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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,583

    Default mini queen holding cages at work

    I thought to share this method I am using right now.
    Today I found 4 capped qcs so I mini cage them all. Before I caged them
    2-3 days within the emerging date. Now I cage them at the capping date to see.
    I think as long as the cages got covered with bees they should be o.k.
    Here are some pics to share.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    Are those home made mini cages? If this works it's a great idea. Is this the first time you capped them this early.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    My first experiment work out beautifully. All 4 virgin queens in the same hive got saved. The worker bees don't normally
    chew under the combs to release the virgins. Perhaps they are too happy just to see the queen hatched.
    They just fed them through the screen wire. I track them so on the 16 days I will do a hive check to take them out.
    Yes, this is my new experiment to cage them this early after capping today. Yesterday they are still uncap when I did a hive
    check. Eight more days to go. Yes, they are home made from window screen and pink plastic foam with toothpicks to hold everything in.
    Cheap and simple to make. Doesn't matter if it is natural wax or plastic foundation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
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    18

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    Thanks for the info. Make sure to let us know how thinks turned out in 8 or 9 days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    Sure will!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    This is a great technique beepro. I really like the use of the screen and the foam and the tooth picks. Awesome. We have some shishkebab skewers at the house and for various non shishkebab related things they have saved the day many times like those toothpicks are here. I'll have to keep my eye out for some pink foam and tooth picks and add them to my bee supplies. Nice Job!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Sure will!
    I hadn't heard how things had turned out. Were you successful?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    My experiment only 50/50 successful that 2 cells got chewed out by the worker bees.
    I only caged 4 cells. But 2 got hatched fine. I found out that the plastic foundation on
    the black older combs are better to use because the worker bees cannot chew under the harder
    wax combs. But the new soft combs they can easily chew thru to ruined the cells.
    Because I mini caged them at the time of capping, it gave them more chance to ruined the cells.
    I think if I cage them at 2-3 days before hatching then on the 4th day I can go in to remove the
    virgin queen better. This will ensure a more successful hatch like I did before with no casualty.
    Can you think of an improved version of this mini queen cage so the worker bees cannot chew
    under the wax before maturity?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    The only modification that immediately comes to mind to address the issues you had, would to cut a small strip of aluminum flashing to form a ring slightly larger then your mini queen cage, that could be pushed all the way down to the plastic foundation. (another alternative would be to cut a 1/2 to 1 inch cylinder from old plastic pill vial to place around the queen cages). This would prevent the workers from chewing under the cages and distroying the queen cells. I am not sure that changing the day you cage them by only a day or so would make a hugh difference, but it might, as there would be less time for the workers to chew under the cages.

    All and all, 50% success rate is not to bad for a simple, low tech, low cost way to raise additional queens.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    Very good improvement there. How about a 1" pvc with teeth to duct tape the mini screen
    on top. Or spread the screen wider at the bottom to cover more comb space.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: mini queen holding cages at work

    That would work as well, just is thicker and would damage more cone and may not hold as well due to added wt. If you did teeth on the bottom, would want to make sure they are not large enough that workers could find a way under them. If you do PVC or the pill vial, you may be able to simply modify your mini queen cages so that the screen attaches directly to the plastic or PVC at it's base (glue or duct tape?). Then you would simply need to push it into the comb, down to the foundation and anchor it with tooth picks if needed.

    IMHO, I don't think that making the screens wider would solve the problem of workers chewing under the wire to distroy the cell. If anything, would increase the surface area for them to find a weaker area to chew under the screen .

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