Over-wintered Queens - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Mt. Hope, Ks, USA
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    39

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    For wintering nucs could you make divided deeps or mediums, than place a #8 hardware cloth excluded over that and place another divided box on top? It would seem to me if you didn't have major issues (could they fight through the wires?) you would retain a lot of heat and have a better survival rate.

    I was thinking of doing this next year. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    To avoid the fighting issues try a double screen. https://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...-screen-board/
    If you put a divider down the middle of it you can use it for double nucs. This year I made up about 5 of these and over wintered several of my smaller colonies above stronger ones.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,668

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    And I wonder now just how important that heat transfer is. I've seen many times where the production colony below dies during the winter and the nucs above survive. It may be about getting them up and out of the snow pack so they can take a winter cleansing flight should the right conditions occur.

    Could it be just having the dead air space below?

    I know Allen Dick in Alberta says that adding an empty box below the winter cluster can be a benefit because of the extra dead air space. It's bad to add an empty box to the top of the hive, but it seems to be good to add one to the bottom of the hive.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
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    355

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    i am currently running empty boxes with dry sugar on top of all my hives. did the same last winter with good sucess. although when i do it i cover the frames with a layer of newspaper then a big pile of sugar. there is room for airflow along the edges.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    In Beekeeping at Buckfast Abby Br Adam states ...The mating nucs were left in "severe" conditions to help select only the strongest queens. ...
    He had not became a pater. I have asked myself what was the reason. Maybe your sentence is the answer ...

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    1,222

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Michael Palmer

    I for one would look forward to reading your book on over-wintering nucs. I emailed you recently about your possible visit to N.M. but never heard back. Now I know the reason, your writing a book !! Good luck.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,106

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    I emailed you recently about your possible visit to N.M. but never heard back.
    I think I remember. I wrote back to Melanie Kirby saying I would love to go to NM, but haven't heard back. Did I miss something?

    Small world..I mentioned that i spent some time in Penasco and Vadito and Ojito, and in Las Truchas...and she says that's where she and her partner keep bees.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    4,953

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    although i've been impressed with the double nucs for a few years, this is the first time we have tried them.

    2 double nucs made up at our treatment free conference last year, each of 4 colonies given a virgin queen from our own stock. we did not feed these, and they were in an overcrowded yard (we had to move them to our backyard after the conference).

    3 out of 4 are thriving...one is gone.

    each double nuc is a 10 frame box with a feeder/divider and bottom board from kirk webster, a plastic feed sack as an inner cover, and a telescoping cover.

    the bees look great, and there is a built in way to feed effectively if necessary. i'm planning to do a run of feeders and bottom boards early spring.

    deknow

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,106

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    although i've been impressed with the double nucs for a few years, this is the first time we have tried them. deknow
    Good for you guys. Now you know the feeling and why I wish I had started with it 10 years before I did.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    1,222

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Mike P.

    I'll email Melanie again and see if I get a reply. She emailed me and said you were most likely coming. Its ok to email you back directly? Whats your addy?

    Cheers

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    4,953

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    ...i also think that this method (using unproductive colonies to make up small nucs) is a perfect complement for small scale (or even medium scale) queen rearing. it is an important advance in "how things are done" in the north.

    deknow

    edit: let me clarify what i mean. rearing queens if you are having trouble having bees without buying packages isn't terribly productive. the overwintering nucs demand new queens. the new queens demand a mating nuc. overwintering a number of double nucs keeps you self sufficent. this is a whole solution, not part of one.

    deknow
    Last edited by deknow; 01-19-2011 at 04:18 PM.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,569

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Echoing Deknow, it is also immensely satisfying to gain a little independance. I am trying a divided box, two deeps high, and I'm still hearing a satisfying buzzzzzzzz from at least one side.
    Another thought on overwintering queens. In the fall I did a few combines, one hive went into winter with 2 sister queens in it; Apparently that is not unusual, but suppose someone worked out how to make it happen on a consistent basis. There would be a lot of potential savings if it were a part of routine overwintering.

  13. #32
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,106

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    suppose someone worked out how to make it happen on a consistent basis.
    You could try placing a ripe queen cell in the supers during a good August flow.

  14. #33
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    The queens I have sharing a hive, last seen on last check in the Fall, are sisters from the same parent hive.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, usa
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    11

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    i started raising queens last season so im still newbish at it. this yr. i want to raise enough queens for requeening in the fall and still have some nucs for spring splits and colony replacement instead of wintering the nucs to put the queens in in the spring.

  16. #35
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    I know, you said the colony was a unite. The usual reason for multiple queens in one hive is successful supercedure. In both your case and in supercedure..the colony sees all the queens as laying queens and doesn't object. By adding a ripe cell to a full honey super near the top of the hive and during a good flow, the colony "gets" superceded. I would say in a number of instances there would be two queens laying together for some amount of time.

    Just me trying to dream up a method to make multiple queens more routine....and work with the bees.

  17. #36
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Mike, exactly. If there were a way to make this work then a split in the spring would not neccesitate the need for a purchased queen, there would be two in the hive to be divided already.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, usa
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    11

    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    the usda has a pamphlet, production research report no. 161
    Two queen system of honey bee colony management
    the study details the pros and cons of 2 queens. it recommends reuniting the colony and let the bees make it back to a one queen colony for the winter. its a good study. seems like alot of work though.
    .......you get more honey with bees

  19. #38
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Tim, I'm thinking of exactly the opposite; Running a single queen hive, but overwintering another queen in the same hive in the same cluster. Of course thinking of it is the easy part.

  20. #39
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    ...you could try dividing a 10 frame box in half (with a feeder or something) and keeping a colony on 4 frames of either side of the divider.

    .....

    actually, i was being sarcastic above....but it got me thinking, what if you had a double queen excluder (so the queens couldn't touch) instead of a divider and installed queens on both sides at the same time. could a single cluster span the double excluder? would the bees act like a single cluster, 2 queen colony with the queens separated?

    deknow

  21. #40
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Over-wintered Queens

    Sarcasm excused. I don't know about the excluders, would the bees leave one queen on one side? What I am thinking is that if 10-15% of hives have 2 queens in the spring then they likely overwintered that way in a single cluster. Stay with me... So there may be some window of time when the bees accept two queens, and if that could be identified and exploited it could be a game changer.

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