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Thread: Two queen hive

  1. #21
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    The guy I know who does two queen for a living has an easyloader boom that aids him in his work. Without it I cant see how two queen hives can practially be worked.
    He has at least one more brood chamber, and stacks 8 supers, where I stack 3-4. How can you possibley get those supers off the hive without some mechanical aid. A step ladder doesnt help.

    He claims double the crop plus. And his honey yeilds usually refect over twice mine. But one beg draw back is he claims two queen hives are more agressive. Probably true, due the huge # of bee/hive.

    Pritty much double the equipment, double the queens needed, more phisical work(that is without a boom loader) and 1/2 the hives at the end of it. Does just a bit over double the honey for one compared to two make this really worth the effort>?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #22
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    Guys up here make up four frame increase nucs, slap them together, put an excluder over them both to prvent queen merging and super as per usual.

    They get two good stronge nucs at the end to winter, and some honey to boot.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #23
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    {A step ladder doesnt help.}

    If you've seen Paul Brown in the Dadant ads that's exactly what's used. Tough business though if the ground is soft and your alone!

    Ian, are you guys wintering nucs successfully? If so could you expand on the set up.

  4. #24
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    >But one beg draw back is he claims two queen hives are more agressive. Probably true, due the huge # of bee/hive.

    In my experience, I would say they aren't necessarily more aggressive per se. But if they get moblilized they are very intimidating and if they get hot tempered, they are terrifying. It is frightening to work a hive that size because there are SO many bees buzzing around you by the time you get down to the brood chamber and IF they get mad, there is no easy way to put it all back together easily.

    Yes, you need a stepladder to work them and if the wind really blows or the hive starts to lean...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
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    I cant imagine trying to lift 80lbs boxes 10 feet off the ground.

    This last season, we had a real heavey first flow. I got behind by a week due to the shear amount of honey comming in, and the boxes come off heavey. Some were 80lbs easy. I needed my brother to help lift them off, six supers high on a step ladder. Now if there were ten of them on those hives, It would be a real challenge not to damage yourself.
    But by would it be fun to take that much honey off a hive!!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #26
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    Ian,
    Wish I had had that problem!! Most disappointing year I ever had. Bees and honey crop were a disaster in Fl due to hurricanes. Crop was 50% at best, and late which made me late making splits and getting back home. THen hot weather here sped up bloom=locust starting to bloom when I was unloading semi...work day and night to get bees set and supered. Best white dutch clover bloom I had seen since 1982 when I averaged 300+ lbs. Just when it started old man weather decided to make us a desert making another 50% honey crop! Heres hoping we all get Ians crop next year....good problem to have or at least better than mine! Rick

  7. #27
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    Well, I told a half truth. The first of three pulls was the heaviest I have ever seen. And like your area, the weather stripped the last two pulls completely as a write off. Thanks to my fist heavey pull, I averaged 150lbs/hive. Disapointing, becasuse even if the next two pulls were below average, I would of been selling over 200lbs/hive.

    Next years potential,...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #28
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    Next year, that'll surely be the banner year! Right?

    Ian the 1st. year we ran 2 queens they were on cinderblocks. We had some pretty rough harvest days trying to keep hives from tipping once we jared them and getting the supers off. Frankly pallets aren't much better.

    We too had a huge spring flow we took off the end of June (a month earlier than normal) 6 weeks of drought and a medium fall flow. We had a monster flow in SC this year,the 1st. year we didn't super due to years of poor flows from the extended drought. Our nucs were absolutely honey bound. We also had some of those 5 gallon swarms you just wave at and cry the beginning of April, compliments of the crowded brood nests in the parent hives before splits.

    [size="1"][ December 06, 2005, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  9. #29
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    Joel,

    Do you ever get any good tulip poplar honey? I use to get 100# crop 8 out of 10 yrs but it doesnt seen to yield here lately(last 10 yrs. This year it was about 75% locust and 25% poplar making a ligth mild really good honey with a hint of poplar taste. I have some customers who request it. Would be interested purchasing a couple barrels or more if I dont get any! Rick

  10. #30
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    I'm ashamed to say I don't know for sure, mySC time is usually for a week or so and I'm running against the clock the whole time. With the drought the last several years (except this one) we have not had any great spring crops (excpet this year). We are on the edge of a huge swamp. I see a ton of yellow jasmine, loads of wisteria and some tuplip popular. Lots of rasberry blossom too. The honey we get is very light amber, on the border of white. It has a slightly tinny aftertaste but very sweet going in. I'm pretty sure we had a good jasmine crop this year as you could smell it and it was very heady. Great honey. I've been in the swamp looking a couple of times but man the snakes are big in the south! I know every flow and honey in upstate NY., Need to take a season and see what they're working in SC.

  11. #31
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    Good topic!

    I tried to get some comments on that from the BEE-L people few weeks ago, but had no success. My doubt is about swarming in DQ hives. I've read recently in Free's "Pheromones of Social Bees" that DQ colonies are less likely to swarm according to some, probably because of the better distribution of queen substance among the bees. That caught my attention, because swarmings are of major concern to those of us who keep AHBs.

    So Suttonbeeman, have you realy noticed less swarmings in your DQs? What do you credit that to? Do you use some additional swarming preventing technique? If you (and others) could elaborate this a bit more, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks,

    João

  12. #32
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    My experaince and reading says it won't be an effective method of Swarm Contro for AHB do their swarm threshold.

    Our operation has demonstrated that if you make the splits at the appropriate time, before swarming starts or at least before swarm cells are capped, you interept that early process and the bees have a sense of swarming due to the loss of a large population of bees. Due to the loss of sealed brood the bees also sense a "depopulation" for a short period. Add to that the large space allowed by 4 or 5 supers and you've removed the incentive.

    I would be interested to hear about your attempts with AHB as well as your AHB experiances since we are in the early stages of the issue in much of the country now.

  13. #33
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    Hi Joel,

    I've already written a little about AHBs in this forum:
    <http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...p=2#000043>

    Swarming control in AHBs is not an easy matter. New queens and lots of free space are our best tools, IMO, but some swarmings still happen. More aggressive controls are very disturbing to AHBs, so we avoid them as much as possible.
    Swarms may occur in the beginning/middle of the nectar flow, and splits aren't always a solution.

    Two queen AHB colonies can probably become *very* aggressive, but it was already done a lot in South Africa some decades ago and almost everybody survived, as far as I know... [img]smile.gif[/img]

    João

  14. #34
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    Joao,
    Our colonies were dq for about 6 weeks and at begining of honey flow the old queen was killed or pulled with some brood to start a nuc. The determining factor was colony strength. If we thought they were a little too strong and might swarm the queen with 1-2 frames brood was removed. If they were not crowded we removed queen and killed her.

  15. #35
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    Reading all of this is interesting for us new beekeepers, I wonder if any of you ever just bought packages and introduced them to a existing hive (with the newpaper method) by just putting the package bee's in a few super's on the existing hive and a feeder can over the intercover hole. sounds good for these reasons, you will have a new young queen plus 2-3 pounds of bee's extra per hive, automatic early spring build up and you would still have the same number of hives without taking a hive and installing it with another hive for 2 queen hive. just some thought, like to hear what you all think.

    [size="1"][ December 08, 2005, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: TwT ][/size]
    Ted

  16. #36
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    Suttonbeeman,

    If I understood correctly, you don't enter the main flow with two queens, and use them only to build up a very large colony.

    Is that because your main nectar flow is short and you don't want useless brood demanding the bees' labor?

    If the nectar flow were longer, would you keep the two queens until, say, a month before its end?

    João

  17. #37
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    I would think you would want your hive the strongest at the start of the flow, if Im wrong please explain.
    Ted

  18. #38
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    You want your population to peak with the honey flow. You do not want 2 queens laying at that time for a couple of reasons. First you don't want a peak population after the flow is over (to have to feed all winter) so you have a 6-8 week population peak that you want to baseline after the flow. Keep in mind your hive will peak about 43 days after your 2nd queen starts to lay. (21 days to lay, 21 days until peak brood is hatching) Secondly, you don't want a ton bees taking care of open brood during the honey flow or using that incoming nectar to free that brood. You want the maximum force in the field. Bees live 3 to 6 weeks during the summer. I have found they live longer in 2 queen units. Your goal therefore is to have a minimum of open brood to feed and care for and a maximum population of bees during the main flow that will dwindle before wintering to avoid have to feed a huge cluster. Keep in mind 2 queen units may have 60,000+ bees at peak as opposed to 25,000-30,000 in singles.

    [size="1"][ December 08, 2005, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  19. #39
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    >I would think you would want your hive the strongest at the start of the flow, if Im wrong please explain.

    As Joel said. It's all in the timing. You want the field population to peak at the flow, not the open brood to peak at the flow. As he said, that's a difference of approximately 43 days in theory. In reality, if there is no brood to care for going into the flow (either from a confined queen, no queen or stealing the open brood out of the hive for a split) those nurse bees will be recruited for foraging so you can cut 21 days off that 43 days.

    You can't just setup a two queen hive any old time and therefore expect more honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #40
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    {You can't just setup a two queen hive any old time and therefore expect more honey.}

    And poor timing can lead to a hive you end up with no surplus you'll end of feeding due to missing the target or due to dearth from drought or rain. Always do 1 or 2 the first 1 or 2 years, many problems to learn to navigate consistently.

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