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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    192

    Default Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Lauri recently posted photos of some tiny queen rearing hives she has built. Half the size of a five frame nuc I believe. I am just curious, is the reason for these just to make it so much easier to find the queen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Oxford, MS
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    51

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steves1967 View Post
    Lauri recently posted photos of some tiny queen rearing hives she has built. Half the size of a five frame nuc I believe. I am just curious, is the reason for these just to make it so much easier to find the queen?
    and also takes less resources ie bees

    DC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
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    1,699

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    I think the resources is the biggest reason for using mini nucs. Last year was my first year raising queens and it does take a bunch of bee resources to make up the mating nucs. Its not really that hard to get 30 nice looking queen cells but, making up 30 nucs to get them mated in takes quite a few frames of bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dconrad View Post
    and also takes less resources
    Ditto.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    96

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    The down sides are: not using standard sized frames, which prevents you from using your standard colonies for resources.(brood, stores) A large handicap in my book. Also, most are too small to feasibly use as a wintering box. They would also be much more likely to swarm if left to their own devices. I do see the value of them with large operations though..... Very efficient.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
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    260

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Queen production model where you can get tons of virgins mated then ship out. Large operations would be looking to take those mated queens and ship them almost immediately, rinse and repeat. Whitetail makes some good points, especially if you're wanting to grow out; virgin>mated queen>nuc.

    An alternative to the tiny mating nucs is to set up a queen castle. You can use more standard sized equipment and get multiple queens mated in a small space.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    192

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Queen castle, perfect for me! Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steves1967 View Post
    Queen castle, perfect for me! Thanks
    I've used quite a few of the queen castles and I love them too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    The last two years I've used a bunch of baby nucs, but have found them far more troublesome, for my style of beekeeping, than the standard nucs.

    The normal nucs i run are 3 deep frame nucs, run at 3 to a standard deep super. They go through the winter so after the initial set up no further bee reources are required. The opposite in fact, I have to remove bees and brood from them during the season, which gets made up into hives and sold.

    The baby nucs though, most of which were on loan from another beekeeper, were set up with 250 mls each of bees and a queen cell, so it was possible to get a lot of them just from one strong hive. But from then on, they have to be run to a strict timetable, leave laying queens in them too long & they abscond or the queen simply dissappears. As I'm not dealing in large numbers, my order flow can be erratic and the baby nuc schedule has not suited me.

    Large breeders needing a lot of queens in a small time frame, with minimal bee resources, could be served well by baby nucs. Likewise a small hobbyist with just a few hives, and wanting a few replacement queens or maybe a small number to sell, could do well with some baby nucs. Seems for me though, I'm somewhere is the middle, and my business which is selling boith queens, and hives, is better served by having all equipment standard, so as nucs get overpopulated, no worries, I sell them.

    My 2 cents, but anyhow, baby nucs are an interesting thing to do I'd recommend anyone give it a go, just be ready for some intensive management..
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    192

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    "Intensive management" is the key here in my case. I am a firefighter on a 24-48 schedule. I can trade and take vacation days during the busy times but for most things I am going to need to miss ten days a month of "intensive management" so queen castles sound really good right now. Of course next year I might think differently

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quick question: How do you stock the mini mating nucs? and with how much/many bees?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,400

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Quick question: How do you stock the mini mating nucs? and with how much/many bees?
    MANN LAKE Mini .25-.35lb

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    I made up my own, they are Il supers deep, and 1/2 the depth of the hive, including the wall. this lets me set 1 or 2 of them on top a regular have to get them charged in the spring. Each one is then divided into 3 sections. 1 small feeder and 2 frames each. 500 bees fills one up nicley, which is about a cup of bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Quick question: How do you stock the mini mating nucs? and with how much/many bees?
    Just to answer that specifically, here's how we did it when I was (long time ago), making up large numbers of these commercially.

    It was done inside a large shed, we set the baby nucs out in rows, lids off, and each row was stacked several high. Each nuc had a 250 ml tin of sugar syrup. It was a 2 man job, one guy walked along pulling a comb from each nuc and laying it flat on top of the nuc, and another guy walked behind him with a gas torch and queen cells, he would flame the comb an put the queen cell on, he'd melt the wax just sufficiently so the cell would attach. then we'd dump a couple of packages of bees into a 4 gallon tin, and sprinkle them lightly with water, just enough to stop most of them flying, but not drench them. He would then walk along the row of nucs, dumping 250 ml's (one cup) of bees into each one, the other guy walking behind him putting the lids on. The combs were set in a Y shape, which the cell at the corner of the Y, that is the place the bees would make their small cluster and that is where we had put the queen cell.

    The nucs were stacked in the shed for 3 days so that the queen cell would be hatched. Then they were loaded onto the truck and taken out to the yards. Once the queen was laying, we would go along the rows with bees, one guy lifting the lid of each nuc, and the other guy dumping 125 ml (1/2 cup) of bees into each nuc. That enabled the queen to lay a few more eggs which the bees could cover, the queen was then caged a few days later and the nuc given another queen cell.

    For someone doiung just a small number of nucs, I would suggest following exactly the same method. Using a nuc box, or anything that can hold a few lb's of bees, take a few shakes of bees from a hive or two, from somewhere out of flight range of where you want to set up the nucs. Set up your nucs, including some feed in each one. Put in the queen cells and dump a cup of bees into each one. You cannot put the nucs in the yard straight away, the queenless bees will drift away. They should be left with the entrances shut for 3 days so the queen cells will hatch, it is very important they are left in a cool place, if the sun shines on them they will cook. After 3 days put them out into the yards. It is essential they have feed, if they don't, in 3 days they will starve.

    For someone with just a few nu
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Oldtimer- would you make up nucs with cells the same way if you could put brood in with the cell? Just wondering if I could reduce drift by closing in the bees for a day or two?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    If they can have brood that's a huge advantage. It will certainly reduce drift but will not eliminate it. In these little nucs you don't have to lose many bees to take the nuc below survival level.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
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    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    I've done a few kinds of mating nucs and really love the mini size. But mine are deep mini frames, not the shallows Mann Laks sells. With five deep mini's I get a decent sized mating nuc that is not hard to manage. (Equivalent to 2 1/2 deep full sized frames) Easy to find queens. Easy on my back since I have them at waist or higher level. After the last round of mated queens are sold, I simply combine a few nucs together with a single queen in a modified deep 10 frame box. where they overwinter just fine.



    In the spring I feed these hives well until most frames are packed with brood and feed, then distribute to the mini box's just like any split. Wait 15-24 hours (Basically overnight) and introduce a newly hatched marked Virgin directly. I've never had one not accepted as long as they are introduced within a few hours after hatching. I'll do a feed frame front and back with three decently filled brood frames in the center. By the time the first virgin is mated and laying those cells will be empty and ready to accept her eggs. I feed a pollen patty on top so no pollen frame is necessary. They are pretty self sufficient after that.






    These are the singles I made up last year..hanging in the raspberry patch

    I made up about 30 doubles for this spring in standard nuc woodenware.
    30 of these will give me 60 mini deep mating nucs:


    Just being stored inside until time to use it:





    I used divided deeps last year too and they worked well too.
    Last edited by Lauri; 02-27-2013 at 10:44 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Here's my starter hive too. I started out with five frames in a ten frame box, using a follower board to keep them corralled. Fed them syrup and pollen patties. As I freshened this colony regularly with new frames of capped brood and young nurse bees, I did not have to take out empty frames..there were none! No reason to remove frames they had filled with stores, so I use a follower board to keep them crowded, but could expand the interior to fit my freshening or manipulations (Getting the graft frame in and out) They all stay on one side of the board and really never cross it if it is empty. They will cross it to get to a feeder though. Works very well. When I eventually filled it, I gave them a long deserved virgin and let them form a nice colony for overwintering. They were happy bees





    I don't know why that one empty frame is in there..disregard that please.

    Her is a box I brushed a few frames of bees into. I let it sit a few hours in warm weather and the older bees fly back to the old hives and scooped what was left into the mating nucs. If I was really picky, I'd run these bees through a queen excluder to remove any drones, but I had no problems this way.



    Heres a photo of new 2012 virgin, just installed. Can't wait until spring! New ideas and all

    Last edited by Lauri; 02-27-2013 at 10:00 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    That last picture is a virgin? That"s an 2013 virgin? Wouldn't say it much looks like one. Way to snaky and long IMO. If it is when was it hatched? Little early to be mating queens in Washington isn't it? Nice equipment BTW

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,723

    Default Re: Tiny queen breeding/rearing boxes.

    Yellow paint, dude. That may or may not be a clue.
    Confucius say:One must be observent when keeping of the bee
    Or-
    Was that Brother adam?

    Or maybe OdFrank. He loves being drug into these posts!
    Last edited by Lauri; 02-27-2013 at 08:40 PM.

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