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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Post

    LetÂ’s share the good, bad and the ugly. I am sure that there are some stories out there.

    Believe me not only from first timers but even an ex-commercial guy like me. Raising queens commercially is a whole different ball game. I must admit that I am having far more fun raising queens for our KY Queen Project.


    ------------------
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,339

    Post

    Well, this is my second year and my second try this year.

    The first was early and although there were drones but they didn't build many cells and it still got pretty cold right in the middle when I put the cells in the mating nucs.

    The second try I started May 20th getting set up and confined the queen on the 21st. I got 31 queen cells capped and yesterday I went to set up the mating nucs. I had to build a bunch of them. I have one finished that is a standard deep divided into four two frame mating nucs with one entrance in each of the directions.

    I built 8 2 frame nucs. I built five more five frame nucs. I had 4 four frame nucs. One 3 frame nuc. And I had a bunch of five frame nucs.

    So yesterday I put all the bees in the nucs and dequeened any hives that were faltering with last year's queen. Today I put the queen cells in.

    I really like the two frame nucs for mating nucs. Two medium frames of bees is a nice size nuc.

    While setting up the nucs I also found four frames that had capped queen cells on them and put them in their own nucs.

    If this all works it will be the most queens I've ever raised at one time.

    The queen cells I found are mostly Carni's. The queen cells I raised are black feral survivors. Probably the old "black" bees that are spoken so poorly of in all the old books. But mine are doing well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    This is about year 3 for me. I raised 5 to start the year out. They just started laying yesterday.

    They are SMR/Carny/Italian mixed, plus whatever else is out there! I try to flood the area with drones, to control a small piece of the pie anyway! I just started 20 more, but not sure if they accepted the grafts, and have 3 more in my incubator now. Still trying to get the right mix for the northeast part of PA.

    And I completely understand about building nucs. I built 25 last year. I built baby nucs too. I like them because you don'y need as many bees. I incorporated the snap together feature in frames, to allow a full strength colony to draw out the comb, and then unsnap it, to place into the baby.


    My nucs range from 3 to 5 frames, and I built mini miller feeders, like posted on the "plan" area here. I modified them slightly, and the access is the very front of the nuc instead of in the middle. The bees use them heavily.

    Anybody add any vitamins or anything to feed the growing larvae?

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited June 03, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited June 03, 2004).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,339

    Post

    I thought about building baby nucs. If I did make my own baby nucs, I think I'd make a small slopesided top bar hive with two or three short frames. Something sort of like this:
    http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/kirchhain.html

    But I built two frame mediums that take standard medium frames. That way I can take frames of brood and bees and put in the nucs and when I'm done take frames of bees and brood and put them back into hives. And since they are two frames (and mediums) they still don't take a lot of bees.

    The fold up frames are tempting but look like too much work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    Making the joint is tricky the first time, but once you get everything set up, and make one cut at a time, its not too bad. I'll get a picture of it if I can.


    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,339

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    On my first attempt (last month), I made 14 queen cells (out of 20), and zero out of 20 on a queenright hive.

    Today is day 8 of my second attempt, and I was successful with both the queenless and queenright hive builders. 13 queen cells in the queenless, 9 queen cells in the queenright.

    This time I put brood from the bottom box into the 3rd deep (with a full deep super in between), on the queenright hive. The hive was very, very strong also. I think maybe keeping the full deep between the queen and the cells I'm wanting to raise helped acceptance (less pheremone smell). I'm just happy that it can be done!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    Actually no. If I can figure out how to post pictures I will.

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited June 04, 2004).]

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