Banking a Queen

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Gypsi, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I have a replacement queen coming tomorrow - and can't place her in the hive I want her in until they settle down and I can catch the hot queen.

    So, I figure a nuc, 2 frames of brood and bees, one each from my hives that I didn't steal a frame from for the brood from the hot hive. and 3 frames of foundation? Or 2 frames from my other nuc hive since the genetics will all be pretty much the same? (I stole 1 from my nuc hive here for the hot bees.) Both of my nucs have done very well, wax being drawn, laying well, LOTS of bees, I can spare for a split. But then do I put them back after I get her where I need her?

    I figure a minimum of 2 frames of bees and brood, making sure not to have a queen on it, to keep the new lady alive. If I'm wrong someone tell me soon?

    Never did this before.

    Gypsi
     
  2. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Two brood frames sounds OK to me. Could be even less if you were filling something smaller than a 5-frame nuc. Give 'em a frame of food too. I don't think you need to worry much about getting the frames of brood from the same hive; the attached bees should be young, and they seem to work it out in short order.

    May I ask, are you "banking" the queen in this unit- as in storing her in her cage on purpose? Or are you introducing her into the nuc, with the intention of later combining this nuc w/ the hive you want re-queened? I'd go with the latter (maybe that's your plan anyway).

    As I understand, combining a laying queen in a nuc w/ another hive is one of the safest ways you can introduce a new queen. I'd especially lean this way if you're dealing with a "hot" hive.

    -Dan
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a gypsi snip...
    I figure a minimum of 2 frames of bees and brood, making sure not to have a queen on it, to keep the new lady alive. If I'm wrong someone tell me soon?

    tecumseh:
    the first question I guess is how long do you think you will store the queen?

    most times when I am holding queens for some intermediate time frame I simple raise a frame of unsealed brood + one frame of feed + some small quantity of feed (either plain sugar or sugar water) above a queen excluder. I allow some small space between the two frames and place the introduction cage there (ALWAYS with the sugar plug downward).
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Tecumseh,

    I'm up to my neck in chaos between bees, chicken predators, and at least 1 grandchild. I'd best put her in a nuc with 2 frames. If the bees that were such a nuisance in the garden (a very public vulnerable site with car traffic, critter traffic, etc) turn out to be not as aggressive where they are, I will not have to requeen, and the new queen will simply reign over a nuc and I'll see how it grows.

    If the bees I spent all weekend moving turn out to be as bad or worse where they are now, I will have to requeen, in which case I need to kill the old queen a couple of days before doing a combine? I am a 1.5 year beek, this will be the first time I ever purchased a queen rather than a hive, first time I added a queen, first time i changed a queen if I do that.

    Gypsi
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gypsi:...and at least 1 grandchild. I'd best put her in a nuc with 2 frames. I hope that she's small enough to fit in such a small container together with all that equipment. Is she a premie? :)rolling:)

    I am a 1.5 year beek, this will be the first time I ever purchased a queen rather than a hive, first time I added a queen, first time i changed a queen if I do that.

    efmesch: Don't be nervous. Don't let your hands shake. Once you've done it you'll realize just how easy it is. It's a big step on your way to becoming a pro. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    LOL, Nope, she's a 2 year old as of this coming Saturday, she'd make one heck of a mess. The bees should look out.

    I've postponed her visit until Tuesday afternoon so I can get my queen installed first. Her mom is in college and can't get her homework done. When they're short, sweet and energetic the solution is to rotate them around some so everyone gets a break. Share the joy. (I have 2 books to write this summer. Not looking good right now. - may have 11 year old, 7 year old and 2 year old this coming weekend.)

    Back to the queen, should I pull the frames now and prep the nuc, and add her tonight? I was figuring on not opening a hive until tomorrow morning, spent yesterday in a suit and it's hotter today. Will she be ok in my house overnight? (as long as the cats don't find her cage?)
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    If she's got food and attendants and the house isn't cold, there should be no problem keeping her in the house overnight.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    assuming you have attendants in the introduction cage????

    with the addition twice a day of two to three drops of water on the introduction cage screen (not on the candy end for all the obvious reasons) you can keep a queen inside your house for several days with little to no problems. a dark cool place is typically the description of the preferred place to stow a queen in this fashion <this for me typically means the top of my refrig.

    queen banks are more essential when you have no attendants in the introduction cage or need to keep numbers of queens for some longer period of time.
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    She has 3 attendants and is on top of my refrigerator under the cabinet overhang. Hopefully the weather will be right for me to work with hives tomorrow morning about 11, foragers gone, a queen to catch. I left a soaker hose on for 3 hours in the garden today, so rain is coming in tonight.

    My local mentor suggested I pen the hot queen in my queen catcher and move her to a nuc with a couple of frames of brood and some feed or a frame of food, she is certainly prolific. 2 boxes of bees in less than 3 months without feeding. (but then she arrived WITH the flow, my nucs got here more than half way through.) Rain equals a bit more flow.....

    And the new queen, with her attendants, cap on, can go in the hive I remove the queen from. for a day or so, then remove the cap.

    Gypsi
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gypsi:
    1. Remember to remove the attendants from the cage before putting the queen in the hive for introduction. (I think that's what Tecumseh was referring to with all his ????) They can be cause for agression toward the new queen and her acceptance.
    2. Don't forget, you're not removing the "hot" queen because she is not productive but because her progeny are short tempered. That is a genetic trait and I don't think you want to raise a new lot of hot brood after going through the trouble of replacing her so as to cool down your hive. While her offspring are few, they may not show their temper, but as their numbers increase, so does their defensive antagonism.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    not really efmesch but still not a bad idea.

    I obtain mated queen here some with attendants and some without. most time I use'em like I get'em but do believe removing attendants helps in getting a queen properly introduced. banking queens for introduction cages without attendants is essential.
     
  12. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Do you guys always remove attendants from the cage at introduction time, as a rule? It seems lots of people skip this step and just introduce, attendants and all.

    EDIT: I think Tec posted that last one the same time as I posted this question.
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    OK, so much to learn, so little time. She and attendants are on top of the fridge. I'm going to meditate on what to do while I move some fish for a customer.

    I can put her in a nuc with friendly brood frames, while waiting a week before going into the hot hive as Iddee suggested.

    I can put her in a nuc with friendly brood frames, but go into the hot hive and put that queen in a queen clip to keep her from laying more hot bees. (her bees are getting hot again... over the shock of the move)

    I can kill the hot queen and smear her juices on the queen cage from this queen, and just hang this queen, capped, in the hot hive. (local mentor suggestion)

    I can move hot queen to a nuc just in case, in a queen clip, and hang this queen, capped, in the hot hive.

    But for the next 2 hours I'm going to work. We are expecting afternoon rains. The sun just came out, so there have been bored foragers in the hives during this cloudy morning. Hopefully the sunshine will clear the foragers out, and the other activity will help me sort my options..

    Gypsi
     
  14. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Feel the top of your fridge before you stash her up there. I know that spots on top of my fridge get hot, and you want a cool dark place to keep her.

    -Dan

    ps- same thing w/ spice jars. It seems that the cabinet above the stove is a common place to store spice jars. It gets pretty warm up there too, and is a less-than-ideal place to keep spices.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    IF you go in the hive today, do the deed and get it done. The reason I suggested waiting a week is to keep from disturbing the hive. If you disturb it, there's no reason to wait. Remove the hot queen, then install the new one however and whenever you decide.
     
  16. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Temp is ok, but when I gave a drop of water earlier the attendants were not happy. I want to check on her soon. Perhaps half a drop of honey? We got thunderstorms today only a narrow sunny window while I was moving fish - and a narrow sunny window after I had to go pick up a small child. (who I hope takes a nap tomorrow or my neighbor will be watching her while I open hives.)
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    with the water and the queen candy in one hole of the introduction cage no honey should be required. you do want to be careful in even adding drops of water since if the candy gets soft and begin to run often the queen is going to drown in the syrup.
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    OK - well before this post came in I had moved her to a plastic bowl lid on my kitchen table (lower than the refrig top) with a cardboard box over her. I put a drop of water on the lid, half a drop of honey from my hive on the lid, and set the vent end of the cage over those drops. She's been covered all day. They are alive.

    I attempted to murder the old queen in the beetree cutout hive but couldn't find her. I DID find that it is not as hot as it was before, I did some great housekeeping while my granddaughter napped. Took the solid bottom board to my henhouse, the bees had corralled about half an inch of wax moth larva and shb carpeting the bottom, I let the guard bees fly off as it sat in the driveway before I walked it through the garage to the hen house.

    But to start at the beginning I pulled the empty deep from the top, after setting the feeder lid aside. Put it on a board and started hanging frames in it from the medium. That was the original new brood chamber when I moved the hive, I think the eggs died, bees using it for honey storage / sugar water storage. Then I got a nuc trap (closed bottom) and a regular nuc, put a queen excluder on top of the stack, and set the nucs on top. Frames full of wax moth larva went in the nuc trap, good deep frames (2) went in the open nuc over the QE. Pulled the bottom deep and got the bottom board to the hens. Got them a new bottom board with a small screened opening for shb evictions, put the deep on, and set the whole thing back up, cutting out ruined brood comb and setting aside for the freezer. Only had to add one empty frame. Brood nest in center, empties to outside, all squished together in the center. I got a cool photo of 3 bees emerging from their cells all at once, they were coming out of comb from the tree - and the shot of that solid bottom board is why I do not use solid bottom boards much. will post those later.

    All in all I checked the interior of every box, the queen COULD have been buried in the wax moth larva fed to my hens, in which case she is gone. I checked every face of every frame of brood twice, with special attention to the bottom of the frames, and I did it at 2 pm when the foragers were out and light was good. I can't find the queen. I decapitated a couple of drones on suspicion before being sure they were drones. So I left the QE between deep and medium, and put the hive back together. Which means I need to set a nuc up for my new queen. But granddaughter was awake. She goes home tomorrow morning.

    Gypsi
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I know the frustration of searching for an evasive queen. Sometimes they just manage to evade us--in spite of several passes over all the frames. But if we see their eggs/brood, we know they're there. It seems to me highly unlikelly that she was on the floorboard with the "carpeting" and the wax moth larvae. As they say, "divide and conquer". So, using the excluder was the proper move.
    How about setting up the nuc with the new queen and placing it in the position of the hive whose queen you want to eliminate. Move the old hive to somewhere else nearby or just turn it around so the entrance faces the opposite direction. The new hive/nuc should quickly get strong from the field bees coming back, while the old hive will lose forces and make it easier to handle, remove the queen and eventually re-unite it with the strong "nuc" using the paper method.
     
  20. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Sounds like a good idea. With only 2 frames of bees and brood, I was thinking of putting a robber screen on it. Good idea? But then how will I pick up extra bees? hmmm