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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long can I keep mated queens in a queen bank. I intend to take a medium nuc, put in a couple frames of honey/pollen, 2 frames of nurse bees with brood and a bank frame with 5 to 10 mated queens in it. How long will the queens be viable? Can I add nurse bees and frames and keep the bank going? Or is building a nuc for each queen the only way to keep them for any period of time.
Thanks,
 

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The longest I have banked queens for is two or three weeks, longer should be possible. You will need to add a frame of emerging brood every 5 days or so.
 

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In your scenario, your bees will raise another queen off any eggs or young larvae and at some point may no longer take care of the caged queens.

I have seen commercial beeks keep banked queens in cages with loose bees to feed and take care of them. The queens last months that way, but they are depreciating and some will not start laying again. It also can be hard to get these banked queens accepted after a while.
 

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I bank queens above an excluder on top of a queenright colony. Never kept them any longer than a week or two. Always found use for them before then.
 

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I bank queens above an excluder on top of a queenright colony. Never kept them any longer than a week or two. Always found use for them before then.
Kept them the same way for a month, one time. Really too long, but that is the way it worked out.
 

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If you keep them caged very long you might need to roll them to get them laying. That is gently rolling- rubbing her abdomen between your fingers.
 

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That's a new one for me. Where did you learn that and how? Not saying you are wrong, just never heard that before.
 

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That's a new one for me. Where did you learn that and how? Not saying you are wrong, just never heard that before.
LT is one of Carolina's old time Queen Breeders.... he knows a lot of tricks.... kind of like you.....
 

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How does one figure that out? Did he notice that previously long banked bred queens weren't laying and thought that abdomenal massage might get things going? Or what? It would be interesting to know how someone figured that out.
 

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I don't know.. probably passed down from one generation of QBs to another. LT is one of those very few quys that when he says something it is good to listen.... he does not say alot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the responses. Interesting stuff. I think I'll try the bank above a queen right hive with a queen excluder. If I have to keep them more than a few weeks, I'll try to put them in a queen castle or nucs.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I have, as an experiment banked queens in May and installed them in splits in October and they started laying immediately and did very well. I h ave never heard of "rolling" them... While I don't reccomend long banking, I wanted to see if that's why some package queens take two weeks to start laying. These started laying immediately, so I don't think banking really harms them as long as you don't bank them too soon after they start to lay... that does harm them.
 

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Michael,
I am curious as to the set up that you used; did you bank yours in an upper box seperated from the queen by an excluder? I would like to give it a try this coming spring.
 

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One box. No excluder. I usually set up a queen bank by taking a frame of brood and a frame of honey from each of three hives (six frames total) and put them in an eight frame box (with no queen of course) and if it looks a bit shy of bees I shake an extra frame from each of those same hives from some brood comb (with no queen of course). Let that set a couple of hours for them to figure out they are queenless. Then start catching queens and when I have them all caught and cages and on a frame I put that in the queen bank. Usually in three weeks they have raised a new queen, but I never had them kill the caged ones as long as I didn't go adding more new queens to the frame. Then they sometimes kill the older ones and keep the new ones. Part of the nice thing about them raising a queen is it's more sustainable. I can catch the new queen they raised (to keep it from getting too crowded) and sell it or put it in a nuc or another hive and they will raise another. My queen bank frame I bought here:
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/queen-banking-frame-jzbz-p-246.html

I use JZBZ cages.

The frame holds 92 queens.
 

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Thanks, that is so cool, I am definitly going to give your system a go this year, when I requeen it would be nice to use a system like this to hold the older queens as back-up just in case the new one is a dud. Thank you so very much.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One box. No excluder. I usually set up a queen bank by taking a frame of brood and a frame of honey from each of three hives (six frames total) and put them in an eight frame box (with no queen of course) and if it looks a bit shy of bees I shake an extra frame from each of those same hives from some brood comb (with no queen of course). Let that set a couple of hours for them to figure out they are queenless. Then start catching queens and when I have them all caught and cages and on a frame I put that in the queen bank. Usually in three weeks they have raised a new queen, but I never had them kill the caged ones as long as I didn't go adding more new queens to the frame. Then they sometimes kill the older ones and keep the new ones. Part of the nice thing about them raising a queen is it's more sustainable. I can catch the new queen they raised (to keep it from getting too crowded) and sell it or put it in a nuc or another hive and they will raise another. My queen bank frame I bought here:
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/queen-banking-frame-jzbz-p-246.html

I use JZBZ cages.

The frame holds 92 queens.
Thanks Mr. Bush, I use the same frame and cages. You had explained this to me once before on another thread last year and I just didn't get it. Your two posts in this thread turned the light on for me. :D
I'll be trying your method this summer.
 

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For my small 9 hive operation my plan is to graft perhaps 16 to 20 larvae in hopes of at least 10 good takes, then use my cell bar frame as a queen bank using 10 Butler cages that I already have in my possession to bank the older queens and any extra new ones. Thanks again Mike :).

 

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I have seen commercial beeks keep banked queens in cages with loose bees to feed and take care of them. The queens last months that way said:
Vance,
Good advice, I hope to not keep my queens banked for more than 2 or 3 weeks, just long enough to prove the newly mated queens.
 

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WWW - What style queen cages are those yellow ones you are using?

And if they are something that most places don't carry, where did you get them?

Thanks
 

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Pat,
In my previous post I mistakenly called them boxer cages, They are actually called Butler cages and I found them in a sale bin for 10 cents each at a local bee supply store near my location which has gone out of business last year. I have done a Google search for you and discovered they are available in the UK and the only place I find them for sale here in the States is on E-bay but the prices are outrageous.

I do know that the fellow I purchased mine from would have acquired them through a bee supply store here in the USA at a reasonable price but I am unable to find who that might have been. Perhaps someone else with bloodhound in their blood could track it down for us.
 
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