hi all, ive been reading the post youall wrote. myself ive already ordered 30 minnasota hygenic queens for spring. planning on making three frame nuks around april 15th. then on may 5th doing 15 more with carnies, ive also ordered 10 49ers from buck eye bee. im also planning on trying to make some pollen an market it , ived looked at the sundance pollen trap an like what i see but any advice would be good.. raybo 1331
From what everyone says the Sundance is the Cadillac. I have used pollen traps occasionally and they do resemble the Sundance in some ways, but I don't consider myself an expert at collecting pollen. I will say that when you put it on be prepared for a major traffic jam for a few days. I takes the bees a while to adjust to the trap. Be sure to empty it often. Rain and sometimes dew will ruin pollen. I would plan on emptying it everyday just to be safe. Also open it up for free access every few days so pollen can get into the hive for brood.
I used baby nuc's to raise queens for a few years but am now leaning toward standard size nuc's.My baby nuc's were about 1/4 the size of a med. super and I used about 2-4 ozs of bees 1 12oz cup of bees and a queen cell.By late june early july these baby nuc's needed divided or they would swarm.You could easily get 50 or more baby nuc's from one healthy hive but its better to mix bees from several hives together when filling them is what I found.The only problem is they won't over winter here even if put in standard equipment the season is just too short.Where as a divide in a standard nuc has a good enough start to be able to over winter.
I made six baby nucs. I have not really had a chance to really use them yet. I made mine, with frames, that can "snap" together, and become one standard size frame. That way, comb building is taken care of in a strong hive, and then unsnapped into the baby. I guess, the are half frames at that point. I made mine, 4 frames, or two regular size frames. I think it is probably overkill, and may reduce them to one frame only. I had figured, as the queen got semi established, It would mot get out grown quite so fast. Further, the frames can then be placed into a regular nuc, and faded out of the regular nuc over time, and back into the baby one. I like to watch my queens for some things before I make the decision to keep them or not. As always, I am studying the effects of combos I make. According to brother Adam, the first cross will be swarm happy. This is something I have seen already, and I want to get get a cross, and graft right away, to get the second generation and see how that goes.
Happy queen breeding!
Hi,Hook I tried converting the baby nuc's to standard equipment and thats actually no problem.The problem is after the queens mated she fills up the baby nuc's with brood really fast and then theres that 21 day wait until the brood hatches.The big advantage to a baby nuc is they require a tiny amount of bees to get going and after that 1st brood cycle they are pretty self substaining.Its that 21 day wait where if you used a standard nuc and a couple frames of brood and bees you maybe able to get a nuc that have a chance of over wintering.I would think father south a baby nuc could be put in standard equipment and over wintered but not here the 21 days after mating makes a baby nuc good for only a couple of queens.
I use 5 frame baby nuc. They are the shallow frame size. About half of a full size frame. 5 frames will be a little less than 2 1/2 full length 5 3/8 frames. I build these with a tight fit at the seams, dip them in paraffin
I put wire in the frames, also the foundation has the wire. I want good combs.
to get the combs built on the first go around. I collected the bees from several hives shook into a screened deep hive body after they have been run through a excluder nailed to a deep hive body making sure I don't get the parent queen from the hive. I have the baby nuc all screened with hardware screen 1/8 inch squares.I use a styrafom 22 oz cut, fill to about 3/4 full of bees into each nuc shut the lids keep in a full shade. prop up the front of the nuc and put about a pint of sugar water in the front, remember these have been dipped in paraffin so it will hold the sugar water in.
If you have make the nuc to have tight seams.now the nucs have 5 frames of foundation to build. next evening I place a virgian queen in them that is a day old not over two days.fix queen cage so she is in the center of the frames off the bottom. because you may need to feed again.
Leave the nuc plugged until the queen is about 3 or 4 days old. Because at the end of the 3rd day she will have her own queen smell or pheromones. If you unpluge before the end of her 3rd day they all leave the nuc.
You can also use a ripe queen cell but you have to leave them closed up a lot longer.They
will need a real good shadded area for this.
Once you have combs built and brood in the comb all you need to do is take out the laying Queen. leave queenless for 24 hours put in another ripe queen cell. if you leave queenless for to long of a time they start EM queen cells,Two things can happen #1 the queen in you ripe cell may swarm or #2 they may kill the queen you put in.
Here in oklahoma I have wintered the baby nuc's You have to keep close watch on their honey stores.
These little nuc get strong I usally take a good amount of bees from several and can use them for cell starters or even make a shook swarm hive.
I'm intrigued by the idea of the bottom of the box being the feeder. It sure simplyfies things. Where is the entrance? I suppose a hole in the side would do and still let you use the bottom as a feeder.
this sounds like what Betterbee says about their nucs. http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=304
I remember these nucs, but hadn't considerd doing it for a mating nuc and hadn't considered doing it in a homade box. I think I will make some mating nucs this way.
How do you keep the bees from drowning in the syrup?
I'm thinking I might cut a piece of 1/4" plywood and cut some slits in it and put it on the bottom for a "raft".
But without the raft, if it's not too deep not many who fall in won't be able to get out and if it's a baby nuc it won't be far to swim to the wall.
Michael I want to thank you on the info you gave me
I have the entrance at the bottom it is 3/4 inch all the way across the bottom just like a full size hive.
You wont need a raft type floater at the bottom in just a few hours most of it will be eaten. very few bees get drowned (bd) if you pour it in kind of slow giving the bees time to climb out of the way.One word of caution dont tilt to fare and try and put to much sugar water in it. I got them setting on blocks and I place about a 1 1/2 chunk or rock under it in the front.
when the virgian has gotten 3 days old pull the screen out. I do this about dark time or about daylight so they dont all rush out. and get all lost and mixed up. also if you feed after the screen has been taken out only feed about dark time to prevent robbing.
some times I keep up to 25 to 50 in a yard with full strength colonies. and dont have any problem with robbing if you watch how you feed.What i like about the baby nuc's
#1 i don't mind pulling a queen. to requeen but with a big nuc i allways really didn't want to because usally they will make a full size hive and lots of time the full size nuc was stronger and doing better than the one that needed the queen.
#2 I have only about 10 bucks in one of them.
#3 lot easer to find queens, got of work one evening in 2 hours i caged 25 queens with about 5 workers in each cage for a quy to pick up the next morning.
#4 they are light weight and can carry 2 or 3 with you as you make your round checking your yards need a replacement you have her.