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Author Topic: Queen bee in a queen motel  (Read 3324 times)
tillie
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« on: April 22, 2008, 02:27:36 PM »

The bee supplier who sold me the nuc with no queen will have a queen for me tomorrow, he thinks, after lunch time.  He told me the queen would be in a "queen motel" which means that there will be no attendants with her and she'll need to get into the hive ASAP. 

OK, does that mean that I just dump her into the hive or do I make and use a push-in cage?

I've never introduced a queen before and I know there are all kinds of perspectives on it, but I couldn't find "queen motel" on a search and wonder what exactly this means that I will be facing and how to introduce Her Majesty.

Linda T trying to get prepared for Her arrival in Atlanta
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 02:50:04 PM »

Boy, never heard of the queen motel, but I am sure they would have to be introduced to her slowly. Maybe call him up again and ask what it looks like.

Annette
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bassman1977
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 07:37:03 PM »

Whatever a queen motel is, I'd make sure she's in a queen cage and keep her in there for a couple of days if the bees don't release her (or wack her) themselves.  Maybe a queen motel is a mating nuc?
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 08:27:48 PM »

All he said was, "She will be in what we call a queen motel - just the queen - no attendants - so that means you have to put her in the hive right away."

I thought I'd stop at the hardware store in the morning on my way to work to buy #8 hardware cloth to make a push in cage for her....does that sound like what I should do?

Also, I gave that hive a frame of brood and eggs on Friday, the 18th - should I check to see if they have made a queen cell before introducing her? 

The nuc was supposed to have a mated queen, ready to lay immediately, but what if it had a virgin queen who has now been mated....I guess I should check the hive before putting the queen in.

The main question is should I make her a push-in cage - and it looks like rain tomorrow - what if she comes, no attendants, and it's pouring rain?Huh

Linda T with many unanswered questions in Atlanta
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 08:34:20 PM »

i don't remember what kind of foundation you are using.  last year, i just took the queen cage and attached it to the wax foundation by poking two holes through the foundation and attaching the cage with a twist tie.  you could tie or tape the cage and attach it to the top of a frame with the cage hanging down a couple of inches.  whatever you decide to do, it shouldn't take more than a few of second.  you can always drape a tarp over you and the hive while you work.
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 08:44:19 PM »

Mostly I don't use foundation, but this hive has a frame of brood and eggs from another hive as well as they have been drawing comb since their arrival and they have old comb in the four nuc frames - so there is wax to attach the cage to.  If she comes tomorrow, I'll ask the supplier what he meant by putting her immediately in the hive.  I know Michael Bush sometimes just releases the queen. 

I hate not knowing what to think about in making a decision.  It challenges all of my Girl Scout nerve endings!

Linda T in Atlanta
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bassman1977
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 08:49:39 PM »

Quote
I thought I'd stop at the hardware store in the morning on my way to work to buy #8 hardware cloth to make a push in cage for her....does that sound like what I should do?

That's what I would do if she didn't come in a queen cage already.

Quote
Also, I gave that hive a frame of brood and eggs on Friday, the 18th - should I check to see if they have made a queen cell before introducing her?

You can.  If you put the new queen in, she'll kill those potential queens before they emerge so no loss.  Maybe a more seasoned vet could verify this, but you could take the queen cell frames and put them in a separate hive (a nuc would be best I think) until you can verify that the new queen was definatey accepted. If she wasn't then put the queen cell frames back in.  Make sure that you have bees on the frames you take out.  Doing this could give you a backup plan.

Quote
The nuc was supposed to have a mated queen, ready to lay immediately, but what if it had a virgin queen who has now been mated....I guess I should check the hive before putting the queen in.

Wouldn't hurt anything if you can do it when it's not raining.  If you checked already (twice) and saw nothing at all, chances are pretty likely she's not there.

Quote
The main question is should I make her a push-in cage - and it looks like rain tomorrow - what if she comes, no attendants, and it's pouring rain?

Wait for a pause in the rain or I like the tarp idea that kathyp suggested.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 08:51:20 PM »

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I know Michael Bush sometimes just releases the queen. 

If I understood him correctly, he meant queens that came in packages.  The queen already travels with the packages for a couple days and for the most part, the queen has been accepted by this time.
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 09:09:13 PM »



Here is a photo of a push in cage made according to MB website.
I would not direct release this queen as the bees do not know her. In a package they had time to accept her.
I still would like to know what a queen motel is??? Perhaps it is sort of like a push in cage??

Keep us posted please.

Annette
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 09:34:02 PM »

Thanks, Annette, I've copied those directions - I hope Ace Hardware carries #8 hardware cloth - Home Depot doesn't

Linda T in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 10:04:43 PM »

>OK, does that mean that I just dump her into the hive or do I make and use a push-in cage?

A candy cage will do if you have one left from some other time.  Use marshmallows etc. or make a push in cage.  The push in cage is the most reliable.

>I've never introduced a queen before and I know there are all kinds of perspectives on it, but I couldn't find "queen motel" on a search and wonder what exactly this means that I will be facing and how to introduce Her Majesty.

There are many questions and perhaps you can get answers before you get her home.  If she's being caught from a nuc where she's laying she could probably be directly released since laying queens are almost always accepted by queenless hives.  But a banked queen is another ballgame.

Brother Adam always direct released laying queens.

"the acceptance of a queen is not determined, as hitherto generally assumed, by 'colony odour'. but by her behaviour.  A fully mature queen, one that has been laying for a considerable time, will have lost her original nervousness, and will behave sedately and calmly.  When in that condition, her acceptance is assured irrespective of the safeguards generally considered as essential."--Brother Adam, Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey

A package is also a special case as the bees are hiveless and have had some time to realize that there is only one queen and get used to her.
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tillie
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 11:40:53 PM »

Thank you, Michael, and everyone.  I love being able to turn to this forum when I don't have any idea what to do.  I'll let you all know what happens tomorrow. 

Isn't beekeeping the best?  Always there is a challenge, always something new to learn.

Linda T, challenged and learning in Atlanta
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 09:03:31 AM »

Linda, I bet I am too late to make a comment on your post, you probably already have the queen in hand.

I am concerned about the queen being killed.  I have always got the strong impression that if bees have began to raise queens, that if a queen is introduced they will kill her.  I also think I remember something about that a queen should be introduced shortly after being made or is queenless.

Don't want to rain on your parade or make you paranoid, but your hive has been queenless for quite a few days now.  Ensure that you check for queen cell production before you introduce this queen.  That would be my strongest advice.  I could be wrong, but I could also be right.  Have that beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 09:28:08 AM »

Hey Cindi, the bees would most likely, imo, take to a mated queen, even if the colony has ripe queen cells. Unmated queens don't put out nearly as much scent as mated queens do. The mated queen once accepted would again, imo, destroy the queen cells.

M.B. had posted some info about this last night somewhere.


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tillie
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2008, 10:07:52 AM »

I won't know yet if the queen has come in until after lunch today, but I have found #8 hardware cloth (FINALLY - in another post) and plan to make a push-in cage to put her in so that they can get used to her before her release.  I have my fingers crossed that she will arrive today.  I have had cancellations all afternoon and am free from 2 - 5:30 so that I can work with her.

Linda T in Atlanta
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2008, 12:12:36 PM »

*waits to find out what a queen motel is*
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tillie
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2008, 05:17:33 PM »

As I believe Paul Harvey says, here's "the rest of the story"

I heard from the supplier that the queen was here and I could get her this afternoon.  I drove down to his place and picked her up.  It turns out that a queen motel is the container in which a number of queens are shipped together.  It was about the size of 3/4 of a shoe box and had a bar in it in which were perched a number of queen cages - candy side down in a series of holes along the bar.  I guess that's the difference in a queen with a package and a queen shipped alone.

So she isn't plucked from a nuc and currently already laying but is probably a banked queen (forgot to ask him that but it seems obvious).

So I came home and installed her suspending the cage with a twist tie through the wax foundation.  The bees were all over the cage - so relieved I guess to get a queen or maybe they perceived her as an intruder, who knows.

Then about five minutes after I closed up the hive, I saw a worker dragging a large pupae out the front entrance.  I had provided the hive with a frame of brood and eggs so that they could make their own queen.  I've wondered if the pupae were the queen in process - don't need her now that they have the real thing???

Anyway, I've posted pictures on the blog  if you want to see. 

Thanks to all of you for the support and suggestions and just for being there.

Linda T relieved in Atlanta
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bassman1977
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2008, 06:38:49 PM »

They don't look to be sticking their butts into the cage in an attempt to kill her, so here's hoping.
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2008, 10:03:26 PM »

So how long do you keep her in that cage?? That is the same type of cage I introduced my queen a couple of weeks ago. Without attendents to feed her, I wonder if you have to release her rather quickly.

Annette
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tillie
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2008, 10:17:30 PM »

The supplier put two attendants in with her when he gave her to me.  He said they should release her in about three or four days.  So we'll see.

Linda T in Atlanta
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