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CraBee

Two Queen Questions

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I've had mixed success caging Queens from mating nucs and putting them back into the mating nuc, and then putting a cell in.

The problem is that sometimes when I next check....the mated Queen in the cage is dead.  I've been putting in attendants (8)

with the mated Queen, placing the cage in brood on a well populated frame.   Any tips please?

 

And I am finding regularly that with my cells I'm getting a really high strike on the top bar and usually almost always a lower

strike on the bottom bar.  One I just looked at was 20 on the top bar, and none on the bottom bar.   The bars aren't spaced too

far apart - the frame will fit into a 3/4 size box.  Maybe there are just not enough nurse bees?  The top bar is always where

most of the bees are so perhaps further down the frame is less priority for them?

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Question 1

stop fighting biology, use the queen else where, 

the only time this happens in a hive the laying queen is on its way out and the stuffed queen is tolerated for a while 

 

question 2 

you have answered this your self , more bees!! required

 

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Banking queens is something I have done but wouldn't do again. you normally have no escorts with them and the hives have to be well fed and populous. Banking can lead to all sorts of problems including the bottoms of the Queen's feet being chewed off. You normally bank lots of queens in one hive. Experts can make it work but you really have to pay attention to what you're doing and you can expect losses.

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1 hour ago, Rob Atkinson said:

Question 1

stop fighting biology, use the queen else where, 

the only time this happens in a hive the laying queen is on its way out and the stuffed queen is tolerated for a while 

 

question 2 

you have answered this your self , more bees!! required

 

 

Very good ta.  Your name is already on my list to get a couple of Q's from.  Expect a call.  

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48 minutes ago, john berry said:

Banking queens is something I have done but wouldn't do again. you normally have no escorts with them and the hives have to be well fed and populous. Banking can lead to all sorts of problems including the bottoms of the Queen's feet being chewed off. You normally bank lots of queens in one hive. Experts can make it work but you really have to pay attention to what you're doing and you can expect losses.

 

John, I am also interested in getting a couple of Queens from you.  But I know you advocate Queens being bred for regional conditions.  What do you think?

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11 hours ago, CraBee said:

I've had mixed success caging Queens from mating nucs and putting them back into the mating nuc, and then putting a cell in.

The problem is that sometimes when I next check....the mated Queen in the cage is dead.  I've been putting in attendants (8)

with the mated Queen, placing the cage in brood on a well populated frame.   Any tips please?

I'm interested in why you would be doing this? I understand caging queens from mating nucs and putting a cell back in for the replacement queen but why is the caged queen also going back into the nuc? The whole point of mating nucs is to use the queens elsewhere once mated. If you're not immediately using the mated queens they can be kept in cages with attendants for weeks if you look after them a bit. 

I'm with @Rob Atkinson, why fight biology? The chances of getting a second decent mated queen from a nuc while leaving the first one in must surely reduce drastically? I have admittedly never tried this but would not expect it to work very well.

Edited by Otto
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I guess it has been a matter of resources to hold the Queen till you want her @CraBee?

I am a rank beginner at Q raising, I tend to put a new laying Queen in a small nuc to hold her if needed (another brood generator) for a while. On my scale this is ok to a degree but I can see that on a larger scale it would be a problem.

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45 minutes ago, Otto said:

I'm interested in why you would be doing this? I understand caging queens from mating nucs and putting a cell back in for the replacement queen but why is the caged queen also going back into the nuc? The whole point of mating nucs is to use the queens elsewhere once mated. If you're not immediately using the mated queens they can be kept in cages with attendants for weeks if you look after them a bit. 

I'm with @Rob Atkinson, why fight biology? The chances of getting a second decent mated queen from a nuc while leaving the first one in must surely reduce drastically? I have admittedly never tried this but would not expect it to work very well.

 

I do it as I don't have an immediate use for the Queen and so keep her in the same environment.  I know others who do this.  The new Queen from the cell is always good.  I think the bees understand there is a problem with their original Queen - she is not spreading her pheremones on the comb and has stopped laying.....It is just the Queen left in the cage who sometimes dies.  It may be I am better to build something to hold multiple cages in and then bank them in a hive - is that your solution?  When you mention looking after them what are you referring to actually doing?  Any feedback appreciated.

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8 minutes ago, CraBee said:

I do it as I don't have an immediate use for the Queen and so keep her in the same environment.  I know others who do this.  The new Queen from the cell is always good.  I think the bees understand there is a problem with their original Queen - she is not spreading her pheremones on the comb and has stopped laying.....It is just the Queen left in the cage who sometimes dies.  It may be I am better to build something to hold multiple cages in and then bank them in a hive - is that your solution?  When you mention looking after them what are you referring to actually doing?  Any feedback appreciated.

Okay. Not a method I have come across. Good to learn something new.

Keeping queens in cages is relatively easy. Need to keep them at a decent temperature (others will have more knowledge than me but I tend to keep them at 20-25 degrees). I do not do it on any great scale so tend to use my hot water cupboard. The most I've had at any one time is a few dozen.

Looking after them:

A drop of water on each cage every day or two to give them a drink if they need it.

Attendants need to be replaced every 1.5-2 weeks (put fresh nurse bees into a new cage and move the queen across).

Make sure they don't run out of candy. If they're running low easiest is to re-cage the queen with some fresh nurse bees.

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IMHO @CraBee way of holding queens caged in a Nuc is a lot better than holding in a queen cage outside a nuc.

we would not put attendants in with the queen when holding in a Nuc and also think that if the queen dies there was something wrong with her anyway.

Queen survival decreases the longer she’s kept caged and will sometimes turn dronelayer when she’s released.

if in a pinch I would do as @CraBee does minus the attendants .

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10 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

IMHO @CraBee way of holding queens caged in a Nuc is a lot better than holding in a queen cage outside a nuc.

we would not put attendants in with the queen when holding in a Nuc and also think that if the queen dies there was something wrong with her anyway.

Queen survival decreases the longer she’s kept caged and will sometimes turn dronelayer when she’s released.

if in a pinch I would do as @CraBee does minus the attendants .

 

A nuc seems a good idea, easy to access.  Is it acceptable to just use a normal plastic Queen transport cage to hold her in?  Could the nuc could be kept Queen-right and functioning - or is it better to use a Queenless nuc do you think?  I'm usually needing Queens not have too many so this is all new ground....

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We put her in a normal queen cage or a wood and wire made specifically for banking. No attendants and back into the same Nuc she came from.

Put a cell in same as usual. 

I don’t like banking for any length of time probably 2 weeks max although I kno many bank for a lot longer than that. 

The bees look after her very well and I look on it as being an artificial supercedure situation. 

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I remember putting a photo of the wooden queen cage in a thread here somewhere but don’t kno how to find it.

also the queen cage doesn’t need any candy in it.

 

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41 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

We put her in a normal queen cage or a wood and wire made specifically for banking. No attendants and back into the same Nuc she came from.

Put a cell in same as usual. 

I don’t like banking for any length of time probably 2 weeks max although I kno many bank for a lot longer than that. 

The bees look after her very well and I look on it as being an artificial supercedure situation. 

I agree, never put attendants in any type of banking cage.  The system works, but you lose varying percentages of  the caged Queens, and I don't think they are all the ones that were better off dead any way, and I think mating percentages are lower in nucs where a Queen is being held.  The JzBz cages work well for this, with a cell cup on the candy tube, and candy the cages as well- it keeps the Queens out of the tube.

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Thanks all for the excellent feedback.

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On 19/01/2019 at 8:27 PM, Rob Atkinson said:

Question 1

stop fighting biology, use the queen else where, 

the only time this happens in a hive the laying queen is on its way out and the stuffed queen is tolerated for a while 

 

question 2 

you have answered this your self , more bees!! required

 

 

Rob are you running carniolan Queens from David Yanke, or an Italian line?

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I use carnica breeders ( pure and hybrid ) from David for 2 customers who prefer them , that may have to change if New owner doesn’t sell to non suppliers .

The rest of my customers like Italian type .

have used mine , Betta Bees A.I ( not sure if I will go there again) and Kirwee bees ( shaping up very well) this autumn.

mine tend to have carnica in the mix so get black drones .

my nuc yards now have a fair few neighbours ( both big corporates in range and other beekeepers have come in as well ) resulting in mixed mating on a regular basis .

They may now become more Carnica now that David is now part of one of my corporate neighbours ( queen support yards on the next road) .

 

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29 minutes ago, Rob Atkinson said:

and Kirwee bees ( shaping up very well) this autumn.

 

I like the look of the Kirwee bees queens that I’ve seen,

I also like Glynns philosophy on raising queens. 

 

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