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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,995

    Default Small Cell Nuc Question

    This coming season I'm considering running some small cell mating nucs, my question is will small cell assist with varroa control in a mating nuc?

    The nucs are 3 standard deep lang frames, a cell is put in and the queen is allowed to lay for 2 - 3 weeks before being sold and a new cell put in.

    A lot of these nucs don't raise any drones so after reading M Bushes sacrificial drone theory, and that would require drone brood in the hive for varroa control to work. So I'd like to hear from anyone with experience with small cell nucs, or anyone with any thoughts or information on this.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,974

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    I will follow this one. I have been regressing my bees onto 4.9 plastic frames. They build a lot of drone comb at the bottom of frames as bridgecomb or make a mess on the plastic I have to scrape off. I think they will build a certain amount of drone comb come H or high water. If you want sacrificial drone cells throw in a foundationless frame and they will build it solid drone cells if they feel the need. I wish I had a better answer for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    I am also very interested in how this works out. I am also using three frame deep mating nucs. I have built 10 3x3 queen castles and am going to put them to use this spring.

    Alistair, do you mean your next season starting in October or thereabouts?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,995

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    Yes I'll do them Octoberish, am thinking of doing 10 boxes x's 3 frame nucs. (30 nucs). I won't have enough sc bees till after the winter, but I'm now up to my 5 sc hive pre winter target, they just need to build up a bit & store enough winter feed over the next 2 or 3 months.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    As often as you change queens in a mating nuc, I wouldn't think there would be a mite overload problem.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    That's a good point Dan. I hope Alistair gets to do several rounds of queens to see how these nucs pan out. I will most likely due to time and hive numbers constraints be unable to do more than a single round. I'm going to be splitting up most of my hives to supply these mating nucs. The product will hopefully be a couple dozen nucs. I want to keep the best ones, sell the moderate ones, and merge the duds and dinks with the best ones to make hives for over-summering and over-wintering. A lot depends on the weather which grows ever more volatile year by year.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    >This coming season I'm considering running some small cell mating nucs, my question is will small cell assist with varroa control in a mating nuc?

    Do you usually have Varroa problems in mating nucs? I have no Varroa problems in mating nucs but also don't have them in my hives. But I never had mating nucs when I was on large cell to compare it to.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,995

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    They last longer than hives, some of them have been two seasons no treatment, but others get mites, just why I don't know.

    These nucs are permanent, they get overwintered then used for queen mating in summer, and when they build up too much have brood and bees removed to make into saleable nucs or hives to keep bee numbers down. However this does allow the full annual mite cycle to take place so there can still be problems.

    I'm hoping to be able to produce queens in a chemical free environment so that's why I'll try the sc nucs, just wanted any pointers anyone can give me.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,974

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    OT have you studied the mdasplitter.com material? I have heard other no treatment types talk about brood breaks being the best single answer to mite control

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,995

    Default Re: Small Cell Nuc Question

    Hi Vance, yes I've read the relavent articles on their site. Let's just say my experience is not the same as theirs.

    Anyhow, I'll just get these nucs going, and keep them in a different site to the others, and we'll see what happens!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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