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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dang if I didn't lose a couple of queens trying to bank them for a few days. Wow! I dont know if the hive just flat out rejected them and didn't feed them. Or if they balled the whole cage. I guess the conditions changing from earlier in the year changed everything. All spring and summer I have been able to set a queen in a hive and they were kept up by the nurse bees. Now they don't want anything to do with taking care of a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do the pollen, and nectar stores look like in those banks? Would be first question.
Cody
The first was a Single brood chamber with queen excluder 10 frame 3 deep. Lost 2 queens in it. Ive been feeding them and havent had an issue with nectar in any of the hives. Also pollen has been plentiful, I see lots of bee bread on the outer frames.Then tried a 3 deep 5 frame setup without an excluder but didnt leave the queen in. They started balling her. Then same with the last one. So now I have the queen in the house and hopefully I can keep her fed. Giving her a drop of honey every now and then and water on the screen. There has been lots of robbing attempts.
 

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Dang if I didn't lose a couple of queens trying to bank them for a few days
Those coolers I got work great for queen banking.
This is exactly what I do with extra queens - 1-2 cups of bees; a queen; a little feed..
Works great and is cheap.
May even get some work done while on hold - extra brood/combs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those coolers I got work great for queen banking.
This is exactly what I do with extra queens - 1-2 cups of bees; a queen; a little feed..
Works great and is cheap.
May even get some work done while on hold - extra brood/combs.
Is that basically like a 3 frame setup? Then do you leave the queen in a cage or just let her loose?
 

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Is that basically like a 3 frame setup? Then do you leave the queen in a cage or just let her loose?
Why, loose.
This is a full-blown hive, just tiny.
They do whatever bees are supposed to do - brood, etc.

Last year I did a run using small coolers - only three frames and a bag feeder will fit.
Works OK, but a little tight to work inside.
This year I am running larger coolers (there is elbow room to work inside, which is nice) - but reduced to three frames up start using dummy frames, expandable as needed.
 

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Were you by chance putting queens of another type with a different kind? I think this can cause some issues. Like I just tried recently to bank 2 carniolan queens in an italian hive. I caught them before they were killed. But there was definitely rejection.

Also, maybe you could try with smaller hives next time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why, loose.
This is a full-blown hive, just tiny.
They do whatever bees are supposed to do - brood, etc.

Last year I did a run using small coolers - only three frames and a bag feeder will fit.
Works OK, but a little tight to work inside.
This year I am running larger coolers (there is elbow room to work inside, which is nice) - but reduced to three frames up start using dummy frames, expandable as needed.
Those look like pharmacy coolers. I think I have them available. Like free. They throw alot of them away at the pharmacies I work at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Were you by chance putting queens of another type with a different kind? I think this can cause some issues. Like I just tried recently to bank 2 carniolan queens in an italian hive. I caught them before they were killed. But there was definitely rejection.

Also, maybe you could try with smaller hives next time?
That kinda goes inline with what GregV is saying too.And yes the first 2 were a Carnica and a Russian in a Caucasian hive.
 

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Those look like pharmacy coolers. I think I have them available. Like free. They throw alot of them away at the pharmacies I work at.
Exactly.

Medication coolers - I like them very much for being very robust and very easy to modify into "hives".
They toss them and they are free for taking.

One minor negative is that there may be different sizes and not exactly fitting standard frames.

Well, very easy solutions are:
  • make free-standing frames like I do - then you can use any size coolers whatever comes along
  • OR cut/tape those coolers to standard sizing to fit standard frames (which I also want to try); a very quick job - takes an old stake knife and duct tape - tada! you got yourself a hive; takes two coolers to make into a single hive for standard frames.
These coolers are such great resource, I am surprised people don't use them for nucs.
There is nothing to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Exactly.
Medication coolers - I like them very much for being very robust and very easy to modify into "hives".
They toss them and they are free for taking.
Indeed, I could tell by their construction that they were high quality. I'm going to ask them for a few.
 

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Indeed, I could tell by their construction that they were high quality. I'm going to ask them for a few.
Oh yes; you can stand on it and it will hold.
And yet it cuts just like Styrofoam.
Great stuff.
 
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