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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Asotin County, WA
    Posts
    13

    Default Size of mating nucs

    I am in SE Washington state, just noticed some capped drone brood this last week and I would like to start raising some queens. How many frames should I use in my mating nucs? My concern is temperature this time of year, highs have been 50-60's with lows in the mid 30's and I am sure we will have a few under 32. I was planning on using 2-3 frames with 1 being a brood frame, but I am afraid the brood will get chilled. Any suggestions? This will be my first year raising queens.
    Thanks, Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    Have you seen drones leaving hive and flying? I would be a little concerned with the temps in the 30's. Can you wait a bit? You can run mating nucs with 2 and 3 frames but I would go with a four framer if it was me especially with the cooler temps.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    I am in Western Wa and too have seen cappped drone brood. I'm going to do a test graft in a week or two...a full month earlier than usual. The problem is if the virgins are not mated well, the mating nuc will dwindle. So any resources you put into the nuc may be basically lost by the time a well mated queen is produced. It is tempting though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    I'm in the South and I have trouble getting anything less than two frames established. I have done it a few times with just one frame and a couple extra shakes but, have better luck with two frames. I just placed my first round of cells yesterday. I'm trying out the mini nucs this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    ...a full month earlier than usual...
    We're at least a full month LATER than usual!!
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    All the comercial guys I know of use at least 2 frames, 6 5/8 deep. half length. Some use larger, but thats the smallest.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,832

    Default Re: Size of mating nucs

    I think to get good queen mating the temperature needs to be around 70 or above, so it might be a bit early. John

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