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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,325

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    You'd need an awfully large cluster of queenless bees to get any comb built, if then. But with a good queen, it's amazing how small of a cluster can still build comb. If they were my bees, I'd strongly suspect that they were queenless - do whatever I could to verify my suspicions, then correct it, ASAP.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    You'd need an awfully large cluster of queenless bees to get any comb built, if then. But with a good queen, it's amazing how small of a cluster can still build comb. If they were my bees, I'd strongly suspect that they were queenless - do whatever I could to verify my suspicions, then correct it, ASAP.

    How would an individual find the queen in a cluster of bees? Shake them off into the bottom of the hive and look closely? Are there other behaviors I can key in on for them being possibly queenless?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Not much you can do but get a queen in a cage and see how they react. I've installed packages into fixed frame warre hives with weather the same as yours. According to notes, in one week they had 2-3 combs drawn the length of top bars and half way down the box. In three weeks the whole 8 frame box was full of comb. There was a flow on though. I also let them release the queen over three days.

    Contact your supplier and see if you can get a replacement queen. Even w/out a flow they would be eager to draw comb if you had the sugar water available. Can they get to the feed when it is cold at night?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    I have contacted the supplier and they are going to send another queen. I was a bit concerned when they clustered away from the queen the first night. They clustered around her during the evening. The next morning I peaked in the window to make sure they were still there and saw the queen cage with only a couple bees and the bees clustered back towards the feeder. She was still alive and I hand released her because I panicked. Probably should have just moved her back to the cluster in her cage. Maybe she was rejected before it even started? They didn't ball her when I put her under the cluster, but they didn't really react at all that I could see. I was most interested in getting it closed before she could fly off though.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Sounds like a bum queen.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Yeah, bum queen. They would not leave her like that. When I installed in my warres (w/ windows), I placed the queen cage in the center on the top bars of the bottom box w/ screen facing up. The cluster formed in the top box hanging from the top bars and stretching down to the queen cage. They stayed around the cage even when it dropped to freezing at night until she was released. This is how I knew when to remove the cages--when the cluster was no longer in contact with the cage. The fact that they left her at night suggests she had an issue.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    This time place the cage close enough that the cluster can maintain contact w/ the feed device and the cage when cold out.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Thanks all! Queen will be in the mail Monday. Supposed to be rainy and cruddy the next few days so if they didn't go find new hives today in the 80 degree heat, hopefully they will be around for the new queen.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Should I do anything special to introduce the new queen? Should I leave it corked for a day vs. exposing the candy/marshmallow right away so they can get used to her a bit vs. giving them access to chew her out and possibly kill her before being properly introduced?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    The bees do not know this queen. You need a gradual introduction. Preferably one that takes about four days. But it's also helpful to not bother them during that time. Candy would work well. I don't know what you will get but usually a queen shipped by herself has some kind of candy that can then be used for the release by exposing it on the outside.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The bees do not know this queen. You need a gradual introduction. Preferably one that takes about four days. But it's also helpful to not bother them during that time. Candy would work well. I don't know what you will get but usually a queen shipped by herself has some kind of candy that can then be used for the release by exposing it on the outside.
    The queen I got originally was in one of those really small cages (California Mini) by herself. I popped the cover off of the hole expecting candy and she almost walked out before I could get my thumb over the hole. If she comes like that again (no candy), is there anything I can plug the hole with that will take a longer period of time to chew/eat through? I'm assuming a marshmallow doesn't take long for the bees to clear out.
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 04-14-2014 at 01:48 PM.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RymOwqkQzN4

    I haven't done this, so I'm trusting Don not to steer you wrong.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    A marshmallow is better than nothing. They sell a little black tube that can be filled with candy that you can put in the hole. A push in cage over emerging brood is by far the most reliable method I know of for introducing a queen.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#pushincage
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...htm#pushincage
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/QueenConfinement5.jpg
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesdoolitt...#ValuableQueen
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RymOwqkQzN4

    I haven't done this, so I'm trusting Don not to steer you wrong.
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    A marshmallow is better than nothing. They sell a little black tube that can be filled with candy that you can put in the hole. A push in cage over emerging brood is by far the most reliable method I know of for introducing a queen.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#pushincage
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...htm#pushincage
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/QueenConfinement5.jpg
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesdoolitt...#ValuableQueen
    No comb, unfortunately. Would it be better to leave the cage corked for a couple of days and then remove the cork and candy the hole or better to go candy from the get-go and avoid having to handle the cage/open the hive again?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Candy is usually the best bet. I worry more about disrupting them by opening again than about the shorter time. Still I would prefer four days.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Michael, on packages you free release, or at least sometimes you free release. How long do you recommend the bees be with the queen if you plan on free releasing. The reason I ask is that I'm getting a package that supposedly will have been made up in the previous 24 hours. That seems like too short a time to free release.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Candy is usually the best bet. I worry more about disrupting them by opening again than about the shorter time. Still I would prefer four days.
    So the idea is that you get enough candy that it takes them enough time to eat through. Is there someway to quantify "how much"?

    I just made some of the queen candy that Don made in youtube video a few posts ago. It's basically fondont consistency. Any idea how much for 3-4 day release? An inch? I do not have one of those extended tubes so I will have to rig something up somehow.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Weird. I'm not sure what kind of cage you have. Normally I've seen the wooden cage (Benton cage) with three holes cut into it that allow the queen and attendants to have room and holes in the end for entrance/exits and the JZ cages. I know there are other kinds, but I've not seen queens come in them. You will have to improvise something. I know on the Benton you would want to fill one of the holes up and that would be good, that is they way they come from the bee folks.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Weird. I'm not sure what kind of cage you have. Normally I've seen the wooden cage (Benton cage) with three holes cut into it that allow the queen and attendants to have room and holes in the end for entrance/exits and the JZ cages. I know there are other kinds, but I've not seen queens come in them. You will have to improvise something. I know on the Benton you would want to fill one of the holes up and that would be good, that is they way they come from the bee folks.
    The last one was in a california mini queen cage. It's about the size of thr first two nuckles on your index finger. This next one will be coming in the mail, though... I'm hoping it will have one of the bigger cages with attendants. But only because I'd feel better. Not for any real reason.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: Clustering/Festooning on "honey bars"

    Gotcha, I received a queen in one of those, but it had an extension on it.

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