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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
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    815

    Default first time queen castle use

    Two days ago I went into my best hive (production and gentleness) to collect the existing queen and use her to requeen an aggressive hive and then let the 1st hive build queen cells.

    Well, too late. I knew one of my hives had recently swarmed but wasn't sure which one. It was this one. I found frames that have capped queen cells on them, couldn't find any queen. I quick got my new Brushy Mnt queen castle set up and put a frame of capped queen cells (2 cells were on each frame) and a frame of honey/pollen and it's adhering bees into 2 sections. None of the frames were as packed with bees as I'd like. I set up two sections of the castle this way.

    Later I put a piece of tape over the entrances and have the box on bricks for ventilation. Yesterday I tried shaking bees from a different hive into one of the castles after misting with sugar syrup. That narrow area, seems more bees flew out or missed than went in.

    As the cells are already capped, do I need to be concerned about amount of bees in there at this point?
    Can I remove the tape today?
    Any easier way of adding bees in the future?

    I'm expecting some failure with this being my first try at my own queen rearing. Any advice is appreciated.

    My area has a very good flow on right now and it should continue for another couple weeks if a storm doesn't ruin it. My strong hives have drawn and half filled medium supers in about 1 week time. All my hives have plenty of drones.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Good Luck with the storm, hope it just brings moderate rain and winds at the worst. Would rather see it just fizzle out. Had a local just tell me how they set their hive ups when storm are targeting the area so the bees might escape and the hive are still in place when the water leaves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,846

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    When I am adding bees to my castle I am only expecting the nurse bees to remain. the foragers can make their way back home. I like to add capped brood fraems with the bees that are on it. I then feed the compartment.
    I also do not move queen cells to the compartment. I incubate them and add emerged virgins later. So I suppose my easier way to transfer bees is to do it while they are still in their cells. It takes far fewer bees to tend to a virgin than it does a queen cell. There is far less chance of robbing when the compartment does nto have much to be robbed of. and by the time the queen has emerged, been introduced and mated the compartment is busting at the seams with bees.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    A pity you lost you best queen, but very lucky to have caught the new queens in their cells. If the frames had older capped brood (Dark caps) then they should start emerging soon, this will boost the populations. How many frames of Bees/brood did you add to each section? More than one and you should be OK. As you say you added honey and pollen so I would be inclined to leave it all well alone. Do your math and work out when your first inspection should be, You can always add more brood/bees then if needed.

    Stephen
    Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    There wasn't much capped brood left on the frames with queen cells. The tips were dark so it won't be long for them to emerge. I will take the tape off tomorrow in hope of keeping foragers. One frame of remaining brood, one of honey/pollen. Maybe 300 bees each. I have it right outside my patio door and will be watching carefully for robbing.

    I will leave it alone for a week at least, right? When I do go in, I could move the divider boards and add brood frames to each side as I've only used 2 sections at this time. I will make more queens in spring. I'm only making them for my own hives which I have about 28 including nuks.

    Yes I was pretty bummed that my good queen was gone.
    Thanks for the replys.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    Had a local just tell me how they set their hive ups when storm are targeting the area so the bees might escape and the hive are still in place when the water leaves.
    Last year at this time we had a hurricane headed our way and I put a cinder block on top of each hive. My hive stands are also cinder blocks, 2 high for each hive so I don't have to bend so much. I'm in Lehigh Acres which is a bit inland, and our elevation is 30 ft above sea level. We get some flooding but so far nothing serious. It was the wind I was most concerned about.

    The storm coming now will miss us, though we might get a bunch of rain which ruins the nectar flow.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Since you are on the flow, you have better chances of your castle keeping it together (and not getting robbed out). You could possibly add another frame of emerging bees once the virgins emerge if you feel they are too light on population.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    I took the tape off today and in the section I'd added bees about 100+ came piling out and are now orientating. I guess my attempt to add bees worked better than I thought.

    The other section where I did not add bees, only 20 or so came out slowly. I think I will put the tiny entrance to even smaller, one or 2 bee size.

    I will still add a frame of capped/emerging brood if inspection looks good to keep it populated.
    I'm anxious for the time when I will know if either section makes it to produce a laying queen.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,194

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Those boxes look very useful.

    Are they unique to Bushy Mountain or do others carry them?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Thank you for the update and please post some pictures of the final product.

    Solid rain here for the last couple of days and probably 2-3 weeks until we get snow. Getting ready for winter is definitely not as exciting as raising queens.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Walter Kelley has this version:

    http://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/21/Qu...069/Mating-Box

    I like the Brushy as it has the adjustable size. I can easily increase by removing the dividers.
    I didn't look at any mini nuks because I want full size frames.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Quote Originally Posted by merince View Post
    Solid rain here for the last couple of days and probably 2-3 weeks until we get snow. Getting ready for winter is definitely not as exciting as raising queens.
    I"m from central Wisconsin and I know well the rainy cold falls and harsh winters. Beautiful fall colors though.
    Yes I will post pics with my first sucess. Thanks!
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    I made a 4 sided funnel to shake my bees into nucs. it just sticks into the nuc. Just a squirt of sugar water and most stay in the box. I made it of about 1/8 inch wood with slick counter material on 1 side..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Quote Originally Posted by BGhoney View Post
    I made a 4 sided funnel to shake my bees into nucs. it just sticks into the nuc. Just a squirt of sugar water and most stay in the box. I made it of about 1/8 inch wood with slick counter material on 1 side..
    BGhoney, do you happen to have a picture of it?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    There wasn't much capped brood left on the frames with queen cells.
    I would be a little concerned about the fact that there are not many capped brood on the frames with the queen cells. The queen will emerge at about 16 day....where workers will emerge at 21 days. So the frames with queen cells on them should have "some"(maybe even a significant amount) workers on them that will not emerge for around 5 days after the queen.

    Good luck

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    If not too late, inspect closely where your dividers fit into the dados. I attempted a 3 way castle a couple different times this year only to find one queen for 3 sections versus 3 in 3 sections. A virgin queen can slip through the smallest of cracks it seems and kill the remaining cells. Im not a big fan of the castles and will just use single nucs from here on out.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    BG, that sounds pretty useful. I'd also like a pic if you have one.

    NewJoe, the frames with the capped cells were dark tipped already.

    Well I brought home a frame covered with bees from my trap out (12 mls away) and moved the divider, added the bees after spraying with sugar water into the section that had the least amount of bees. Seeing it was open, I checked those cells. This is all still a learning process for me. On two, the sides were ripped open. There was a third cell but I didn't flip the frame up to see if a queen had emerged from it. Sides were intact.

    K9, When I got the castle ready I was real careful about getting the dividers in properly. I think they are ok because the middle of the castle had no bees in it. Thanks for the warning.

    I had robbing problems yesterday. In the afternoon I saw it starting and so I re-closed the openings until today. I opened when I put in the frame of bees, both sections now open. I also made 2- 6" high robber screens and covered the entrances of both sections. I don't know what it is about that spot, it's the same place I tried starting queens with queen cells and bees in 4 frame boxes. Failed 2, maybe 3 times now.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    I have a successful queen! I lost one of the sections early on. I'd seen that the cells were tore down when I added the frame of brood and bees, thought there was one viable cell left but wasn't sure.

    The other section (is the whole unit a queen castle, or each section called a castle?) even with it's smaller numbers I could see it was doing ok all along. I'd seen lots of drones in the timeframe a queen was to emerge, and the following week again, lots of drones.

    I stayed out til yesterday and as I'm leaving for 10 days I had to go in and check, and there she was, a big beautiful queen and I believe I saw larvae too. I didn't have my phone ready for pics.

    What I'd like to do is make a #8 piece screen the same size as dividers, then take the 4 frames of bees/honey I pulled from a trapout that have no queen, put that on one side of screen and the 2 frames with the queen on the other. Leave it for a week or so, then pull the screen. It's the only queen I will deal with til spring. I am thrilled that I got one out of two on my first try!

    I think this robber screen is what saved me:
    http://www.beekeepingforums.com/thre...-moving-screen
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,846

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    Congrats Bev, It took me over 100 queen cells to get my first 20 queens. Long story behind that I will just say I was scrambling to put things together and scrambling is not suited to queen rearing. When I did finally get it together 1 out of 2 was the best I ever did as far as mated productive queens. They are all now in colonies making babies for winter.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: first time queen castle use

    It is an amazing feeling, isn't it! Congratulations and don't forget to document the occasion! I would love to see a pic

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