Re: Mating Nucs
You think I have to go to California to learn anything? Strange as it may sound I have been in the business have worked with thousands of nucs and do know how it's done and what is needed for different nuc types & it's all happened outside California.
However I know it's about price. If breeders want to sell queens for $20 as in your country and that's all people will pay then that's what's going to happen. Agreed. I can also say that a lot of NZ queens that went to Canada were done in minis and I'm talking tiny, probably cos of price.
I'll tell you how what I consider extreme mini nuc queen raising is done. Not by me but I've seen it. The nuc is a piece of 4 inch pipe. It's cut to a length maybe 12 inches, at a guess. It gets a lid with a foundation strip glued, a queen cell and tin of bees. Locked in a shed for 3 days so the cell will hatch then trucked out each one is hung on a stick poked into the ground. The sites look real strange with hundreds of these things sticking out of the ground.
When the queens should be mated the pipes all get thrown on a truck again & taken back to a shed for caging. People are standing at benches & truck loads of these things are brought in. They get smacked on the bench the comb is looked at to see if there are eggs if so the queen that came out is caged. I was told mating is sometimes as low as 20%.
I wanted a breed those guys have so they gave me 2 caged queens. One turned out OK, the other was so small I don't think it could possibly be mated, but introduced it to a hive anyway, it never laid an egg and eventually disappeared.
Instead of me going to California to "get a real feel of what they act like in person", why don't you just tell me now how you would judge the quality of a queen with a system like that. I'm all ears.
Last edited by Oldtimer; 01-17-2014 at 09:17 AM.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).