Instructions for Queen Bee Introduction
Upon arrival place one drop of pure water on the screen of the cage so the workers can use it to dissolve the candy. Repeat every day the cage is not in the hive. The caged queen can survive several days outside the hive, but the sooner she is introduced the better. Keep the cage in a dark place away from breezes and at room temperature. It's not uncommon for one or more of the worker bee attendants to have died, this is not a problem.
The queen(s) you have received are in a combination shipping and introduction cage. There is no need to remove the worker bee attendants. Both ends of the cage have corks. Leave the cork in the end with bees. This cage provides food (white sugar candy) during shipment which also acts as a "timed release" barrier for your hive bees to eat through, allowing several days pheromone adjustment period.
The hive to receive the queen must have no queen or queen cells already present. Ideally, the hive should be queenless for at least 24 hours prior to introduction.
The cage should be placed in the middle of the brood nest (if no brood is present, place the cage in the middle of the cluster). Position the cage between two frames, so that the candy end points up and the screen is not blocked. Squeeze the frames around the cage to firmly suspend it, any damage to the comb will be repaired by the bees when the cage is removed. Make sure the hole at the candy end is not blocked. Note: If 10 frames are used, one frame may have to be removed to accommodate the cage.
The bees in your colony will chew through the candy and release the queen within a few days. You can check the cage in four to five days to be sure she has been released. If she is not released and after the bees are no longer clinging tightly to the cage, release her. If the bees are clinging to the cage it means the hive bees have not accepted her yet, and more time is needed before the cage is opened. If she has been released and you want to be sure she is accepted , you do not have to find the queen, instead look for eggs and young larvae. The colony should be disturbed as little as possible for the next two weeks, while the queen establishes her brood nest.
Push-in Cage Instructions
A push-in cage is the best way to introduce your queen because it allows the queen to start laying eggs immediately. However this method requires handling the queen, which some people may not be comfortable doing.The cage comes flat. Bend the screen at the cuts near the corners and fold the screen over at the cuts. Select a comb with emerging brood. Brush the bees off the comb and place the push-in cage over an area of empty cells, a few emerging brood cells and open nectar. Remove the queen from the candy cage and put the her under the cage. Do not allow any other adult bees under the cage. Push the cage into the comb about a quarter of an inch allowing the queen to move freely underneath. Be sure the hive bees can't get under the cage. Remove the push-in cage after four days or after the bees are no longer clinging to the cage. If the bees are clinging to the cage it means they have not accepted her yet, and more time is needed before the cage is removed.
Fold screen along darker lines.
The hive to receive the queen must have no queen or queen cells already present. Ideally, the hive should be queenless for at least 24 hours prior to introduction. The frame with the queen should be placed in the middle of the brood nest (if no brood is present, place in the middle of the cluster).
The colony should be disturbed as little as possible for the next two weeks, while the queen establishes her brood nest.
Sources of Mite Resistant Queen Bees
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