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I was going to start to raise queens using the kloak board method! What do you guys use and how do you. Save the queens for use at a latter date? Nucs?
 

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Before the queens are ready to emerge, they should be placed in queenless nucleus hives. You've got to give them time to mature, mate, and prove that they've mated. You'll know that by seeing eggs they've layed in the nuc's cells. To be 100% certain of successfull mating, you can wait till the first of the queen's brood emerges.
After you know they are mated, you can put several of them in one hive, individually one to a cage, for holding till you are ready to introduce them into new hives. So long as they are kept apart, there is no danger to them and the bees of the hive will care for them.
 

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After you know they are mated, you can put several of them in one hive, individually one to a cage, for holding till you are ready to introduce them into new hives. So long as they are kept apart, there is no danger to them and the bees of the hive will care for them.
How long can you keep them in those cages?
 

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The one time I did it (about 20 years ago), I had them (about 8 queens) caged for about three weeks. You have to remember that since a holding hive doesn't have a laying queen it tends to weaken as time passes due to the normal death of bees. If you would want to keep the queens for longer, it could probably be done, but you'd have to add bees (frames of emerging brood) and feed them so as to keep them viable. I would also suggest keeping the hive entrance open to a minimum as protection against robbers.
I almost forgot ---Yes I used a nuc as my holding hive.
 

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most times when I bank queens I try to get them into their new homes as quickly as possible and not rely on a queen bank as a safe refuge for my homeless queens.

I myself use queenright hives with an excluder as a queen bank. these are typically set up as double deep hives with the queen below and one frame of feed and at least two frames of open/unsealed brood above. I have space between the open/unsealed brood enough so that the queen cages can be set directly between the two frames. Often times I add a feeder above and from time to time (every couple of days or so) dribble in a bit of syrup into the bottom of the feeder.

three weeks is about as long as I have ever banked queens. it seems the queens banked in this way undergo a fairly constant 'loss' rate. so the less time banked the fewer queen that are lost in the process.
 

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Tec, I like your comments. Using a queenright hive for a bank is briliant. It never crossed my mind but certainly is a wise option. :thumbsup:
 

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thanks efmesch...

on the other hand my queen rearing neighbors just south of me use swarm boxes (essentially deeps stuffed with bees and screened top and bottoms) to bank their queens. since these are queenless and as you have previously suggested some constant maintenance to keep the population robust is essential.
 

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Queen-right hive and an queen excluder sounds a heck of a lot easier than transferring brood frames every week... ...I finally have a future use for the one I was given, thanks Tec!
 
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