Queen nasty chat

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If you also wish to clip a wing, you can twist the plunger slightly and one wing tip will poke through the mesh, cut off about 4 mm and the job is done.

Withdraw the plunger about 25 mm the queen will walk about un-harmed wait a few minutes to let the glue or paint dry, pull the cover off the brood box place the tube along a seam between the frames, pull the plunger out, and let the queen walk out and down on to the comb.

This suction method can be applied to picking queens from combs, but you will need a slightly greater diameter of tubing.

The soft PVC tubing I use for number pick up came from a surgical 'butterfly' (picture at right) which had a piece of tubing 900 mm in length and 1.8 mm diameter.

elastic mesh stretched over one end and held in place with a rubber band, a 28 mm plunger covered on the top with a 9 mm thickness of soft plastic foam.

future picture about marking using Baldock cage Karl Jenter manufactures this plastic device that resembles a clothes peg, they call it 'queen pliers', I prefer 'queen tongs', which sound a little less brutal.

This has soft sponge areas for gripping the queen's abdomen and small, stubby, transverse silicone rubber tubes that grip the sides of the queen's thorax.

For picking up queens a piece of silicone rubber tubing, about 3 mm in diameter, can be utilised (obtain from medical suppliers).

Plastic tubing can be used providing a silicone rubber cuff is added to the business end.

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