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Author Topic: Any chance of survival?  (Read 2414 times)
Wis Bee
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« on: April 27, 2005, 03:57:31 PM »

I am a first time beekeeper from Wisconsin. I received 2 packages
  of bees (including Queens) and installed them into their respective
  brood chambers yesterday. I am concerned for a couple of reasons,

  1. When removing the corks from the ends of the queen containers
      there should have been some candy remaining in the passageway
      for the bees to eat through; eventually releasing the queen from
      its cage. However in each case there was just an open hole allowing
      immediate access to the queen.

   2. the temperature here will only be in the 40's and 50's ( for highs)
       all week.

     
        Is there some chance the bees will accept these queens? Or
       for that matter with the weather as it is, will the bees even
       survive?

      Thanks,

      John
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2005, 04:10:35 PM »

there are two cork ends on a queen cage.    One end has 'candy'  the white stuff.  the other end is the hole they put the queen into the cage through.        You need to remove the cork from the candy end, exposing the candy for the workers in the hive to eat through and release the queen and her attendents.  

if there was no candy end,  they you have a different set-up than I am familiar with.    

If the queen had been with this package of bees for atleast two days, you are probably all set and they will accept her as their soverign.  She will already have the same hive smell.

the temperature will not be a factor.  

YOu can wait  3 days and go and see if you see her (easier to do if she is marked)  or wait atleast 7 days from her release date to go and check for larvae in the hive.  You would be able to see eggs before that, they are just harder to see,  that way, you can see larve at different stages of developement.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2005, 04:21:55 PM »

Unless I picked the packages up at the apiary and I know the queen may have been just put in the box, I direct release the queen in packages.  The only problem I've had very often is the queen flying.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Butterchurn
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2005, 04:34:53 PM »

Direct release is fine if the queen has with the package in her cage for two or more days.  The University of Minnesota advocates direct release.  I've never had a problem doing it.

Ron
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Butterchurn (Ron)
Wis Bee
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2005, 06:24:53 PM »

Thanks for your reply's, once I go back into the hives
    and look at the queen cages, I am going to feel a bit foolish
    if there are corks on both ends.

    The reply's regarding direct release eased my mind too.

   
    On another note I just watched NBC national news and they
    had a segment on honey bees.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2005, 06:28:58 PM »

That showed this evening, darn it. I bet most everyone wanting to watch that missed it.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Kris^
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2005, 08:38:53 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
Unless I picked the packages up at the apiary and I know the queen may have been just put in the box, I direct release the queen in packages.  The only problem I've had very often is the queen flying.


When I checked yesterday 4 days after installing the packages, one hive had released their queen and another hadn't.  So I pulled the cork, laid the cage on the bottom screen and let her walk out.  She immediately went to the back wall of the box and started climbing toward the top.  I replaced the missing frames as quickly and carefully as I dared, and put the top on before she reached it and tried to fly away.  Thing that bothered me was that she wasn't accompanied by a "retinue."  But the hive was much more active today that in previous days, so I think she's gotten right to work.  

-- Kris
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2005, 08:07:05 AM »

When  you've just released her she's not going to have gathered a following yet.  But it will only take a few minutes at most.  She probably wasn't going to fly, if she's going to do that she does it right when she gets out of the cage.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
pardee
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2005, 04:25:50 PM »

On package bees I have had good luck by pulling the cork on the opposite end of the candy and stuffing a marshmallow in. Since the bees have been in transit with the queen they are already use to her, they eat thru the marshmallow in about a day and she can get to work faster. But it gives the bees a day to settle down after a rough ride.
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drobbins
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2005, 08:30:27 PM »

Wis Bee

I'm a newbie too and just went thru a similar situation
here's a picture I took of the cage

http://68.142.29.112/cage.jpg

I pried the screen off to let her out
all seem to be going well
you can see the candy at the left end of the cage
after releasing her I was able to  look closer and see she was well on her way to getting out
so much for not knowing what I'm lookin at
good luck

Dave
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Wis Bee
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2005, 10:53:44 PM »

Thanks for the posts and the picture.

   I did feel a bit better today the temperature was about 50
   and sunny; a few bees from each hive were flying around.

   they sure are not using much syrup, perhaps  1/3 of
   a quart jar in 2 days.  Although I do have an additional food
   source (Bee-Pro  patty ) in each of the hives.


   John
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2005, 11:10:18 PM »

I'm with the others.  I usually hive the packages around sunset, then direct release the queen in the morning.  Just pull the cork, and face the opening toward the center of the hive.  Almost every time, she scoots right out of the cage and down between the frames with a quickly forming retinue.  Then I don't bother them for 10 to 12 days.  I also like to give them a frame of sealed brood from other hives when I can. A frame of sealed brood doubles the hive population in a matter of a couple days, and the number of festooning bees immediatly jumps up and wax gets drawn in a hurry.  The added advantage is the emerging brood gives another frame of laying space almost immediatly.  The biggest hinderance to colony developement are  the lack of laying and storage space, and a bee pop. too small to cover the rapidly expanding broodnest.  This supercharges it.   Well.. maybe turbo charges it anyways.
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SherryL
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2005, 10:13:35 PM »

Hi John & welcome!

What town in Wis. are you in?  My bees are up in Phelps - in Vilas County.  I won't be up there on a full-time basis for the summer until my kids are out of school, so I've been making the 700 mile round trip drive every couple of weeks.  

I just got back yesterday, and yes, it was only in the mid 40's.  I changed the feeder I have on top, but didn't open the inner cover.  There were only a few bees flying (they were wearing there winter coats  wink ), not nearly the activity I saw 2 weeks ago when the temps were in the mid 60's.  

Curious too - who did you get your bees from?

sherry
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Wis Bee
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2005, 01:53:52 PM »

Hi Sherry,

  You sure do have a long trip to get to your hives. My hives
  are located in East Central Wisconsin about half-way
  between Milwaukee and Green Bay, near the small town of Kiel.

   We have had quite a mix of weather today, from rain to sun to
   snow and sleet. During one of the sunny periods I checked out
   my hives, had quite a bit of activity around one and the other
   looked almost deserted??

   At this point I am afraid that I only have one viable hive.
   I didn't want to open either hive until a week has gone by
  after installation, which would be Tuesday.
   

   I purchased my bees from Rossman's in Georgia. They were
   shipped on Saturday and arrived on Monday; I would guess
  there were probably 100 dead bees laying on the bottom of each
   cage.


   
   John
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SherryL
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2005, 02:48:21 PM »

I wouldn't fret too much about the other one yet John, it's been really cold.  If you can, try to put an ear to the side of the hive and try to listen for any humming (they haven't learned the words yet).  Maybe this evening when they'd normally be in the hive anyway.  Listen to both hives, you should definitely hear something in the active hive, and then you could compare the sound of the inactive hive, see if you notice a difference.

Even if one of the queens was not accepted, that wouldn't mean the entire hive has died.  You'll know more once you can get in there, but it's too cold yet.  I know it's only in the mid-40's here in Gurnee today, windy with a mix of sleet and rain.  

Did you say you have a top feeder on?  If you can refill or switch the feeder with a full one without opening the entire hive, that might be something to consider doing.  They were stressed in the travel, and now with the cold, they're probably considering up and moving back to GA (just kidding!), but who could blame them for staying put inside?

I pretty much know where Kiel is, I've been up to Door County a few times and have seen the sign - lot's of good farming up your way.  I seem to remember sunflower farming in that area too.  My dad was raised on a farm in Kenosha county, he's been having fun with me and the bees, helping to assemble the hives, and all, it's been good for both of us - something we can do together.

sherry
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