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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default How many queens?

    Hi. I am looking into raising queens next season and I have a simple question: As a practical matter, how many queens can a small-time operator expect to raise? Is it just a simple matter of how many colonies one has? I mean, does one have to have ONE colony for every queen produced?

    What is the limiting factor in raising queens?
    Last edited by Dr.Wax; 05-08-2008 at 12:39 AM. Reason: sp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Dr.Wax,
    The ansure is more than ONE colony is needed to raise Queens... You will need a hive for the breeder Queen to lay eggs in for grafting...
    The amount of Queen cells ONE colony can make is quite a lot, say in a frame cell starter you can make 30 queens with 8 frames of brood bees and a hive feeder frame... this is only minimum here that we ar talking about...
    If you want to produce mated Queens then you will need some matting nucs....
    Now you are talking about a larger number of hives you will need for stocking the nucs an Queenless finisher hive...
    So, you can see that hive numbers are starting to get bigger...
    Lee...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    Ok thanks. I guess I should have specified my question by asking how many full strength colonies are needed per queen?

    If I understand you correctly you would need only one full-strength colony to produce the 30 unmated queens but if you wanted mated queens you would additionaly need one mating nuc for each queen, correct? Your average buyer of queens does normally expect the queen to be mated, correct?

    How many of these queenless finisher hives would be required assuming you had 30 queens?
    Last edited by Dr.Wax; 05-08-2008 at 12:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    I never tried to get it down to such a formula. But it's difficult to raise very many without a lot of strong hives for resources. You need enough to set up a mating nuc for every queen cell you want to try to mate. You can reuse these about every two weeks if you are rushing things and every four weeks if you want awesome queens that have developed better. You need strong hives to get bees from for starters and finishers. If you want to make a lot of queens (say 50 to 100 a week) you'll need at least 20 strong colonies and more would be even better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    937

    Default Raising Queen

    1 good Strong Colony You can make up from 10-25 Mini nucs Using ab out a 12 oz cup of bees. If you start early in the season you will not be able to make up as many Mini Nucs Because the colonies does not have as many bees in them. that is the reason in the great variation in the number you can expect out of each colony. if you wait until the hive has reach max strength you can stock 25 Mini Nucs with each colony


    1 colony for a cell builder to raise 20-30 Queen cells to place in the Mini Nucs this also depends on how early in the season you start your grafting. if you wait til the colonies are crowded with lots of young nurse bees You can easily get 40-50 excellent finished queen cell

    Say you want to start 200 min nucs at one time

    You will need aproxmently

    15-18 Colonies for stocking Nucs 10 Colonies When at Max Strength
    10-14 Colonies for Cell Starter and finisher in 1 Colonie 5 colonies at max strength
    1-2 Colonies for holding your BREEDER Queen or Queens (I us 1/2 size 5 frame 9 1/8 inch deep for my breeders

    2-3 Colonies for DRONE Colonies also you can have Drone COMBS in your STOCKING and CELL STARTER and FINISHER COLONIES
    Last edited by Velbert; 05-10-2008 at 03:25 PM.

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