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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Palmwoods Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Using old Queen in Nuc

    Hi, Is it ok to use the existing queen in the nuc I am starting? Ie, the existing hive is strong, heaps of eggs, would it be ok to let them make a new queen and give the nuc a better start by having the existing queen.
    Thanks
    barraboy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,561

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    Having the existing queen in the nuc is fine. I would suggest take the small expense to purchase a good queen for the other side of the split. It takes 30+ Days to raise a queen from an egg and get her mated and laying. By 21 days your brood is hatched and then for another 10-15 days your hive is actually depopulating until new brood starts to hatch. It will take another brood cycle for the hatching bees to catch up to the population it was before the hive was split and then it has to build up to make stores to get through winter or maybe in your case, the dry season. Adding a well bred, ready to lay queen will give you a return 10 times in surplus honey, strong winter cluster and plenty of stores for a small price.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Palmwoods Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    Thanks for the reply, I am in Australia, the Sunshine Coast area, we dont have a proper winter, and our bees get honey even during our winter. Its Spring now and hives are producing like crazy. I captured a huge swarm from one hive, it completely filled a full size bottom box, I gave them a few drawn frames and the rest with foundation(10 frames) They have in 4 weeks completely drawn out all the frames, filled the box with brood, filled the lid with honey. I took a nuc from them yesterday, gave them an extra box, and they were already making queen cells. I tried to find the queen but could not locate her, petty sure she is not in the nuc, my question was "what if she was".
    i will let them settle a few days then have another look in the nuc to see if she is there.
    I have moved the nuc away from the original hive some miles.
    Cheers
    Barraboy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,114

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    I've got a nuc right now made with the old queen, and let the existing hive and a second nuc split from it make their own emergency queens from eggs. It seems to be working. Both nucs and the original hive seem to be doing well. Ask me in 6 months if they overwintered successfully.

    In my case it was accidental ... we could not find the queen when making the splits, but she figured out for us that she should go with one of the nucs. However, I've also been told that this is a great strategy, and its about what they do when a hive swarms. The new queen gets most of the resources and so has a better chance to succeed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,444

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    moving the existing queen to the nuc is how I make my splits. I prefer a strong colony to feed and raise the emergency queen cells and I can cut some of them out to make more splits.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    That would be fine and work but I prefer to do it the other way around. Just personal preference as the big hive can be the donor of brood frames while the small hive gets going.

    After saying that I often bank an old queen in a nuc and replace her with one of my other queens.
    Cheers
    Rob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Palmwoods Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    Thanks for the replies! All helpful, so it seems a 50/50 view so Im happy! Hope all goes well!
    Barraboy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,682

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Having the existing queen in the nuc is fine. I would suggest take the small expense to purchase a good queen for the other side of the split. It takes 30+ Days to raise a queen from an egg and get her mated and laying. By 21 days your brood is hatched and then for another 10-15 days your hive is actually depopulating until new brood starts to hatch. It will take another brood cycle for the hatching bees to catch up to the population it was before the hive was split and then it has to build up to make stores to get through winter or maybe in your case, the dry season. Adding a well bred, ready to lay queen will give you a return 10 times in surplus honey, strong winter cluster and plenty of stores for a small price.
    It is spring down under.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,114

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    In another thread last week, someone here reported having a queen survive for 7 years in an observation hive. He apparently made some records of brood production, and thought that the limited space in the obs hive reduced the number of eggs the queen could lay, so that the long life was because she did not run out of sperm and eggs as fast as a queen in a normal hive.

    I have not heard of this being used as a queen rearing strategy, but I'm wondering if moving a prize queen to a nuc would have the same effect. Does anyone know if you could stretch the life of a breeder queen this way? In my case, I was given a great queen, who overwintered last year, and her offspring deal with mites well. I got two daughters from her this year, but if she makes it thru this winter I'd like to produce some more from her next year to share with my friends. It would be great if, after a year proving their vigor, if we could stretch the life of a breeder by such a simple trick as putting her in a nuc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,561

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    Actually for the whole southern hemisphere :-)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    4,451

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    If you're splitting to prevent swarming I think you should absolutely take the queen into the nuc. If you're splitting simply for increase it doesn't "matter", but a stronger hive will raise a better queen. And they will raise more, better queens so that you could even split into a few more nucs and see how many queens you could get mated once the cells are capped. I try to split into a bit more than I want to end up with, doesn't always work out though. Just in case one is a dud or she doesn't make it back or whatever.

    Just watch her if she's in a nuc. It's pretty amazing how quick they can build up.

    My "breeder" queen is in a triple deep now, and she'll likely be moved to a nuc next spring (if she lives). I hope to be on top of things better this year (new baby born in April last year really set me back a bit). I'm hoping to have grafts from her capped and ready to go when I split her off and will make increase and requeen what I want to requeen instead of tying up lots of resources getting queens made while the colony keeps getting weaker.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Using old Queen in Nuc

    I just watched a youtube video lecture that stated that Brother Adam from Buckfast Abby, would over winter
    2000 full size hives and 2000 nuc hives, and every year in the june/july window, he would take the young queens from the nucs (this was their first full season) and put them into the full size hive, and take the old queen in her second production season and put her into the nuc.....The old queen was allowed to lay up the nuc and then she was dispatched, and the nuc generated a new queen from the old queens eggs. This new queen in the nuc was fostered (overwinttered) into the next year where she would be put into a full size hive and the cycle was complete and contenued.....I'll try to find the link and add it to this post....
    Here's the link about nucs.
    https://youtu.be/74-nx8lUg9U
    at about the 35 minute mark he talks a bit about the brother adam nucs and queens

    ==McBee7==
    Last edited by McBee7; 09-30-2015 at 08:14 PM. Reason: add link and spelking :)

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