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Author Topic: Direct Queen Release  (Read 2547 times)
Shizzell
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« on: April 27, 2006, 05:14:00 PM »

Hey,

Question:
I'ved heard of directly releasing a queen into the hive. What is the disadvantages and advantages of doing that, and how do you actually "directly" release her?

Thanks
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thomashton
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 05:27:47 PM »

From what I understand, this is generally a bad idea unless the queen has traveled with a package for several days to your location and she has had a chance to spread her pheramones throughout the package. Then it is okay. My packages this year had no candy plug, so I put in a mini marshmellow. I think they got through that within hours and released her with no problems of acceptance.

If you are introducing a new queen to an exisiting hive, it is a bad idea to directly release her (from what I have read). I have never done this, so I don't have first hand experience, but from what I read, the hive will more than likely reject and kill her. She needs several days to acclimate the hive to her presence and pheramones before they accept her as their new queen.
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After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!
thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 06:12:42 PM »

I agree with Thomashton.  I direct release the queens that come with packages, but introducing a new queen to an established colony is a different matter.  I dispatch the old queen and leave them queenless overnite.  Enough time for them to know they have a problem, then introduce the new caged queen.  After 3 or 4 days, I check to see if she is released.  If not, and the bees are demonstrating acceptance, I'll let her go myself.

Thomas.  Is Jones going to have your packages this weekend?  They told me a a couple weeks ago that they would have their queens this Monday.
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thomashton
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 06:25:49 PM »

I actually got a call from them on Tuesday the 11th when they told me that they would be delayed. They said that they had received several packages for their own hives and for their bigger customers (50+ hives) who they apparently order for separately.

They told me those packages arrived the day prior and they had a few available if I wanted to come and get them. I sent my wife down and picked up two packages that day.

They arrived earlier because they came from the Sacramento area where evidently they didn't have all the same weather-related problems. They are Italian-Carolian crosses, not Italians like I was told when I ordered.

So, they have been in their home for 2 weeks now. I did my first full inspection on Saturday on day 10. One hive had a lot of drift from the other and was busting at the seams. They had eggs, larva, and capped brood as well as fully drawn 9+ frames in those 10 days! shocked I guess a lot of bees and a seriously strong syrup will do that. Obviously I refilled their hive top feeder and gave them another box. I saw the queen and she was doing well with loads of workers.

The other hive that lost bees due to drift only had about 4.5 frames drawn, but they had those frames packed with eggs, larva and capped brood as well. I also saw the queen in this hive and all seemed well dispite the slow start. I decided that to give a good middle of the hive frame of brood from the strong hive to the weaker one to help it catch up. I put it in bees and all. Was that the wrong thing to do? huh Don't know if I should have brushed them off or not.

To answer your question, I was at Jones' last Friday picking up some SBB and there was a sign on the door that said bee day had changed to the 29th. So, I would assume that that date holds unless you get a call or make a call to them.
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After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!
thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2006, 07:16:33 PM »

Putting in bees and all can cause quite a battle, and you can lose a queen that way.  If you did it in the middle of the day, when most of the foragers were out working, you might get away with it, but it can be pretty risky.  As far as boosting a weak hive with a frame of sealed brood, I do it all the time, but I give it a shake to get the bees off.  It's pretty amazing the difference another couple lbs of bees make when a colony is building up.  

I called, and Jones said the queens will be there Saturday, but I would be doing myself a favor by waiting until monday to pick them up.  They are expecting quite a crowd Saturday to pick up about 5-600 packages.  Since I don't like standing in line, I guess Monday will be fine.  My splits have already been delayed 3 weeks, what's another few days at this point?
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thomashton
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2006, 07:36:22 PM »

Thanks golfpsycho.

Don't know what I was thinking.  embarassed Fortunately, the bees will most likely be forgiving. I plan on opening them up again on Saturday to make sure all keeps going well. Hope I didn't cause too much harm adding those "foreign" bees.

Heck, I may go look now.
Thanks. Hope your splits go well.
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After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!
TwT
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2006, 10:34:09 PM »

thomashton, when you install packages and have some drifting, if the drift is allot then I just swap the hives around, trades places, in the middle of the day when the foragers or out, when they return it will help the slow hive out allot.... next time or this time just try it, in the middle of the day swap the 2 hives around, put the strong hive where the slow hive is and viceversa....
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2006, 01:11:06 AM »

I use direct releasing much with my own queens. When it is good honeyflow and I have raised queens, bees accept 90% of queens. But a month later they attach 90% when I release queen on frame.

If I buy a queen I want to make sure that it will be alive. When queen is stressed after journey it is not at it's best. In these cases I do not release directly. Usually bees do not accept this queen. When queen start to lay eggs under the setting cage so  situation  changes.

If I want to save surely the queen I make own nuc to her from new emerged bees. I shake all other bees away.
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Valarie
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2006, 01:27:22 AM »

Shizzell- When I got my packages the Queen was by herself in a screened cage with just a cork, not a candy slow-release insert. The Queen had been introduced to the package bees the day before. I was told to give the bees and the queen 3 days to get used to each other so that when she was released they would not kill her ( which is exactly what the candy plug does). So, I installed the package and hung the queen cage between the frames, and 2 days later (3 days since she met the bees) I directly released her, not by pulling out the cork plug, but by taking out the staple and pulling back the screen ( it was just easier, but you could do either). My understanding of directly releasing the queen is in whether you physically do it or if the bees release her. In many cases, when you get package bees in the mail, they have already spent 3 days together by the time you install them, therefore you could directly release her at the same time.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2006, 06:24:37 AM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho
Putting in bees and all can cause quite a battle, and you can lose a queen that way.  If you did it in the middle of the day, when most of the foragers were out working, you might get away with it, but it can be pretty risky.  As far as boosting a weak hive with a frame of sealed brood, I do it all the time, but I give it a shake to get the bees off.  It's pretty amazing the difference another couple lbs of bees make when a colony is building up.  

I called, and Jones said the queens will be there Saturday, but I would be doing myself a favor by waiting until monday to pick them up.  They are expecting quite a crowd Saturday to pick up about 5-600 packages.  Since I don't like standing in line, I guess Monday will be fine.  My splits have already been delayed 3 weeks, what's another few days at this point?


I have inserted frames of brood, food, bees all in one, at several and various times during the day, No battles.  Just acceptance.

It is better to bring the nurse bees along with the frame of brood, food IMO. Ash Bush smiley  Or Finsky, the man that comes in from the cold wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2006, 06:35:55 AM »

>I'ved heard of directly releasing a queen into the hive. What is the disadvantages and advantages of doing that, and how do you actually "directly" release her?

Queen release is a complex thing and dependant any many of the circumstances.  With a package that has been in shipment, I always do a direct release.  I didn't used to, but it's simpler and the acceptance has been the same.  With requeening a hive, you have to have it queenless before any method will work well.  And then you'll have much better success with some sort of slow release (push in cage, candy cage etc.).  But you can sometimes get by with a direct release as long as the bees know they are queenless.

Also, the more confusion, the less fighting.  If you put a frame of bees from  another hive in in sometimes they will fight.  If you put a frame of bees from each of three other hives in, the added confusions almost always prevents fighting.  If you shake a bunch of bees together in a box they will not fight and if you give them time to realize they are queenless you can usually do a direct release within two hours with pretty good luck.

It's the overall circumstances that add up to make a situation where they will or won't accept a queen.

The biggest risk, if you are doing a direct release in a package, is the queen flying.  I would give her a spritz of syrup from a spray bottom and then peel back the wire on the cage while holding the screen side facing down to the top bars.

If she ever does fly, just stand there until you see her come back or for 10 minutes which ever comes first.  She will orient on you and often will fly back into the hive or land on you.
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Michael Bush
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TwT
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2006, 06:44:57 AM »

when you buy a package, it is always best to let the bee's release the queen, the only advantage in direct release is it gives the hive 4 more day's head start, allot of people have gotten disappointed by direct releasing..... its just safer to let the bee's do it!!! just my opinion....
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
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