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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Foley Missouri USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Queen Castle Management

    I don't want to reinvent the wheel.......

    My goal is to have a continuous supply of brood frames to supplement my hives.

    My plan is to place 4 queens (with 2 frames of brood? each) in a 4 compartment queen castle.

    When a compartment is bursting with bees I remove a frame (place it in a weak hive)
    and replace it with a frame of drawn comb to be filled again with brood.

    Is this a workable plan? Am I missing something? Any input would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Queen Castle Management

    I'm not doing it for that purpose or that way, but I have two frame mating nucs (in my case mediums) and they are typically queenless (or at least have virgin queens in them) about half the time and when they are doing well I have to split them to make more mating nucs or pull brood out to make larger nucs. They get very strong as the field bees keep coming back even though you keep taking brood (unless you never let any emerge). With a queen laying all the time they would require a lot of attention. You might do better with larger nucs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Foley Missouri USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Queen Castle Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    they would require a lot of attention. You might do better with larger nucs.
    If the 2 frame {queen castle} system I described is healthy how long would it take the queen to fill a drawn frame with brood? How often could I harvest a frame of brood from each queen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Queen Castle Management

    >If the 2 frame {queen castle} system I described is healthy how long would it take the queen to fill a drawn frame with brood?

    A good queen can lay several thousand eggs a day.

    > How often could I harvest a frame of brood from each queen?

    You can't take them all the time as they will need to raise some brood now and again to replenish the worker population. You'll have to judge by the population and how fast they are managing to refill things.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,910

    Default Re: Queen Castle Management

    I'm using queen duplexes that you can just squeeze 4 frames into if needed. But they will work with only 2-3. When they start to get strong it's handy to be able to sqeeze in that extra frame. It's also handy to be able to steal one without setting them back so much.

    I've just about come to the conclusion that individual nucs are going to be simpler for me though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Foley Missouri USA
    Posts
    21

    Re: Queen Castle Management

    Thank you for the input!

    The 4 compartment queen castle is complete. I just ordered 4 Virgin queens from Honey Run Apiary (owner very helpful)..

    Here is the plan (Please tell me if this is a stupid idea!)

    I will place 1 heavy frame of (brood /honey/pollen) in each compartment along with a frame of drawn comb. I will take the cage with a virgin queen and place in each compartment.
    Once she is mated and laying (how long?) I will remove the drawn frame with eggs two times a week. This will supply me with 8 brood frames per week to supplement weaker hives. I should be able to turn weak/moderate hives into "high bee mass" hives with little effort. On paper this seems to work? What glaring problem am I missing?

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