Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anybody build a queen castle or something that will allow you to store backup queens in your hive while protecting them from the queen?

Any plans out there?

Also do you need to feed the queen or will the hive handle that for you.

Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
I use the ones bought from brushy mountain but you could make them easily. It is very nice to have extra queens on standby in case one of yours goes down or you do a cut out and kill the queen, or you want to requeen a hot swarm you catch. I will be moving them from 3 frame medium queen castles to 8 frame boxes to build up for the winter if I dont use them by the summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
I've made many. The simplest is to take a standard hive and cut 1/4" grooves for the dividers and cut the dividers out of 1/4" luan plywood.
MB,

Is there any use in using a double queen excluder (or double screen) as a bottom... And to what advantage?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thx guys,

I guess I'm calling it wrong.

What I had seen was basically a frame that sat in a queeright hive. It had a section with several queens caged in it.

While I like the queen castles, I see them as working hive that will eventual swarm and leave because I don't have the space to grow right now.

Or am I wrong?

Thanks again for everybody's help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
You are thinking of -search on this forum for: "queen banking frame" "queen bank frame" Best if used in a queenless hive or nuc with lots of young bees, or emerging brood added periodically.

simplest probably to build a frame that holds CA (wood) mini cages, there is a picture of this on glenn apiaries web site

Also can be used above an excluder, but slightly trickier.

Be sure that if temps will drop at night, you have LOTS of bees in hive, otherwise they may cluster and abandon some of the queens to the outside edges.

when introducing banked queens, introduce them to a small nuc for best results.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
A queen bank is useful. I usually set up a five frame medium nuc as a queen bank or an eight frame medium. Take a couple of frames of brood and a couple of frames of honey/pollen and one frame for the queen cages. I can bank a lot of queens in a queen bank. I bought some frames from someone (sorry, I don't remember off the top of my head) on here who has queen rearing equipment, including incubators, and it takes the JZBZ cages. It will hold a lot of queens. The main secret is it helps to have them queenless, and you should never add more queens later. Just set up a new queen bank, or remove all the ones in it and then add some new ones. Otherwise the new ones smell better (as they are in laying condition) and they will dispose of the old ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,406 Posts
Build a queen castle Nuc plan. :lookout:

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~reute001/Plans.html
A bit behind, I know, but catching up on my reading :)

That site had more plans than I knew existed. Some of that stuff I was just confused about what it was, and how to use it. Namely the queen hotel, and the swarm box. To be honest, I also don't really know how mating nucs work, or how to utilize them properly.

Does anyone know of a book or website that goes into depth about how to use some of that equipment?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
A mating nuc is any hive - complete with workers, and comb - that you put either a ripe queen cell or a virgin queen into for the purpose of letting her fly out to mate from - and hopefully fly back.

Some people use mating nucs that take full size frames, and others use tiny little ones that only need a cup full of bees to run. In some cases there will be multiple mating nucs made in one unit - called a "queen castle" - usually the entrances on castles are each on different sides of the unit to help the queens find their way back into the right individual mating nuc.

If you raise queens for sale as soon as your queens are mated you need to get them out of the mating nucs to make room for a new crop. And you need another place to keep mated queens once they are ready to sell (or whatever) until you are ready to send them out. So you can put them in individual little shipping cages and put a whole bunch of those in a "queen bank" hive so that the workers in the bank can feed the caged queens. The "queen hotel" on that page is a queen bank.

I'm sure the information about all that is in one place somewhere, but I don't know where that would be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,406 Posts
A mating nuc is any hive - complete with workers, and comb - that you put either a ripe queen cell or a virgin queen into for the purpose of letting her fly out to mate from - and hopefully fly back.

Some people use mating nucs that take full size frames, and others use tiny little ones that only need a cup full of bees to run. In some cases there will be multiple mating nucs made in one unit - called a "queen castle" - usually the entrances on castles are each on different sides of the unit to help the queens find their way back into the right individual mating nuc.

If you raise queens for sale as soon as your queens are mated you need to get them out of the mating nucs to make room for a new crop. And you need another place to keep mated queens once they are ready to sell (or whatever) until you are ready to send them out. So you can put them in individual little shipping cages and put a whole bunch of those in a "queen bank" hive so that the workers in the bank can feed the caged queens. The "queen hotel" on that page is a queen bank.

I'm sure the information about all that is in one place somewhere, but I don't know where that would be.
Thanks David. So there wouldn't be any point in having a mating nuc unless you are raising alot of queens? Any idea what that swarm box is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
If you are producing any queens at all other than by making splits you need a mating nuc - and even when you make a split you are actually using the queenless half of the hive as a mating nuc. Of course you are also using it as the donor, cell starter, and finisher. It might produce a dozen or more queen cells, but only one queen if you are lucky. By separating those functions you can use the same resources to produce many queens instead of just one.

I think the kind of "swarm box" on that page is used to separate young nurse bees from older bees on the principle that the young bees tend to crawl into the dark hive and the field bees head into the light and want to fly home. The plans aren't real clear to me, so I'm not 100% sure.

You want cell starters and mating nucs to have lots of young nurse bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Most of that information is covered in books like _The hive and the Honey Bee_, or the books on queen rearing like Laidlaw's book _Contemporary Queen Rearing_. Most of that information is here on Beesource.....IF you can find it. :)

Michael Bush's site has a lot of this information as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Im thinking of making queen castles out of my full depth hive box. How can i cut 1/4" grooves for the 1/4" luan plywod dividers? what kind of tool can i use on an already assembled hive box? Any suggestions please?thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
Im thinking of making queen castles out of my full depth hive box. How can i cut 1/4" grooves for the 1/4" luan plywod dividers? what kind of tool can i use on an already assembled hive box? Any suggestions please?thanks very much.
I used 1/8" thick dividers (Masonite) and just used a power saw. Blocks of wood, and a strip of Masonite was used as spacers to run the saw against. Not using 1/4" would simplify the task.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I used 1/8" thick dividers (Masonite) and just used a power saw. Blocks of wood, and a strip of Masonite was used as spacers to run the saw against. Not using 1/4" would simplify the task.
Thanks BeeCurious for your reply. Do you use your powersaw in an assembled hive box? What sort of saw can I use to cut the grooves or can I just put the dividers without grooves as long as there are no big gaps between each "nuc"? Thanks again.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top