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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kalispell, MT, USA
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    15

    Question Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    I have a 14"L x 4"D x 2"H wooden two-tier device with a welded-wire front with queen-excluder spacing. There are three 3/4" holes between the two tiers. Two of these holes are covered with wire-screen cones with 1-bee entrances. The cones prevent exit from the closable top tier. The third hole has a sliding metal cover. The bottom of the device is metal with two and a half 1.25" horseshoe-shaped holes offset toward the back and one end. There is a metal "wing" with small holes presumably for nails on each side of the device.

    Online there was a virtually identical device that was labeled a queen introducer from about 1930. I have no other info. This device was in the supplies of a very old beekeeper.

    Any insight you can give as to how it would have been used is very much appreciated. Here is a link to photobucket pics: http://s431.photobucket.com/user/kat...=recent&page=1

    Thanks! Kalispell Kathy from Montana
    Last edited by Kalispell Kathy; 08-19-2013 at 10:13 AM. Reason: added link to photobucket-couldn't make this upload work

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    It is not a queen introducer. It is sometimes called an Entrance guard and sometimes a Drone trap. The queen and the drones can't get in or out if it is put over the entrance.

    Similar (but not identical) devices are available now but they have been available for at least 125 years or more.

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/675/
    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Deta...32333033383339
    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merch...-186&ajax=true

    This one is from The Australasian Bee Manual (1886):
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/DroneTrap.jpg

    The reason it won't work as an introduction is that the workers can get through the excluder portion and that is what you need to prevent, while letting the bees get used to the queen, in order to introduce a queen.

    I'm not sure what the intent of the extra baffle in yours was, perhaps to prevent robbing?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kalispell, MT, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    Hard for me to believe this is just an entrance includer. Certainly the lower portion would function as such, but that leaves unexplained the "second story". That upper portion could function as a drone/queen trap, now that you mention it. Open that trap door and bees galore could enter but only workers could leave when the sliding cover was closed. I wonder whether they used the device to eliminate drones? Or to catch the queen when they swarmed?

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Queen-Bee-Trap
    I just found this post from Spruce Bee in March 2009: "Old time drone trap. People use to think an excess drone population ate significantly into the honey crop. The trap is upside down in the pictures. The drones couldn't get out through the queen excluder material and would climb up through the wire cones, being trapped in the upper chamber. At evening time, you would go out & remove the trap from the hive, open up the metal door in the top of the trap & shake the drones out to sucumb to the cold night. It would also prevent the old queen from leaving with a swarm, but not virgins. Yikes! This post kind of dates me! I was a real young'in back then. It was real fun playing with all of those drones & scaring the living you know what out of my older sister's friends!: SPRUCEBEE"

    Now we know!
    Last edited by Kalispell Kathy; 08-19-2013 at 01:21 PM. Reason: New information found on site.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Default Re: Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    Apparently you solved the mystery.

    I agree it seems over complicated. However the "drone trap" picture (link above) from "The Australasian Bee Manual" by Hopkins (which I think is the same engraving as in "The Bee-Keeper's Handy Book" by Alley) also appears to have two stories, I assume for the same reasons you gave above.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kalispell, MT, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    Thanks for your help solving that, Michael. It was interesting and fun, and educational. Sure shows how we love to think we can improve on nature.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Vintage Queen Introducer-How is it used?

    I have two or three of those old drone traps. I got them with a bunch of used gear. I figured they could be useful if you got into I.I. and wanted to collect drones.

    Adam

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