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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Releasing the Queen

    I am a first year beekeeper. I do not know anyone else with TBH in my area, so I am doing my best to get ready from books and the internet. I will be getting my package bees in less than a month. Everything I have read has said to leave the queen in her cage and just let the workers free her, at least until I started reading on here. I don't want to start off with bad comb, but I am worried about the workers balling the queen when they have not become accustomed to her, yet. Are there signs I need to look for in the package to make sure they won't kill her, or something else I might do to prevent any aggression towards her?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    In my experience, the bees will or won't stay, and releasing the queen directly has nothing to do with it. The quality of the queen, I think, has everything to do with it. Hanging the cage from the frames leads to combs that are messed up and one messed up comb leads to more messed up comb. I direct release the queen. Shake the bees in the bottom, pop the cork with your finger over it to block the queen, and lay the cage on top of the pile of bees on the bottom, and let go and put in the bars.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackage...thangqueencage
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    In my experience, the bees will or won't stay, and releasing the queen directly has nothing to do with it. The quality of the queen, I think, has everything to do with it. Hanging the cage from the frames leads to combs that are messed up and one messed up comb leads to more messed up comb. I direct release the queen. Shake the bees in the bottom, pop the cork with your finger over it to block the queen, and lay the cage on top of the pile of bees on the bottom, and let go and put in the bars.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackage...thangqueencage
    I was wondering if this procedure would be different for "new wood" hives? (A hive that has never held bees and has no drawn comb available in it)

    Is there something you would recommend to increase the likelihood of them staying? Obviously if the Queen is in the will stay longer and possibly decide the TBH isnt a bad place once the Queen is released, but at the risk of bad combs.

    Brett

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    I didn't think about the new hive aspect of things. Last month at the bee club they were talking about swarm traps and using essential oils to entice the bees to take up residence. Would lacing the hives with mint oil or lemon grass oil possibly encourage the package to set up residence?
    I have decided I am going to ask the local supplier I am getting my packages where exactly they are coming from and how long they most likely will be in the package before I ever see them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    Four drops of lemongrass essential oil will do much to keep a package in the hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    In a pinch (if like me you can't get lemon grass oil unless by special order) use a bruised stalk of lemon grass, only costs $1 or so in the produce section. :-)

    Rub it well on the walls and bars before you put the package in.

    Cheers, Thomas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    East Lansing Michigan USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Shake the bees in the bottom, pop the cork with your finger over it to block the queen, and lay the cage on top of the pile of bees on the bottom, and let go and put in the bars.

    How long to you then wait to retrieve the queen cage? Five minutes, an hour, a day?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,588

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    Since the bees have to build comb, it will take quite a while for the bees to get to the queen cage with the comb. You can leave it in there for a week or more. No rush.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    East Lansing Michigan USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Since the bees have to build comb, it will take quite a while for the bees to get to the queen cage with the comb. You can leave it in there for a week or more. No rush.
    I'm talking about a direct release.... the queen should be out of the cage immediately.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Releasing the Queen

    i install my packages an hour or two before sunset this way they don't have time to leave before it gets dark.some will start flying but that's OK. i also direct release my queens.by the morning they should have some comb built since you have a top bar hive you can put the feeder can inside over night.

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