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Author Topic: installing new Queen in HSC frames???  (Read 1633 times)
RangerBrad
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« on: February 21, 2009, 12:24:17 AM »

Howdy folk's, I was wondering, when I install the queen in HSC frames, do I have to remove one of the frames as there is only bee space between them, and return it at a later date when I remove her shipping box or is there another way as I would prefer all the frames in place from the begining. Any ideas appreciated. Thank's, Brad
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 04:09:05 AM »

I would remove a frame so that you have cluster space around the queen cage for the best acceptance.
The more traffic that trips over her cage and carries her phermones around the better.

This is especially true if you are experiencing any cold weather, the cluster is a must to keep the queen and air space in the queen cage warm. Otherwise she can be damaged or slowed to start laying.
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 06:30:58 AM »

Removing a frame (especially with HSC) is always a dangerous proposition as the bees will almost immediately build burr and cross comb.  Perhaps the biggest mistake made when installing packages is the violation of frame spacing for the queen cage.

Is this a package you are installing on new HSC?   

New HSC is very difficult to get the bees to use.  You have to force them by givung them no other choice.  If you remove a frame,  they will build their own comb in the space 99.99% of the time.    If this is a package,  the queen has been with the bees long enough in transportation for them to accept her, therefore direct release usually is not a problem with packages.   

If it is not a package,  I have had good success just inverting the queen cage over the space between two frames between the inner cover and frame tops.

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 05:56:10 PM »

Yes, this is a new package two new hives acctually. Which do you recommend, direct release or  setting her on top of the frames and do you mean  putting her screen side down on top of frames? Thank's, Brad
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 10:52:20 PM »

I agree with Robo on the acceptance issue of HSC.  I have one have that has finally fully accepted it as they lot in life but it has taken almost a year.     

Also, you could melt some beeswax and rub on the frames and spray the HSC down good with sugar water. 

You may want to put a queen excluder on the bottom board for a few days or at least until you see her laying.   There is a chance they will abscond with the HSC. 

Also feed them good so they start putting some nector in the frames.  That will help too. 
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 11:07:25 PM »

Get some one inch wood stock and make yourself a couple two inch shims/spacers. Make them without any entrance notches. They can be use below or above the inner cover depending on your use. For queen intro, place below the inner cover and then lay the queen cage on the top of the frames. Dump the bees overtop of the cage. It will work.
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 06:47:41 AM »

Which do you recommend, direct release or  setting her on top of the frames and do you mean  putting her screen side down on top of frames?


It's really up to you,  I know a lot of new beekeepers don't feel comfortable direct releasing and they are afraid of the killing the queen or she fly off. Yes,  I put if screen side down straddling the opening between two frames.  You can build a shim like Bjorn suggests,  I'm sure you'll find it useful in the future anyway, or you can usually finagle it to line up with the hole in the inner cover.

mgmoore7 brings up some good points too.   If you are worried about absconding,  put a queen excluder on top of the bottom board under the hive body for a few days until the queen starts laying.   HSC is a tough thing to get them to use, but once they do use it, they will treat it just like wax comb.  I would also dump some syrup into the HSC when you put the frames in.   There are all kinds of tricks to supposedly get them to accept it.  I have not found one that I would say makes a tremendous difference.  I don't think any of them hurt, so do as much prep as you want.   I find acceptance varies more by the colony of bees than by any enticement method.

If you have the frames and are still waiting to get the bees,  put the HSC outside and let the sun and rain help get rid of that "new plastic" smell.  That is what I do with my new stuff. 

Also make sure you feed them syrup.
http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/feeder-compare/

HSC is a challenge when it is new,  but once you get past that phase,  you will really like it.


Queen introduction frame, anyone?
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 07:39:25 AM »

Robo
For the 1st time in about a year, I saw some frames like the one that you show.  Are you using them in all your hives or rotating them through for digression to small-cell.  I like that the wax moth have no chance in them. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 07:45:53 AM »

That frame was after 3 or 4 brood cycles on the frame.   When they are new,  the brood pattern looks very shotty.  But over time, with the storage of honey and pollen in them,  more and more cells become acceptable to the queen.

I don't have them in all my hives,  but I'm slowly converting. I haven't done much rotating, but what I have done is been for new HSC and not foundationless.  Trying to get all the new stuff to be accepted like the one in the picture.  Any new swarm I've been putting on HSC as well.
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 12:25:08 AM »

How thick is the queen cage in a package? I just saw a hand drawn picture in a book today of a queen being installed in a hive and there was a metal tab on one end and the cage was installed upside down between 2 top bars which would mean that it was the same thickness as bee space.

 If that is so then I should be able to install the same as any other foundation. Is this true? Thank's, Brad
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 07:35:15 AM »

No,  the cage won't fit between the HSC or any fully drawn comb for that matter without violating frame spacing.   You can squeeze it between two frames of just foundation though.

Perhaps a JZBZ cage could be wedged between the HSC, but I would be concerned that the bees wouldn't have proper access to the queen to care for her.
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2009, 07:44:11 AM »

No,  the cage won't fit between the HSC or any fully drawn comb for that matter without violating frame spacing.   You can squeeze it between two frames of just foundation though.

Perhaps a JZBZ cage could be wedged between the HSC, but I would be concerned that the bees wouldn't have proper access to the queen to care for her.



If your using this cage (or the small california wooden cage), just lay it in the slot/opening of the inner cover, on top of the frames. You can then check to see if she is out by simply lifting the top. The bees will keep her warm and take care of her. That cage shown above, and that way of introduction, is my preferred method.
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2009, 05:24:22 PM »

If you decide to just lay the queen cage on top of the frames for release (when using HSC) make sure the cage is positioned so that the bees have access to the screen so they can feed the queen.  Lay it on its side.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 07:38:45 PM »

I understand that you guys are worried about violating 'beespace' but we are talking about a short queen introduction.

If you are starting a package on 10 frames of HSC, there aren't going to be enough resources (nor desire) to be burr combing, they are more worried about establishment and even more immediate concerned with the queen.

A couple of days are not going to throw everything out of wack, and your are dealing with HSC, any bit of burring is easily removed without loss of productive combs.

I can cope with a degree of burring (if by chance it occures), I can scrap it off.
A dead queen however take a little longer to rear and replace.

I don't like laying the cage on the top bar, its not a natural cluster space and certainly a violation of bee space that does impead traffic (so it will attract bees to burr).
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 08:11:54 PM »

I've never had burr comb around the inner cover hole when placing a queen cage there. But I bet scraping off that burr comb would be no different than scraping of some from the same HSC mentioned as no big deal.... grin

I can check a queen cage placed in the inner cover whole, and see after a few days if she is out. Much more easier than opening up a hive, separating the frames, and pulling up the cage.

I'll forgo any discussion with comments about "natural cluster space" with anyone using HSC and suggesting anything remotely close to "natural", as somehow equated or defined by where the bees cluster on HSC. Yeah....real natural...  Wink  What a hoot!
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 09:29:14 PM »

I have Permacomb which is similar to HSC. I do it one of two ways. Either remove a frame or add a box on top. Put the queen on top for a few days. usually they have released her by then and I remove the box or  I do a direct release.

Also I use top entrances. My top entrances have space by design. I can just slip a queen cage there and all is well.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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