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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Rick- Mel improved upon C.C Miller and Doolittle's methods and it beats the varroa cycle if you
    have that problem. It relies also on July splits, which give you good young queens going into
    winter.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    6010 - A little bit of info: the late Dr. Harry Hyde Laidlaw developed the best queen introduction cage to date. He was a professor at the University of California at Davis (the bee research center there is named for him). The best model of his push-in queen introduction cages was a 5" wide x 7" long x 7/8" tall (inside dimensions) rectangle of wood, covered on top with #8 hardware cloth, and the inside chamber was surrounded by a sheet metal strip protruding 3/8" below the wooden rectangle. There is no queen candy release port. Sometimes the queen takes longer than the candy lasts to get accepted by the host colony, resulting in her being attacked and often killed.

    With the Laidlaw push-in queen intro cage, the beekeeper brushes empty of bees a comb that is quite level, with an area of mostly empty worker-sized cells (but about 10% capped honey and pollen), he places the mated queen onto the comb, then traps her under the cage without attendant bees from her own colony, pushing the sheet metal strip into the comb all the way down to the wood. He then replaces this piggy-backed cage/frame combo back into the hive for at least 2 days (longer as necessary - up to 40 days in some cases).

    He watches the behavior of the bees before releasing the queen. If they appear to be making a "ball" over the queen cage, they are attacking her. If you see attending bees feed her, she is becoming accepted. The large area under the cage gives her room to begin laying eggs. Laying increases her queen substance production, particularly pheromones, that greatly promote acceptance by the host colony.

    100% acceptance rates are often experienced using Laidlaw push-in queen introduction cages, quite useful as your taste in high-quality queens goes up the price-per-queen scale (also get a queen muff! I hate watching even a $20.00 queen escape and fly away, let alone a $100 I.I. queen, or worse a one-of-a-kind queen with unique genetics).

    The cages are shown in his book, Contemporary Queen Rearing, available through Dadant and Sons. When I read this, I went to the shop and made a run of 50 of them - enough for all my hives at the time. My only modification was to make them so they fit into an empty Miller-type hive top feeder for convenient storage. The 7/8" depth under the hardware cloth (or screen) keeps her safe from attacking bees who seek to pull off a leg or wing, etc. The metal strip and wide wooden rectangle frustrates attacking bees from killing the introduced queen by digging under a push-in cage without these features in order to get at her. Note - if you are using all medium depth boxes, make the outside dimensions so the queen cage fits your frames.

    CtyAcres - Mel Disselkoen's method does indeed produce excellent queens, my only criticism is that the flour wastes lots of brood, which is not that big a problem if you have lots of strong colonies. I like Dr. Susan Cobey's article, "The Cloake Board Method of Queen Rearing and Queen Banking".

    Virginiawolf - Glad you liked Increase Essentials! I can't wait to get all of Dr. Connor's books, and take one of his classes, too! He's awesome.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-19-2013 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Well just as an update to all you I have just ordered my package of bees. It is from Georgia bees. If money allows I will try for a couple of local nucs and already have a few cutouts scheduled for next month hopefully. I will try to implement the plan developed in this thread. Thanks all
    Rick Kumer

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Dr. Connor really explains the differences in colony growth rate mathematics in Increase Essentials. If the bees make it through the first year with a decent buildup, store lots of honey & pollen, and overwinter successfully, you should be able to split once and maybe even twice, depending on how next year goes for nectar flows. I would have ordered overwintered nucleus colonies or a full, thriving hive ready to split. I've always had better luck that way - the growth rates are there for splitting twice - way stronger than most package bee performance. You just need the year (nectar and pollen flows, really) to go good, too. Good Luck!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 03-18-2013 at 09:40 PM.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Dr. Connor really explains the differences in colony growth rate mathematics in Increase Essentials. If the bees make it through the first year with a decent buildup, store lots of honey & pollen, and overwinter successfully, you should be able to split once and maybe even twice, depending on how next year goes for nectar flows. I would have ordered overwintered nucleus colonies or a full, thriving hive ready to split. I've always had better luck that way - the growth rates are there for splitting twice - way stronger than most package bee performance. Good Luck!
    Thanks for the update i will differently give that a read
    Rick Kumer

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Just one more goody for you, Rick - if you aggressively pursue both comb honey production and queen rearing, you will get very, very good at a higher rate. The learning curve is kind of mean at first, but it will put pressure on you to really understand what's happening.

    By producing honey-in-the-comb, you will get very skilled at knowing when the bees will swarm and what to do about it. Bees only make "perfect" square boxes of comb (filled and capped all the way to the corners) under ideal conditions, and when crowded like right before swarming. Read Dr. C.C. Miller's Fifty Years Among the Bees (there are other good books about honey-in-the-comb, too). You will also know exactly when to split colonies.

    Queen rearing will get you understanding about high quality queens with good genetics vs. medium and low quality queens with undesirable traits.

    These are perhaps the two most difficult-to-learn aspects of beekeeping. My attitude was, "Bring it on!" I read everything I can on both subjects, apply it to my situation, and ask lots of questions. I'm always trying new equipment, but then, I'm gagety, and an engineer/carpenter/machinist/millwright/gunsmith, so go figure. Oh, yeah and a fisherman and archer, too, so triple the "gagety" factor, haha.

    Going hard at these two aspects of beekeeping, and keeping a notebook will have you making 2 splits a year as often as Mama Nature will let you and your girls do so sooner than you might have otherwise.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    I want to thank you all for your helpful comments, Just as an update I am getting my package of bees this Monday and hooked up with the local swarm catcher and will hopefully have more bees in a another month or so. I will be implementing the info I have gleaned from all of you and with any luck I will reach my goal of 5 hives making it through winter. I will try to keep updated here if interested.
    Rick Kumer

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Well just as an update to my dreams/plans I was proposing. The packages took 2 months to draw out 7 of the 10 frames and she finally died I am in the process of re-queening , but the two swarms I caught filled 10 frames in three weeks and are starting on a second deep by the fourth week now right inline with what i thought would happen with the package last April. Oh well at least I got the three hives I was hoping for.
    Rick Kumer

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Rick- Did you feed sugar water or sugar syrup solution to your pkgs? How about the swarms,
    did you feed them sugar water to them too?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Oh CtyAcres I kept the package fed for over a month straight and barley any progress the swarms both got one jar of syrup and that was it bit have some strips of capped honey on there frames now figure I was ones with the Bad queen that come out of Georgia that people talk about here on the forum. It was my first and only hive for a month so I had no other one to compare it to til the swarm, then I "seen the light" so to speak.
    Rick Kumer

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,623

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    This is a really good post, I'll jump in with my 2 cents. I split nucs like you mention in your op all the time for mating nuc resources. The later you split them, the more likely you will have to feed or combine in the fall. and the more careful you will have to be to guard against robbing. Like others have said, it will be a trial and error learning curve on your end we have all gone or are going through.

    My 2 cents will be, remember, the size of the hives and nuc going into the winter will determine your ability to capitalize on a spring flow. Large hives will have enough foragers to collect nectar and pollen and allow the hive to achieve early spring growth. Nucs will be able to collect enough to sustain themselves, but will not have enough to actively grow. With nectar available and they will not take up syrup ether-since they like the nectar better. 'You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink' That is the way I felt this spring when my overwintered nucs wouldn't grow much but wouldn't take up syrup. Smaller nucs will also feel the stress even with a small mite load that time of year.

    So next spring, don't plan on those nucs growing fast enough to split early on. Some will requeen themselves and there will be a lack of growth because of an early brood break. All well and good as long as you are not wanting them to grow fast enough to split early on. Like a lot of things with beekeeping, you really need to do double the task to get what you want out of the deal.

    I had good luck overwintering nucs with a sugar brick and protein patty on top, even though they had plenty of stores. I wondered how they could have open nectar in the cells next to the brood area in January. Must have been from the sugar. Special recipe too I'll share later.. I plan to write a thread on this with photos right before fall.



    So all in all, would you be better off overwintering a bunch of nucs or a few larger hives? Do the math and count the frames, then consider the predicted springtime growth will be for each and where that will put your numbers-say mid summer 2014.

    With nucs you wil have more queens available and suffer less of a loss with a couple nucs than a couple large hives. But larger hives are probably easier to overwinter. With all those nucs, queens and no real springtime growth.. are you better off?
    Seems an easy choice. Just have a bunch of overwintered nucs and queens and then strengthin them with brood and stores from the strong big hives. But when it comes right down to digging in those flourishing big hives and breaking them up, do you really want to do that?

    Always a give and take. And when you don't have the experience..sometimes it is not as easy to decide what is the right move.

    I overwinter colonies of all sizes. Overwintered Production hives that are strong ,nucs and mating nucs I have let grow. Don't have my eggs all in one basket I guess. I am using Apivar now, so my large hives will not be so hard to manage after the flow. Before Apivar was approved in my state this year, I had planned to split all my large hives into single deeps after the flow so I could manage with ether hop guard or a brood break/new queen. Lots of options to think about. All need to be considered for your climate, timing and day length and resources available.
    Also remember, this opinion is based on my experience with my management method and with in my climate. You may or may not have the same success depending on your situation.

    Michael Bush writes: 'Everything works if you let it"
    Someone else on Beesource wrote: "Everything works if you follow the rules"

    There is a quote I also like: " You usually get the experience you need...right AFTER you need it"
    That quote MUST have been written by a beekeeper!
    Last edited by Lauri; 06-27-2013 at 01:17 PM.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    Thank you Lauri that was insightful and give me so pearls of wisdom to ponder for now.
    Rick Kumer

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,623

    Default Re: Be gentle I am new to this. the Subject is making splits

    You're welcome. Like so many posts I write, I am in a hurry to get back to work and rush through my replies. It probably could have been worded better to make my meaning more clear. I hope you can make heads or tails of it

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