When to remove the queen cage
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Melrose Park, IL, USA
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    Default When to remove the queen cage

    I installed two packages on Saturday. I've read to check that the queen has been released in three days and I've also read to keep out of the hive for ten days. Which is correct?
    ks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wimer, Oregon
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    88

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    read this sticky
    some people like 3-4 days, others release right away, all depends ow you feel.
    DavidZ

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    1,701

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    Both are correct check in 3 days release the queen if not out yet DO NOTHING ELSE AT THAT TIME. Check for eggs a week later. and please don't take forever to do that little chore.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,228

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    I tell my mentees to make sure the queen has been released and remove the empty cage around day four. Do not try to find her and stay the heck out of the hive for another two weeks. Unfortunately, this advise is based on very limited personal experience and more conjecture than anything.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,550

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    It's not that one is right or wrong. I prefer to just leave them for 10 days or two weeks. But if you want to make sure she got released, you can check in four days and just remove the cage. The main thing is to disrupt things as little as possible. Only once I checked back in 10 days or so and the queen wasn't out. Apparently the candy was too hard or something.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,577

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    It is very disappointing to introduce an expensive queen and later find out she is gone and the workers have chosen to raise a queen from eggs or larvae that were on the combs.

    I suppose it is generally good advice to introduce here cage with a candy plug and stay out for a week or so. BUT if I have a highly valued queen to introduce I would set the cage for a manual release and go back in 3 or 4 days to check for started cells and then uncover the sugar release. I have not had a queen balled by going in to check for cells but perhaps some bees are more nervous than others.
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Melrose Park, IL, USA
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    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It's not that one is right or wrong. I prefer to just leave them for 10 days or two weeks. Only once I checked back in 10 days or so and the queen wasn't out.
    I'm inclined to wait ten days. What happens if the queen isn't released at ten days? I had two packages. One had candy under the cork and one didn't. I put a whole mini marshmallow in it. It seemed pretty solid.
    ks

  10. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    >What happens if the queen isn't released at ten days?

    She almost always is release shortly. With a marshmallow she is usually released in less than a day. With typical queen candy it usually takes 3 to 5 days.

    But I guess your asking what happens. In my case the queen was still alive and still not released. I released her.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Melrose Park, IL, USA
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    87

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    Today was ten days. We had 3.25 inches of rain and it's 46 degrees. The forecast is more of the same, finally warming up on Friday. It stopped raing for about a half hour so I lit the smoker and suited up. Bees were not happy. I slid five frames to the side and pulled only the frame I rubber banded the queen cage to. Both queens released, comb started on a couple of frames. Didn't check for eggs or larvae to keep it short, in and out in maybe five minutes for both hives. Happy camper here. I'll have to develop the habit of frisking myself for bees before I go in the house. I brought three with me this time and one after the install.
    ks

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,228

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    Sounds like things are going according to plan, sorta. When you get some extra comb, keep it handy. Bees brought into the house will readily climb onto it so you can carry them outside. I brought in four yesterday myself.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,062

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago_ks View Post
    Today was ten days. We had 3.25 inches of rain and it's 46 degrees. The forecast is more of the same, finally warming up on Friday. It stopped raing for about a half hour so I lit the smoker and suited up. Bees were not happy. I slid five frames to the side and pulled only the frame I rubber banded the queen cage to. Both queens released, comb started on a couple of frames. Didn't check for eggs or larvae to keep it short, in and out in maybe five minutes for both hives. Happy camper here. I'll have to develop the habit of frisking myself for bees before I go in the house. I brought three with me this time and one after the install.
    ks
    Cold and rainy days mean crawling bees instead of flying ones. Get in the habit of shrugging and tugging your jacket on days like that. I often have a dozen or more bees "hanging out" on days like that.

    I often wait three or more days but if I have an older package with a quietly accepted queen, I'll directly release her and walk away. I love when I can do that because I don't have to disturb the hive in the near future.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: When to remove the queen cage

    I checked my package yesterday (one week mark) and the queen was still in her cage. At first I just pulled out some of the candy, but then came back (about an hour later) and removed the cork, held the cage down in the box and she jumped on a frame and ran to the bottom. I sat the cage down and slowly pulled the frame up to see her near the bottom. The workers were around her but no biting or balling.

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