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Author Topic: Queen bee in a queen motel  (Read 3314 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 08:49:39 PM »

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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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2008, 12:12:36 PM »

*waits to find out what a queen motel is*
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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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« 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.

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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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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2008, 10:30:19 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

The white stuff in the plug end is queen candy. The bees will chew this out and probably faster than you think. My guess would be 2 days tops, but when they really get at it, she can be released overnite. You can take a nail and poke through the center of the candy in the future if you like. This will get them to release her sooner. The bees will tend to the queen in a cage like this, just not as effectively as a push in type.


...JP

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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2008, 11:13:51 PM »

PN, the supplier, poked a hole in the candy with a nail before he gave me the cage. 

I now have the material to make a push-in cage and am going to, following MB's instructions so that the next time I need to replace or requeen, I'll have it ready to go. 

I was afraid to do that today because I would have had to get home, construct the queen cage, find a frame of emerging bees and honey in another hive, get the queen out of the candy cage and into the push-in cage without mishap, and get back to the office by 4:45.  I thought under pressure I'd blow some part of the deal, so I stuck her in in the cage in which I got her.  I really hope this works OK.

I'm going to the mountains on Saturday just for overnight, but I'll check on her on Friday afternoon to see if they have already released her.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2008, 06:54:22 AM »

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I really hope this works OK.

It'll be fine.  If you see that they are eatting away at the plug and if she's not released yet, you could actually release her manually on Friday before you leave.  That would be plenty of time for the bees to accept her.
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« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2008, 08:07:41 AM »

I think JP is right.  I dropped in a few JZBZ cages this spring and the girls had the queen released no later than 48 hours later with no hole poked in the candy. 

The queen hotel is really battery box. 

In the future if you want to slow down the release of your queen place duct tape over the candy end of the queen cage.  Then 2-3 days later go back and pull off the duct tape.

Don't use masking tape.  I think it is too paper like and they will chew thru it.
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« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2008, 09:04:54 AM »

I think JP is right.  I dropped in a few JZBZ cages this spring and the girls had the queen released no later than 48 hours later with no hole poked in the candy. 

The queen hotel is really battery box. 

In the future if you want to slow down the release of your queen place duct tape over the candy end of the queen cage.  Then 2-3 days later go back and pull off the duct tape.

Don't use masking tape.  I think it is too paper like and they will chew thru it.

BMAC, I cage swarm queens in these with queen candy and they routinely eat the candy out over night, and some of these swarms or 3lbs or less and do that.

With the numbers that Linda has in that hive they may break a record on release time.


...JP
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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2008, 05:41:38 PM »

*waits to find out what a queen motel is*


Tillie has gotten her queen, but I found images here: http://www.mannlakeltd.net/catalog/page35.html
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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2008, 06:07:15 PM »

Thanks, Daddy's Girl - those are just like what the supplier had.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2008, 09:34:23 PM »

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.


...JP

Uh-oh! Mated and/or laying queens most usually do not search out, nor destroy queen cells, especially queen cells that have bees attending/guarding them. Even if the bees learn to accept the newly introduced queen, I wouldn't wish to take the chance that a virgin might emerge and kill your newly introduced queen in a queenly battle to the death. Avoid this, destroy or remove ALL queen cells present in the hive, before attempting to introduce the new queen.
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2008, 12:03:57 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.


...JP

Uh-oh! Mated and/or laying queens most usually do not search out, nor destroy queen cells, especially queen cells that have bees attending/guarding them. Even if the bees learn to accept the newly introduced queen, I wouldn't wish to take the chance that a virgin might emerge and kill your newly introduced queen in a queenly battle to the death. Avoid this, destroy or remove ALL queen cells present in the hive, before attempting to introduce the new queen.


Good eye Joseph, thanks for catching my error, after all, I did say imo, well my opinions were about 1/2 right and I have read up a little and learned a couple of things that I found interesting.

A queenless hive will readily accept a virgin queen as a mated one has the scent of a possible intruder, hence the quarentine period, a package hive, different story.

I thought it was possible that mated, laying queens would kill queen cells, but from my readings, I see it is otherwise, and that virgin queens are the ones that do the killing as are the workers. Interesting stuff. Always good to learn something.

Its amazing how the bees pay attention to mated queens but will ignore virgins.


...JP
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« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2008, 09:31:36 AM »

The first queen to emerge from a cell with take on that duty of searching and destroying all the other queens that are still in their cell.  She has that agenda of death, she will be the only one to reign in the colony.  If a queen is introduced, she will, upon her emergence, seek out to destroy this new queen too.  Joseph is correct to say to remove all queen cells when introducing a caged queen.

I remember this because a bee pal was telling me that she tried to introduce a queen several times to her colony that she thought was queenless, those queens were killed over and over.  Think that she tried three times, obviously unsuccessful.  She found out later that the hive had began queen rearing and she didn't realize this.  Beautiful day in this wonderful life.  Cindi
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2008, 08:57:54 PM »

>I remember this because a bee pal was telling me that she tried to introduce a queen several times to her colony that she thought was queenless, those queens were killed over and over.

Generally these incidents happen because there IS a queen, it's just a virgin that hasn't started laying yet.  It's a common mistake to try to requeen a hive that has a queen that isn't laying yet.
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« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2008, 11:54:30 PM »

Michael, yep, makes 100% sense, for sure.  Best of a beautiful and great day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
tillie
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« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2008, 01:57:53 PM »

So I put the new queen in the hive in her queen cage and the bees were all over the cage.  Four days later they had eaten the candy plug and released her.  I left the hive alone until yesterday.  When I opened the hive yesterday, there was no queenless roar, but there is no brood, no eggs, no larvae and her majesty was not running around with her red dot on her back, at least I didn't see her. 

You may remember that when I first discovered the queenless state of the hive, before the queen arrived, I put in a frame of brood and eggs.  That frame is now empty of all brood, and there is a queen cell which has been ripped open on the side, indicating that there has been a viable queen in the hive.  I saw no other queen cells or any capped brood or brood of any kind.  In other words, there were no regular queen cells opened at the tip.  As Michael pointed out, maybe there is a virgin queen who hasn't mated yet, or the new queen was in fact a virgin rather than mated queen.

For safety against queenlessness, I put another frame of eggs and brood into this hive, but I don't want to go through all of this again.  There are tons of bees in this hive.  If the hive doesn't make a queen, I'd like to combine it with another hive.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
Would you do a newspaper combine if I did this?

Linda T in Atlanta
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Cindi
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« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2008, 09:47:45 AM »

Linda, I don't see why the colony would not make another queen if they need it.  You have given them the resources by giving eggs and brood.  I seriously have my doubts that you would have received an UNMATED queen.

If you do decide to combine, use the newspaper method.  This ensures that the bees have time to mingle their scents, this is a surefired way of uniting colonies.

You need to give them a month to raise a queen and her become mated.  That is the time frame, then you should see eggs.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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