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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default Queen banking question

    Ok, now that I got my excluder question answered here's another; Like most of you I receive large quantities of queens in the spring. Depending on weather and other variables I don't always get my queens put with a nuc right off the bat and sometimes have to hold them for a week or more. Last year that was no problem. This year, however, we had unseasonably cold weather and I chilled a bunch of queens, rendering them useless. Here's what I did: On top of a stong hive I put a queen excluder then an empty super, I put about 100 queens in and then shook in an additional 3 or 4 LBS of bees on top of the queens then put the lid back on. By morning the bees had clustered and only the middle queens were kept warm. This happened a couple times in the spring even after continuing to add more and more bees, from packages, to the hive in hopes of creating a big enough cluster to keep the queens warm.

    Would one of those styrafoam supers and an insulated lid make a diference? Maybe 100 queens is too many? Maybe just leave them in my house and continue to add young bees every couple of days until I can use them? What does everyone else do? Thank you.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default Queen bank

    We normally bank 100 to 200 queens to a bank.take a single deep box.1 frame of honey.Then we pull a few frames of capped brood and bees from our mother hives.with a few pounds of bees and you are good to go.Sometimes depending on how long you are banking them,you may have to add capped brood and bees a few times.Hope this helps,works for us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    We remove the parent queen from one or more strong colonies (depending how many we need to bank) and place a frame with queens in the center of the cluster, no excluders, no worries. We have banked 80 or more at one time, to start, but are taking them out daily as they are used. The lesser the better, of course.
    http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...48587895TOFooQ
    The pic is of queens we raised ourselves but the principle is the same.
    We keep these banks close to the shop but outside so we can pull them easily as needed.

    As for the styro boxes I have heard good reports of them from some that use them. We haven't tried them as we saw no need and they sound a bit fragile for rough handling.
    Sheri

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Sheri: Why are the bars that are attached to the frame holding the cages bended?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    311

    Default might add queen box

    pahvantpiper,
    we have use similar methods, strong hive w/ excluder directly above brood. The only difference, is that I leave the queens in the bottom of the battery box. This way the bees that are added do not go down into the hive, they tend to stick better on the queens. Also I use a 6 5/8 super for less heating area and have found that the attery box itself hepls to hold the heat directly around queens. have gone as far to cover the 2 screens so the box holds bees and heat tight.

    Good luck, there are many ways to make it work, have heard stories of queens surviving 10 days in the postal service.


    Larry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pahvantpiper View Post
    Here's what I did: On top of a stong hive I put a queen excluder then an empty super, I put about 100 queens in and then shook in an additional 3 or 4 LBS of bees on top of the queens then put the lid back on. By morning the bees had clustered and only the middle queens were kept warm.
    I've banked many queens this way...excluder on the hive, above the broodnest...with strong cluster in the top of the hive. I found the same thing happened in cold spring weather. The cluster recedes, and queens are chilled. What helped was adding a wool cloth on top of the queens, held down by the empty super on top. That holds the heat in, and bees remain clustered on the cages.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I've just used a strong (made)queenless two story 5 frame nuc box. Took the queens (in mini cages) and placed them on top of the frames, in the plastic holders that they were shipped in. Then just placed a medium frame empty nuc box. You are not dealing with the space volume of a full size hive, and I never had a clustering problem as I think just by the very nature of a nuc and the trapped heat in a smaller area, it works fine. Getting a queen out every so often was easy and I never had to remove a frame. Just pop the top and grabbed what I needed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    Sheri: Why are the bars that are attached to the frame holding the cages bended?
    FAT queens weigh the bars down ? More likely the bars were a little long for the frames so they had to bend to fit.
    Sheri

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Smile Queen banking question

    The way that you described your banking method makes me think that the queens were placed on the top bars. Am I wrong?
    The queens need to be where the warmth and nurse bess are located.
    Place the queens in a bank frame between two frames of brood. You need a frame of open brood facing the queens to draw the nurse bees into the area.
    You could bring the bees into a sheltered building to keep the chill factor off them so that they do not cluster to much. I have kept a screened queen bank nuc in the house over night and put them back outside when it warmed up the next morning.
    Remember, it takes a lot of bees to care for the queens.
    It takes about 30 days to develop a mated queen and it is very disapointing to lose them in a bank.
    I have banked queens for 36 days with no apparent problems!
    Good luck next time
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries
    (Queen Breeder)
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default I greatly appreciate the comments

    -Thanx for all the GREAT mentoring!! Do those that use bank frames make them, buy them? How do you transport your queens to, say, your nuc yards? I've just put them back in the battery boxes with the adhering bees since it's only for a few hours.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pahvantpiper View Post
    -Thanx for all the GREAT mentoring!! Do those that use bank frames make them, buy them? How do you transport your queens to, say, your nuc yards? I've just put them back in the battery boxes with the adhering bees since it's only for a few hours.
    Our frames are the same frames that take the bars I graft into, which John made, interchangeable equipment is good.
    Yes, we use the battery boxes too for transport. If it is cold out, John has one of those small coolers that heat, he warms it up nice then pulls how ever many queens he might need and lays them on a towel in that "cooler". Uses this more for cells though.
    If he just needs a couple/few he puts them in his pocket.
    Or you could easily pull the entire frame and put it in a nuc box with adhering bees to take to an outyard.
    Sheri

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Smile Do those that use bank frames make them?

    I make my own queen bank frames.
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

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