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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Spotsylvania,VA
    Posts
    77

    Default More thoughts on queen release

    I have read a lot regarding whether it would be best to directly release the queen or gradually introduce her in the queen introduction cage.

    It appears to me the biggest cause for concern about slow release in the kTBH is the possibility of crooked comb. What if I were to simply remove the bars that have crooked comb and replace them with new bars?

    I directly released the queens recently with my packages of bees. The bees absconded from the first hive. The second hive had troubles with a high number of bees dying. My mentor helped me build the hive up with some brood comb and honey stores from a nuc she was starting.

    Had to do a chop and cut my very first week of beekeeping! Glad I know how to do it but wish I did not have to. The queen was not present when we inspected. I luckily got a new queen and placed her in the hive in her cage within 24 hrs. She was released yesterday. I will check on Saturday to see if she is still present and how they are doing.

    Why did they abscond? possibilities I have come up with are:

    1. Should not have directly released the queen.

    2. They did not like the brand spanking new hive.

    3. Peeked at them too often.

    4. Disturbed them on the second day by opening the feeding side of the hive to place the pollen pattie that I had forgotten to put in?

    5. They just wanted to be free.

    6. Should not have direct released the queen!

    7. Inexperienced beekeeper.

    I am getting a new package of bees next week and I hope to have better luck this time. I will slowly release the queen this time by dangling her cage with wire from the bar. I think it must be called a queen introduction cage for a reason!

    I wonder if perhaps the direct release method is more successful when the hive is one that has had previous use or if you are simply just requeening?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: More thoughts on queen release

    If you catch the comb soon enough it wouldn't be a problem for sure, the only reason then build crazy is to match the previous crazy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: More thoughts on queen release

    >1. Should not have directly released the queen.

    That depends on how long they have known her. But even 24 hours is usually sufficient.

    >2. They did not like the brand spanking new hive.

    Sometimes they don't like the smell of a hive. I have seen that and when they were all bearding on the front I moved them to a different box and they settled right in.

    >3. Peeked at them too often.

    That can do it.

    >4. Disturbed them on the second day by opening the feeding side of the hive to place the pollen pattie that I had forgotten to put in?

    Doubtful, but the pollen pattie was a waste of time and money...

    >5. They just wanted to be free.

    In my experience usually it's that they like the smell of the queen next door better than they one in their hive. I've seen them move next door with or without the queen still being cage.

    >6. Should not have direct released the queen!

    I would have...

    >7. Inexperienced beekeeper.

    Well, there are the other things on the list you had above, but more likely it's a poorly mated queen and more than likely those bees moved into your other package hives or your other established hives (if you had any).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: More thoughts on queen release

    I'm in the same boat. I'm a new beekeeper, and have a brand new hive I built (cedar). I directly released the queen, and the bees absconded two days later. I recaptured the swarm from my neighbor's yard and put them back in the hive.

    I checked them a week later, and it doesn't look like I have as many as I strated with. They are building nice straight comb though. I didn't see the queen, and couldn't find any eggs. I'll check this weekend for eggs and larvae, but if I don't see any, I'll order a new queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: More thoughts on queen release

    If the bees were seen going in and out of both hives, is it likely the missing bees moved into the second hive? and what would happen to the queen from the hive that moved?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: More thoughts on queen release

    In my experience if the queen is poorly mated they will abandon her. They will do this whether she is or is not in a cage.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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