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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Lauri I was hoping you would chime in.

    Someone posted something about you & Michael Palmer discussing 2 Qn setups. Post the link?

    I saw your facebook page w/the 60 capped Qn cells, IMPRESSIVE. I would be interested in at least five if you feel like shipping them to NY. I am on a very low budget, but would splurge for some good Qns.

    One thing I have experienced that has not been mentioned here. Many times the bees will prefer one queen over another. Maybe not right away, but eventually,

    Take one Qn & some brood for an overwintering nuc?

    I am hoping to use a 2 Qn setup to make up losses (45 as of today) I built 4 30 frame boxes.

    I was thinking of towering over the center 10 to use cloakboard. What say you?

    What do you think about 2 existing Qns in struggling hives in this configuration?

    Beecurious. I think I would try that tower hive. I like the use of the drone frames will do that in all 4 of my 30 frame setups.
    Last edited by lakebilly; 04-29-2013 at 06:21 PM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    I would replace the excluder on one of the last inspections before winter sets in or when temperatures are getting below 12C/54F.

    I did also see drifting or preference to one queen as well. During the early Spring buildup the Italian queen's nest was larger and drift was towards this side. As the Carniolan queen got going, the drifting started moving to that side. It appears to be based on the size of the brood nest.

    Another thing I'm thinking is to remove both the queens and make Nucs, around 3-4 weeks before the Summer dearth. (For me that's a few weeks after the summer solstice.) That way the population quickly drops off in time for the dearth so they eat less. They are also raising new queens while concentrating on foraging as the flow slows down.

    You don't need to use a cloak board to raise queens. I just moved a brood frame too far away from the brood nest (a super in-between) and they made queen cells (with two queens in the hive!) The virgin queen ended up killing off the Italian queen.

    Instead of using a cloak board, you can also just put a piece of newspaper (with a few holes poked in it) on top of the queen excluder with a few brood frames above it. Just make sure you have a top entrance!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Matt,

    Ya think you could tell me the beginner steps. I have 10 queens from Weavers coming on the 21st (thanx Lauri). I don't want to goof up.

    I have 2 30 frame boxes finished & 2 more started. I pulled 12 queens from some of my hives, they're in 5 frame nucs. notched the brood frames on the left behinds (Mel) hoping to get some cells. I also put a Jenter cage in one of the nucs w/a queen(Michael Johnston) that had like 10-12 frames of brood. Putting together a cpl of cell starters(David LaFerney, Deknow, Clemens)

    I'm thinking that 2 frames of brood each side, 1 pollen, 1 honey. new queens cells or ....?

    How would you introduce another queen should something happen to one?

    Big box. use follower board & entrance reducer. feed 1:1.

    I wouldn't be against doing each of the 4 boxes different if I had some pointers.

    My intentions are to steal brood for mating nucs, build medium frame foundationless to be able to cut queen cells.
    I can hear M. Palmer (ala Master Po) take it easy grasshopper. I gotta get my numbers back up!! Trevor is helping me. Thanx again Michael!
    Last edited by lakebilly; 05-16-2013 at 06:17 PM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Sounds like some aggressive splitting!

    I would put in two Nucs, as they already have an established brood nest and a laying queen. 2 frames of brood and 2 of pollen/nectar on each side would be the minimum.

    If you put in a couple of queens in cages or queen cells, I would think that the one that starts laying first will be preferred and a you'll see drifting to that queen. They may even kill off the late starter.

    That's why I waited until both queens each have a few frames of brood before merging. With new queens I believe you would be better off waiting until they are both laying eggs first, before any merging, to avoid loosing one queen. (Doesn't mean you will, it's just in case.)

    When I merged the two Nucs, I had a new frame on each side of the vertical excluder, then each brood nest beside those. I didn't use a follower board, but think it could have helped.

    Be careful that your excluder is secure. I lost a queen the other day because the younger queen got past the excluder and must have killed the older one.

    I wouldn't feed unless they are running low on stores, (but it could help in the merging process.)

    Have fun! (Just don't spread them too thin.)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Matt, When you say "Merge", you remove excluder?

    Any variations for other 3 boxes?

    Aggressive maybe, guardedly enthusiastic!!
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    No, don't remove the excluder!

    Merge means worker bees from each colony can freely move between the two. The queens are confined to their own side by the excluder, otherwise they can fight.

    You could try dividing the box into three, with the middle section being for honey only, supering on the middle only. Still two brood nests, but each on the outsides.

    You could also try putting three Nucs in your long hives. But numbers could increase quickly!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    "You could also try putting three Nucs in your long hives. But numbers could increase quickly!"

    OK & there's a downside to that? what is "quickly'?

    I will have 4 boxes to play with......that sounds like the fun you were talking about! I can rob some brood for mating nucs if things go well. I have plenty of supers LET'M RIP!
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    If you have plenty of supers then you should be right. I didn't and had to make more in a hurry.

    I suppose it depends on how you think about the hive. If you think of it as one hive and only add one super at a time, you may be surprised how quickly they run out out of space on a good flow. Having to inspect weekly to make sure you keep up.

    If you think of it as a hive per Queen, then with three queens you will add three supers at a time and keep up with them.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Would you say that it would be dependent on how many frames of brood would warrant X amount of supers?

    I have no problem w/3 @ a time.

    Thanks Matt. look forward to some "fun".
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    There are a number of factors that determine the amount of supers that are needed. Go by what "normal" hives are doing and when you would add supers and look at how much brood that they have. I think that it's more dependent on the flow and the number of foragers you have in a hive. But you do need to consider how crowded the brood nest is with young bees.

    Keep the wax makers busy by "opening the sides" of each of the brood nests.

    This is something I'm investigating: does having multiple queens reduce the chances of reproductive swarming? (Due to more open brood.) That's if they don't run out of room! ie. reproductive swarm verses overcrowding swarm.

    Let us know how it goes.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    got queens coming today tomorrow, splits shortly there after.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Matt,

    When I was trying to introduce a new queen into what I thought was a queenless nuc, the bees were going nuts trying to kill the new queen through the screen. That leads me to these questions.

    How do you introduce two colonies to the box & what do you watch for? What do you do if the bees are incompatible at the outset? Are there ways to make peace between two colonies that dislike each other initially?

    Can you explain your approach for the start up?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    How long has the Nuc been queenless? Sounds like they think they have a queen, could it be a virgin queen?

    You need to establish if there is another queen (or laying worker) before releasing her, as they will most likely fight and one get killed.

    If there isn't a queen, they will get used to each other after a few days. (As long as there are some workers in with the queen to feed her from the candy.)

    I merge the two colonies by putting each Nuc in the long hive separated with a division board. The Nucs both have the same size population. (I use 4 frame Nucs.) So each Nuc has their own entrance at opposite ends of the box.

    Then after a few weeks of setting in (and some drifting), I replace the division board with a vertical queen excluder and place a frame of foundation on each side of the vertical queen excluder. So the setup is:

    Nuc1, a new frame, vertical queen excluder, new frame, Nuc2.

    If you are worried that they still dislike each other, put a couple more new frames between them.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    Matt,

    I did not see the queen @ 1st inspection when we were doing splits, & the yard was a group of nucs that I thought all but two were queenless. I set it up that way to take the queens I got from B Weaver. got 7/10 acceptance & the queens have doubled in size & are doing well.

    I finished 2/4 of the double queen boxes & my entrance need to be moved as per your post. They are side by side now. I separated two QX's 1 1/2" apart so that queens can't fight @ the excluder. I'll use a piece of luaun for a division board to start.

    gonna rain here so I am not sure when I'll get to it. have a pasture to finish & lots of work in remodeling biz, & moving animals. need more daylight!
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: 2 queen colony questions

    So there was another queen then.

    With a single queen excluder I never had an issue with queens fighting (that I know of). But probably a good idea to give them some time to get used each other before going to one excluder.

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