I still haven't figured out exactly how I am going to install a Cordovan queen to a frame of brood in my observation hive.
I have a new observation hive ready and waiting.
I have a Cordovan queen coming, I hope...
I have hives that I will rob a frame of brood from.
My question to you is;
How do I get them all stuffed into the new home?
I know I can take the OH to the farm and install a frame, but what to do with the queen cage?
Bill , we'd need to know what your Ob. hive looks like. I made one like the plans on Beesource. The top bar I only screwedÂ*on so I can get the top frame of honey out and replace it as it gets full. Take the top bar out and the top frame and let the queen cage down onto the top brood frame by a thread and let the bees gather around her and free her.
For mine I'm wanting the bees to make their own queen and watch the process. Darrell
Observation hives differ in many ways. The spacing differs, the way the door works differs.
The first time I introduced a queen in an observation hive I had just starter strips so I just tied the queen cage to the bottom bar of the top frame.
This last time I tried just releasing the queen without a lot of sucess. She flew off the first time and I found her on the ground by the hive later (I had just dumped the package of bees in the hive and closed it up.) I tried to put her in the tube, but lost her in the rush of bees again and found her on the ground agaub by the hive later. I caught her with one of those "hair clip" queen catchers and put her directly on one of the frames (which I didn't want to do because it entails opening the door which entails squishing some bees when I close it again). They were still planning on absconding. I had the hive in the house and they were clustering on the tube with the queen no where to be found. Luckily it was near evening, so after they moved back in for the night I closed off the tube and the next day they settled in.
I used some PermaComb this time and I suppose the right thing to do would be to put a marshmallow in the cork hole and put the cage between the frames. Since the spacing is too big it would have fit.
You could leave a frame out and wire the cage in the empty space.
You could put in one frame with a starter strip with the cage on it and the rest with foundation and pull out the starter strip one after the queen is out.
Well the good thing is I still have another week to figure this out.
The hive I made is the one from Beesource-Build It. It is three tierd, one medium Permacomb on top and two deep frames on bottom.
I liked the idea of unscrewing the top frame bar to remove the medium until I realized that doing so left the hive with no support temperairly. Still not a bad idea, but mine is screwed and glued just like everything else I make.
Watching them make their own queen is something I want to watch too. However I want to have the Cordovans more at this point, and to do that I need to install a queen.
Having an observation hive does present some unique problems. The idea of having them in the house also included keeping them in the OB hive . I guess that to open and work the hive will entail taking it outside from time to time, but I don't want to lose any number of bees because they got out while outside and can not find their way back. Opening it up while in the house just does not seem like a good idea.
I looked at the PC and see that I could cut off the tabs on bottom and the cage would only lift the frame a little. However it would be flat and neither I or the bees could see the queen or feed her. I still might do this.
Another idea is to cut a hole in the deep super foundation and attach the cage into it. I have seen frame boards made like this but were solid wood. Eventully I would either remove the cage or the whole frame, I guess there would be no rush either way.
Or how about putting a marshmallow plug in the opening, then the released queen, and another plug between her and the outside world? It would keep the bees from traveling for a while, so it might not be a very good idea.
I guess I'm rambling. Well if you have any more thoughts I'd like to hear them.
Thanks again, Bill
OOps! I said that I had another week. While that is true of my NWC's, it may or may not be true of the cordovans that were due three weeks ago.
Today I should have my Cordovan if what McCary said last week is true.
I am NOT counting on anything today, maybe I will be pleasantly supprised
I would not use a method that does not leave the screen on the queen cage availble to feed the queen. Other than that most of those will probably work.
Cut a hole in one of the corners of your brood frame w/ a hive tool.Make it slightly narrower than the queen cage is wide and taller by about an inch.Press in queen cage screen side out(FLUSH W/COMB)and candy hole up(with hole in candy) making sure to leave a good gap above candy hole for bees to release queen.Leave queen cage in indefinetly,it stimulates lots of questions.
I guess cutting a hole in the foundation is the winning idea. It will be fun to watch the progress, and leaving the cage in there will not interfer with anything.
Thanks for the ideas and the hand-holding!
Well, yahoo. I finaily have my hive opperational. I received my queens,(see related post) and am now enjoying my OB hive. I removed a portion of the foundation from the corner of the frame and inserted the cage. It has been 30 hours and the girls are busy trying to get the queen out. They are also working on their congency plan too, they have started on two supercedure cells just in case.
I put a frame of brood in the bottom. It is irregular in depth, some of the comb is unaccessable, and some of the drone cells are smashed up against the glass. More for the girls to do, and more for me to watch.
The very first day and they are comming and going like they had been there all their lives. I was concerned that they would have trouble climbing up out the 24 inch verticle hose, but no problem, they are even dragging out the dead and the debris.
If I could understand their language better, I might even go try to find where they are finding that irradecent orange pollen
Everything is working admirably, except the neighbors are afraid to take out the trash, oh well, they are moving next month anyway.
The queen has been released, she is beautiful, all orange and easy to spot.
I think that I could have selected a better frame of brood to install in the hive. It has some honey and pollen, but is mostly brood, capped and open. I see they are taking the syrup and HBH, almost half a quart in two days.
The bad part is that the queen is not finding any place to lay. She keeps wondering around looking, I watched for a long time and she only layed twice. I hope they start drawing some comb soon.
As soon as there are cells a quarter inch or so deep, she will start laying in them and the workers will raise the brood while they draw the rest of the cell out. It shouldn't take too long.