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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
    Posts
    15

    Post

    I would like to know if anyone has ever attempted to winter 2 queens in one hive (with an excluder between them ofcourse). I thought that way when they get strong in the spring I could just split the colony and have two hives? Any suggestions? How would you go about distributing the stored honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    I would like to know if anyone has ever attempted to winter 2 queens in one hive (with an excluder between them ofcourse).

    reply:

    No this doesn't work. The bees will move up through the excluder leaving one queen to perish. Just combine the two letting the bees keep one queen. In the spring just split them. Or you could try over wintering one of them in a nuc. Double screen board could be an option but you don't provide enough info on the two colonies. Where in NY do you live? As I live in NY also.

    Clay


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
    Posts
    15

    Post

    Hi Clay,
    Thanks for the info. What is a double screen board? I'm in the Moravia area about 16 miles south of Auburn. Also interested in how you would go about wintering in a nuc box? The reason I was thinking of double queens is that I have several extra queens in nucs and don't really want to destroy some of them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi:

    I would like to know if anyone has ever attempted to winter 2 queens in one hive (with an excluder between them ofcourse).

    Reply:

    As Clay has already written, you cannot do this with a queen exluder and will need a double screen division board with 3/8 clearance between the screens.

    The screen division board will allow heat to pass from the stronger hive below up to the smaller above. Also it will keep the bees from touching and exchanging phermone to make the colonies stacked this way act independently.

    Next written:

    I thought that way when they get strong in the spring I could just split the colony and have two hives? Any suggestions?

    Reply:

    First of all by using a division screen you would already have two hives, but they would be piggybacked each with a queen one on top of the other. Here normally the entrance on the top, is the screen entrance hole facing now to the back side of the stand of supers the bees are in.

    Last written:

    How would you go about distributing the stored honey?

    Reply:

    The bulk of the honey is below with the main body of bees. The upper single box is technically now a new nuc with a mated queen and usually made up with 2-3 frames of brood and then filled in with pollen/honey frames on the sides. The warmth from the hive below keeps the smaller top one warm and will generate enough heat so that it starts a good cycle faster in the spring brooding up, so that by the time you have to super a second or third box on it, it can be as strong as the colony below it was divided from.

    Both sides should have good stores going into winter. The bottom have should have at least a full box of honey, plus what is around the broodnest and the top hive with queen no less than three outside frames of honey and pollen around the broodnest on each side. The extra frame is for a place for the upper nuc's bees to have a place to work and/or queen to lay.

    Both sides still need to be watched to make sure they overwinter and don't run out of stores. But that would be in the early spring starting normally after the first of the year.

    Clay can probably fill you in very well to work this kind of a situation and when to seperate the two piggybacked hives in the spring.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    What is a double screen board?

    reply:

    Picture an inner cover with the center cut out and a screen on both sides(they are also called snelgrove boards by some)with a notch on the side to provide an entrance.The fancy ones you buy from be supplies have six doors so you can milk bees from a top colony to bottom colony or vice versa. Read SWARMING:its control and prevention by Snelgrove for more on this. Very good book one I recommend( you can get it from Betterbee, Greenwhich NY). Many beekeepers use an inner cover and staple screen over the hole in the center and cut 3/4 inch notch in the rear side. You can make inner covers out of a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood and cut a small v-notch for top entrance (one sheet gives 11 inner covers at about $1.25 each vs. the ones you buy at a stiff price).

    I'm in the Moravia area about 16 miles south of Auburn. Also

    reply:

    Is this near Long Island? I'm 100 miles N. of Albany and about 2 hrs south of Canada.

    Also interested in how you would go about wintering in a nuc box?

    reply:

    You need a screen board for each nuc. Screen board is placed on top of full sized colony with enterance towards back. Add deep hive body and transfer nuc into this add cover. Nuc should be five frames and well plugged with honey before winter if you have spare honey in combs add them too. I tough years one may have some losses but most years should be OK. You will have to feed them early in spring(maybe in late winter). To make increase when pollen is coming in well in the spring pick up box set it on bottom board add foundations or comb and it will build up just like buying a nuc. But you must feed. You can also add brood from full sized colonies in spring to help build them up faster or split them too. Do you winter in doubles or triples?

    Clay


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    To make a double screen board easily, take 3/8 inch plywood and cut to size of the outside dimensions of the rim of a super.

    Then cut out either two large rectangular holes or one large rectangular hole with a jigsaw. (However if you cut out one large hole you will need to brace between the screening to keep the screening from touching. This is important to keep the bees from exchanging phermones with their tongues through the screening so they have only access to their own queens phermones by contact.)

    Staple gun over the large cut out holes window screening on both sides with no buckling allowed of the screen. Just flat and tight!

    Then lip the screen with 3/8 tall/thick raised lip of wood that is about 1 by or 3/4 to 1 inch wide with a half inch notch opening on one of the side pieces to make an entrance.

    Place on top of bottom hive with lip up and then place the smaller nuc now made up over top.

    Dee

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,612

    Post

    Plans for a double screen board are right here: http://www.beesource.com/plans/screenboard.htm

    Regards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NY,USA
    Posts
    15

    Post

    Thanks for all of the great information. I will surely use it. Could have used it last year. I think I lost some from not having enough bees to keep them warm and last year was my 1st so I didn't know much about it (still don't for that matter). Moravia is in central New York between Skaneatles and Owasco lakes not too far from Syracuse.

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