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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I've decided to up the ante this coming season and want to deal with my reluctance to catch my queens for marking, splitting or whatever.

I've seen some different types of queen catchers. Is there any one that comes particularly recommended for a new beekeeper with no steady hand?

Thank you!
 

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The one-handed types are my favorite, you set the opening down on the queen and once she crawls up into the tube, there is this little garage door like slide that you can close the tube with one hand.
 

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Yes, I saw a video of a guy using one. It looked like the door wasn't smooth closing and the queen turned back while he was closing it, almost slicing her in half. Is your sliding door easy to operate? I do like that queens can be marked inside these type of catcher.
 

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I got that one handed gadget as well, on a whim. Turns out it actually works really well. Its nice to be able to hold the frame and gently coax here into the opening then slowly slide the door shut. You can move the plunger up and the grate at the top is soft and just the right size to hold her in place while you mark her.

I'll admit I still lack the skill to just pick her up, tried it a few times unsuccessfully but this gadget makes up for it for now.

I am seeing some knock offs now from the original brand, so watch out for that. The original is made in South Korea I think. It is very well made.
 

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Ah... could be the guy I saw using one had a knockoff then. Anyone know what's the name of the original brand?
 

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Practice catching drones.
I like to catch when the Q is facing away from me.Aim for the head and thorax,do not squeeze the abdomen.Gently pin with your thumb and forefinger about 1/4 inch apart and gently squeeze
 

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When the frame is really loaded with bees it is hard to cleanly surround the queen. As you lower the unit to contact the comb face you are coming down on bees; dont like that feeling of not knowing whether it is worker or queen you might be squeezing. I find it hard to hold and operate one handed. Would like to see a bit of friction to keep the plunger UP during the capture part of the show. Marking is good. Have to watch on releasing because the slots in the moving door could grab parts of the queen as the slide is nearing full retracture. I killed one queen before I even thought about that very real possibility. There are often many workers in with the queen and hard to tell who is who and where they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's exactly what I was thinking about them too.

Having never used any kind of queen catcher, the clip type seem to be a bit safer to use. I do like the fact that the queen can be marked inside the "one handed version" without further handling.

I will take the advice above and practice on some drone bees.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have trouble holding the queen so the one handed queen catcher is my go to for that part. I use a queen clip to pick her up off the frame though and then transfer her to the queen catcher which really just serves as a marking tube. Watch for parts of the queen protruding through the sliding queen excluder door. Works just like a guillotine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep... that guillotine part is putting me off a bit.

Speaking of which, I also came across this medieval looking queen catching device, that might be safer to use than it looks.

maxresdefault.jpg
 

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The glass crackpipe queen catcher is very good at catching a queen and have her crawl up the stem to release into an introduction cage or marking cage. The exit from the pipe is just over 1/4". the queen comes out with wings folded back and it is easy to grasp her cleanly by the head and thorax without worrying about pulling off a leg or wing. Good for someone wanting to wing clip or put on number tags but has problems with dexterity.
Pricey and hard to find also quite delicate. Haven't used mine for a few years.
 

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Yep... that guillotine part is putting me off a bit.

Speaking of which, I also came across this medieval looking queen catching device, that might be safer to use than it looks.

View attachment 57377
I own this piece and it works for me well - however, the grid/mesh is made of some fine nylon string, NOT scary looking metal.
A nice feature of this cage - holds a queen in place on a comb where you want her (while working some non-marking project).

But I want to think I paid less than $15 USD.
https://www.kelleybees.com/queen-marking-disc-push-in-cage.html
 

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I use the one-handed catcher. Mann Lake has two different ones. The more expensive one is the one I like.

Kelley Bees sells plastic queen pipes. I let the queen exit the one-handed catcher and enter the pipe and from there she goes into a cage. If she balks in the pipe you can gently blow her into the cage.
 

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The blue one handed queen catcher is made in Korea by YASAENG. They also make an economy version that is yellow and some Chinese knock offs are yellow. The difference is the blue one has a twist lock for the plunger and the yellow catchers have a small lever or button on the side to lower or raise the plunger. I have been using the blue one for several years and I have never killed a queen. I just took it apart to clean years of paint, propolis, wax and honey off it and it still works great. Prices vary widely so look around for the best price. If you get the blue catcher you wont be disappointed once you get the hang of it.
 

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I use the one-handed catcher. Mann Lake has two different ones. The more expensive one is the one I like.

Kelley Bees sells plastic queen pipes. I let the queen exit the one-handed catcher and enter the pipe and from there she goes into a cage. If she balks in the pipe you can gently blow her into the cage.
I hadn't thought of doing the double shuffle with the two catchers; good idea:thumbsup:
 

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The best device is your hand but if that doesn't work, I like the disc for marking. Less chance of injuring the queen or losing her when released. J
 
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