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Author Topic: Queen Isolation question  (Read 2822 times)
Patrick
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« on: March 02, 2009, 08:13:50 PM »

I was looking over some suggested techniques for isolating the queen in an effort to disrupt brood pattern and control mites.  I was surprised by the rather elaborate method, which seems to be the standard.  I was wondering if instead of using the three frame queen cage set up if one could not simply move the queen up above the current brood chamber and place her in a medium of foundation separated from the main brood chamber by a queen excluder. This would be done at the end of the summer honey flow while the temps were still very warm.  Just for good measure I would add a feeder on top as well to help built the comb. It seems to me that if the bees did not have any problem with this configuration then the management of this procedure would be a lot easier than the three frame queen cage set up, with the added advantage that you may get a few extra combs built out for collecting honey next spring. The main brood chamber would hatch then cease to have eggs and one would simply remove any frames from the medium above the excluder that had larva in them. Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Patrick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 08:38:59 PM »

If you pull the queen and all the open brood out just before the flow and make a split, you'll get a break in the brood cycle, more honey (because of early foraging) and a new queen.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#cutdown
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 07:47:19 AM »

I like to wait till after the flow is about finished, and then make splits, add new queens, requeen, etc.

I personally do not like to split my honey producing hives prior to the flow. The goal is to have the strongest hives making honey, and many times, people split right before the flow and screw that up. To many people use splitting as a swarm prevention measure, in my opinion, not the thing to do.

Splitting, requeening, and having brood breaks in the later half of June (for around here) means you had time to raise your own queens, buy better quality queens from elsewhere, accomplish this at a time just prior to the mites building up, and allows a brood break and a mite reduction (even treatment) before the fall brood cycle begins.

For northern beekeepers, we need to change our hive building mentality. Too many people go into winter with 10 hives, because they need 10 hives next spring. They lose half their hives, order packages with genetics they may not want, or buy early season queens that some say are perhaps poor quality (if even available), and split hives right before the flow many time lowering honey production, and it's a vicious cycle.

I like to use summer splits. If you need 10 hives for pollination or honey production, then split after the flow, build up to 15, and realize we are dealing with insects, cold winters, and mother nature will take a few from you. If you lose 5, then use the 10 that came out of winter as you planned, then build back up in the summer to 15. Stay ahead of the game. This allows you to make your own queens, split at a beneficial time, catch swarms to boost numbers, get better mated queens, and get off the "lose half and order packages every year" bandwagon.

Patrick,
and by doing so, you can split and wait whatever time you want for a brood break by doing this splitting and requeening. (who want a huge brood break in spring, wasting brood production time) And you will know that you have first year queens going into winter, and will reap the many benefits of young first year queens.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 03:54:15 AM »

confining the queen above the broodnest in such a manner may cause emergency queen cells to be built in the lower broodnest. If you choose this method, be sure to check for queen cells in the bottom box 8 to 10 days after the manipulation.
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TwT
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 05:20:27 AM »

splitting during or after draw's different opinions, Bjorns points are the way I like to do my hives but I have also know people that pull right before the flow and do very well, when you pull the queen right before the flow your hive should already be strong, most are before the main flow anyway, by pulling the queen you get a few advantages that you wouldn't get with a queen in the hive, brood cycle broke, it is always been known a queenless hives store's more honey maybe because there is no brood to feed, I have seen queenless hives just out collect strong queen right hive's, them larva must eat like little mules. but they ones I know that split before the flow says they will always do it because they do better that way.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 06:48:07 AM »

splitting during or after draw's different opinions, Bjorns points are the way I like to do my hives but I have also know people that pull right before the flow and do very well, when you pull the queen right before the flow your hive should already be strong, most are before the main flow anyway, by pulling the queen you get a few advantages that you wouldn't get with a queen in the hive, brood cycle broke, it is always been known a queenless hives store's more honey maybe because there is no brood to feed, I have seen queenless hives just out collect strong queen right hive's, them larva must eat like little mules. but they ones I know that split before the flow says they will always do it because they do better that way.

I agree with you Ted on principle if talking about honey production. I mentioned this technique many times, although I do prefer to pull the queen half way through, depending upon the length of the flow. If your flow is eight weeks long, and you pull the queen 2 weeks prior, the numbers will start falling off well before the flow is over. And, the bees will be under pressure to either make a queen, or develop laying workers.

I do promote the pulling the queen for increased honey production, but think it best the past couple weeks of the flow, or in some combination of removing the queen along with all open brood, and compressing the brood chamber in some cases and depending the desired results.

I favor these techniques for honey production and even taking advantage of hive splitting.

But the desired result of Patrick was mite suppression. And I find Mite suppression for most hives not needed prior to the flow. Most beekeepers do not have serious mite problems prior to the flow, and would better served accomplishing these type IPM measures after the flow, later in the season, in conjunction of hive splitting and requeening, when the mote load and pressure is increased.

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Patrick
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 02:24:58 PM »


Hi Guys,
Thanks for all the info.  I was not really thinking of a splitting procedure when I posted but my post seems to have been interpreted that way. Still interesting and helpful.  I was thinking more about modifying the queen isolation procedure to make it less complicated (at least for me). I was specifically wondering what you think the result would be if...after the summer honey flow (for me August 1st), while the temps are still warm, I move the queen up above the main brood chamber into a super of foundation and then place a queen excluder between that box and the existing brood chamber below.  This isolation would function the same as the "three frame queen cage" method but allow easier monitoring and mite removal.  I was wondering how the bees might react to that separation (queen separated from the existing brood chamber by a queen excluder)? 
Would they raise a new queen down bellow?
Would they not care and just move up with her?
Would something else happen that I cannot foresee?

Cheers,
Patrick
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2009, 06:46:38 PM »


Hi Guys,
Thanks for all the info.  I was not really thinking of a splitting procedure when I posted but my post seems to have been interpreted that way. Still interesting and helpful.  I was thinking more about modifying the queen isolation procedure to make it less complicated (at least for me).

In your proposed solution your are in effect relocating the brood chamber.  The queen will be temporarily honey bound in the honey super but the workers will soon begin moving stores around in order to give her laying space.  Any break in brood rearing is short lived.  Much of that relocated stores will probably be moved back down into the brood chamber the queen was moved out of and back filled which creates a new honey bound situtation all over again.

Quote
I was specifically wondering what you think the result would be if...after the summer honey flow (for me August 1st), while the temps are still warm, I move the queen up above the main brood chamber into a super of foundation and then place a queen excluder between that box and the existing brood chamber below.  This isolation would function the same as the "three frame queen cage" method but allow easier monitoring and mite removal.  I was wondering how the bees might react to that separation (queen separated from the existing brood chamber by a queen excluder)? 


Chances are the workers will build supercedure cells in the displaced/abondoned brood chamber resulting in a dual queen or swarm or both to occur.  When trying to isloate the queen outside the brood chamber the rish of the workers seeing this as a lost queen situation is high.  It would be better to use a frame sized push in cage to islate the queen during the brood dearth period.  But even then prolonged isloation can trigger suspercedure.

Quote
Would they raise a new queen down bellow?

Very likely.

Quote
Would they not care and just move up with her?

The foragers/workers are going to be through out the hive, the nurse bees will remain with the brood, so in that sense they will not move up with the queen and may see her absence as queenlessness.

Quote
Would something else happen that I cannot foresee?

Cheers,
Patrick

You could end up forcing the bees into swarming mode.
By trying to interrupt the brood rearing in such a way you will end up with 3 boxes that are part brood chamber and part storaged intermixed.

Consider: Feral/Survivor bees are more hygenic in nature, some of that hygenic behavior seems to be a self-imposed brood dearth (cease in laying) that many beekeepers are mistaking for a queenless hive.  If you look at who are reporting the majority of these supposed queen loses it seems to be tilted towards the hygenic strains of bees like MH, Russians, and Carnies. A brood dearth is what you are trying to create, why not go chemical free (natural) and let the bees revert towards survivor stock and they'll provide your brood dearth themselves.

IMO, you're overthinking the equation.
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Patrick
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 02:25:21 PM »

Thanks Brian,
I appreciate your in depth reply.
Cheers,
Patrick
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Patrick
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 07:38:55 PM »

Just for the record this is the paper that got me thinking about this.

http://www.mbbka.org.uk/assets/Sheet_17_Queen_Trapping.pdf

cheers,

Patrick
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E.D. 1884

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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2009, 08:28:54 PM »

I love this forum....... I get so much info out of it.  thanks everybody
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