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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all who bank large numbers of queens! I have tried to bank queens successfully for the last two years and it seems I usually lose at least 1-2 a week in a bank. Sometimes I think it could be neglect of the sub-par queens. I do supplement with nurse bees and brood every week in a double deep queenless configuration, feed them no matter what, and check on queens every 4 days or so. Also I bank my queens solo in their cages.

My biggest question is about queen candy and SHB larvae. I make my candy stiff with honey and powdered sugar - I like it because the queen can feed herself if needed and doesn’t suffer from negelect of being fed as badly. I have used karo syrup and powdered sugar but the downside to that seems to be (other than the Queen can’t really feed herself from it!) is it gets so hard and commercial beeks have complained my queens aren’t out and laying as quickly as they’d like them to. I think it’s great for a slow introduction, but I’m not them. Also karo syrup doesn’t seem like it would be as good to digest for a bee? My BIGGEST issue with the honey in the candy is small hive beetles laying in there and larvae hatching, it is so awful! And the honey candy also tends to get very sticky and gooey with the heat from the bees around queen cages and queens get covered in the gooey-ness I believe and can’t move and die.

I almost think the best way to bank queens is to keep them on your dining room table with attendants in cages and feed them yourself!

ANY thoughts, tips or tricks about banking queens would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your advice.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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If you only bank them for a few days there are no real issues. If you bank them for some time, then there are some.

There are trade-offs with any method of queen banks. My problem when I have just a queen in the cage in the bank is that wax moths often get into the cage and create webs that cause issues for the queens. If I put attendants in the cages they often die over time and that clogs things up in the cage. If I don't put candy in the JZBZ cages, then keeping the queen from escaping when I remove the cages from the bank is tricky. If I put candy in them, it gets smelly over time and I still have to put the queen in a fresh cage when I ship them, but I have less issues with them escaping.

So, I've found I have to go through the cages and check for wax moths getting into them (the queen doesn't chase them off but attendants do) or if I put attendants in, then check for dead attendants and replace them.
 

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Try karo and a little honey ...that's a little honey... won't get as hard and won't get as sticky. You have to play with the candy, it will get softer as t warms up. I use JZBZ cages and sometimes put powered sugar on the inside of the candy if it's too soft. Store the extra candy in an incubator that way it's the right temp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both VERY much for your help! I have wondered about mixing karo and honey but wasn’t sure it was worth having the honey in there since the beetles seem to like it for long term banking. I generally check the bank once a week, and truly I would rather not bank queens but sometimes I’m put in a position where I have to for several weeks.

Another question: so I try not to bank newly mated queens, I’ve had issues with them not laying again if banked shortly after seeing their capped brood. Has anyone else had problems with this? It seems to some people that sometimes after being banked queens just rapidly decline in egg laying or stop altogether.
 

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Don't know about beetles,you are on your own there.
nulomoline is supposed to be good some big time friends us it but I havent , might give it a try this year.
 
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