4 Easy steps for queen rearing with the Q8
Raising up to 8 queens is relatively straightforward in the Q8 Queen Motel as long as you get the basics right.
The more you use the Q8 yourself, the more effective you will find it to be!
Let’s get right into the straightforward steps on how to raise queens with our Q8.
- Preparing the Q8 Frames
The Q8 you purchase will come with 8 compartments that each contain a tri-fold frame.
This frame opens out into a full depth frame which can be fitted with plastic or wax foundation – we provide a variety of options in this area.
Once the frame has been fitted with foundation you can click it into the straight position and put it in the brood box of a strong hive. We recommend a maximum of 4 frames per hive.
It is best to place 1 or 2 Q8 frames on each side of the brood nest in the bottom box. A food frame needs to be alongside it.
For example, there could be 4 original frames of brood in the middle of the bottom brood box, then 2 Q8 frames on each side of them, then a food frame on each side of the brood box.
If there is no honey flow, the beehive should be fed regularly with sugar syrup to encourage the bees to draw the wax out on the new frames.
Feed syrup mixed 1 part sugar to 2 parts water (by weight) for best results.
Allow a minimum of 2 weeks for the frame to be drawn out and ready.
As soon as it is drawn out and has some brood and honey, you can take it out with plenty of bees included, and put it straight into one of your Q8 compartments.
A ripe queen cell should be added to it within 24 hours.
Once you have opened up a Q8 Nuc hive we recommend using our frame grip tool to get a trifold frame out easily.
By grabbing the middle section, you can pull a frame up out of the hive, grab it by one corner, let go of the grabber and get the other corner.
- Getting Queen Cells
There are a couple of ways you can go about sourcing queen cells for your Q8.
The simple way is to buy them from a local queen breeder. Transport them carefully to your Q8 hive; keeping them warm.
Place the cell in between the frame top bars.
The other way is to rear your own queen cells which is really another subject on its own.
Check out our Cloake Boards for raising cells and the PDF instruction sheet.
Grabbing our book on queen rearing will also be very helpful.
- Catching and caging.
Knowing when to open up your Q8 and catch the queens is important. Our queen dial is a great tool which explains the timeline of rearing a queen.
It will be between 10 and 24 days after adding the cell that the queen will start laying eggs. Is very much weather related.
It is best to wait until the new brood is capped before caging the queen to ensure she is not a drone layer.
Find the queen then place the frame down on a flat surface while still keeping your eye on the queen. The Q8 roof placed upside down on a small table is great for this purpose.
If you want to mark it, you can put the end of our marking tool over the queen, catch her and mark her with a queen marking pen. After that you can pop her straight in the queen cage.
If you don’t want to mark her, scoop up some nurse bees with the Technosetbee queen cage then gently get the queen with your fingers and pop her in the cage.
- Merge or Repeat
You now have 2 choices on what to do for the queenless Q8 compartment.
- Add another queen cell, or
- Merge the queenless compartment with a compartment next to it that has a laying queen by pulling out a divider. Add a layer of newspaper in between or spraying a little vanilla essence over the bees to disguise the scent of each colony. These 2 compartments can be simply divided later on and a queen cell added when available.
Now you have completed a cycle in which you can repeat many times!
There are also many other different ways you can use the Q8, including overwintering queens in them! Keep your eye out for our next Blog on the Q8!
There are now hundreds of these in use over New Zealand and the results are proving to be very effective and profitable.
Join the large team of happy Q8 users, and purchase one now!
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