I have 2 hives that are from 2 swarms that I caught last summer. Both of these hives are from locations that have had bees in old houses for several years. I would like to raise Queens from at least one of these as they seem to be from good stock. As a realitively new Beekeeper I am not quite sure how to go about this. Would like to have a good plan so as to not miss any steps in the process. I have 5 frame Nuc's available for this and drawn comb available. Also have Hive bodys available. I read the article in Bee Culture but they refer to placing a Queen in the hive, not letting them raise their own Queen. Never having dones this before so many Questions and so few answers. Mr. B how would you go about this???????? Dale in S.E. Ks
>I would like to raise Queens from at least one of these as they seem to be from good stock.
How many queens? A lot, a few? You might find there are other people who would love to have some queens from them too.
>As a realitively new Beekeeper I am not quite sure how to go about this. Would like to have a good plan so as to not miss any steps in the process.
If you want to raise a lot of queens (more then two or three) then I would recommend the Hopkins method. You don't have to buy a lot of equipment and it's doesn't require grafting.
My second choice would be a Jenter system.
This is one of the better explainations of how to get the bees to draw good cells etc.
And here is a method using one hive.
>I read the article in Bee Culture but they refer to placing a Queen in the hive, not letting them raise their own Queen. Never having dones this before so many Questions and so few answers. Mr. B how would you go about this???????? Dale in S.E. Ks
Assuming you only want a couple of queens, you just need to wait until there are plenty of drones flying in your area. Here that would be the end of April or the middle of May depending on the weather. Take a frame of open brood with eggs (look closely the eggs are dry, little, white specs in the bottom of the cells). Two frames of capped brood (to boost the population when the field bees leave) and two frames of honey and pollen and put the eggs in the middle the capped brood next and the honey/pollen on the outside. Make sure you know where the original queen is and shake some nurse bees (bees that are on brood) into the nuc) while making sure the queen stays in the original hive. Put in more bees than you think they need because many will return to the parent hive. Also you want an adequate amount of nurse bees to care for the queen cell.
Now they will raise a queen. If you have wax comb and you want more queens, there will probably more queen cells than you need and you could cut them out of the comb (depending on where the wires are) and place them in other nucs after they are capped and before they emerge.
If you want to make sure the quality is better, you can go in and destroy any queen cells that are capped after four days. These are from larvae that were too old.
Here is a detailed descritpion of this kind of a method:
Another method (a cut down split) is to time this just before the honey flow. Use a full body for the split, not a nuc. Put all the open brood except a frame of eggs into the new hive. Put all the capped brood in the old hive. Put the queen in the new hive. Shake half of the nurse bees off of the open brood into the old hive. Now you have half of the nurse bees in the old hive, all of the capped brood in the old hive and all of the field bees (which will return to the old hive). The new hive has half of the nurse bees, all of the open brood and the queen. The new hive won't swarm because they have too much brood to care for and not enough workers. The old hive won't swarm because it's queenless. The old have has a lot of bees with nothing to do because the brood is gone, except for the one frame of eggs so all those nurse bees will take good care of the new queen. A lot of the emerging bees, having no brood to care for will start foraging and you should get a great honey crop (from the old hive), a split and a new queen.
Thanks Michael, Always something to learn in BeeKeeping. Lots of reading there and decisions to be made. Both hives are in 2 Hive Bodys. One of the hives was a little light so I have been feeding light syrup and they are really taking it. Dandolions have been blooming here for about 10 day to 2 wks. I am sure I will have more Questions. Thanks again for all the GREAT help. Dale