Price excludes GST
For brood breaks and healthy hive management.
As varroa mites become resistant to miticides, and varroa re-invasion issues become more severe, beekeepers all over the world are desperately searching for alternative treatments.
Brood breaks in conjunction with Oxalic Acid (OA) vaporization is extremely effective and low cost and is becoming a very popular option.
The purpose-built cages are made from food-grade Polypropylene.
They have a sliding door on both sides.
The side openings in the grill are 4.2mm, same as a queen excluder.
Nurse bees can go in and out to care for the queen.
To release the queen, slide open a door on the cage and she will come out as soon as the hive is closed back up.
The cage is large enough to allow plenty of pheromone distribution, so the bees don’t try to supersede her.
Outside dimensions:- 240mm x 29mm x 34mm high.
Packed 100 per carton.
It is recommended to cut a window out of a brood frame and fit the cage into the window. See photos.
The bees will secure it in place.
The frame can live permanently in the hive. Position it as an outer frame in the brood box when it has no queen enclosed.
When the queen is inside, keep it near the middle of the brood box so she keeps warm and fed.
It is recommended to use a ¾ depth frame in a full depth brood box.
The bees will build drone comb underneath it.
If there are any mites in the hive, they will tend to go to these drone cells.
When they are all capped, they can be easily scraped from the bottom of the frame and disposed of, mites and all. (Chooks go crazy on them!)
Some beekeepers fit the cage between 2 frames in horizontal position instead of vertical.
See photo with plastic frames. The comb is scraped back to the foundation.
There is a question whether this way allows enough pheromone to be released but it seems to be okay.
There are many applications for this cage.
1. Varroa Control.
From mid-Spring to mid-Summer, 75% of the varroa mites in a hive can be breeding inside the capped brood cells and are protected from most varroa treatments.
By creating a brood break, all the varroa mites are exposed and can be killed with 1 – 3 cents worth of Oxalic Acid by Vaporization.
The InstantVap Vaporizer is very quick and efficient for this application.
Most commercial queen breeders will mark queens for no extra charge.
That makes them very easy to find to allow for quick caging and very low cost varroa control.
2. Swarm Control.
Cage the queen in Spring to control swarming and varroa mite populations.
There are 3 stages that usually precede swarming.
The procedure is best performed during the first or second stage.
It is important to time this procedure to maximise field bee numbers at the start of the honey flow.
3. To maximise a honey crop.
Some honey flows can be very valuable but occur for an intense & brief period of only 2 or 3 weeks.
To maximise the crop, cage the queen 2 or 3 days before the start of the expected honey flow. This allows for the following: -
The honey crop can then be removed, queen released, and the hive can be vaporized with OA to kill virtually all the varroa mites in the hive.
4. Over Winter.
Beehives in good condition in Autumn will greatly benefit with a brood break in the winter.
If you have hives in a location where this doesn’t happen, you can do it with an isolation cage.
The bees that hatch out after you cage the queen will live happily till the next batch of brood arrives several months later, after the brood break period.
This is all conditional to the bees being healthy and having enough of them at the time of caging.
The queen can be caged for 3 to 4 months without any detrimental effects to her health or performance.
24 days after caging, there will be no capped brood and the hive can be vaporized with OA.
If done with the correct technique, it will kill virtually every varroa mite in the beehive. (There is no capped brood for them to shelter in.)
Another treatment one week later is recommended to wipe out any possible varroa mite remnants.
Varroa mites can potentially turn up from stray bees from other colonies, but they cannot breed when there is no brood.
The temperature in the cluster will drop from 34°C to around 22°C to 28°C. With the lower temperature and no brood, there are significant advantages such as: -
No varroa strips will be required in the beehive unless you have massive varroa mite re-invasion issues from nearby colonies.
Caging the queens in first week of April and releasing in last week of July worked very well on some trial beehives in the Nelson region in 2023. (NZ)
The queens went crazy and laid a lot of eggs very fast. A month later, there were lots of beautiful big frames of very healthy brood!
When the queens are released, the hive can be vaporized with OA so that if there are any varroa mites present, they are virtually all killed.
Another Queen Isolation Cage option is the Technoset Queen Cage Frame.
It takes the place of a frame and works on all the same principles that are listed above.