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  1. #41

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrose1970 View Post
    Hi Juhani,
    What would you say is the smallest population you could have in a nuc? Your post reads, "isolation mated queens". How does that work?
    I'm only asking because I know very little about queen rearing. LOL.
    Apidea mating nuc has about 700 bees? Some recon that is the absolute minimum to take care of a queen. Some say it is not enough. When my queens have been laying for 2-3 weeks in Apidea mating hives, I transfer them into nucs. Nucs are made with one shallow box from broodnest. This whole box is transfered to new apiary. New queens are given immideately(Nicot transfer cages). Old queen stays in her old hive.


    Isolation mated queens, propably not the best way to put it... it means that I have inland mating station (actually two of them), which has about 10km bee-free zone around. So I can pretty sure say which drones my queens mate with. In addition my area is not very good for beekeeping so there are not many other beeks around that 10km zone...

    (With banking I meant the methods of keeping large numbers of queens in small boxes, with for instance 10-100 bees.)
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Thanks!
    That is great information. I sort of want to keep them in tiny nucs as well. It is good to live in an area like that. I'm pretty isolated as well. If anyone in 5 miles of me has bees, I do not know about them.
    We live next to an unbroken forest about 20 miles deep. I would love it there were some old ferrel German black bees out there to mate to.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    905

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Juhani is correct. 700 bees is not enough. Nor is a 32-ounce cup full of bees as is standard practice in mini mating nucs. You get better results in 4- or 5-frame nucs with enough bees to cover the frames (usually about 3 or 4 of the aforementioned 32-ounce cups). Not that it is impossible - you just most probably get better %mated queens that stay in the nucs and grow into decent colonies that make it over winter.

    Long-time queen rearing experts will differ in opinion, and they are skilled (and crewed up) to work much tighter with their bee resources than us beginners. Some can work a HUGE number of queens in a single month, which is all they may get up in the North. Just start out conservative, giving them enough bees, and learn how tight you can work later as you get good at it.

  4. #44
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    Apr 2014
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    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Okay thanks. I didn't like the really small ones either. How would you feel about a ten frame deep divided into four 2 frame deep nucs? I learned that from Mr. Bushes website. I built one the other day.
    (I think that is pretty close to his description.) That would give me four backup queens for the small apiary. Of course then I could duplicate that as many times as I needed or wanted to.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    905

    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    All my 10-frame boxes have 3 slots for hive partition boards. One partition in the middle slot is for 2 x 5-frame double nucs. 2 partitions in the outside slots are for 3 x 3-frame open mating nucs. Ya' gotta make up special bottom boards and tops to run doubles and trip's. I make up special, narrow inner covers for opening one at a time. Lots of woodwork fun!

    Drilling cork holes in the sides for bee exit/entry are easier that setting up special slots in the bottoms.

  6. #46
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    Apr 2014
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    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
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    Big Grin Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Yes my woodworking is improving. LOL. I think I'll go with 3 x 3's. That way, like Mr. Bush said, I can keep feeding the broodcomb to other hives without depleting the mating nuc too much (at the same time keeping it small). I noticed on a lot of websites that they use the cork holes.
    Thanks for your advice!

  7. #47
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Just add a 3rd slot down the middle of the short ends of the boxes and your 3 x 3-frame can do duty as a 2 x 5-frame double-nuc as well.

    I LOVE this setup! Any box, any use: 1) 10-frame brood box; 2) 2 x 5-frame double nuc; 3) 3 x 3-frame mating nuc; 4) 3 + 7 frame breeder queen isolation unit for egg laying (uses a queen excluder partition); 5) 2 x 4-frame double nuc with two 1-gallon feeders; 6) insulating box for pail feeder top (if its a 9 11/16" = 24.6 cm deep).

    The only drawbacks? - 1) Ya' gotta cut the slots, partitions, & narrow inner covers yourself; 2) You need a whole bunch of corks!

    Oh, and one more note - you can use canvas or burlap instead of special inner covers on 2 x 5-frame double nucs, but it doesn't work so good on 3 x 3-frame arrangement, so make the narrow inner covers if going with 3 x 3 triple mating nucs.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-26-2014 at 03:41 PM.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    You're right! That is a neat setup. Right now I only have one colony in the left side of the 3 x 3 setup. I realize that I will have a spill over problem when the cover is off if I don't build the 3 small inner covers. That is next on my list. LOL. Thanks!

  9. #49
    Join Date
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    If they are spilling over when the cover is off then you need more room for their expansion otherwise
    they will swarm on you. Keep on adding supers for honey gathering on a flow. Or you have to take
    some broods out to exchange with empty frames to minimize the crowding.
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  10. #50
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Yeah, we usually move them into the next size setup - 2 x 5-frame, or full 10-frame box if the nectar flow is really cranking - before it really becomes a big problem. I move them into the "larger apartment" as soon as they occupy 2 of the 3 frames in the 3 x 3 arrangement, but that is when there is brood present and it has been expanding a bit (ie. the queen is laying a solid pattern). 3-frame nucs do take a while to start, and I mostly only use that arrangement when it is good and warm in the spring, and I KNOW I will be available to manage them.

    You can also put only 2 colonies on opposite sides of the 2 partitions and switch the arrangement to a 2 x 4 frame w/feeders or a 2 x 5- frame with a little partition magic.

    This year, there is a bit of a reprieve. The winter was warm and dry, the flowers all bloomed early and short, and the nectar flow in my area is already winding down from it's peak. That gave me an extra week to leave them in the 3-frame setup. Now the nights are warm, so they went straight into the 10-frame boxes from the 3 x 3's.

    Any way you set up, DO feed your mating nucs (1:1 syrup this time of year), even if the weather is great and the nectar flow is in full swing. Small colonies w/ new queens do better with a little help from Mr. or Mrs. Beekeeper.

    The nice thing about 3 x 3's is that you can mate a lot of queens with little additional equipment and no mini-mating nuc quarter-combs to draw ahead of queen season.

    You also get decent results with the very same bunch of bees you started with (though you CAN newspaper combine more bees or add a comb of brood when you move up to the next size box), and an extra 3 to 7 days to deal with bees expanding into a somewhat larger chamber, and far less tendency to swarm (abscond?) out of the nuc than with mini mating nucs.

    Like I said, I love this setup.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-29-2014 at 09:12 AM.

  11. #51
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    Apr 2014
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    Default Re: How to put the queen in the hive.

    Great advice!
    Decisions, decisions. I think I will move this colony on into a 10 frame with an entrance reducer to protect them from robbing. Like you said, it is plenty warm now. That will save my 3 x 3 setup for a mating nuc for more experimentation. LOL. How much time do we have left in season for queen rearing? Here is my thought. Start with a fairly strong hive with about 6 frames of brood. Take the existing queen and one frame of brood, one frame of honey and an empty frame and put her in one of the 3 x 3's. Then I have five frames of brood with plenty of eggs left in the hive and plenty of nurse bees. When they throw emergency cells, I could wait until the queen cells are capped. Then put each individual queen cell in it's own mating nuc.
    Would that work? It seems like it would create about 6 colonies with enough time to prepare for winter.

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