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Author Topic: intro queen on top bar? whoops!  (Read 7416 times)
bupalos
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« on: June 18, 2004, 01:50:13 PM »

Howdy bee-folk.

I had read that a good way to introduct the queen in the cage was just to lay it on the top bars. Sounded good to me, so when I got my NWC queen this morning, I tried it--just tilted up the super, cleared some bees off the top frames of the first box, set the cage down screen side up going across the bars, and let it back down.

Hey, it's kind of stuck up a bit...won't quite go back down...I'll just give a little jiggle there and...

<<<CRUNCH>>>

The top pops up as three of the frames in the super are shoved up against the cover, smashing anyone on those top bars of the super. Duh. I guess the rules of physics DO apply to me after all.

But my idiocy aside, how are you supposed to intro a queen on the top bars given the fact that there isn't room to do it? Prop the lid and do it in a super?
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TEN
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 02:00:05 PM »

I usually place the queen cage in between the top bars of two of the frames, screen down.  If you are replacing a queen it is imperative that you smash the old queen on the wire side of the queen cage.  Make sure you smear her pretty good so that her scent is all over the cage.  This helps translocate any affection that they had for the former queen.  The nice thing about doing it this way is that you don't have to worry about the bees building another comb in between the two frames because they are usually not motivated because of the loss of the queen.
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bupalos
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 02:17:26 PM »

I was already queenless, sad to say. I did intro my first queen between frames, but they did make burr because of it, and I though this top bar intro would be a free lunch. I guess maybe I didn't have to worry about burr comb since I was already queenless?

I'd still like to know how one is supposed to go about the top bar intro.
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TEN
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 03:03:15 PM »

Just to clarify I run a nine frame hivebody.  When everything gets drawn out I remove one frame and using a nine frame spacer, re-space everything accordingly.  This allows the bees to over draw the remaining frames and inheretly leaves a larger gap between the top bars.  Therefore with very little rearranging the queen can be installed screen side down as required.

Hope this helps.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 04:04:05 PM »

This may sound like an oversimplified answer, and maybe you thought of this. But why not (next time) build a spacer that's the thickness of the queen cage? Just something that will go on the edge of the top super so the lid is raised up more. I've built very simple ones that are used as top entrances - only an inch thick.
Another easy way to place the queen cage in the hive is to slide it in the entrance. I like the idea of this option alot because you can always just take a stick and scoop the cage out later without even opening the hive. Then you could always check and make sure they're getting her released without much disturbance on the hive.

Beth
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TEN
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2004, 04:21:31 PM »

It is critical that the queen be over the brood chambers if at all possible as any hatching bees will first be acquainted with her scent from the very point of hatching and this is where the greatest density of bees will occur.  In lieu of the other queens scent they will bond with the new queen sooner if more are exposed to her presence.  Bees will actually lick the queens body and exchange the pheromone contained in the lick with other bees that they meet in the hive.  In the absence of the pheromone in the lick to lick exchange that they do, the bees will go into a find or make a queen mode.  It is this driving force that will cause them to bond with the presented queen quicker but make no mistake exposure to the largest number of bees is critical.

Convenience is nice but has its place.
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bupalos
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2004, 05:40:29 PM »

Thanks guys, good thoughts. A spacer would obviously work but also would invite extra comb on the bottom bars in the newly created space. Ten, your "overdrawn" frames sounds intriguing. Do you mean that when you space bars out the bees actually draw cells out deeper? Does the wax end up protruding past the profile of the top bars? If so, maybe this would provide a ledge on either side that the queen cage could rest on screen side down?
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2004, 05:56:05 PM »

9 frame spacing in supers is a practice that has been used for a long time.  Overdrawing the comb helps the caps to extend beyond the frame edges and allows for easier decapping and extracting.  There was alot of discussion about which held more honey... extended combs on 9 frames or 10 frames.

I'm trying to get as much comb drawn as I can this year, but will probably use 9 frame spacing in the supers next year, just for the ease in decapping.  

Ten, do you use 9 frames in the brood boxes as well?
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BigRog
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2004, 06:27:08 PM »

John had a great post on this pictures and a great explaination.
Maybe someone could find it. I searched but couldn't.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2004, 11:39:23 PM »

I found these posts:
http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=665&highlight=9+frames

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=487&highlight=9+frames

maybe they'll help
Beth
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TEN
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2004, 12:04:11 AM »

To answer your questions in a word, yes.  I use the 9 frame configuration in both the suppers and the hive bodies.  And yes it does provide a ledge on which to rest the queen cage.  As noted by others it does protrude beyond the top bar.  The greatest advantage that I can see for the bees is it provides access to more honey and more honey storage for the least amount of movement for the bees.  This shows its advantage during both the honey flow and the winter use by the bees.  Its added advantage is the decapping benefit as noted by golfpsycho.
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bupalos
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2004, 10:55:52 AM »

I am sold on the 9 frame idea for honey (both harvest and winter stores), and it sure would seem to be great for queen intro too...but there is the point that 9 frames in a brood chamber does actually reduce the available brood space. What if one were to use 10 frames there, and just kind of scootch the frames so the center had a bit more to overdraw and create that ledge. Should work, no?
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2004, 08:33:45 PM »

Thats pretty much the idea.  I have even seen a top bar notched so the queen cage will sit right in there.  As Ten said.. there are many benefits.. less equipment( one less frame per box) and an equal amount of harvestable honey.  My own opinion on the brood chamber frames is ten, and use 9 frames of drone comb in the honey supers, even less wax, more honey.  Robo mentioned he aims for this as well.  Its with an eye to production we keep this critters.  You can't take em for a walk, or make em jump through a flaming hoop... but you can help em make more honey, make it easier on yourself to get it out.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2004, 11:49:59 PM »

>>You can't take em for a walk, or make em jump through a flaming hoop... <<

Yeah, I learned that the hard way. Who knew their wings were so flamable. Guess I should have tried it with a worker first, but I thought the queen would have the best shot.
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Robo
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2004, 07:38:43 AM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
Thats pretty much the idea.  I have even seen a top bar notched so the queen cage will sit right in there.


click image for larger view

Or here is the latest gadget that I have found.  Purchased a few, but haven't used them yet, but seems promising.  The principle is give the queen access to the comb and she will start laying. Once she starts laying, the bees are much more likely to accept her.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2004, 09:23:48 PM »

Now you won't have to clip her wing??  Maybe they can jump through flaming hoops
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burnside
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2004, 12:35:13 AM »

You could check out the Strachan Apiaries homepage.

They specialise in queen selling and have a nice part on their introduction.
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burnside44
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2004, 07:29:13 AM »

You can find it here
http://www.strachanbees.com/queeninfo.html
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