'em back on the frame and back into the hive. They're tough little buggers and can handle a little handleing.

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited April 08, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Even a big room with a few windows will work, you just have to see which one she goes to. I like the truck cab idea.

    ------------------
    Rob Koss

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Do all of you guys remove the attendant bees?

    I use testors paint markers to mark when I choose to do so. I gave up marking quite a while ago except to follow certain queens and daughters. Don't clip but as Michael said thats up to the beekeeper. I now requeen based by performance. Some queens are good for a few years. I find I like to mark queens on the comb instead of mailing cages. I either grab them if just doing a few. I also rigged up a cookie cutter and epoxyed 1/8" hardware cloth to it and use this to place over the queen and then mark her if doing allot of them.

    Clay

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Forgot to mention since you live in NY go for the 3# packages they are pretty much the standard here. Don't spend the extra $$$ on the 4# as it is the next generation of bees that count not those that are actually in the package. I have found almost no or little advantage to the bigger packages. If you were certain that the weather was going to be good I'd consider 2# packages adding a frame of brood to but I assume you are starting out.

    Clay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    I used to always remove the attendants. I never got a good easy method to do it, so I quit and didn't notice any significant difference in acceptance.

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