So Ive searched for how to use a shaker box to find the queen. The descriptions are way too vague-and Im a visual learner anyways. The only videos I can find are on how to build a shaker box but not on how to use it. From what I can tell you shake all your bees into the shaker box with the Queen Excluder attached to the bottom of the box and the top of the shaker box wide open, the bees don’t like the duct tape secured around the inner edge so they stay in the box for the most part and you now have a pile of bees…My question is, if I can’t find the queen on the frames how is putting them all in a pile going to help me? Clearly Im confused. Looking for a detailed description on how to use a shaker box to find a queen but ideally if anyone knows of a video or pictures of how to use a shaker box. Thank you in advance!
Hi Kevin, the only shaker box that I know of is where you shake all the bees into an empty box above a QE, with brood below it. The worker bees will pass through the QE to get to the brood, leaving the queen & drones behind.
I have attempted to use this method more that once, this was after checking each frame twice. On each occasion, after setting it up, I spotted the queen before shaking her into the empty box.
I used this method once in order to separate & kill drones from a super angry hive that I brought back to my apiary. I didn’t want any of those drones to join in the local DCA (drone congregation area).
Thanks for the reply. So if I understand you correctly your saying there are 2 boxes with a QE between them and the bottom box has a few frames of brood? Does the brood in the bottom box act as an attractant to the bees then? Im curious if this process of the bees going to the bottom box is a few minutes or are we talking much longer?
Hi Kevin, you understand correctly. I guess you could wait for 30 minutes for starters, then keep checking every 15 minutes. You might be the same as me, you set it up, only to find the queen before shaking her in.
If you think you might have trouble finding the queen going forward, do you think it would be a good idea to mark her?
I have never marked queens. I’m generally pretty good at spotting them, however there’s just the odd occasion when they can be very elusive, especially when time is of the essence…
Yes, I plan on marking her. I think I can find her eventually but would like to increase my odds of doing it quickly when its time to requeen. Thank you for your guidance.
You’re welcome Kevin. It’s good to have a backup plan that you can put in place in case you need it.
One of the reasons I like single brood boxes is because it makes finding the queen much easier.