Push-in cage queen intro: how long before you release queen?

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Have a couple of bought-in queens under push-in cages at the moment. How long do you leave them in their new colony before letting them out?

Old queens put in intro cages 6 days before and checked that there were no eggs or QCs before new queens introduced under push-in cages. Carniolan queens into defensive local mongels. Weakened the colony, bleeding off the foragers by moving brood box 5 metres away and leaving super in old position.

Didn't want to make up a nuc at this time of year because of potential robbing problems.

I've released my own (defensive mongrel) queens after just 3 days before but I've paid real money for these. Not breeder queen money but more than I've previously paid. :LOL:

Thanks . . .. Ben
 
I check after 4/5 days to make sure she has laid and some of the brood she has been placed on has emerged. If the bees outside the push in cage are calm and not swarming over the cage I let her out.
 
I wait until day 4. Why? Eggs hatch on day 3. When you pull the comb with the PIC still attached, there shouldn't be eggs outside the cage. If there are,
there's a second queen in the hive. Happens often enough.
Waiting until day 6 isn't necessary. In face can become problematic. Some colonies will start emergency cells even with the new queen under a cage.
The longer you wait to release the new queen the greater the chance of having those cells accepted.
I find day 4 to be the sweet spot.
 
Had one really horrible aggressive colony (or rather one of the people I help had it.
Used push in cage and left for a week. Came back to discover Q free as the bees had eaten through comb to release her! (Colony turned from "attack people at 20 meters away" to "calm at anything" over the next 2 months)

Not used a press in cage again .
 
In addition to the above i’d go through and check they’ve not made more queen cells on older larvae, if they can replace with their own they’d rather do that i’ve found. They’ll keep the new queen long enough till their own queen mated.
Like you, recently we caged queen to stop her laying, removed all queen cells after a week. Put new q in a plastic queen cage for a few days, then in press in cage, by which time they’d built about 10 scrawny capped queen cells, removed those and left her in a metal push in cage for 4 more days and all seems well, they’d actually eaten through the wax to her.
 
In addition to the above i’d go through and check they’ve not made more queen cells on older larvae, if they can replace with their own they’d rather do that i’ve found. They’ll keep the new queen long enough till their own queen mated.
Like you, recently we caged queen to stop her laying, removed all queen cells after a week. Put new q in a plastic queen cage for a few days, then in press in cage, by which time they’d built about 10 scrawny capped queen cells, removed those and left her in a metal push in cage for 4 more days and all seems well, they’d actually eaten through the wax to her.

Sounds familiar. I'm mid way through. One (weaker) colony had created 6-8 capped QCs while the old queen was caged for 6 days. It was a good job I shook each of the frames and hopefully found them all.

The other colony, much stronger, no QCs. But then the queen I removed was a supercedure (laying for 2-3 weeks) of a supercedure of a 4 year old queen so I'm going to check them thoroughly as thinking there could be an old queen still about.

Thanks all. Looking to check them tomorrow (intro to cage +4) between the forecast blustery wind and rain.

. . . . Ben
 
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