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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Posts
    5

    Default Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    First year beekeeper with 3 hives, so I have limited equipment.

    Here's what I have - all in double deeps:
    1. Hive #1: started from nuc in late March. Built up very fast, produced 2 mediums of delicious honey. I would like to produce a few queens from this one
    2. Hive #2: Started from nuc early April. Built up slower than #1. Filled up both deeps. Re-queened in mid May. No honey.
    3. Hive #3: Split from Hive #2, using Hive #2 queen. Filled 1 deep only. Weak hive. No honey.

    I also have:
    4 empty nuc boxes (5 frame deep)
    2 empty deep brood boxes
    4 empty medium supers
    wired foundation - deep and medium

    I know I shouldn't expect a new colony to produce honey its first year, but Hive #1 is so much stronger than the other two that I would like to raise a few new queens from it to re-queen my other two hives.

    I've studied several of the re-queening methods - but I'm reluctant to do anything to Hive #1 for fear of messing it up. Also, the nectar flow seems to be over and I don't want to overstress the hive.

    Any advice on the easiest and safest method? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    Try OTS (on the spot) queen rearing. Here is a YouTube video with a guy talking about how to do it. . . .

    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    Thanks Keth. I watched the video and it looks do-able for my skill level.

    Anybody have any experience that can offer pros/cons of this method?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    Pinch queen in hive 3 and reduce it to a nuc so it gets over populated into swarm mode, and give it a feeder. The same day, put frame of worker cell foundation into hive 1, directly into the brood nest where it'll get drawn and queen lay in the virgin wax. The virgin wax frame of eggs is important, as virgin wax is easily manipulated by the bees to make queen cells of quality.

    When eggs are just hatching in hive 1, go thru hive 3 and destroy all queen cells, and move the virgin wax frame with hatching eggs from hive 1 into hive 3. The bees in hive 3 (now a cell builder) will be desperately and hopelessly queenless and the nurse bees will be in full royal jelly production mode. They will be crying for viable brood now.

    Ten days later, make up nucs from hive 2, and then cut out queen cells from the virgin wax frame in in hive 3 to give the nucs. Also put a feeder on the nucs until the virgins have mated and are laying. Also put a cell in the cell builder so it can have a queen and grow back up into a hive.

    This way produces very nice large well fed virgins.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    Thanks Ray. That sounds like the simplest method. I think I will give that a try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    I would put the old queen in a nuc for a backup rather than pinch her... then when you do want to dispose of a queen, I'd drop her in a jar of alcohol (with all my other "retired" queens) for swarm lure...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    Michael, what size jar and what kind of alcohol? sorry to get off subject. Do you just keep adding more to it all of the time? How much do you put in a swarm trap?
    thanks,
    mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,985

    Default Re: Looking for advice to raise a handful of queens

    I put all replaced queens in plywood nucs with a frame of brood and a frame of stores and let them live out the season. They create brood which could suppliment a weaker hive, create comb which is always good and they sometimes generates some surplus honey.

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 07-23-2012 at 03:20 PM. Reason: spelling

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