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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Bristol Va
    Posts
    191

    Default Queen breeders will this work?

    I now they have mini mating nucs and other mating boxes. I have a couple of the full size boxes dadoed to allow divider boards to slide in to make a 10 frame a 4 way mating nuc that holds 2 frames in each. So I decided to make a long mating nuc. Every other entrance is on other side and every other one on same side is one entrance hole is in lower section and other is in middle section. The hole that is on the top is a vent hole which is screened from inside. I did the different color strips over look the paint job I hate painting) to help each queen return to her correct mating nuc. Tell me my pros and cons for building this? Here is some pictures of it.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,698

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    I bet it works fine. The only problem I can think of at the moment is so many nucs in a row. But since they are different colors without being a repeating pattern, and with different level of entrances, I think it should work out. Good luck, let us know how it works out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Nice I think it should work fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Might work better if those red strips were painted green. Bees see red as black. Also might not make any difference. I simply do not know for sure.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Wholly Guacamole! That is even more bold than the one I built last year. It is similar though. It worked just OK for mated return. But I really like it for a queen 'bank' When I had a mated queen on standard frames, I would just move her and two frames to a chamber. Got her out of the mating nuc to free it up to accept a new virgin without actually banking her in a queen cage. I'd post a photo, but photobecket has cut me off the free limit of photos. Not sure if I want to start paying for it just to share ideas. Here is my facebook link. Go to my photos.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mille...56954971040510

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Here , I used tinypics for photo




    With rim for quart feeders:



    Plywood top is pretty light weight:


    With rubber mat is not really necessary .

    My entry holes are on both sides and seperated as far apart as possible. Color marked with painted disk excluders.

    Last edited by Lauri; 06-27-2013 at 08:56 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Carni queens might be ok with that close of proximity, since they do not drift as much. With italians I would be a little causious. I suggest you make different entrace methods, like maybe a small landing board on every other one for stronger association between entrances.

    I personally would not do this because I am certain that even if queens do not drift, some agressive subset of worker bees from one nuc will hunt the queen from another one and kill her. Just too close for my comfort.

    As an alternative for you, I experimented with queen castles this year; you know, the 4-way facing ones. They work pretty well, but the north facing queens delayed laying by 3-4 days. East or south facing ones were laying first, usually on 10th day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Did any of these ideas work? Were there problems that need to be aired? These are both very different from traditional queen rearing!

    One of our group wants to build a screened in "mating area" to limit the chances of queens getting lost, has this been tried?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,871

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    I think I've heard of screened areas for mating but not sure on the success rate. I've heard drones need to be flying at a good clip really chasing the queen to get ready to mate, hard to see that happening in a screened in area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Screened areas have been tried by different people at different times and there have not been proven matings. Queens mate above 25 feet AGL so the cost of an area enclosure would be as much as the equipment to do IS.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    darnell and lauri - I am like Myron, please give an update if you have tried them.

    JR and AR - Hmm, makes sense but by golly we had paper wasps get into a tent one time and those things moved at a fairly good clip just coming off the tent walls. Yikes still get cold sweat from that. Another great idea burnt in flames before I got to test it.

    Myron - I was thinking the same idea. Wondering about a screened in area as well or one of those large screened beach tents with just all screen on the sides. Raise a bunch of drones and stick that virgin queen in there. Seems like the numbers would win in the end, but she might be overwhelmed by a bunch rather than having the fastest catch her. Still might be something I try when I get things going real good. Just to watch what happens while drinking a cool one.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bristol Va
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Ok update on mating hotel I built. I only grafted 9 cells for the test run of the hotel cause that was all I needed to finish up the year with requeening and making up the last of the NUCS I am taking into winter. Out of 9 queens that emerged in the hotel I have 8 that mated and returned to there home and began laying. Not sure what happened to the 9 one but I figure 8 out of 9 was not to bad. Also I put the all 9 of them side by side cause I wanted to see if they would come back to there correct section when placed side by side and no empty compartments between them. I plan to have several of these built and in use next spring and after seeing how well they did I think I will be ok with it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Darrellva - would you mind posting the dimensions of the individual cells (inside measurements)?

    Am I mistaken or is that constructed with 2x4 or 2x6 wood.

    And if you don't mind, one last question. Did you see any difference in brood building and such with bottom versus top entrance holes?

    I like that design. Thanks for sharing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Lauri, You always do everything so awesome!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bristol Va
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Marsh,
    I will have to check tomorrow I can't remember off the top of my head on measurements.

    The box itself is made from 3/4x10"x5ft. The bottom is just a piece of plywood. and the divider boards are 1/4" plywood.

    I did not notice any difference in the patterns from the entrance location all where center of frames.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    I prefer boxes I can move, but that should work fine as long as you don't need to move it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Lauri = What about dimensions of your breeder nuc?

    Do you see any issues with differences in brood building in top versus bottom holes.

    Really like both those ideas.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Darrellva I've had problems with queens drifting with entrances further away than that and just as well marked, I've even seen virgins return & get balled as soon as they enter the wrong one.

    However, the proof is in the pudding, (do they say that in the US?) 8 out of 9 is a fine result. However I'd still be a bit cautious before building a bunch of them.

    In Lauri's pic, she has alternated the entrances front and back, which separates the entrances twice as widely than each nuc having an entrance front and back. A nuc your size only needs one entrance and in fact is better with only one entrance, so it could be something to consider. Visually, I think Lauri's nuc is more confusing to the returning queen when they have the plastic entrance guards on, than when they don't. Although I'm not a bee so who knows.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    Lauri or anyone - Do you have plans for the style of top feeder you are using?

    Is there a problem with those top feeders with holes in the lid of dripping syrup into the bottom of the hive?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Queen breeders will this work?

    My first setup was almost exactly like this, except it used 3 deeps in each chamber. The trick was the tops and bottoms had to be bee-tight. I think if I was to build it again, I'd have made double partitions an inch apart so that the tops were easier to close without bees from other chambers getting together and fighting. My boxes had single alternating entrances like Laurie's.

    while it did work OK, I chose to not make any more, as it is a LOT of wood to use for something that gets used 2 months out of the year, and I don't want lots of storage, which is more costly than the wood!

    Ultimately, I went to 3 vertical slots in 10-frame boxes, so that they could be used for 3 x 3-frame mating nucs, 2 x 5-frame double nucs, 7 / 3 queen isolation laying arrangement for grafting / Smith Method / Cell Punch preparation using a queen excluder ("includer" in this case) partition, or as a full 10-frame box. I now make all my boxes like this, as it works out cheaper to have just one kind of box, and they will soon be all mediums for the advantage of just one size of frame.

    This setup, combined with "hive dummies" (empty wooden boxes the size and shape of a frame of comb) allows for excellent volume control, important for raising small nucs late in the year as is common practice for almond pollinator colonies.

    I thought about 4 x 2-frame chambers, but decided that I did not want to have to do lots of work all at one time, moving the mating nuc colonies into 5-frame nucs. I wanted the extra time allowed by the 3 x 3-frame arrangement to accomplish this task, just in case anything interrupted my schedule. It seemed that 8-frame boxes had only one option - 2 x 4-frame arrangement, and would require lots of hive dummies to work a small colony up from 2 frames. It just seemed most flexible to go with 10-frame medium boxes with 3 slots and partitions.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-05-2013 at 11:20 AM.

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