Queen catchers
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Thread: Queen catchers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Perth Western Australia
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    Default Queen catchers

    Hi guys, I've decided to up the ante this coming season and want to deal with my reluctance to catch my queens for marking, splitting or whatever.

    I've seen some different types of queen catchers. Is there any one that comes particularly recommended for a new beekeeper with no steady hand?

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    The one-handed types are my favorite, you set the opening down on the queen and once she crawls up into the tube, there is this little garage door like slide that you can close the tube with one hand.
    USDA Hardiness Zone 7A, Hobbyist, First Hives in 2017

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
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    61

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Yes, I saw a video of a guy using one. It looked like the door wasn't smooth closing and the queen turned back while he was closing it, almost slicing her in half. Is your sliding door easy to operate? I do like that queens can be marked inside these type of catcher.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Southern, New Hampshire, USA
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    95

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    I got that one handed gadget as well, on a whim. Turns out it actually works really well. Its nice to be able to hold the frame and gently coax here into the opening then slowly slide the door shut. You can move the plunger up and the grate at the top is soft and just the right size to hold her in place while you mark her.

    I'll admit I still lack the skill to just pick her up, tried it a few times unsuccessfully but this gadget makes up for it for now.

    I am seeing some knock offs now from the original brand, so watch out for that. The original is made in South Korea I think. It is very well made.

  6. #5
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    Jun 2020
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    Perth Western Australia
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Ah... could be the guy I saw using one had a knockoff then. Anyone know what's the name of the original brand?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    754

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Practice catching drones.
    I like to catch when the Q is facing away from me.Aim for the head and thorax,do not squeeze the abdomen.Gently pin with your thumb and forefinger about 1/4 inch apart and gently squeeze

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    When the frame is really loaded with bees it is hard to cleanly surround the queen. As you lower the unit to contact the comb face you are coming down on bees; dont like that feeling of not knowing whether it is worker or queen you might be squeezing. I find it hard to hold and operate one handed. Would like to see a bit of friction to keep the plunger UP during the capture part of the show. Marking is good. Have to watch on releasing because the slots in the moving door could grab parts of the queen as the slide is nearing full retracture. I killed one queen before I even thought about that very real possibility. There are often many workers in with the queen and hard to tell who is who and where they are.
    Frank

  9. #8
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    Jun 2020
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    That's exactly what I was thinking about them too.

    Having never used any kind of queen catcher, the clip type seem to be a bit safer to use. I do like the fact that the queen can be marked inside the "one handed version" without further handling.

    I will take the advice above and practice on some drone bees.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    5,402

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    I have trouble holding the queen so the one handed queen catcher is my go to for that part. I use a queen clip to pick her up off the frame though and then transfer her to the queen catcher which really just serves as a marking tube. Watch for parts of the queen protruding through the sliding queen excluder door. Works just like a guillotine.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Jun 2020
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    Perth Western Australia
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Yep... that guillotine part is putting me off a bit.

    Speaking of which, I also came across this medieval looking queen catching device, that might be safer to use than it looks.

    maxresdefault.jpg

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    The glass crackpipe queen catcher is very good at catching a queen and have her crawl up the stem to release into an introduction cage or marking cage. The exit from the pipe is just over 1/4". the queen comes out with wings folded back and it is easy to grasp her cleanly by the head and thorax without worrying about pulling off a leg or wing. Good for someone wanting to wing clip or put on number tags but has problems with dexterity.
    Pricey and hard to find also quite delicate. Haven't used mine for a few years.
    Frank

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Southwest Michigan
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    62

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Quote Originally Posted by Honeyeater View Post
    Yep... that guillotine part is putting me off a bit.

    Speaking of which, I also came across this medieval looking queen catching device, that might be safer to use than it looks.

    maxresdefault.jpg
    I've threatened to buy that one many times, but $15 seems ridiculous to me.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Quote Originally Posted by Honeyeater View Post
    Yep... that guillotine part is putting me off a bit.

    Speaking of which, I also came across this medieval looking queen catching device, that might be safer to use than it looks.

    maxresdefault.jpg
    I own this piece and it works for me well - however, the grid/mesh is made of some fine nylon string, NOT scary looking metal.
    A nice feature of this cage - holds a queen in place on a comb where you want her (while working some non-marking project).

    But I want to think I paid less than $15 USD.
    https://www.kelleybees.com/queen-mar...h-in-cage.html
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Boone County, Indiana, USA
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    166

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    I use the one-handed catcher. Mann Lake has two different ones. The more expensive one is the one I like.

    Kelley Bees sells plastic queen pipes. I let the queen exit the one-handed catcher and enter the pipe and from there she goes into a cage. If she balks in the pipe you can gently blow her into the cage.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
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    282

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    The blue one handed queen catcher is made in Korea by YASAENG. They also make an economy version that is yellow and some Chinese knock offs are yellow. The difference is the blue one has a twist lock for the plunger and the yellow catchers have a small lever or button on the side to lower or raise the plunger. I have been using the blue one for several years and I have never killed a queen. I just took it apart to clean years of paint, propolis, wax and honey off it and it still works great. Prices vary widely so look around for the best price. If you get the blue catcher you wont be disappointed once you get the hang of it.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Anderson View Post
    I use the one-handed catcher. Mann Lake has two different ones. The more expensive one is the one I like.

    Kelley Bees sells plastic queen pipes. I let the queen exit the one-handed catcher and enter the pipe and from there she goes into a cage. If she balks in the pipe you can gently blow her into the cage.
    I hadn't thought of doing the double shuffle with the two catchers; good idea
    Frank

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,730

    Default Re: Queen catchers

    The best device is your hand but if that doesn't work, I like the disc for marking. Less chance of injuring the queen or losing her when released. J

  19. #18
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    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    Default Re: Queen catchers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Grimshaw View Post
    Practice catching drones.
    I like to catch when the Q is facing away from me.Aim for the head and thorax,do not squeeze the abdomen.Gently pin with your thumb and forefinger about 1/4 inch apart and gently squeeze
    Best advise I have sen!!!!

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