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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Dunlap, TN, USA
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    146

    Default methods of releasing your queen

    From everything I've read, including many people's own testimony, haning the queen box seems to be a bad idea as it results in cross comb.

    However, if you dont want to direct release her into your hive would there be a problem with just sitting her box directly on the bottom of the hive. I'm assuming the same process will take place.... Candy plug is eaten away and she trots out and takes charge.

    Anything wrong with doing this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
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    306

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    The concern I had with that option was that it was pretty chilly the evening I installed my package with a freeze forecast overnight and I was worried that the bees wouldn't cluster up on her as well as a hanging cage (so I direct released her, since she'd been in there for 5 days with them by then). What I did last year, with great success (meaning no goobered up comb) was to staple on an extension to the strap off the queen cage. This I hung a good 6 inches down from the top bars. After three days, I checked on them and they had comb nearly down to her, but straight, so I removed the cage, and released her (they were almost through the candy, but I didn't want to close up and go back in the next day).

    Maybe that'll work for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    That's what I did this year. Didn't hang the cage. pulled the cork on the candy end of the cage. Then set the queen
    cage on it's side on the bottom of the hive. I don't have to worry about freezing temps in April.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
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    146

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ogborn View Post
    That's what I did this year. Didn't hang the cage. pulled the cork on the candy end of the cage. Then set the queen
    cage on it's side on the bottom of the hive. I don't have to worry about freezing temps in April.
    Steven, I'm assuming this worked out just as well correct? If so I think I'm going to go with this method.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Heck yeah, this years package installs went awesome.
    A lot better than last years. Watch video of last years on You-Tube/user/OgbornsApiaries
    You can laugh at them. It won't hurt my feelings.
    Then you can see the trouble that hanging the queen cage causes too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dunlap, TN, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ogborn View Post
    Heck yeah, this years package installs went awesome.
    A lot better than last years. Watch video of last years on You-Tube/user/OgbornsApiaries
    You can laugh at them. It won't hurt my feelings.
    Then you can see the trouble that hanging the queen cage causes too.

    Nice! I might just check those videos out later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ogborn View Post
    That's what I did this year. Didn't hang the cage. pulled the cork on the candy end of the cage. Then set the queen
    cage on it's side on the bottom of the hive. I don't have to worry about freezing temps in April.
    I am a newbee and will be picking up two 3# packages tomorrow to put in my KTBH's. These bees are local and were shaken this evening. They will not have been exposed to their new queen until I put her in the hive with them...so I will be letting them release her. I don't want to hang the cage, based on all the probable crooked comb issues, so I would like to put the cage on the hive floor.

    Steve O, this might be a dumb question, but did you put the cage in first and then dump the bees on top or did you do the reverse of that?

    Ken
    Last edited by beepopnc; 04-13-2012 at 09:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    I like this method, especially the care taken with the queen. That is the most nerve-wracking part for me - releasing the queen. This is a 14 minute vid, just fast-forward to the queen cage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVW8CErDpjQ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by beepopnc View Post
    I am a newbee and will be picking up two 3# packages tomorrow to put in my KTBH's. These bees are local and were shaken this evening. They will not have been exposed to their new queen until I put her in the hive with them...so I will be letting them release her. I don't want to hang the cage, based on all the probable crooked comb issues, so I would like to put the cage on the hive floor.

    Steve O, this might be a dumb question, but did you put the cage in first and then dump the bees on top or did you do the reverse of that?

    Ken
    Hi, Ken
    I put the queen in first. On the bottom of the hive in the back corner of the hive against the follower board(I'm a follower board junkie)
    ,with the candy end pointing out to the middle of the hive. Then dumped the bees in, and then worked the top bars on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,593

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    If the weather stays warm a queen cage on the bottom works fine. If the weather turns cold before she is released she will probably end up dead.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    31

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If the weather stays warm a queen cage on the bottom works fine. If the weather turns cold before she is released she will probably end up dead.
    Follow-up questions...I installed the two packages with the queen cages on the floor on Saturday morning. It has been warm so I think the queens should be fine. How long should I wait before checking to see if they have released the queens (and retrieve the hopefully empty cages)?

    If they haven't been released I will release them, BUT can you please tell me how that is done with plastic JZs BzS cages that they came in? Now I wish I had examined them more closely before installing the packages! There is a photo of the cage on this thread:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...bzs+queen+cage

    Thanks for all your help! I have read everything I could find for months and still feel a bit lost...and I admit, a bit squeamish about retrieving those cages from among all those bees!

    Ken

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Do you see the cap that's on the flat part of the cage, next to where the tube is.
    Pry that cap open.
    Four days won't hurt.
    It'll be ok. Put your gloves on and make sure you have plenty of room
    to get in and work when you go get the cage out.
    Most of the bees should be clustered up on the top bars.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    I installed my two 3# packages of bees with two queens/cages on the bottom of two hives Tuesday; the bees had only been with her for sixteen hours on a truck from Louisiana. It was pretty cold that night. I went out to look in the observation windows and the bees were all clustered from the top bar down to and over both of the queens (I think that that was what I was seeing... sure hope so.).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,593

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    >Follow-up questions...I installed the two packages with the queen cages on the floor on Saturday morning. It has been warm so I think the queens should be fine. How long should I wait before checking to see if they have released the queens (and retrieve the hopefully empty cages)?

    How quickly they release the queen varies a lot by humidity, the moisture in the candy, the enthusiasm of the bees in chewing it out etc. So they may get her out in two days or six days, but I'd say four is typical.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Follow-up questions...I installed the two packages with the queen cages on the floor on Saturday morning. It has been warm so I think the queens should be fine. How long should I wait before checking to see if they have released the queens (and retrieve the hopefully empty cages)?

    How quickly they release the queen varies a lot by humidity, the moisture in the candy, the enthusiasm of the bees in chewing it out etc. So they may get her out in two days or six days, but I'd say four is typical.
    Hmm, I thought two-three days max, so this morning I went out and opened the escape hatches on both of my queens and put them back on the bottom because they wouldn't come out immediately. Then after several hours of checking through the observation window and seeing the cages covered with bees, I got worried, finally took out the cages, let out all the bees, none being a queen, I figured they just liked the smell of the cage where the queen had been before. Wish I'd seen at least one of them come out. Hope one or both didn't fly away while I was putting the bars back in place on top.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    kind of like what bush said,since i cannot guarantee the temps or number of days i always hang my queens ,and i always will.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: methods of releasing your queen

    I don't have to worry about excessively cold weather here so I direct-released the queen putting the cages on the bottom. I saw that the queen was heading for the door as I (in no particular hurry) replaced the final top bar and closed up.

    (If it had been icy outside, Michael, and I had no choice but to do the install under such wretched conditions, do you think it would have worked to set the queen-cage, say, on a small block of wood on the floor? Or would a piece of string, say, been appropriate to keep the cage from direct contact with outside-facing boards?)

    I checked three days later "just to make sure," and that was unnecessary. The cages were lying on the bottom of the hive, empty and ignored. In fact, I accidentally moved the bar at the wrong end of the hive and caused a bit of brand-new comb to drop to the bottom. (I left it.) In retrospect I think I should have left the hive alone for several more days to let them build up more and stronger comb before doing anything at all. I could have "tapped" the bars to figure out which ones had comb or bees attached. Live and learn.

    Disclaimer: new-bee.

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