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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Making Nucs with Queen cels

    I posted here thinking this is a manipulation that the commercial side would be more familiar with.

    I'm in Florida.

    My thought was to bust Double deep hives into 6 to 8, 5 frame Nucs on day 7-8 after grafting.

    Not sure if I should move Nucs to different yard? I do walk away splits in same yard often and it works out well, mostly

    After Nucs have sat queen less for 24 hours add Queen cels that are 8 to 9 days old (from grafting day).
    I'll place the cel on the edge of brood.

    What do you think of my plan?
    Any tips or recommendations?

    Thanks for you help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,709

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Not tooo far off what I have planned. At least my plan A. Mine have been "opportunistic", timing was luck, but the end result was good. My only "thought" is the time you are moving the queen cells. Everything I've seen suggests day 12, and the queens are better able to survive some jostling. JMHO

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    I don't have an incubator.
    What if one hatches early and kills the rest?
    I was going to go right from hive to hive

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    5,021

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Proper planning and moving the cells on the right date will avoid that eventuality.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Proper planning and moving the cells on the right date will avoid that eventuality.
    My plan was to move 9 full days after I grafted.
    Is that proper?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Nine or ten days will work fine. Just be sure the cells are nice and firm to handle. Use a cell protector. Candle your cells. That is hold up to the sunlight, the potential cell and tip the cell gently. You will either feel the queen slip or see her (shadow) slip in the cell. Then you know that is a good ripe queen cell that once placed in a cell protector can be inserted into your split or nuc. She should hatch a day or two later. Good luck! TED Kretschmann
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  7. #7
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    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Thank you, I'm not sure I understand proper use of the cell protector. Do I need to go in 3 days after to remove cell protectors? What would promt a hive that has been queen less for 24hour+ to tear down a cell placed in it?
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Each hive has a different smell-(pheromones). So the cells you use might smell totally different from the colony you are placing the cell in. Thus the bees will tear it down and try to make one themselves from their own kind. Use a protector to prevent that. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Okay understood. Thanks
    I'm might have to get creative and rig something up or just go ahead and place an order with
    Mann Lake and hope it makes it in time. $100.00 is getting to easy to spend there I could always use boxes and a couple $ for cell protectors is cheap insurance.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,312

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    How much can shipping be for a bag of plastic cell protectors that weighs about a pound? The Dadant store in High Springs keeps them in stock also. If you're making 6-8 nucs out of each double deep you're going to be short on brood frames in the nucs. Each one needs a couple frames of brood to stay strong enough to outlast the non-laying period before you get more emerging brood from the new queen. It takes 21 days after she starts laying to get the first emergers. The stronger they are the better the results you'll have with the splits and the faster they'll grow. We use 2-3 frames of brood, and a full frame of honey or two, plus an empty drawn frame if available or a frame of foundation. We normally have to move our splits to 8 frame boxes within a month of making them and any that are still weak at that point get a squashed queen and a new cell. If you're going to do the work make it pay off!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Quick question,
    Does the parent hive "home smell" diminish the longer the split is queen less? I had a small split lat season that was queen less for more than a few days. A week maybe. When I placed a ripe queen cell with them, they began "doding on it almost immediately. A little luck maybe?
    Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Fish stix

    What is your preferred time to make up Nucs over there?
    6-8 is pushing it maybe I'll go with 4 Nucs per double and split three doubles
    into singles starting with 6ish frames and foundation? I'm limited on Nuc boxes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,312

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    We make splits right after the citrus flow, again in June-July, and again just before the pepper flow. Or any time we need them! However, since we have big dreams of someday having a profit making operation (meaning producing honey) we don't take them down to nothing on our splits; normally only one or two splits out of each hive. In some cases we will have to take brood from a couple different hives to make up a strong split, except right after citrus when they're all booming. They key for us is to make up STRONG splits. I've tried the one frame of brood trick in a 3 frame nuc and I don't like it. Takes too long for them to build up. Typically, the splits we make after citrus will be producing a honey crop by pepper flow and will usually be in double deeps or a deep and a medium for brood. Just trying to grow at a sensible rate and have the business pay it's way.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    The bottom fell out of most of my opportunities to put bees on orange blossom this year. My plan was to involve building to doubles and splitting to singles which works well.
    It seems once they reach 8 frames or so it's easier to get them to grow by leaps and bounds. The smaller 3-5 frame colonies seem to sit in limbo?? longer.

    I'm trying to raise queens Cels this year and going to play with a couple ways of using them and timing of using them. I'll split some doubles and add cells and break some down into smaller Nucs and add a cel. I haven't really thought through the whole idea of how to handle a
    large honey crop.

    Checked google earth and GIS mapping for good spots to put bees close to home today. Wouldn't you know it all three of the spots I drove to are being used by commercial guys. ( guess I can pick them!) The crunch is on to find a good pepper yard, I think that is the key to growing and saving some $$ on feeding.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Anybody notice with mating nucs and or multiple splits from the same parent, drifting back to one hive? Might seem prudent to mention screening them off til she emerges, then snag and requeen or what have you, at will, in a mating nuc situation. I never take more than one split from one hive to the same nuc yard. I just keep progressively splitting until theyre all down to singles anyway. These triples and 4 deeps sure are exciting to split!!!!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    I had a tough time finding the queen in the hive I wanted to graft from.
    I first split a double with an excluder so I would be looking in the right box, that didn't work.
    I then split the double into 5 Nucs waited a couple days was able to graft from the one with the queen in it and brush a bunch of bees into one for a queenless cell raising box.

    The one with the queen is right next to the one I put the grafted cells in, the other 3 are right next to each other about 15 feet away. I checked them today to see if I need to switch around and suprisingly they all are as equal as I left them. Three of them are building there own cells and the grafts are taking .
    I have know idea if it will all work out and if it does if I can repeat this ?
    On walk away splits I don't seem to have an issue with drift.
    That opinion is based on my limited idea how things should work

  17. #17

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    I had more issues with smaller splits than large ones. i.e. baby nucs and making 20+ way splits with supers of brood. It has me very cautious on drift, but I didnt place them 15 feet apart either, more like rows and circles with anywhere from 2 feet to 6 inches apart reverse facing. So I'm sure that didnt help.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
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    277

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    When I do this I seem to have a tough time with the bees making their own queen cells from the young brood. I also heard that the cell protectors may inhibit some of the pheromones the unhatched queen gives off and that I should not use the cell protector. Of course with no cell protector you run the risk of the cell getting torn down. Tough to guage which is best. If they do try to raise their own should I just leave it or should I go in every few days and tear down their cells? I have also thought of caging the queen from the donor hive for a few days and letting the larvae get too old and then they would have to accept the cell.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,136

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    Mosherd, if you can't find the queen to cage her you can put frames of brood above an excluder with the queen below it. After a week the brood above the excluder is too old to make queens from and you have less to worry about.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Making Nucs with Queen cels

    That is a great idea, so simple I am embarrassed that I did not think of it! Thanks!

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