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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    110

    Default covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    here in the south it does not get cold all that much so my bees always have brood. my hopes is if i cover my hives with black plastic,they would think its dark and she would not lay. that way i would get a long break in brood to help keeps mites down. would this work or is it far fetch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    If you are looking to break the brood cycle, wouldn't it be better just to split the hive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    cage the queen for a few weeks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    Temp is also a very important factor. The black plastic will just make the bees thing it is spring earlier.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    Quote Originally Posted by monrovi View Post
    If you are looking to break the brood cycle, wouldn't it be better just to split the hive?
    I do that a lot but here in the south I can't split in the winter some nights it still get in the teens every once in a while. I still have good mite count this time of year. I figured if could do something like this in dec and jan I could cut down on mites going into spring, maybe get a head start on them. Also help my hives not have as much brood when those cold snaps come.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,913

    Default Re: covering hives for weeks at a time to suppress queen from laying

    Don't think it will work, plus could cause other problems.

    However, sounds like you want to do it anyway. So try it on a few hives, then you'll have a definate answer, might surprise!

    If it turns out it doesn't get the desired result, I'm with Michabees, caging the queen would be the safest way.

    Warning though, we have brood all winter where I am also, and I have tried caging queens for 6 weeks for the same reasons. But at the end of 6 weeks testing showed the mite count had not reduced much, if any. So I removed the caged queens, did something else to help the mites on their way, and put the queens back. All up though it was too much work, too complex, haven't done it again.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 02-02-2013 at 01:44 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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