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Thread: What to do????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    I have a question. I am realizing (not that I havent realized) that things just do not seem to work out the way they are supposed to in beekeeping.

    For example.... if you tell yourself you are only going to make one split this year and go ahead and buy 1 queen for the split.... than what happens if you need to..say split 4 hives. You could: A) let them raise their own queen or B) order more queens.

    Say that you do not want them to raise their own queen due to the time it take for a queen to start to lay eggs and it is to late to order queens from people than there is only one more thing that comes to mind to cover your bum.

    The answer: is to order a few extra queens. No problem selling them if you have some left over but my question is.....

    how do you keep a queen alive for a while until you need to make that split? Say you call a supplier up and they say your queen will be ready
    April 1st. You ordered.. .say 10 of them and you make a few splits right away but cant do anymore unitl later in the season.

    What do you do and how do you keep them a live?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

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    #1...unless you know the guy selling you queens WILL have them when you expect.... DON'T kill a queen/ split/ or whatever until you HAVE the LIVE queen in your hand.
    #2... Banking will work... SOMETIMES. I have caged queen cells we hatch sometimes in a VERY strong hive. We have had anywhere from 5%-60% survive until planted in a mating nuc.
    #3... Mated queens may fair better( I haven't tried them yet) but in an old ABJ article I read about banking there is a STRONG possibility of the queen being injured in a cage. The workers will often damage her legs/feet.
    My .02 cents worth is unless you have plenty of queens to play around with (waste), or unless you just MUST do it or lose the queen anyway, I do not recomend it. When I do it, it is just to save queen cells we cannot plant in a nuc, so we would lose them anyway.
    FWIW
    SippyBees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    457

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    Chef,

    I've read that you can make up small nucs (2 frames or so) and keep the queens in there. It requires mananging the nuc (removing frames of brood, adding bees, etc.) but it does allow you to keep some queens. When a queen is needed, you join the nuc with the hive, or remove the queen from the nuc and let them raise another, or add the frames to other hives, or whatever.

    I've seen it recommended to have one nuc for every 10 hives to have a spare queen around.

    Pugs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    I guess the immediate question is exactly how long do you intend to store the queens before they are 'used'? If your intention is to use the new queen within two weeks the common approach is to simply lay a queen excluder on the top of a stong hive with an empty super and place the queens still in the cages and face upabove this strong hive. The workers will then feed the queens thru the screen wire. If your plans are a bit more 'long term' in nature then Pugs suggestion should be followed. panther passing in the night...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
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    tecumseh:

    Have you tried doing the excluder method? Does it work? I would think the worker bees would ball the queen cage. Also... is it recomended that some capped brood be placed in the box that the caged queen is in?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

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    I had five on the top bars of a five frame nuc. Some since friday and some since saturday. I sold them today. They were from packages that I'm using to poulate mating nucs and such. I just have a "shim" that makes enough clearance for the cages on top of the top bars.

    For longer times, I prefer to have them in two frame nucs to keep them for a short time. Four or five frame nucs when they outgrow the two frame nucs. I just put one frame of brood with the queen and one frame of honey in the nuc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    Chef Isaac ask: 'Have you tried doing the excluder method? Does it work?' tecumseh replies: Definitely or I would not have suggest this technique. Like I said previously the question is... how long do you intend to store the queens??? You really do not need to add any brood in the box that contains the queen although a few frames of young brood in the box directly below the excluder would be an aid in drawing the young nurse bees up to the vacinity of the caged queens and as long as the young queens remain in their cages all the workers will do is continue to feed the caged queens thru the queen cage wire. I have seen them held this way in large numbers for at least two weeks without significant loss. panther passing in the night...

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