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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    874

    Default How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    I am interested in doing some backyard queen rearing, in July or August, after my main flow is over. What would you suggest that I do? I live in coastal South Carolina, in that part of the state, that time of the year, it is usually dry, highs in the low 90's, and lows in the low 70's.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    Do your grafting and add a feeder. Need to get a little extra equipment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,993

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    I reared queens all season long last year, and after the spring flow ended It was a constant battle dealing with robbing, and hive beetles. If I do it again this year I will probably take mating nucs to another yard to mitigate robbing - and try to feed frames of honey instead of syrup. Making up strong nucs helps more than anything with hive beetles, and not letting them be queenless for too long. If they aren't queenright on schedule then waiting a few more days "just in case" often results in a hive beetle melt down. Have a plan and stick to it. There is no question that it's more challenging later.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,721

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    For me I have less issues with hive beetles than I do with robbing. After the flow, in order to get good queens going you need to simulate a flow. Last year I had a BEASTLY issue with robbing. To the point that it eventually caused the demise of a number of nucs. The mating nucs just didn't have enough populations to defend their home.

    Doing it again, I plan on using robber guards, having my mating nucs be full 5 frame hives (instead of the two and three frame dealies I was using), NOT using HBH, and using RJ for grafting. That's for after the flow only, obviously. I was considering feeding the strong colonies only, then giving the frames of "honey" to the nucs . . . but I'm not convinced that will end my robbing issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    I avoid the robbing problem 2 ways...

    1. My nucs have a 1" hole for entrance. Easier to defend.
    2. I feed nucs via a top feeder baggy. When I make nuc boxes, I will always make a handful of just the box, not top or bottom. I run these across a table saw, making 2" shims for feeder bags. I feed every other day. Have had no problems with robbing.

    To answer the original question...You have to feed if you're making queens during a dearth. I do it all the time on late summer splits. The one thing that you may encounter is the small hive beetles. As was stated, make the splits STRONG and if a hive goes queenless after putting in the new queen, add a new queen FAST or combine these bees with another hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    807

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    Do the feeder bags draw fewer robbers than a division board feeder?

    I was planning on making a double division board feeder to split a 5-frame nuc in half to make two 2-frame mating nucs in one box. Our main flow won't be over when I graft but, it will be with later grafts and I'd rather have one system set from the beginning.

    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    I use division board feeders or quart jars over a hole cut in each top (inside another box) on my "queen castles" and have horrible problems with robbing after the flow. I think that it might work if your mating nucs were fairly strong and had foragers (had been used for couple of rounds of mating) before the flow was over. It seems that older bees are the defenders. If I just set up a mating nuc and let foragers go home, other bees just walk in. No fighting but there is never anything for the mating nuc to use since it is always robbed. Open feeding might be another solution, but I don't like doing that much either.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    What do you do with the queens you raise?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,993

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    You can also feed the nucs capped honey that you take from the strong hives, and then feed them if they need it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    Does feeding capped honey instead of syrup end robbing?
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,993

    Default Re: How do you raise queens after your main flow?

    It's much less likely to start it to begin with.

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