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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default How do you start?

    In the interest of sustainability and security I would like to start creating a population of queens to have on hand for emergencies and expansion. Ideally I would like to have an apairy no larger than six production hives but with enough resources to replenish all but catastrophic losses.

    The problem is I have no idea how to start. Ideally I would like to keep things simple as possible.

    I currently have three hives, carnolians that survived their first winter well, by luck or by breeding I do not know but I am so far I am happy with them. They are as gentle as lambs and seem healthy. Last year I lost one hive because it became queenless and I was unable to raise another one, I ended up combining that one in with the others just before fall.

    So what is your advice for creating a stockpile of health queens that can be used as needed? Ideally in a manner that could be overwintered.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: How do you start?

    The best way is to do hive management. What do I mean by that? You start out small in a 3-5 frame nuc. And then let them grow
    into a double nuc and finally into a full size hive (if you want to.) This is how the pros manage them here.
    You can only manage so many so sometime you have to sell some nucs to balance things out. Three hives are not that hard to make.
    The queens must have a healthy home to go to. Cannot bank them because they will not be free and happy productive queens.
    Start by step:
    1) Choose the best gentle and most productive hive you want the queens to come from with lots of bee population.
    2) Do a graft for the queens using the OTS notching method.
    3) Use the queen rearing calendar to approximate the queens' hatching date. Choose the best 3 queens to put in 3 separate nucs.
    4) Separate the queen in 3-5 frames nuc. Take out 1 frame of nursing bees with sealed broods, 2 frames of pollen/honey mix, 2 frames of worker bees.
    5) Put the cell inside the nuc hive just before she hatch. Wait for queen mating flight and after that evaluate for egg laying pattern.
    The End! Enjoy your back up queen colony just in case....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,869

    Default Re: How do you start?

    I like the way Michael Palmer talks about it. Store queens in nucs, look at nucs as queens with support staff.
    You mentioned wanting to keep it simple. I suggest you make up 3 nucs as splits from your 3 survivors. See how big you can grow them by season's end. As the season progresses, another round of splits can be made if needed to replace non-performers, or as increase going into winter. I know your winters are harsh, I think Michael's is as well, and he likes over wintering in two story nucs. I don't know what you could work into in your location, but it might be nice to try and see what you can get to work there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: How do you start?

    I've tried a few methods with various results.....read about all the various methods and make a decision what fits your situation best....I even tried the hopkins method because my best friend is a hopkins...it was one that worked and was simple....read, read, read..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,747

    Default Re: How do you start?

    Move the queens you have now to a nuc with a couple frames of bees. Let the hives make new queens. If you do this right as the flow is starting it will do a couple things for you.
    It will give you the extra queens you are looking for.
    It will help with swarming.
    The bigger hives will make better queens than if you let the nucs raise the queens.
    It is a simple way to make a few extra queens.
    The nucs will come in handy for helping a weak hive. ie. Bee resources
    The nucs will help next spring if you loose any hives over next winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: How do you start?

    For starting Nucs, either making their own queens or taking queens from my existing hives do I need a second location to move them to or can I set up the nucs next to my other hives?

    Bears are a major problem where I live and I have invested a fair bit of money and effort into building a small bear proof apiary, I'm not sure I could afford to build another one just for nucs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: How do you start?

    Aerindel, you don't need another apiary. I have used Mel's splitting techniques http://www.mdasplitter.com/ and then principles of Michael Palmers 2 storey nuc method and only have one apiary.
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...ml?sort=6&o=67

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: How do you start?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I like the way Michael Palmer talks about it. Store queens in nucs, look at nucs as queens with support staff.
    Check out some of the videos of Mike Palmer talking about how to create and manage nucs in your beeyard. You will always have extra resources to maintain your production hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: How do you start?

    You can use standard equipment for a nuc. Don't have to build one. But he inside empty space has to be
    filled up with foam or plastic so they not have the cold extra space. I hive 5 nucs from the medium hive.
    And you don't have to put the nuc in another apiary. Use the existing one but set them aside away from
    the strong hives so they not get rob. Reducing the entrance so they can defend themselves is good also. Of
    course, keep them away from the bad old bears too. I place all mine just 5 to 15 feet away from each others.
    So far they all leave each others alone and collecting their own nectar and pollen.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: How do you start?

    dups

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