Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    84

    Default What if the queen escapes early?

    I just installed my first package of bees on Saturday. The queen was in a cage by herself and there was a cork only on one end. I pulled the cork out and replaced it with a mini marshmallow, but now (of course) I'm second guessing how well I did it. I'm worried I didn't push the marshmallow in enough and that she'll escape today instead of on Thursday or Friday if the marshmallow is loose and falls out or something. Do I need to worry about that kind of thing or is it a pretty unreasonable "newbie" fear? If she escapes today (or even yesterday) will all of the other bees just kill her?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    Not necessarily. Was the queen cage inside the package? If they were shipped together, the bees are already used to her.
    Circus peanut candy is a good candy to use in a queen cage. The cage should have had candy in it when you got it, and the queen should have had 3 to 5 attendants in the cage with her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    I think they're doing things differently now... or at least some suppliers are. My neighbor received a package from the same supplier as me... and a friend of mine picked up a package from someone different. None of them came with attendants. The queen was by herself in the cage and only one side of the cage had a pre-drilled hole and it was corked up. No candy. My friend's queen cage had instructions that said "replace cork with marshmallow", but my queen cage didn't say anything. The only instructions on MY package were stapled to the outside and it said "To ensure the acceptance of the queen, we are recommending you don't install the package until Sunday afternoon or Monday".

    Just to clarify, though... if the bees were packaged with the queen on Friday and then picked up by me on Saturday, will they have accepted her by then?

    Either way, I DID replace the cork with a marshmallow so that will give them an additional day or two (at least) to accept her. That's plenty of time, right?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    I would have just let her go. They don't need any time.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    The lack of attendant thing must be new. Both packages I got this year from two different apiaries had queens w/out attendants. They did have candy plugs though.

    I think you'll be just fine. Bees sense w/in a few hours that they are queenless and begin to look for a solution to the situation. If the marshmallow didn't fall out when you placed the cage in the hive then, chances are, it didn't fall out. I'd go ahead and check now and, if it is still there, just remove it and let the queen walk out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    I've never had a package with a queen cage that had attendants. Maybe some package producers do, but none I've ever done business with have.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I've never had a package with a queen cage that had attendants. Maybe some package producers do, but none I've ever done business with have.

    Been a few years since i purchased packages, but all came with candy filled queen cages with at least 4 attendants in with the queen. I just purchased a queen from a beekeeper that lives 55 miles from me. He dropped her off at a farm store for me to pick up. She had 4 attendants and candy in her cage.


    My nuc had been queenless for over a week, so I direct released her because of low temps and she is fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: What if the queen escapes early?

    I installed my first package ever, last Sunday and having read Michael Bush's book, I went with opening the Queen cage and installing her right into the hive after dumping the package of bees in. A week later I have some nice comb and eggs in them!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads