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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
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    81

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    That is great advice. So there is no need to rush the queen if we know these tricks.
    I'll remember that. Then I won't have to install her at night. LOL.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,333

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you put the cage in a box with workers and refresh the workers every week you can keep them caged for months.
    Why is it necessary to replace the workers each week? Do you put in new capped brood with attached bees or just put in a scoop of bees?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    I strongly recommend making up some Laidlaw queen introduction cages.

    These are made up from 3/4" x 7/8" (19 mm x 22 mm) sticks of wood into a rectangle 6" x 8" x 7/8" (150 mm x 204 mm x 22 mm) outside dimension (that's 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 7/8" inside dimension). Cut two strips of sheet metal 11" x 1" (~280mm x 25 mm), 20 guage works well, but 18 and 24 will also work, if your staple gun goes through it. Bend them 90 degrees to fit the inside hole (my metric numbers are approximate - the 2 metal strips should be bent 90 degrees to fit the inside rectangle and the corners should touch, rendering a closed rectangle) . Staple or nail them onto the inside surface so that 3/8" (10 mm) metal hangs down below the wood. Cut some #8 hardware cloth 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" (14 mm x 19 mm) to cover the top of the rectangular hole, and staple it on.

    I tried making the metal strip one piece, but two pieces are much easier to get square, level and fitted to the inside. Either way, the metal should go all the way around the inside, and it should protrude down 3/8 of an inch (about 1 cm) below the bottom of the rectangle.

    You can staple a thin strip of wood over the frame when attaching the hardware cloth if your wish, more work, but makes it a little bit neater appearance.

    I like this size because it fits easily onto a deep or a medium frame, and 28 of them stack neatly into my Miller-type hive top feeder for winter storage.

    Take a frame of comb that is good and flat, mostly (~90%) empty cells, but some honey and pollen on it, brush all the bees off, place the new foreign queen onto the comb and cover her with the Laidlaw cage, pushing the metal into the comb and bottoming out on the wood.

    There are no candy holes in a Laidlaw cage, the beekeeper does the releasing, not the bees. If the bees form a ball over the Laidlaw cage, they are attacking her because she has not yet been accepted. They will try to kill her, but the 7/8" (22 mm) depth will keep them from ripping off a wing or leg, or stinging her. The width of the wood plus metal strip prevents them from digging under the cage to kill her. If they dig under the wood, they get frustrated by the metal and give up.

    After she starts laying some eggs, her pheromone level comes way up, the bees will stop forming an attack ball, and you will see them feeding her instead. Now you can release her, because she has been accepted. It often takes longer than the 2 or 3 days the candy lasts - it may take up to a week or longer. The Laidlaw cage gives her a chance to get started laying, and thus accepted.

    I usually get 100% acceptance rates with these Laidlaw queen introduction cages. Mostly only poorly-mated, or damaged queens get rejected with Laidlaw cages.

    There is now a queen intro frame in the catalogs that has a holder for a California queen cage or a 3-hole queen cage and screen-covered comb section, but that is a lot more work to build and a lot more bulk to store, and it is not easy to get the comb drawn out properly. I find the Laidlaw cage is still the most practical, and still gives the best results for introducing mated or I.I. queens.

    The Laidlaw cage is NOT used to introduce virgin queens.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-18-2014 at 11:19 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,836

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Using this Laidlaw queen intro cage, how long the queen has to stay inside before she can be
    released or take the cage off the comb?
    I luv bee source!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Do not release a queen that is being attacked! Attacking bees form a ball over the queen in the cage. Give her a few more days.

    When there is no ball, and they are feeding her, release her. Not before this.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,836

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Give her a few more days.
    By a few more days, you mean when they all stopped balling her you mean?
    You think this may take 1 or 2 weeks time or sooner before that?
    I luv bee source!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    It depends on the queen, and probably the weather, too. Some queens take longer than others to begin laying eggs. Dr. Harry Laidlaw let some go as long as a month, and it resulted in a good queen! She has to start laying, and she needs some pollen, or rather bee bread, and some honey. It always seems to help queen intro to feed the colony some thin (1:1) sugar water syrup. I give them a pollen patty, too.

    If she's poorly mated, her pattern will be a bit spotty, and it will take longer. Usually, as soon as there are some fat grubs ready to be capped, they've stopped balling her and have accepted her.

    Cool weather can delay things, too. It has to be warm for her to begin laying.

    Either way, LOOK AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT BALLING HER, AND THAT THEY HAVE ACCEPTED HER BEFORE RELEASING HER.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-18-2014 at 10:38 AM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,311

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    >Why is it necessary to replace the workers each week? Do you put in new capped brood with attached bees or just put in a scoop of bees?

    If the bees are confined they need to find a way to defecate. You can tell by the smell that they need to be repelaced... I'm talking about a box with bees and a queen. Cardboard, wood, plastic, doesn't matter as long as it can breath and there is some candy and a source for water (or periodic water provided). If you put them in a free flying nuc that is queenless you can keep them indefinitely and there is no need to replace any of them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to let you know that my queen has been accepted. I looked in on them Saturday morning, and she was out on the comb with all the bees. It looked a lot like adulation to me. LOL. I was pretty lucky. The way I did it was risky.
    Thanks!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.



    Good enough, jrose! I'm happy for you and the girls.

    It would still be a good idea to go make up an appropriate number of Laidlaw cages for next time around. Queens are going for about $25 and up out here nowadays, so I always use a queen muff, and I almost always use Laidlaw cages. The exception is when I actually want them to raise cells from another hive. This only happens in an out yard when I don't have any Laidlaw cages on hand, or no fresh mated queens, but mostly when I want to change the genetics of a colony because I'm trying to eliminate a specific trait. In that case, I kill all the drones, all the drone cells, and remove the queen (she gets caged and banked) and loan them some brood comb with eggs from the desired colony.

    Staying a good number of mated queens ahead is a better strategy, as bees raising their own queen cells don't gather much honey nor pollen for a while, and their numbers go down before coming back up a month later. They often miss the important part of the main nectar flow, so just buying a mated, laying queen is far preferable to a "walk-away split" or a brood-loan re-queening scheme. You save several important weeks in the spring time.

    It occurs to me that any beekeeper with more than, say, 4 colonies probably ought to make up a queen bank frame and some queen cages to fit in that queen bank. A Cloake board would not be a bad idea, either, as now you have a setup that can be quickly arranged for banking queens whenever you needed them.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Thumbs Up Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Hey everyone,
    Now she is laying eggs! That one went great. I have two other hives that have queen problems now. I am definitely going to learn more about that queen bank. I have 6 hives and it seems that one will be struggling for a queen at any given point.
    I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your advice.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Just one forewarning - banking queens is not natural - it is best not to do it for more than two months (I prefer much less). Put them into nucs with a frame's worth of bees from their own colony if possible as soon as you can. These are now Increaser Colonies. If you need to re-queen a colony, do a newspaper combine of an Increaser colony over the stronger queenless hive. This keeps the queens laying eggs and happy, while still available to re-queen any colony that needs it. You get the added benefit of more increasing colonies.

    But, it really does help to have a queen bank handy when you suddenly end up with too many queen cells and not enough nucs or mating boxes ready!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    I see your point. I really want to be as natural as possible. The first step will probably be to buy about four of five nucs.
    I love to see a laying queen! I have one hive with about five brood frames. It would be great to get them in good shape for the big tulip poplar flow. I saw a post that the poplars are blooming in northwest Georgia about 130 miles south of us now. Well, one hive is definitely about to boom!
    Thanks again!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    BTW, a simple queen bank is just a somewhat wide frame with shelves on it to hold a bunch of queen cages. Combined with a Cloake board, you keep the strong queen bank colony's Mama Queen out and can make the upstairs bees queenless in less than 10 seconds. I'd leave them queenless for about 2 hours, then place the queen bank frame in above the Cloake board.

    The easiest queen cages to make are Alley cages - a square block of wood 2" x 2" x 7/8" with a 1 1/2" diameter hole drilled in the middle, covered with #8 hardware cloth. CAREFULLY drill a 7/16" diameter sideways release hole. It will need a cork to plug the release hole, and the same can be plugged with candy if you want a timed release (I don't trust candy release - Laidlaw cages are far better).

    So, if making up 2" square Alley cages, make your shelves 2 1 /16" wide. I put 1/4" hardware cloth on one side so the cages don't fall out as easily, and a small lip on the front of the shelf. The spacing of the shelves needs to be such that you can get your fingers in to take out a cage.

    Other queen cage designs work, too, and you can customize the widths of the shelves. If you start a really large queen operation, you may try to really pack some queens in there, but better success is usually obtained by us small guys keeping the number of queens down a bit - say two shelves of up to 15 queens. I prefer to keep the queen bank population down to 30 queens, but a good strong colony can bank much more than that, especially for a short period, like a few days.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Thanks for the information. That is a lot to digest. I really do want to grow and have a queen bank. This year I'm going to learn more about nucs. Then I can borrow from them for my hives. Next year I will learn more about queens. I have a queen that is really laying the eggs. If I could breed off of her that would be great. I split that hive earlier this year and then borrowed a couple of frames later and she is still laying on two levels (supers). LOL.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,836

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Why would you want to wait another year to learn about queens?
    You can do both at the same time because they are both related.
    Do you really think it takes 2 seasons to learn them separately?
    I luv bee source!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Thumbs Up Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Well, it took me 11 years to get a four year degree. LOL.
    I guess I'm a little intimidated by the queen thing. I do want to learn it.
    They indeed are related. I need to read up on it and watch a few videos.
    I will still have lot of questions, but thanks for urging me to not wait.
    I actually need two queens right now.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    BTW, a simple queen bank is just a somewhat wide frame with shelves on it to hold a bunch of queen cages. Combined with a Cloake board, you keep the strong queen bank colony's Mama Queen out and can make the upstairs bees queenless in less than 10 seconds. I'd leave them queenless for about 2 hours, then place the queen bank frame in above the Cloake board.

    The easiest queen cages to make are Alley cages - a square block of wood 2" x 2" x 7/8" with a 1 1/2" diameter hole drilled in the middle, covered with #8 hardware cloth. CAREFULLY drill a 7/16" diameter sideways release hole. It will need a cork to plug the release hole, and the same can be plugged with candy if you want a timed release (I don't trust candy release - Laidlaw cages are far better).

    So, if making up 2" square Alley cages, make your shelves 2 1 /16" wide. I put 1/4" hardware cloth on one side so the cages don't fall out as easily, and a small lip on the front of the shelf. The spacing of the shelves needs to be such that you can get your fingers in to take out a cage.

    Other queen cage designs work, too, and you can customize the widths of the shelves. If you start a really large queen operation, you may try to really pack some queens in there, but better success is usually obtained by us small guys keeping the number of queens down a bit - say two shelves of up to 15 queens. I prefer to keep the queen bank population down to 30 queens, but a good strong colony can bank much more than that, especially for a short period, like a few days.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
    Thanks so much for posting this information.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  19. #39

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Thanks so much for posting this information.
    Banking queens is not WISE, it is just for emergency situations. A queen should be in a (normal) hive as soon as possible(= in max a week).
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Hi Juhani,
    What would you say is the smallest population you could have in a nuc? Your post reads, "isolation mated queens". How does that work?
    I'm only asking because I know very little about queen rearing. LOL.

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