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What do you want to do with it? Here's what I think it's useful for:

You can put some QMP in a queenless hive to keep them from losing morale while you get a queen. If you wanted to ship bees without a queen you could use it the same way.

I cut the strip (It comes in little plastic strips) into quarters and put a quarter in a bait hive for catching swarms. (Queen juice from dumping culled queens or old queens into a jar of alcohol also works the same way).

A full strip is supposed to help when dividing up mating nucs to keep them from abandoning the nuc. I haven't used them like this because I just put a frame of open brood and a frame of honey in and shake in a few extra bees and let them free fly. The open brood keeps them there. But that is another use for it.

A fulls trip in a box in a large honey house is supposed to draw the loose stragglers together so you can take them back outside. I extract in my kitchen and there aren't that many bees and when I've tried it they show more interest in my light fixtures and the window than the QMP.

You can put a quarter of a strip in a hive to help keep them from absconding. It tends to boost morale and anchor them to the hive.

You can staple a strip on your favorite branch to collect swarms from to draw tne swarm there instead of somewhere high up where you can't get to them.

I'm sure someone can think of some others.
 

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I don't know for sure. I keep mine in the freezer. I don't get them out until I think I really need them, but the ones I've had in bait hives I've seen scout bees very interested in them a couple of years after I put them in.
 

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> You can put a quarter of a strip in a hive to
> help keep them from absconding. It tends to
> boost morale and anchor them to the hive.

This is a very counterintuitive statement.
A colony has a queen, and her scent, spread
around from bee to bee, fanned by bees when
the colony is broken apart by a bear to alert
other bees to "where the colony should regroup",
and so on is the essential "colony odor"
component, critical to defense.

To add a pheromone source to an existing
queenright colony would seem to be counter-
productive, in that it would change the
colony odor, and perhaps create a cohort of
bees with "loyalty" to the lure's scent,
rather than their own queen's scent.

Since the lures can "replace" a queen for
short time, and keep the colony together
while it is queenless, and since the bees
fawn over the lure just like it was a queen,
one would think that adding one to a
queenright colony would upset the "natural
balance" of the colony, perhaps endangering
a 2nd-year queen that would otherwise be a
perfectly acceptable queen.

When handling the lures, I use a pair of
pilers or hemostats, which go back into
a toolbox as soon as possible. You don't
want to get the pheromone on your fingers,
as this makes working a hive even more
difficult due to the "colony odor" factor's
impact on hive defense.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>To add a pheromone source to an existing
queenright colony would seem to be counter-
productive, in that it would change the
colony odor, and perhaps create a cohort of
bees with "loyalty" to the lure's scent,
rather than their own queen's scent.

And yet a common use for the strips is to put a FULL strip in a mini mating nuc to hold the bees there while the queen emerges from the cell and mates. This is much more QMP provided to a much smaller space and a much smaller population of bees that need to have some loyalty to the new queen.

I use only a 1/4 of the strip because I have the same concern that I don't want TOO MUCH of a queen scent or they might confuse it with the real queen.

It think it would be an interesting experiment to see if adding a full strip of the QMP to a queen right a hive would boost morale and therefore production. But I'm concerned about what happens if they lose the queen and they don't even know it.
 

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Another interesting experience I had was to find a small cluster of bees living in one of the bait hives with no queen around. Just 30 or 40 bees clustered around the QMP strip. They lived there about a month and never did anything else that I could see. I assume they were drifters who discovered it and stayed. It does make me think a strip might be useful in the "cone" method of removing bees from trees.
 

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>(Queen juice from dumping culled queens or old queens into a jar of alcohol also works the same way).

Do you just pull a few queens out of the alcohol and hang them from a branch or put them in a nuc to attract a swarm? Wouldn't the alcohol smell mask the pheremone? I would like to try to that method to catch a swarm this year -- or more likely capture one from my own hives if they get away.
 

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> I use only a 1/4 of the strip because I have the
> same concern that I don't want TOO MUCH of a queen
> scent or they might confuse it with the real
> queen.

So you think that 1 strip = 1 queen in terms
of volume of pheromones produced? And you
think that "less" (by volume) is going to make
any difference?

I don't see it at all. Sounds to me like a
very very bad idea all around, and good
way to produce "chaos". I would think that
someone who talks constantly about not putting
chemicals in their hives would realize that
artificial pheromones are clearly chemicals,
ones that mess with bees' minds.

Enough, it is time for my weekly support
group for people who post to internet
discussion groups too much.

Its called "On and On Anon".


jim
 

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>So you think that 1 strip = 1 queen in terms
of volume of pheromones produced? And you
think that "less" (by volume) is going to make
any difference?

It's a strip. So cutting it to 1/4 of it's length cuts the surface area by approximately 1/4. So yes, I think it's going to make a difference.

>Wouldn't the alcohol smell mask the pheremone?

The alcohol evaporates quite quickly. The pheromone stays longer.

>I would think that
someone who talks constantly about not putting
chemicals in their hives would realize that
artificial pheromones are clearly chemicals,
ones that mess with bees' minds.

Well, that is exactly what they are doing using them in mini mating nucs, which I've been lead to believe is the primary use for them. It probably IS a bad idea to put a whole strip in a hive.
But I'm a curious guy. I would like to know if it makes a difference. It may be that the improvement in production of a two queen hive is partly because there is twice the QMP. It also may prevent swarming. George Imire is fond of quoting the numbers of the amount of QMP a young queen makes and how it drops off and citing that as a primary cause of swarming. Maybe with a strip of QMP they wouldn't swarm. Come on Jim, aren't you curious to know? I'm not saying I'd want to raise bees that way, but it's not like there isn't any QMP in a natural hive.


>Do you just pull a few queens out of the alcohol and hang them from a branch or put them in a nuc to attract a swarm?

Neither. I put a few drops of the alcohol in the nuc or on the branch.
 

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It occurs to me that there is a lot we don't really know for sure about pheromones and bees. For one thing I've noticed when requeening a hot hive that they seem to be in a much better mood in one or two weeks. This is not enough time to be directly related to genetics, so it must be a difference in the pheromones of the queen. More than likely a young queen with more QMP is now in the hive so they are in a better mood.

Perhaps a strip of Bee Boost (QMP) would be useful for requeening hot hives. You could try putting a strip in when you notice it's really hot and wait a week or so before attempting to requeen.

I think I'll try this next time I get a hot one.

Also, if it affects their temperament that much, then how much does it affect productivity. How much of the differences in productivity and even in brood rearing is due to more or less QMP from the queen?

How much of the difference in a two queen hives productivity if from QMP?

Since observing the 30 or 40 bees who just hung out in the bait hive that once, I've wondered if QMP isn't a bit of a drug. The workers want it badly and having it or getting it is what motivates them to work hard.

You could also view it as a hormone or a neurotransmitter such as endorphines in humans. We get done with a hard days work and our brain stimulates the right things to dump the right chemicals into our bloodstream to give us a sense of satisfaction. Maybe the superogranism of a beehive uses QMP in a similar manner. Maybe it's the "endorphines" or the "hormones" or some such signaler that goes beyond just telling the workers there is or is not a queen around, but gives them a purpose and drive to do the work.
 

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> Come on Jim, aren't you curious to know?

As I said, understanding of the impact on
pheromones on bee behavior implies that adding
a DIFFERENT MIX of pheromones to a queenright
hive is something that may put the laying queen
"at risk".

I love lures for dealing with queenless bees,
and they are indispensable for gathering up
bees "left behind" when their colonies are
removed, moved, or killed, but I don't see
any difference between putting a lure in
a queenright hive and adding a 2nd queen.

Except, of course, that the strip cannot
be "killed", while the existing queen can,
and the lure is a pheromone "boom box",
perhaps overpowering the "colony odor".

> I'm not saying I'd want to raise bees that way,
> but it's not like there isn't any QMP in a natural
> hive.

I'm confused.

How is it OK to introduce synthetic analogs
which are close (but not exactly the same)
as things that you understand to be in the hive,
but not OK to introduce formic acid, which is
exactly the same as the formic acid found in the hive?

If the objection is to the much more massive
amount of formic used in mite treatments, then
please understand that the whole "1/4 strip"
tactic does not reduce the concentration of
the pheromones in the least. Think about the
surface area of the strip versus the cubic
capacity of the hive. The surface area of the
strip is "negligible" as compared to the volume
of the hive. Temperature is going to have a
bigger impact on the volatilization of the
chemicals off the strip than strip surface area.

Now, if we dealt in powers of 10 (odors, like
most other sensory phenomena, have logarithmic
response curves), and reduced the surface area
to 1/10th, or increased the hive volume by a
factor of 10, then you might be able to limit
the impact of the lure.

But even then, bees close to the lure will
treat it like a queen, other bees that come
in contact with those bees will accept the
lure odor as their "new colony odor", and
one then has the proper conditions for a
tiny little unintentional coup de 'etat.
 

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>How is it OK to introduce synthetic analogs
which are close (but not exactly the same)
as things that you understand to be in the hive,
but not OK to introduce formic acid, which is
exactly the same as the formic acid found in the hive?

You have me confused with someone else. I have no religious views on putting anything in the hive, I've simply found it to be counterproductive in the long run in almost every case to put artificial things in the hive. My main concern about formic acid is the high loss of queens.

Also, I'm not saying people should try this at home. I'm just saying it would be interesting to see what the results are.

>please understand that the whole "1/4 strip"
tactic does not reduce the concentration of
the pheromones in the least. Think about the
surface area of the strip versus the cubic
capacity of the hive. The surface area of the
strip is "negligible" as compared to the volume
of the hive.

Since one is surface and one is volume it's hard to do this mathematically but let's assume that the difference between the surface of the strip and the volume of the hive are 4:4,000,000. Then you quarter the surface of the strip and now give off a quarter of the pheromones or 1:4,000,000. It is still a quarter of the amount of pheromone. I don't see what the proportions have to do with it. The fact is a very tiny amount of pheromones has a large impact. But cutting it in half or a quarter is still cutting it in half and cutting it to a quarter is still cutting it to a quarter.

>Temperature is going to have a
bigger impact on the volatilization of the
chemicals off the strip than strip surface area.

I'd say that's pretty doubtful. First the temperature is constant in a hive. So I think we can ignore it. Second it is volatilizing off of the surface. Cutting the surface in half is still going to cut the volatilization in half.

>Now, if we dealt in powers of 10 (odors, like
most other sensory phenomena, have logarithmic
response curves)

IMO that's the first intelligent thing you said about your stance on amounts. That is true.

> and reduced the surface area
to 1/10th, or increased the hive volume by a
factor of 10, then you might be able to limit
the impact of the lure.

That may be a good plan. But now you are admitting that it does decrease the amount of pheromone, but that the IMPACT being logarithmic would require a more severe reduction for a noticeable result. But reducing it, must change it "in the least".

>But even then, bees close to the lure will
treat it like a queen, other bees that come
in contact with those bees will accept the
lure odor as their "new colony odor", and
one then has the proper conditions for a
tiny little unintentional coup de 'etat.

Have you ever put a strip, or a quarter of a strip in a in a hive? I have had swarms take up residence in hives with a quarter of a strip in them and they did quite well. I never removed the strip.

I have put a quarter of a strip in an observation hive and never removed it and it did fine also.

There were no supercedures or killing of the queen or any other of the things you are assuming. Not that those possibilities don't seem like reasonable assumptions. But none of them have happened.

The common use for the strips is to put them in mating nucs to hold the handful of bees there with possibly no comb and no brood while a queen emerges, mate and starts to lay. It also seems to work fine in this small environment (mini-mating nucs) where I would think it would be most likely to fail in the ways you have assumed. But apparently it does not.
 

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I read somewhere (sorry I don't have the reference) that brood cycle interruption is one IPM method used for varroa control. Could one use QMP in a hive, where the queen has been temporarily removed, to keep the bees from making a new replacement queen? The queen would be returned to the hive after about 3 weeks and after an OA treatment to kill the exposed mites. :cool:
 

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> IMO that's the first intelligent thing you said...

OK, I tried... it appears to be difficult to have
an exchange of contrasting ideas when ego gets in
the way.
 

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Help! My bees are in my neighbors pool is there any way to get them to use water that I have in pails filled with gravel,is there a chemical (pheromone) to add to the water thanks
Terry
 

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>I read somewhere (sorry I don't have the reference) that brood cycle interruption is one IPM method used for varroa control. Could one use QMP in a hive, where the queen has been temporarily removed, to keep the bees from making a new replacement queen? The queen would be returned to the hive after about 3 weeks and after an OA treatment to kill the exposed mites.

My guess is you could but simply removing her and letting them raise their own will result in requeening the hive, and a 28 day break in brood rearing without the QMP. I guess the question is would the QMP boost production during that period of time. Also do you WANT them to reuqeen themselves.

>Help! My bees are in my neighbors pool is there any way to get them to use water that I have in pails filled with gravel,is there a chemical (pheromone) to add to the water thanks

IMO bees pick their water source because it has enough smell to recruit others to help. If you add something with some oder, such as HBH, lemongrass oil, wintergreen oil, Anise oil, etc in small amounts to the water supply you are offering it may be that smell may be more appealing or useful in recruiting than the smell of clorine. My guess is they like pools for the same reason they like really stagnant water. They both have an odor.
 

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>>My main concern about formic acid is the high loss of queens.

Not so high, maybe 10% if they are older than 2years or so.

>>QMP

What I have done is uses this queen substance to help collect stray bees in my honey house. Works great!. I put a small nuc in the upper corner of the window and place a strip in it. Bees hang off the strip for easy removal. Saves me from having a queen in the nuc,..

This stuff is way too expensive to be practical in seasonal management of a honey operation. I can only see it maybe used in queen production operations, but still not practical.
Best just leave it used for swarm trapping,..
 

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I make inner covers with a hole the size of a mason jar and I have put water in those on top. The bees use it. But I don't think it stops them from also foraging for water. I've mostly used it when I needed to close a hive off for a short time, but I've left them on to see if they use it and they do.

I would suppose that they would use a frame feeder, but I think you underestimate how much water they actually use. I'd try to give them a more intesting source, first, and then keep it reliable. Bees are creatures of habit and will fly over a temporary puddle to go to a reliable source of water. So you need to provide something that is always there. Like a swimming pool.


I hadn't thought of it before now, but maybe a little chlorine in your water source might attract them because that's the smell they are looking for. Just remember it doesn't take very much chlorine to make a lot of smell and kill a lot of germs. Like maybe a 1/4 teaspoon in five gallons of water would work. Too much might kill the bees. After you get them coming, you can probably drop the chorine.
 
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