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Author Topic: "Banking" a queen to wait on a swarm?  (Read 1308 times)
greenbtree
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« on: March 13, 2011, 11:40:44 AM »

So I came through Winter with 0 bees.  I have two packages coming first part of May - Italians from the South and one with Russian queen from Tennesee.   I had wanted to get some hygienic queens this year, but now have no bees to put them with.  I really am going after swarms this year - I got 3 last year and didn't have nearly as much info out there.  Is there some way I can use the packages coming to keep a few queens ready for if I get swarms?  Put one with double excluder on top of the package bees deeps in a medium?  I have lots of frames both deep and mediums with drawn comb rolleyes that I can use.  Any information, thoughts, or other methods happily interested in!

JC
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 11:57:54 AM »

JC,
You might just try calling the queen producer and see if you could get your queen at a later time. Most breeders are fully booked early in the season and any delay or order pushed back is sometimes appreciated. That way, if you get a swarm, you can then use the queen that came with the swarm, and replace as the queen producer can get one to you. And if you don't get a swarm, you can schedule to your ability to split, etc.

This seems better than ling term banking of a queen and perhaps just wasting your money.

You can bank, but over a period of time, the bees will favor the queen laying eggs, and will even propolis over the queen cage if stored this way.

And to split the package to have two queen running is really limiting the colonies ability to grow. A package will grow better with one queen compared to two small clusters with two queens.

I'd delay getting the queens.  Wink
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 01:41:55 PM »

the nice thing about swarms is that they almost always come with queens.   grin  not only does this save you money, but you are probably getting better acclimated bees/queens, depending on the swarm source.

rarely you'll get an after swarm that has lost it's virgin queen, or you'll lose her after you  hive them.  your early swarms usually have nice fat queens ready to go.
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 05:33:43 PM »

I'm with Kathy. I wouldn't trade a queen from a swarm for 2 bought queens.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 12:29:38 PM »

Genetics aside (I agree with Kathy and iddee) the best way to bank a queen is in a nuc where she can lay.  You can steal brood and honey from it on occasion to keep it from becoming a hive, or let it grow to a hive if you like.  Meanwhile you have a spare queen.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 09:30:11 AM »

I have two packages coming first part of May - Italians from the South and one with Russian queen from Tennesee.   

JC

Im almost scared to ask, but where did you order a Russian package from in Tennessee?
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greenbtree
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 09:37:33 AM »

I got it from Walter T. Kelly, and knowing my luck you are about to tell me that they are evil incarnate, but there aren't a lot of packages out there that I could find at the time.  Any other leads on packages for future reference are happily accepted,  although the hubby would explode if I bought a third package at this point! grin

JC
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 10:07:50 AM »

If you get a bad report on Kelley, it will be the first I have seen. Although they buy their packages from someone else, they are well known for standing behind everything they sell.
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 10:26:21 AM »

I got it from Walter T. Kelly, and knowing my luck you are about to tell me that they are evil incarnate, but there aren't a lot of packages out there that I could find at the time.  Any other leads on packages for future reference are happily accepted,  although the hubby would explode if I bought a third package at this point! grin

JC

Nope, not at all,but I think Kelley is in Kentucky. You just had me concerned when you said 'Russian package from Tennessee'. I dont know of any Russian package producers in Tn other than a guy that is well known for taking peoples money and then never sending them. I ordered some Kelley Russian Hybrids this year too-April 9th ship date. Ive heard that they are good bees, I sure hope so.
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greenbtree
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 12:01:05 PM »

Oops, my mistake!  And I grew up in Ohio, I should know the difference between Tennessee and Kentucky! rolleyes

JC
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 04:57:53 PM »

Quote
You can steal brood and honey from it on occasion to keep it from becoming a hive, or let it grow to a hive if you like.

I have to ask, what qualifies as a hive?  Doesn't a nuc have everything that a hive has except lower numbers?
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 06:12:27 PM »

i guess it was meant the difference between a nuc (4-5 frames) and a full hive -whether 8 or 10 frames. A colony in a nuc qualifies as a colony just like one in a full hive, as you said, just smaller in number (though i have known small hive and big nuc)
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 07:34:49 PM »

A nuc is a partial hive, a starter.  A hive is assumed to be productive.  But the terms are used loosely and interchangeably.
And yes, a nuc as all the components of a hive, it is just not of a size to be productive.
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