multiple queens from production hives - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA

    Default Re: multiple queens from production hives

    In the end, both virgins emerged. Then it went sideways. The south virgin was ignored and died, found her laying on the QE. The old queen swarmed anyway. And the North virgin ended up breed and in the bottom box.
    Again, bees aren't reading the books I am..
    To start, I was making spring cut comb, keeping the hive pushed down. Of course their response was to go into swarm mode.
    Once in swarm mode, one is going to be hard pressed to keep the old queen around with capped cells/emerging virgins, and a larger queenless hive is very tempting to a virgin vs a smaller one, QE don't isolate bees like a double screen board
    Each Qcell had it's own rear facing entrance with a colored disc reducer
    and once you have a few started cells, a nuc will do a good job finishing them. It takes 400 mix aged bees with no other jobs to rear a quality cell, less of prime age
    those started cells could have bee moved to a 2 frame nuc , maybe add a shake of bees and or thinned to 2, and done well

    I respectfully suggest the issues were not on the part of the bees reading books, but a human's impression of the internet
    your in NM... warm zone 6 no reason to need heat for a hive below,Ok sure if your trying to make super early queens...maybe.. no hard and fast rules with bees
    But, your talking about doing it on a comb honey flow.
    Last edited by msl; 11-14-2019 at 12:46 AM.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Santa Fe, NM, U.S.

    Default Re: multiple queens from production hives

    Yes MSL, just moving frames with cells to a Coats' or better yet in my opinion a 'Palmer type' split box will make queens... really good queens if you even remotely know what your doing.

    It was an experiment on Laidlaws' commentary on Doolittle, as referenced in post #4. (hence the bees don't read joke)

    I still will keep plugging on, using production hives [hives whose sole purpose is to make as much honey as possible] to raise queens interests me --verses pulling resources out to make splits/nucs.
    Yeah, I know it's akin to having your cake and eating it too. Have you ever tried raising queens this way?

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2017


    I done something similar this past summer successfully.
    The first time was by accident. But I had read Doolittle’s book.
    I pulled the old queen out of the hive and placed her in a nuc for swarm prevention. Plan was to come back in 10 days to separate out a few frames with queen cells into two frame mating nucs. Work got in the way and I wasn’t able to get there till day 13-14.
    When I opened them up I found a virgin queen right off the bat and placed her in my queen clip off to the side. Went on down setting boxes off separately looking for unopened queen cells with no luck but did find another virgin queen running around in the second brood box and another in the bottom box. I was in no way prepared for this but was not going to waste the virgin queen’s as the mother queen was one of my best two years in a row. For some reason I had a couple queen excluders in my truck with the two frame box I had brought so I pulled two frames for the mating nuc and placed the first virgin in there, left a virgin in the bottom brood box and place a queen excluder above her, then two supers that I thought were clear of virgins, and finally a second queen excluder feeder shim with entrance notch to the rear and the second brood box. I came back a few weeks later to find I had not two mated queens but 3 in this stack of boxes. This caused another mad scramble for equipment as I had only brought one extra bottom and top to separate the queens but I had learned something about Dolittle’s methods.

    The second time was on purpose (Sort of/more so)and went much smoother.
    Found another colony on the verge of swarming and pulled out the old queen and a small split. Then done as above but was able to use already started swarm cells instead of virgins. One frame with a cell went into a two frame mating nuc with a frame of brood and bees from another nuc. Two cells were left in the bottom brood box. Then an excluder, three supers another excluder, feeder shim with entrance to the rear and the second brood box. Later I set the top hive on its own bottom board and added supers to both. This was done between our early spring flow and the basswood flow of summer.
    I feel that it is a good method of raising a few extra queens when you have limited equipment and your colonies are really not quite big enough to make large splits right away, and am planning to do this again. I left the second hive this way until both queens had at least one full box of brood and in the mean time they filled a couple medium supers.
    I also came to like using the two frame boxes as mating nucs for finished cells this summer. They gave me one more chance at a laying queen using very little resources. Often if they had a flow one frame of bees and a partial frame of food plus a shake of nurse bees.

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