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Re: [Beekeeping] Timing of Queen release from package

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  • kakerby@aol.com
    Our particular supplier of package bees boxes up his queens without that candy, and instead has a small wooden end plate stapled into the end of the queen
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 6, 2010
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      Our particular supplier of package bees boxes up his queens without that candy, and instead has a small wooden end plate stapled into the end of the queen cage.  So we have to release the queen manually.  We generally do that within 5min or so of the package being installed, so it's basically all one task for me.  I spray the package with a holistic calming mist, then open up the hive top, roll in the now-clustered package, and as they disperse over the frames I take out the queen cage, hold that end right down between two frames, and pull the staple so that she rolls right into the mass of bees.  That has worked really well. However, that assumes (big assumption) that the queen's cage has been in the package for several days so the queen and the worker bees have already gotten to know each other.  That getting-to-know-you timeframe MUST be observed.  So two critical things would need to be learned before you know how to release the queen - how long that queen cage has been with that package, and whether that queen cage has candy or not.  Once you know those two pieces of info, you'll know how/when to release her.
      Kathryn Kerby
      frogchorusfarm.com
      Snohomish, WA
       
      In a message dated 4/6/2010 6:51:10 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, mws1112004@... writes:
       

      --- On Tue, 4/6/10, dmeredith_98 <duncan.meredith@ gmail.com> wrote:
      What's a good rule of thumb for timing the release of the queen from a package?  .........

      Ususally the cages the queens arrive in have one end plugged with candy and then with a cork.  The practice is to place the cage into the hive between frames with the screen so situated that the bees in the hive have access to the screened opening.  The cork is pulled from the candy end and when placing the cage in the hive the candy end is situated on top.  It's placed on top so that if any attendant bees die, they won't plug up the escape hole with their bodies.  When going back to check for release three days later usually the queen has been released and is free in the hive.  Most beekeepers seem to ream out a hole through the candy with a small nail as well so as to facilitate the consumption of the cage candy.

      Mike in LA


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