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Author Topic: Hairclip queen catchers  (Read 3049 times)
Moonshae
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« on: July 22, 2008, 08:01:28 PM »

After all the raving people have done about these things, I decided to get two, since I'm going to be splitting and raising some queens. Well! My first attempt ended up with the queen on the outside of the clip, who then glided down into the hive, not to be found. My second attempt on a different hive went the way it was supposed to...trapped her, held her, and she went right from there into a cage. The third attempt, on yet a third hive, resulted in a nice, clean capture. I set the clip down on the top box while I replaced the frames in the bottom box, and when I checked back, she was gone! Slipped out and into the hive. Not as easy as some have made it sound, but probably easier than bare fingers (I didn't even try that).
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Frantz
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 08:06:39 PM »

Yea, I have been trying the bare fingers thing. So far it has been a little rough, also pretty tense on my part. I tried marking my queen the other day and I think that I really screwed that one up. She ended up with a little more nail polish on her than I would have hoped. I am hoping that she will still be able to fly. (fingers crossed on that one) I have been wondering about the hairclip catchers, but I don't think that they will help with the marking will they?
Oh the lessons we learn,,huh got to love it.
F
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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 08:10:54 PM »

They won't help with marking, but they make a tube you can use for that. So far, I haven't been marking queens, but I did buy two that were marked, and I'll admit they were easier to find. Since I'm rearing some of my own, I might just give it a shot.
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Frantz
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 09:27:36 PM »

I will have to check out the tube thing. How does that work? Do they have pics of that in the catalog I wonder? I will have to check it out. Let me know if you get one and use it. I will as well.
F
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Bill W.
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 09:47:39 PM »

I use a marking tube.  It is just a clear plastic tube, open on one end, with grating on the other.  You put the queen in the tube and then insert a plunger with a piece of soft foam on it.  You carefully press the foam onto the queen to hold her in place against the grating and then mark her through it.

Of course, that sounds easy, but you would be amazed how long it can take to get the queen to orient her back toward the grate and stay that way long enough to trap her with the foam.  Wink
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Lovett
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 10:22:23 PM »

I found it helpful to practice on drones using next year's color(green)
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qa33010
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2008, 12:35:23 AM »

   Shoooot!  Two years of practicing on drones and I still can't get it right.  And that's just trying to catch them with my fingers.  They sure do look weird afterwards though.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 06:12:22 AM »

a guy in our bee club made a small cage similar to a push in cage but smaller. you find the queen on the comb and trap her in the little cage. your marking device's business end is small enough to fit through the spaces in the cage which is probably made with #8 hardware cloth. mark her and pull out your cage. Handling a queen is always a little risky in that too tight a squeeze can damage her. MB has excellent (as usual) instructions for making a push in cage on his website that you could probably adapt to what i've described.
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 07:43:07 AM »

I found the hair clip catchers too cumbersome.   You struggle to get her in without squishing her,   and then once you have her in there,  it is another challenge to try and get her into a cage.  It seems to me the risk of injury to the queen is higher with the hair clip than handling by hand.

Frantz,

Here are a couple pictures of the queen marking tube in action.




  Basically, you pin the queen down between a piece of foam and cloth mesh.  If you line her thorax up with a hole in the mesh, you can mark her.  It seems like it takes a fair amount of pressure (enough that I was uncomfortable that I was hurting her) to keep her from wiggling around.     Of course,  you know I'm a strong proponent of marked queens and have found doing it by hand to be best. http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/queen-marking/

As far as too much paint,  I have found the Posca medium tip pens work the best.   I dab it against the hive first to get the paint flowing,  and then apply it.   Here is a great place (both price and service)  for Posca markers. http://www.durablesupply.com/pospainmar.html   (Thanks to Greg Peck for turning me onto this place) grin

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danno
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 08:19:29 AM »

I had a idea of making something with the shape of a small magnifying glass with soft mess instead of the glass and and a ring of soft foam that could be used by finding the queen on a frame, catching her under and slowly pressing down depressing the foam until the mess is against her and mark her
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Robo
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 08:34:16 AM »

Some of the bee catalogs use to sell a device similar to what you describe.   I just did a quick look thru the catalogs, and it appears they have all switched to the tube type.   

I couldn't find a picture of one online,  the closest I could find was on Dave Cushman's site



The commercial ones I remember seeing had a handle and the ring of nails was replaced with a ring of foam.   I never used one, so can't give an opinion other than the queen does not like being pressed and will struggle immensely and require a lot of pressure to hold her in place for marking.  Not sure what to take on the fact that all the suppliers have all moved away from that type of design.


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Frantz
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 09:01:12 AM »

Ok, Now I get it, thanks Robo for the pics. It was not at all what I was thinking. I could see that working.  I did ok, at my first attempt by hand. I just need to calm down and take my time a little more. That last ring type device looks my like a medival torture device than anything.
Thanks for all the info
F
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 09:48:28 AM »

the picture Rob posted is very similar to the device I described above.
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danno
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 12:55:22 PM »

I dont understand why more people dont clip a wing.  I marked my queens this year and lost a very good one in a swarm.  Dr Larry Connor recommends even year left,  odd year right.  I know about it not  being a swarm prevention but if they are going to swarm let them swarm with a virgin.  Doesn't this just give the beek more control
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Frantz
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 02:24:11 PM »

Can she do her mating flights after you clip her wing? Sorry is that a stupid question? Seems to me that she would not be able to.
F
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danno
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 02:51:55 PM »

Obviously she would never be able to fly again so I'm talking about laying quality queens. Back to this thread I just got a queen clip yesterday along with the muff that bushy mountain sells.  I planned on going through some of my hives this weekend, catching the good layers and clipping them.  My swarming hive that had a excellent queen left. The daughter was poor and was superceded. This queen  didn't make it. They became queenless.  I trapped a swarm with a good queen and combined them so everything is back on track.  Had I clipped her I would be a hive ahead both with good queens. When you have less than 10 one more is 10% more
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Frantz
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 04:41:44 PM »

So I thought that they did a mating flight once a month or so? Wrong?
F
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Robo
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 05:00:36 PM »

So I thought that they did a mating flight once a month or so? Wrong?
F

They mate only one time (technically a few times, but only within 2 weeks of hatching).  Once they start laying they are done.
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Frantz
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 09:21:22 PM »

Wow! how have I missed this so far?? So these queens can lay 1500 eggs a day during the height of the season and last 2-3 years? All off of a couple of mating flights just after hatching. No wonder the drones die afterwards. That is some pretty intense mating going on there.
F
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Moonshae
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 09:24:41 PM »

I dont understand why more people dont clip a wing.  I marked my queens this year and lost a very good one in a swarm.  Dr Larry Connor recommends even year left,  odd year right.  I know about it not  being a swarm prevention but if they are going to swarm let them swarm with a virgin.  Doesn't this just give the beek more control

Marking also makes it easier to spot the queen on the combs; clipping a wing wouldn't do that.
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
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