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lindsay s 

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I saw these on the Abelo website and am just wondering what people think of them?

Could these be useful? If so, how? Or are they just a gimmick? TIA!

National Queen Trap - Welcome to Abelo's Beekeeping
Well I ended up with four of them to help manage swarm control. I can’t always inspect the hives when I need to due to the weather. Two were used in my new Abelo poly hives and two were used in wooden Smith hives (the top was cut to fit).
Three out of the four had been split and all had marked one year old queens. The idea was to manage the queens until swarming fever died down. The queens were put in the traps with one frame of mostly hatched brood and one frame of foundation. Any Q cells and Q cups were removed from the hives.
On the first inspections a week later the bees in the poly hives had drawn the foundation and the queens were laying them up. The same with one of the Smith hives but going through the other I saw eggs and larvae on the frames outside the trap. The queen had got out but hadn’t swarmed despite me finding a sealed Q cell in the hive, I had a lucky escape. It was no fault of the trap and a little bit of foam at the ends stopped any further escapes.

For the next few inspections I would remove one frame of brood from the traps and replace it with an empty frame. It seemed to work well but in one hive the queen went in the huff and stopped laying. The main thing was the hives hadn’t swarmed and it bought me some inspection time.
Some of the drawbacks were
1 Inspections took far longer and I had to be careful that the queen was back in the trap after replacing frames.
2 The bees still made Q cells on any open brood that suited them.

Although my main worry was that I was depriving the queens of laying space to the detriment of the colonies I only tried this when the hives were at their peak. The bees didn’t back fill the brood chambers despite there being a major flow on and after the queens had been released they were all laying as expected for the rest of the summer.
This is my first time of trying them and things could be a lot more different the next time. The traps did exactly what it says on the tin and would I use them again? Yes another two arrived home last week.
I welcome all comments.
 

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enrico 

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So can someone help me out here because I am a bit thick!
If you buy in a queen can you use the introducing cage? How? Do you shake bees off a frame already in the hive and put her on it in the cage? Or is it just for introducing a queen from an established hive?
Thanks
 

Angry_Mob 

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Similar to how you would do it with the push in cage. Find a frame with emerging brood and some stores; shake every bee off and put the queen in. With that Abelo cage it has the added benefit in that it doesn't damage brood and the queen can begin to lay up a larger area of the frame if space is available. Could be used for both types of introduction. I find that method more successful than the travel cage which can give mixed results.
 

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So can someone help me out here because I am a bit thick!
If you buy in a queen can you use the introducing cage? How? Do you shake bees off a frame already in the hive and put her on it in the cage? Or is it just for introducing a queen from an established hive?
Thanks
the introduction cage your Queen is supplied in is wholly adequate for introducing her to the hive .
you simply separate 2 frames and place the cage opening down, between the frames ( leaving the fondant plug covered . Leave the attendantswith her .
check in a couple of days to see if the bees aren’t hostile towards her .
if not expose the exit and replace the cage.
this business of removing the attendants isn’t necessary, winking them out causes more stress than leaving them with her . After all their scent is the same as the Queen .
during the couple of days she’s confined more and more of the workers pick up the scent ensuring her acceptance.
 

lindsay s 

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So can someone help me out here because I am a bit thick!
If you buy in a queen can you use the introducing cage? How? Do you shake bees off a frame already in the hive and put her on it in the cage? Or is it just for introducing a queen from an established hive?
Thanks
Abelo have a video explaining the difference between their Q traps and Q introduction cages. If you use the link above my post and scroll down on the page you’ll find it. My post was about their Q traps.
 

victor meldrew 

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Abelo have a video explaining the difference between their Q traps and Q introduction cages. If you use the link above my post and scroll down on the page you’ll find it. My post was about their Q traps.
Quite true . A Queen trapping cage is expressly designed to create a confined brood area .
 

lindsay s 

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And can be made from varroa mesh for about 50p
I agree the Abelo queen traps are very expensive but at least the workers can come and go as they please. They can’t do that with varroa mesh! My main aim was to keep the colonies as near to normal while confining the queens and buying some time. I’m sure there are beekeepers out there who would just put a queen excluder under the brood box to try and stop a hive swarming. I didn’t want to do that and I was just trying out something new for the first time and I don’t expect everyone to agree with it. As I said all comments welcome.
 

victor meldrew 

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You could always use a piece of QX instead of varroa mesh and still end up with cheaper and equally efficient Queen trap .
 

madasafish 

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You could always use a piece of QX instead of varroa mesh and still end up with cheaper and equally efficient Queen trap .
Which I have also done. Easy with a hot air gun to make from a plastic QE. A bit more expensive - about £1
 

lindsay s 

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Like most things in beekeeping someone will always come up with a cheaper / more efficient option. I not good at making things and I have no regrets about buying the traps. I’ve spent over £1500 on equipment this year and I look at it as a long term investment. Luckily I’ve had a bumper harvest which has more than covered my costs. So I’m happy all round 😀😀😀
 

enrico 

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the introduction cage your Queen is supplied in is wholly adequate for introducing her to the hive .
you simply separate 2 frames and place the cage opening down, between the frames ( leaving the fondant plug covered . Leave the attendantswith her .
check in a couple of days to see if the bees aren’t hostile towards her .
if not expose the exit and replace the cage.
this business of removing the attendants isn’t necessary, winking them out causes more stress than leaving them with her . After all their scent is the same as the Queen .
during the couple of days she’s confined more and more of the workers pick up the scent ensuring her acceptance.
I know that! Thanks, I was just a bit confused about the item for sale!
 

lindsay s 

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Using a physical barrier to try and stop a swarm leaving is never a good idea - just lazy beekeeping
I don’t disagree with you but!!!
A longer reply will follow.
 

lindsay s 

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This is the first year I’ve tried out Queen traps and they won’t become my default style of beekeeping. I have kept bees here for 40 years barring one summer when I was away. I don’t clip my queens and I’m aware that ripping out Q cells isn’t a method of swarm control. I know of at least one swarm control method that doesn’t work too well here due to our climate and short season. But I’m able to read my colonies and have found that what works best for me is to make splits when needed. Most of the time enough pressure is taken off my main colonies that they don’t swarm but sometimes there are one or two that are determined too.
I spend most of my spare time between April and late August looking after 9-11 hives and 6+ nucs spread over three apiaries 10-15 miles apart. I will also help out a few beginners and experienced beekeepers when asked (my other half says she never sees me). I aim to carry out weekly inspections at peak season but it’s not always possible. There’s many times here when the weather is good while I’m working but by late afternoon when I’m finished it’s changed too much to be suitable for beekeeping. Also we can get prolonged spells of poor weather here and as soon as the sun comes out they’re off!
As beekeeping has become more popular here so has the increase in swarming and there are a few beekeepers here who’ll lose multiple swarms in a season but I’m not one of them. So if I choose to use a few queen traps it will be to buy me time with a few colonies and not because I’m lazy!

I intended to post about our beekeeping season and a few of the challenges we face soon.
 

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This is the first year I’ve tried out Queen traps and they won’t become my default style of beekeeping. I have kept bees here for 40 years barring one summer when I was away. I don’t clip my queens and I’m aware that ripping out Q cells isn’t a method of swarm control. I know of at least one swarm control method that doesn’t work too well here due to our climate and short season. But I’m able to read my colonies and have found that what works best for me is to make splits when needed. Most of the time enough pressure is taken off my main colonies that they don’t swarm but sometimes there are one or two that are determined too.
I spend most of my spare time between April and late August looking after 9-11 hives and 6+ nucs spread over three apiaries 10-15 miles apart. I will also help out a few beginners and experienced beekeepers when asked (my other half says she never sees me). I aim to carry out weekly inspections at peak season but it’s not always possible. There’s many times here when the weather is good while I’m working but by late afternoon when I’m finished it’s changed too much to be suitable for beekeeping. Also we can get prolonged spells of poor weather here and as soon as the sun comes out they’re off!
As beekeeping has become more popular here so has the increase in swarming and there are a few beekeepers here who’ll lose multiple swarms in a season but I’m not one of them. So if I choose to use a few queen traps it will be to buy me time with a few colonies and not because I’m lazy!

I intended to post about our beekeeping season and a few of the challenges we face soon.
Please do, it's great to hear.
 

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It can be used as varroa trap.

The queens are allowed to lay only in that cage in late summer. You must take the capped brood off from cage, that bees can make there new open brood. So mites in the hive go into open brood. After 4 weeks all brood utside of cage have emerged and only mites are inside the brood of cage.
 
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