intro queen on top bar? whoops!

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Howdy bee-folk.

I had read that a good way to introduct the queen in the cage was just to lay it on the top bars. Sounded good to me, so when I got my NWC queen this morning, I tried it--just tilted up the super, cleared some bees off the top frames of the first box, set the cage down screen side up going across the bars, and let it back down.

Hey, it's kind of stuck up a bit...won't quite go back down...I'll just give a little jiggle there and...


The top pops up as three of the frames in the super are shoved up against the cover, smashing anyone on those top bars of the super. Duh. I guess the rules of physics DO apply to me after all.

But my idiocy aside, how are you supposed to intro a queen on the top bars given the fact that there isn't room to do it? Prop the lid and do it in a super?

I usually place the queen cage in between the top bars of two of the frames, screen down.  If you are replacing a queen it is imperative that you smash the old queen on the wire side of the queen cage.  Make sure you smear her pretty good so that her scent is all over the cage.  This helps translocate any affection that they had for the former queen.  The nice thing about doing it this way is that you don't have to worry about the bees building another comb in between the two frames because they are usually not motivated because of the loss of the queen.

I was already queenless, sad to say. I did intro my first queen between frames, but they did make burr because of it, and I though this top bar intro would be a free lunch. I guess maybe I didn't have to worry about burr comb since I was already queenless?

I'd still like to know how one is supposed to go about the top bar intro.

Just to clarify I run a nine frame hivebody.  When everything gets drawn out I remove one frame and using a nine frame spacer, re-space everything accordingly.  This allows the bees to over draw the remaining frames and inheretly leaves a larger gap between the top bars.  Therefore with very little rearranging the queen can be installed screen side down as required.

Hope this helps.

Beth Kirkley:
This may sound like an oversimplified answer, and maybe you thought of this. But why not (next time) build a spacer that's the thickness of the queen cage? Just something that will go on the edge of the top super so the lid is raised up more. I've built very simple ones that are used as top entrances - only an inch thick.
Another easy way to place the queen cage in the hive is to slide it in the entrance. I like the idea of this option alot because you can always just take a stick and scoop the cage out later without even opening the hive. Then you could always check and make sure they're getting her released without much disturbance on the hive.



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