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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Post

    I just recently got myself one of those "hair-clip" queen catchers. I now consider it a must-have and load it into my shirt pocket whenever I am getting ready to work my bees. It is a very helpful tool for queen management. A few weeks ago I even used mine to catch a virgin queen -- I left her in the cage and set it on the entrance where it was quickly covered in a thick layer of workers. Once I had finished and was closing up the hive I took the cage in hand and brushed some of the workers off the cage so I could see the queen prior to releasing her into the top of the hive. There she was, then as I moved the cage down near the tops of the frames, she simply slipped out of the cage and made her own way down into the hive, even before I had begun to open it for her. I guess that makes her a temporarily willing captive. Her own workers were probably helpful in keeping her in the catcher cage while I worked the hive.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,881

    Post

    Queens too often escape from those. I quit using mine and now put the queen in a corked cage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,881

    Post

    Queens too often escape from those. I quit using mine and now put the queen in a corked cage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Are these hair-clip queen catchers all the same? I've only looked at one in BetterBee's catalog. They're cheap enough.. I'm planning on getting one.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Post

    I've only recently discovered that these devices even existed. I was shopping at my local bee supply store and saw one in a display case, I realized what it was and anticipated giving it a try to see how well it would function.

    For me, it works quite well. I did not expect it would be perfect, and it isn't, but with a little caution it catches the queen easily and without harm. Sure queens can sometimes escape the catcher just like some queens can pass through a queen excluder. Okay, it isn't without its down side -- but for me it is much easier than trying to use my fingers without causing harm or getting stung.

    I see that some suppliers have a plastic version, I like my all-metal one, especially after I dipped it into molten beeswax to give it a beeswax coating.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I dislike plastic in general except when it's the best thing for the task. Any idea who sells the metal ones?

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    I've never had a metal one but I've had about three different models from different places. All worked on the same principle and they all worked well, except I have had a virgin queen run right through them and fly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    George, I have a stainless steel one that I believe I bought from kelly for about $5.
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Post

    I've only used metal queen catchers but have never had a laying queen get out of one. I have had 1 virgin queen get out though never to bee seen again.

    I don't go to the yard without it.

    Dan
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  10. #10

    Post

    I picked up my plastic one from Mann Lake, works very well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    can someone explain the use of a queen catcher? also maybe a link to a picture?
    all that is gold does not glitter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    It is a clip with the space between the "jaws" the same as the space on a queen excluder so it won't crush the bees and so the workers can come and go. The sides have similarly spaced slots so that the queen can't get out but the workers can. You simply pick the queen up with the clip and she is confined.

    http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=640
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Post

    I have a few of the plastic clips, never had a queen escape, I have use it in removals also, just catch the queen and tie a string through the bottom of the clip and hang it close to the old hive after I have removed all the comb and the bee's gather on the clip, the just take the string and lower the queen and all her girls in a hive box, like removing a swarm.
    Ted

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    thanks for the description and link!
    all that is gold does not glitter

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