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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI, US
    Posts
    7

    Exclamation

    Hello Everyone.

    I am going to made some double queen hives, however, I would like to know how to pull them through the winter with 2 queens as well in the one hive.

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    3BeeKeepers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    >I am going to made some double queen hives, however, I would like to know how to pull them through the winter with 2 queens as well in the one hive.

    Put each queen in her own hive. There is no other way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI, US
    Posts
    7

    Post

    I have currently what would be 74 nucs on top of Parent hives, what have been screened off. I was hoping that I was able to place them all through the winter with enough stores (3 Deeps each total 6 deeps high) to make it through the winter.



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    3BeeKeepers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    >I have currently what would be 74 nucs on top of Parent hives

    Meaning 74 hives each with a nuc on top?

    >I was hoping that I was able to place them all through the winter with enough stores (3 Deeps each total 6 deeps high) to make it through the winter.

    I'm not sure what configuration you're planning. Keep us posted on the results. I've been trying to figure out how to overwinter nucs successfully here and I can't say I have a method I like. But I do know a few I don't like.


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

    Post

    I am also trying to overwinter some nucs. This year, I am going to put 2 nucs into one deep, with a divider, and stack them 3 high, underneath my Dad's barn. It has a few windows, that would allow light, and some heat, but should get no colder than 20 degrees, and be fully protected from the wind. I should have about 10 strong nucs, that should be able to cluster nicely, after I combine them.

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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI, US
    Posts
    7

    Post

    Since the winters in Sault Ste. Marie, MI & ON normal temperatures are around -30*C - -45*C (C&F same) which I have allot of trouble with colonies making the winter.

    I have insulated with R-20 Insulation, Styrofoam, Hay, and shovelling snow onto the hives. A normal season of bringing bees through the winter runsabout 50% winterkill.

    Now bringing the hives into the barn is an excellent idea, however, you will want to cover the window to prevent them from flying. Does this barn currently have animals to help warm the bees ase well?



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    3BeeKeepers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    There are no animals in the barn, just lots of hay. I was thinking the same about covering the windows, but I was thinking more about the insulation, and the small amount of heat to radiate in during the middle of winter.

    My other option, is to put them into the old potato storage area. Dirt floor and dark, but still no wind, and temps should not get lower than 20 degrees. I planned on moving them when the temps at night start into the mid 30s. I guess I could move them into the barn when the outside temp highs get to 55, probably around the same time anyway.

    Still not sure, but don't want to lose the nucs either. It would be nice to have nucs for spring to start raising queens a bit earlier than this year,(end of May). But till they start laying, it is almost mid june if you know what I mean.


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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Lightbulb

    I have nucs on top of my production hives. I have been doing this for years. I use medium boxes. The parent hives are 4 high and the nucs are 2 high. I have the inner cove hole screened in and the nuc has its own separate entrance. My nucs come out great in the spring. The heat from the parent hives keeps the nucs warm. I have -30F with 7 feet of snow. There is a small problem with mosture but if you give the nuc an innercover on top then they will make it fine. I use these nucs as replacements in the spring and to head new hives. I hope this helps.
    Good luck.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    you could consider wintering your hives in south carolina

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    3BK - inside the hive feeders (frame or Miller-type) and insulation, definitely, but I wonder if outside in the cold and breeding from the survivors would be a good long term bet. The 50% that don't make it don't get to play next season. Several years down the road, you have tough, northern, bees that survive, and are thus very valuable. Just an idea to consider...I would also consider keeping some indoors if I lived up there, too, I admit. Its a difficult decision. I wish you well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,373

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    Could you describe the configuration you are talking about.You mention wintering nucs on top of production hives, but then say the stack would be 6 deeps high. Do you mean you are wintering 3 story nucs over a 3 story production hive? Or, 3 single story nucs over a 3 story hive? Hard to tell from what you said.

    Your 50% loss every year seems awfully high. Where did you get your bees? What are the reasons for the losses?


    Quote Originally Posted by 3BeeKeepers View Post
    Since the winters in Sault Ste. Marie, MI & ON normal temperatures are around -30*C - -45*C (C&F same) which I have allot of trouble with colonies making the winter.

    I have insulated with R-20 Insulation, Styrofoam, Hay, and shovelling snow onto the hives. A normal season of bringing bees through the winter runsabout 50% winterkill.

    Now bringing the hives into the barn is an excellent idea, however, you will want to cover the window to prevent them from flying. Does this barn currently have animals to help warm the bees ase well?



    ------------------
    3BeeKeepers

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    I doubt that you will get a reply. Looks like an 8 year old thread got resurrected.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    Running two queen hives is like having two magnets with the N pole pointed together. Pretty quickly, the bulk of the bees will flip and move to one queen and abandon the other.

    Having said that, in our area we have a very intense early flow. Almost unlimited; the amount of honey available in the first 7 to 10 days.

    Doubling up two weak or medium strength hives just before the flow will more than double the amount of honey produced.

    In our area, the marker is the locust bloom. When it is over, the honey flow will be in a couple weeks. I double up all but the strongest hives.

    This year was poor and my "strong" singles only made a medium super. My "doubles" three or four. A few made five.

    I double up with newspaper. Not sure how long both queens survive, but pretty quickly, one is killed. But the increase in worker bees appears to free up a larger percentage for gathering nectar.

    "Met-How Kraig"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Double Queen Hives

    I have two queens in a long hive (double width). It usually has a vertical queen excluder in the center. In late Autum/Fall I replaced the excluder with a solid plywood partition and moved each brood nest beside the partiton, then fed. Each side has it's own entrance.

    In early spring once each side had a least three frames of brood I put the vertical queen excluder back. Had no problems with them disposing of one queen so far.

    At the moment they are expanding like nothing I've seen before!

    Matthew Davey

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