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Discussion Starter #1
Walter T Kelley Co. sells a queen introduction cage. Has anyone used these or one similar? I am going to split my hives this spring and am going to requeen all splits with pure Russian Queens. They are hard to get accepted, so will the intro cages help?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I used a home-made push-in cage made from #8 wire hardware cloth to introduce my Russian Queen last summer. It worked very well. Frame of capped + emerging brood, pushed in the wire cage, introduced the queen and her itinerary, pushed a little gate over the opening, and put the frame in the hive in the middle with another frame removed to make room for the cage. The bees chewed away the comb around the base of the outside of the cage, and they also built comb hanging from the inner cover to fill the gaps on either side of the cage. Other than that, the introduction went very well.

Making the cage was simple - I am at work now, but I will try to remember to take pics and post them later.

Grid.
 

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That is exactly what my concern is. The ones sold by Kelleys are plastic and I didn't like the looks of them. I believe that one made of screen wire would be much more affective. Does anyone know of anyone who sells anything other than the plastic ones. Please send pictures of the one you made if you can.
 

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The reason I went with the push in cage for the Russian Queen is that I was introducing her to an Italian hive, and I had read somewhere that the Russian Queens smell different enough that they can sometimes be rejected by a non-Russian hive. Using the push-in cage over emerging brood gives the queen a large group of new bees who emerge and accept her, so that 5 days later when the push in cage is removed, she is more likely to be accepted by the rest of the hive.

At least that is the theory behind it as I read it. It seemed reasonable to me, so I tried it. Whether it made things better or not, I cannot say, as I had no control to compare against, but it did work. For all I know, though, a regular introduction with the shipped queen cage would have had the same chances of acceptance. I was trying to save a laying worker hive late in the season, so I REALLY wanted this queen to take. :)

Cheers,
Grid.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FYI:
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I use 3 hole cages and remove all attendant bees at introduction time.
Ernie
I think what you are saying is when you turn her loose that you remove the attendant bees, because she needs them until release, right? The Russian breeders have a procedure that they recommend and part of it is to remove any queen cells twice before releasing her. I would think that you should remove any queen cell before release in any procedure. I understand that a virgin queen will kill the laying queen every time in this setting. Is this true?
 

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>I understand that a virgin queen will kill the laying queen every time in this setting. Is this true?

In my experience Virgin queens are looking for Virgin queens to kill. They are not looking for laying queens at all. But the workers, may choose to keep the Virgin and get rid of the laying queen when they are given a choice. Every time is not true. Sometimes they will tolerate two queens.
 

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FYI:
The cage does not matter that much.Ernie
I agree. As long as I get the queen, no laying workers, or get all the queen cells, I don't have a problem with introductions. I haven't had a laying worker problem, but all my introduction failures I could attribute to missing the queen [virgin or otherwise] or missing a queen cell.

FYI:I use 3 hole cages and remove all attendant bees at introduction time.Ernie
I have used 3 hole cages, 1 hole cages, and plastice [I think what they have called 'jenter' type]. I use whatever the queen comes in and have not had any introduction problems save for the reasons previoulsy referred to above. I don't usually remove the attendants, although I have taken the time once or twice. Doesn't seem to matter.
 

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That is exactly what my concern is. The ones sold by Kelleys are plastic and I didn't like the looks of them. I believe that one made of screen wire would be much more affective. Does anyone know of anyone who sells anything other than the plastic ones. Please send pictures of the one you made if you can.
Brushy Mountain sells a requeening frame. You can release the queen into the frame and give her more room to get aquainted. Then when you're ready to release her just move the tab to open up the release hole.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Requeening-Frame/productinfo/274/
 

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Last time I looked, brushy mountain had a queen introduction frame/cage that looked pretty spiffy.

I'm not going to go replacing my simple push-in cage anytime soon though.
 

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I think what you are saying is when you turn her loose that you remove the attendant bees, because she needs them until release, right? The Russian breeders have a procedure that they recommend and part of it is to remove any queen cells twice before releasing her. I would think that you should remove any queen cell before release in any procedure. I understand that a virgin queen will kill the laying queen every time in this setting. Is this true?
No, just the mated queen in her candy cage is introduced.
Reading is ok, But, hands on application is best.
Ernie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What I've found out so far is that the common sense thing to do is to make your own intro cage like the one on Michael Bushs' sites. It makes more sense that she is out in the open for all to see and smell, and where she can absorb the smell of the hive, and visa-versa. One thing I think I will add to my cages when I make them is a small door cut on 3 sides, to release her into the cage. It will bend back in place to keep her in and the hive out. I went to the local hardware store and they have several types of hardware cloth available. I would still buy them if someone had this type for sale. My shortest commodity is time. Even though I stay broke!!:D
 

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That is exactly what my concern is. The ones sold by Kelleys are plastic and I didn't like the looks of them. I believe that one made of screen wire would be much more affective. Does anyone know of anyone who sells anything other than the plastic ones. Please send pictures of the one you made if you can.
I see Michael Bush got a pic up already, but here are mine since I said I would. Low tech and effective.



I pushed the cage in over the emerging and capped brood. I unplugged the queen cage and held it up to the opening in the cage until the queen and her attendants walked into the cage. Then I pushed the little gate in over the opening with the bent-over wires hooked into the cage. All done.

Grid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Grid!
Looks good to me yours is almost just like Mr. Bushs'. Read quote 13. I don't see any way it could be any simpler or how any thing could be more affective, especially if installing a differient genetic queen.
Brent Cook
 
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