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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    graham alabama usa
    Posts
    19

    Default when is it time to pinch a queen

    if i have nucs that just didnt build up from a spring start do i pinch and add a ripe Q cell, if im not seeing eggs or brood but queen looks good with no flow or is she holding back for some reason , she did fair so far. For next year how can i make sure my new queens are good when you are starting with small number of bees . My thinking was this year that she could only lay as many as she had nurse bees to care for them so didnt look for brood patterns or number of brood now i got some that didnt grow out , thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,839

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    Some queens cut way back on brood if the flow stops. Others not so much. In my experience, the darker bees such as carniolans will slow way down on brooding when the flow slows or stops, much more so than Italians. If that is not the case with you, then I'd say yes, pinch the queen and add a cell. You may do that reguardless, if the nucs in question show a lack of performance compared to others in your yard. That is one advantage of having several or more nucs/hives, as we can see comparison differences between hives, which helps us in our management decissions.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    graham alabama usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    thanks Ray the queen that had built up good was very dark was one reason i wonted to keep her to see how she would do but now she has no brood at all or eggs as far as i could see without my glasses, it is a hard decission to pinch as long as u can see brood but may be easy when no brood is seen as for the weaker nucs that was started in april and hasnt grown much it may be my only hope for them even if i can add combs of honey for them to winter on they may just not have the bees to keep warm if they dont grow thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,406

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    I never pinch I save them for sacrifices


    That queen I pulled go's in the queen bank. She can go into a 2 frame nuc or I save her for hives I am not sure have a queen. If I cant find the queen and am not sure if there is one I put her in and if she dies there is a queen if she doesn't then I pull her and she is put back in the QB and I put in a good queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,588

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    I would also put them in a nuc, not pinch them. And if it got to the end of the year and I really wanted to dispose of them I'd drop them in my jar of alcohol and retired queens, I would not pinch them ever.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    graham alabama usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    I removed her,,,,,,,,, the hive is strong enough to raise a new queen with alot of un sealed honey so i put a frame of grafts in after 2 hours , waited 24 and checked , not one,, grafted again and waited 48 hours ,,,not one again, do i need to give a couple of frames of brood with bees to stir them up or just a ripe Q cell I have one extra right now but would rather use them to start a few more from. they must have been broodless for a while

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    If you have another hive to pull eggs or larvae from then do it. The bees should have started building queen cells by now. There is a reason they aren't. Maybe the grafts weren't viable..
    Maybe there is already a replacement queen in there, smelling the place up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    I would check for a new or unmarked queen before adding more brood
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: when is it time to pinch a queen

    Add a frame of eggs if the bees draw cells they don't have a queen. If they don't draw cells they have a queen. Five days or less and you have an answer either way. If I am doing a hive inspection and do not find the queen or any brood or eggs, I put a frame of eggs in the hive before I close it up. In four or five days I have my answer. Laying workers are a waste of my time and the bees resources.

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