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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Posts
    115

    Default how do you keep caged queens alive for a few days?

    I ordered 2 packages to replace my hive that didn't make it through the winter. In addition, I ordered 2 Carniolan queens to put in with the packages.
    How can I keep the queens that came with the packages alive for a few days? I have a friend who wants them but can't get here for a few days.
    Any advice would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kerikeri, New Zealand
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Your queens should be fine for a few days if the have attendants and candy and you provide a couple drops of water every few days. Keep them in a warm place (mine live in the hot water closet). If it is going to be more than a few days recaging to give fresh attendants and more candy would be beneficial. You want enough candy left when you introduce it to a hive so that the queen isn't liberated immediately.
    Last edited by danwyns; 05-03-2008 at 06:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    danwyns writes:
    If it is going to be more than a few days recaging to give fresh attendants and more candy would be beneficial.

    tecumseh replies:
    yes a few drops of water a day and keep in a not too hot, not too cool and general dark place.... and far away from any pesticide or more particularly pesticide strips.

    I would NOT do what has been suggest above. You are introducing attendant bee into a small introduction cage with a queen that the attendants don't know which would (seems to me) lead to one results, a dead queen. some people do suggest that removing attendants will make introduction easier (unless I am marking a purchased caged queens I never do this myself).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kerikeri, New Zealand
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Just my experience so take it fwiw. . .

    When caging or recaging queens I fill all cages with bees from a few strong hives prior to opening any nucs -- queens don't end up being caged with their own daughters. I've never seen any fighting. If I was losing queens I would take attendants from each nuc as I caged, but it is a lot slower and seems unnecessary -- and impossible for recaging. Would be interested to hear if others have different methods, but I do a few thousand a season this way, might lose a dozen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default

    I'd only do one drop of water a day or at most one in the morning and one in the evening. Too much and you could cause several problems. One is they will eat the candy too fast. Another is the candy could get wet and melt into a sticky mess and harm the bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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

    Default

    danwyns writes:
    Would be interested to hear if others have different methods

    tecumseh replies:
    when I catch new queens I load attendents directly from the baby nuc box. if I have some place for that particular queen to go (directly to some unit), often time I don't cage attendants at all.

    my prior warning should be (after the fact) slightly modified to suggest that either you need attendents that are familar (from the same box) or have been queenless for some minimum time period (overnight).

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