Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don't know about the rest of you, but I like to use a queen catcher when I see the queen during an inspection so that I don't risk squishing her when I put frames back in the hive. I have been using queen catchers for over five years now.

But twice this year I have made a rather rookie mistake.

1. I set the queen catcher down, and didn't realize it wasn't closed all the way .. queen walked out .. never found her.
2. Yesterday, I set the queen catcher down in a nice safe place a few feet away. Then I inadvertently set something on the queen catcher, slightly opening it .. Queen walked out .. never found her.

I came up with the following, simple modification, that won't solve all my problems, but should at least help with the accidental opening of the catcher. Its just a large rubber band wrapped around the handle. Once the queen is in the catcher, just stretch the rubber band over the end to help keep it closed.

Hopefully this will help someone else out, or let you learn from my mistakes to keep your Queens safe!

See pictures attached.

IMG_20170429_182354.jpg
IMG_20170429_182416.jpg
IMG_20170429_182421.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
Wow! You catch and remove the queen with one of those hair-clips each time? I have one of those queen catchers, too, but to me it is more a rescue device than a routine tool. I think the act of catching her with one of those is not without risk of squishing her in the process.

But I like knowing she is safe when inspecting, too, so I simply remove the frame with the queen on it and place it in a nuc or quiet box. Then I know where she is and that she is safe and sound and stuck there until I replace the frame in the hive.

Enj.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
you both have far more skill or luck then I. If I see the queen on a frame it goes right back in the box. I move frames slowly so never normally squash a queen or other bee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
...If I see the queen on a frame it goes right back in the box...
This seems like a more reasonable strategy than removing her with a queen clip and setting the clip somewhere nearby.

My mentor taught me (40 years ago) to remove the end frame in the box, look for the queen on that frame, then lean it against a safe place on the outside of the hive. Use that space to move the next frame over before inspecting it. That way, you are much less likely to roll bees and/or the queen during an inspection. She can be mashed if she is on the end of the frame, so, lift it carefully out of the box.

On rare occasions (like when making a split), I suppose you might want to know where the queen is...on those occasions put the queen clip in your pocket and out of direct sunlight. I have never squashed a queen that I know of. JMO :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
I always carry at least 2 of the plastic ones with me when I am doing hive inspections. And all my queens are marked once they are mated. Should I find one in the hive not mated, I scoop her up in the clip. Or if I am planning to steal brood, etc for other hives, I will catch the queen in the clip. Never have I injured her by doing this. I expect all of my students to have one of these when they work their topbar hives so they are not rummaging back through all the bars to find her 20 min later.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top