How to store a Queen
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default How to store a Queen

    I accomplished my first requeening the other day. My weakest 2013 Nuc wasn't progressing, although I had larvae and sealed brood. The laying pattern was terrible. My 5-frame nuc had expanded to 6 of 8 frames in a single deep over the last 2.5 months. I found the old queen (I thought I had marked her, so this one might have been a supersedure) and caged her with 3 attendants (the bees that I scooped in with her). I put the new queen (caged) in her place. The old queen was placed in an incubator at 93 degree/34% humidity with a dish of water off to the side to help keep humidity up (actually raise the humidity). I was thinking I might create a mini nuc and see if she matures as a better layer, or maybe I pulled a supersedure too early to see that she may have been fine. They are all dead when I checked after 6 hours.

    What did I do wrong?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Caledonia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    I had the samething happen earlier in the summer. I determined that maybe it was to warm at 94. I turned the temp down to 84. I made sure she had enough attendants and some sort of food and put a drop of water once a day. I have had no problem since then keeping a caged queen for a coupe of days. I am still not 100% sure that it was the 94 temp but that's what it is looking like. Hopefully some of the more experienced members will chime in with there thoughts.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    I was taught that Queen Cells should be in an incubator at 92.5 deg. If that is correct, that has me wondering how long a queen can survive after she emerges. How often will I have to check the incubator. Anybody have any experience here. A caged queen cell won't have any attendants.

    At $35'ish, I don't have a problem picking up a second incubator, if I need one at 92.5 deg and the other at 84 deg.

    I am hoping for corrections and/or insight soonest because I should have a few queen cells ready for the incubator in about 13 days.

    I guess I can validate your 84 deg theory by putting a few workers in a cage and see how they survive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,557

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    You can store a queen in a cage with 5 or so attendants in the darkness on the top shelf in your closet. Give them candy or marshmellows and give water spray a couple times a day. In the incubator it's too hot at queen cell temps. The bees themselves generate heat once emerged. Just like you are a little over heated at daytime temps of 95F but yet you were incubated inside mother at 98.6

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Caledonia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    BeeHiveGuy, I have never had a problem with virgins hatching out and dying at incubator temps. I usually try to get the cells in mating nucs on day 14 (day 10 ish grafting date) but due to bad weather I have let them hatch out in the hair roller cages. I put some crystallized honey in the bottom and I have watched them hatch and go right to the honey and eat. The longest I have had them in the incubator after hatching is about 48 hrs, however the sooner you can get them in the nucs the better!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    Hmm, I am assuming the queen she pulled out of the hive was full-grown and not in a cell.

    I took a small cardboard box and cut out the sides and top. Then I attached #8 hardware cloth to the cardboard box to cover the holes on the sides. I have another cardboard box, close in size, and I cut the bottom out of it so it would fit over the first cardboard box. This is now a two part lid/ box. Then I placed a small wad of candy sugar, a small wet sponge (close to one of the open hardware cloth edges, so I can reach it with a syringe/ needle to rewet from the outside without opening the box), and a pile of honey. The caged queen is placed in the box and her attendants are free-flying in the box with access to all the aforementioned necessities for a happy, fed queen.

    This Queen Castle "lives" in my quiet closet until I can figure out the best re-queening option for my currently queenless hive.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    Creekside - Is your incubator around 92.5 deg? How about the humidity? I had a mature queen that died in less than 6 hours. Do you think food (candy) and drops of water would have made the difference? Your newly emerged last up past 48 hours. Are they surviving on something from the cell? Do you somehow leave some food/water for them for when they merge?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    RayMarler - Thanks, good points all around. What temp do you think is OK for the 'Storing the Mature Queen' situation. Creekside recommends 84 deg and SunnyR2000 recommends room temp which I guess is 72 deg. You had a good point about 'dark'. I need to cover the observation window in my incubator.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: How to store a Queen

    SunnyR2000 - Thank you for the insight. Yes, the queen was full grown. A few questions so that I get close to getting this right the first time... 1) I assume your 'quiet closet' was around 72 degrees? 2) About how many attendants? 3) How long do you project you can keep her in the box? 4) If you swap out attendants periodically, how long?

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