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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    If I had 3000 hives and needed to split them all in a single day. I'd do walk away splits with the exception that I'd put in queen cells in the split. Versus waiting for them to raise one.
    What is the difference in time between them raising their own and you putting in a cell? Isn't it only a week? Does someone with 3000 hives bother with splits vs. just buying packages? I view walk away splits as a hobby thing not someone trying to make money with bees.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    how many colonies do you have now?
    For a time more than I wanted.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    I would imagine that every beekeeper out there would rather split than buy packages... If they can... You look at 40-100 bucks per package.. Or a guy taking 5 minutes to move a box and put in a cell.

    $120000 dollars at 3k packages at 40bucks per, which I'm also sure people would love to have.. I think it's closer to 60 per package now.

    or say 20000 for 1$ per minute spent. I'd guess that most beekeepers don't pay their workers 60 dollars an hour, so I'm probably being generous. That 20k "should" include setting up the starter/finishers which takes time, but your talking about managing 50 hives that are making 60 cells per. I believe most people get more than 60 cells out of a strong hive. I usually start 48 cells on moderately wimpy hives (5 frame), then finished them above a stronger hive.

    It's ~13 days ahead on the walkaway queen... Assuming you start from a fresh laid egg... You put her in, then she hatches that evening.. Mating flights and she's laying 4-5 days later.. Should be laying well at around the 21-24 day mark from when the egg was laid. The biggest perk is that you know every split has a cell.. or you could put in two...

    So the queens would be laying for a ~almost 2 weeks longer than the walkaway, but it's also a known queen. Also, the original queen is still laying while your making the cells, so there is no production time lost there. If you do it right, she may actually lay more.. Depending on how you rearrange the hive and give her more room to lay.

    P.s. All this assumes a 100% graft take, and a 100% mated return. Realistically, you should have a 90% take rate and 80% return rate... But that doesn't change on the walkaway splits... So I figure it's a moot point. This is for any random lurker that is reading the post. I doubt that a guy with 3k hives would do all 3k on the same day.. They would probably space them out and would graft more cells than needed and stage 20 extra for every 100 that they plan on requeening. Of course, they could just buy 3k queens and shove them in the front of the hive and cross their fingers... I've never been involved with an opration that large... ~300-500 hives is the biggest I'd helped with.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    For a time more than I wanted.
    Five?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    It's my understanding that by taking several frames of brood, providing a mated queen with a shake of bees, and then feeding, you can make increases pretty reliably.

    So, if you have the resources available, as soon as your queens arrive, you can split away.

    The main consideration being getting the timing right so as to be ready for the main flow.

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    What is the difference in time between them raising their own and you putting in a cell? Isn't it only a week? Does someone with 3000 hives bother with splits vs. just buying packages? I view walk away splits as a hobby thing not someone trying to make money with bees.
    The difference is that installing a cell, which will emerge that day or w/in 48 hours, is that you know that a virgin queen should have been present soon after the cell was introduced.

    Whereas, a queenless split set up to raise its own queen may not even start a queen cell let alone produce a queen at all.

    The commercial beekeepers that I am familiar w/ do not buy packages for their own use. They buy queens to make splits from their own hives. Or raise their own. Commercial beekeepers split to replace deadouts and to reduce swarming.
    Mark Berninghausen

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Five?
    Three
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Weather that delays mating flights can also mess up a schedule. Purchased mated queens eliminate that problem. You just keep feeding the increases no matter the weather, and you know what to expect. No amount of feeding will help a schedule if your queens aren't mated.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The main consideration being getting the timing right so as to be ready for the main flow.
    That's a 100% accurate concern... I make the assumption that any hive I split, is not going to make surplus that year. I assume that I'll probably be feeding just to get them built up enough to split again, or go into winter.

    With that said, I've had numerous splits that have gone gang busters and put up a super of surplus... ((My area is 40-55lbs average per hive))

    So that honey is a bonus and heavy contenders for the next session of grafting...

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    > For a time more than I wanted.

    Ace's hive count, from a post at the end of October ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I didn't get much of a harvest from the three hives, just a little over a medium super.
    No word on how many crazy splits Ace has done since October.




    (click the blue arrow in the quote box to see the original post/thread)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    One year I made 100 4 frame splits set up to raise their own queens and had 75% success. I thought that pretty good.
    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Sounds good to me... I'm still small potatoes... Last year I didn't get to do near as much as I wanted, only mated around 120 queens and didn't do many splits.. Hoping this year is better with work/travel schedule. I'd like to get to the point where I'm making/selling several hundred nucs per year.

    More than likely, they will be over wintered... Rough plan is to make double what I want for the next year, which accounts for losses and provides early queens to sell and resources to pilfer.

    But that is still several years off... But "I have a dream..."

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    One year I made 100 4 frame splits set up to raise their own queens and had 75% success. I thought that pretty good.
    Did you insert queen cells in the nucs, or did they raise their own from eggs or larvae?
    To everything there is a season....

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    The difference is that installing a cell, which will emerge that day or w/in 48 hours,
    Ah, so the cells are pretty far along when you get them. Price of a cell vs. a queen?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Depends how many you buy and where you get them from. As I stated before.. Buying one cell isn't viable, but buying 500 might be with the offsetting of shipping costs. I've seen cells anywhere from 3.50 to 6.50 per. Then you have divide the 80 dollar shipping cost across the total number of cells.. 1 cell would be 86.50.... 500 cells would be $1830 or $3.66 per cell.. Say 20% of the 500 are duds, then you get 80% success rate on mating.. You have 320 mated queens... Which would work out to 5.70 per queen.

    Another example...

    200 cells at $5 per = 1000$ + $80 shipping
    80% aka 160 viable. 80% aka 128 mated..
    Works out to be $8.44 per queen..

    Better than the $14-35 per mated queen that your normally pay?
    Last edited by KevinR; 11-23-2013 at 11:57 AM.

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    So cells don't make any sense for a hobbyist with a few hives. Raise your own walk away splits do.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    So cells don't make any sense for a hobbyist with a few hives. Raise your own walk away splits do.
    Hobbyists can pretty much pick any method of increase they choose. It's those who depend on making an income that may have their choices limited by any uncertainty.

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Michael Bush has a page subtitled "Simple Queen Rearing for a Hobbyist.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesafewgoodqueens.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Did you insert queen cells in the nucs, or did they raise their own from eggs or larvae?
    "set up to raise their own queens". From their own three day old larvae. I made sure they had a frame w/ eggs and young larvae.
    Mark Berninghausen

  21. #80
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    Default Re: Split like crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Ah, so the cells are pretty far along when you get them. Price of a cell vs. a queen?
    Yes Brian. Pretty far along. Cells can cost $3.50 or $4.00 and queens cost from $17.00 to $25.00.
    Mark Berninghausen

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