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queen cage without candy - what to do?

 
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BeeOhio
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:15 am    Post subject: queen cage without candy - what to do? Reply with quote

After much anticipation, my two packages of bees came in today and I installed them in my TBHs this afternoon. The first went very smoothly - and the second pretty well, though the bees were a bit more feisty and I received one sting.

But, my main concern now is that the queen cages I received have only one opening plugged with a small cork. The cork is a small disk placed sideways in the hole, not completely filling it. But there is no candy. Does this mean I have to direct release the queen after a day or two? I really wanted to avoid having to disturb the bees so soon after installing.

Could I replace the cork with a mini-marshmallow and let them eat it out? Or would they eat it too soon - before they accepted the queen?

Sorry for so many questions, but I thought I was ready for anything. Guess that's why I'm in the Beginner's forum. Very Happy
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theotherdwayne
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 80
Location: USA, Utah, Price

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in the same situation a year ago. Left them alone for 5 days and then released her myself. No problems.

I've heard of the marshmallow trick, but haven't tried it.

Be sure to read the many recent posts about absconding packages.
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Could I replace the cork with a mini-marshmallow and let them eat it out?

You could do this or because she is already in the hive you could leave her in cage as is and after three or four days you can release her.
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BeeOhio
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theotherdwayne wrote:
Be sure to read the many recent posts about absconding packages.


Thanks for the advice.

I've read the many posts about absconding and don't want to add another one to the mix. I did put 1/4 inch hardware cloth over the opening to try to prevent the queens from leaving when I do release them from their cage. Not sure if the 1/4 mesh is too big - the queens seemed smaller than I expected.
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BeeOhio
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garret wrote:
Quote:
Could I replace the cork with a mini-marshmallow and let them eat it out?

You could do this or because she is already in the hive you could leave her in cage as is and after three or four days you can release her.


If I had the marshmallows with me at the time, I may have used them. But, now I will leave them alone and release her after a few days.

Thanks!
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tmarker
House Bee


Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 24
Location: USA, Idaho, Boise

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that you can use one of those mini marshmallows or a soft gumdrop to replace the cork if you have them with you at the time of installation. But as other more experienced hands here have suggested, it may be better just to release her by hand after several days at this point rather than mess with the hive.
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RodneyWT1180B
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 91
Location: USA, WA, Centralia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got my package last Saturday and my queen had the same 1/2 cork setup. I even got to watch the man at the apiary where I purchased my bees do a live demonstration of hiving a package into a nuc. He knew what he was doing and all went well.
This is my first hive and my first experience hiving bees. He recommended the marshmallow trick and it looked easy enough. I tried the marshmallow trick when I got home.
Something that I was never told is the queen has a mind of her own and doesn't necessarily know or care what your plans are.
She was out of her cage like lightning but fortunately stayed within the hive crawling around inside it. After several panicked attempts at getting her back in the cage without hurting her and without getting stung, she finally crawled back into her cage just like it was her plan all along and I was able to seal it with the marshmallow.
I opened the hive Tuesday to release her if needed and my bees had already released her and were building comb.
I have a small window in the top box of my hive and check them everyday when I get home from work. The window faces the face of the combs. The bees seem to be doing well, they are very active and have built a comb on the outside bar pretty much the full depth of the box and I think I can see brood in some of the cells.
Rodney
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ermine.trapper
New Bee


Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Neenah, WI

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 1:08 am    Post subject: No Candy in Queen Cage Reply with quote

I wish I had seen this forum two days ago. I installed my first two packages of bees ever this weekend. After readying myself as best I could, I went at it and had no real problems--pretty simple really. I did however realize that my queen cages had no candy. Being the resourceful person I am, I realized I had an apple in my vehicle. I popped the cork and replaced it with a piece of apple--not too much, there was space on the sides much like the cork. This was a total guess though and I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how it will work out. The packages were trucked in from CA and I am in WI so I can only assume the queen has been with the package for a couple days at least before I intalled everything in the hive. [/img]
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the marshmallow trick. Worked great or so it appears. I have had them in the tbh for a month now and they have drawn out comb on 6 bars and appear to starting on the seventh. I have an observation window which I look at a couple times a week. I have not opened it up and removed comb for inspection. Not sure I really plan too. I sit by the entrance most days for 10-15 minutes a day Observing behavior. Wish I could sit longer Very Happy
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shrug... Maybe I'm naive or something, but all that I have ever done is to simply remove the (non-candy) cork, put my finger over the opening, set the container in the bottom of the hive (yes, among all those bees ...) and close 'er up.
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