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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default What to do with idle mating nucs?

    I'm trying to stay on a schedule of grafting every 10-12 days.

    Before I plant cells I inspect all of the mating nucs from the last group, and any of them where I don't spot a queen get a new cell. If they do have a queen I note it down, along with whether or not I spot any eggs/brood.

    In a few days I recheck any that had queens but no brood - of course some have brood now, but a few seem to no longer even have queens. I could be missing queens that are there, but assuming sometimes there really isn't a queen at all - ??

    Anyway, at this point it will be a week before I have ripe cells again, and those mating nucs have been queenless for around 2 weeks.

    They are full frame nucs, so I could give them brood, I could also give them a 3 day old graft to keep them occupied, or should I just not worry about it? I know I could just graft more often, but at this point I don't really want to do that.

    Instead of reinventing the wheel I thought it would be better to ask what you guys do that have worked this all out already.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,487

    Default Re: What to do with idle mating nucs?

    I start a new batch every week... but if I don't have enough cells I usually leave the queens to lay and don't remove them. If they are sold and I do, and the mating nuc is overflowing with bees, I may let them raise a queen. But then mine are two medium full size frames and if they are booming and there is a flow they can raise a decent queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: What to do with idle mating nucs?

    The nucs I'm talking about have never had laying queens in them yet, but that should work out pretty quick. Thanks, 'cause as obvious as it seems It had not occurred to me that eventually that would be the case.

    I guess the equivalent for now would be to give them an open queen cell to raise - if they're strong enough.

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