Horrible mating numbers - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Thanks everyone. As i stated earlier i was off by a week. I'll take a look next week and hopefully will show signs of success. Thank goodness i have an incubator or i'd be in trouble with this current round.
    Terrence

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Checked the ten today for eggs. Had 2 that i saw. Saw another queen that was not laying. So better then zero.
    Have a few that look like laying workers even though i have the queen pheremone in them. Also have a few that have made emergency queen cells that i will probably just leave be. Thought having the phermone in the box would stop these behaviors?
    Going to let them go for another few days before pulling the queens and marking them.
    These 2 frame nucs can really get messy due to extra space. all kinds of wonky comb issues.
    Terrence

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    My understanding is that it is the pheromones produced by open brood, not the queen, that inhibits development of the laying workers. Temp queen is supposed to help anchor bees in a new split. Getting ready to go outside and see what my nucs are doing, or not doing, as the case may be.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    So it turned out I got 11 pending nucs to be mated.
    Will see how it turns out this 2019 mid-July.

    Last year I mated 4/5 just about this time.
    Then mated 5/5 in late August/early September (mostly experimental - 4/5 of the late batch lost over winter).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    I'm torn on the 2 frame mating boxes. I use them the last time I had a good graft* and thought I was set. The other hives robbed the heck out of them while I was at work. When I got to them it was just a few bees on a frame and lots of wreckage. This was also during our spring flow.

    I probably should have put on guards. I tried and am liking the resource hive setup. In another thread a poster talked about using them for honey & nucs. I think I will probably just try that. I have a few boxes that I was going to use for swarm traps that I will convert. I have enough drawn comb in the freezer for the 2 extra combs in each box.

    I enjoy these threads since it seems Kaizen, JWPalmer, myself and a few others are all learning this at the same time. It's almost like an open group chat.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Learning, I am. I have four of the two frame deep mating nucs ala Barnyard Bees. They have not been successful because of the robbing issue as well. I will need to modify the entrance to accept a screen so have not used them since two summers ago. The mini mating nucs from ML have about a 3/8" 1/2" entrance that the bees are able to defend. So far though, I only have bees in one half of one box. Can't seem to keep the bees in the nucs. Right now I am back to using 5 frame deeps and hopefully my two queen castles which also have a very small entrance. I did just confirm that the reason my last grafting attempt failed was due to a rogue virgin. Three of the frames in the "cell starter" are loaded with eggs as of this evening. Pretty much on schedule for a cell that was started when I first made it up. Have three other nucs that failed to produce a queen cell and now are just capped brood and lots of bees. Will shake them all into one nuc and give the cell bar another shot this weekend.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    I actually am loving the 2 frame barnyard nucs. Think i used 2 or 3 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood and some scraps and made 18 of them. Instead of the bottom entrance i ordered cheap entrance discs from amazon. Painted the nuc fronts different colors and used different colors of entrance discs to better eliminate queen returning to the wrong one. I have them in my "nursery" at my home. This is a fence enclosed area 6 feet high and about 8x 20 feet. Any that look alike are separated by at least 4 boxes. No robbing yet but it seems i'm still on a flow as even the 2 frame nucs are packing away the honey. Hoping by the time a dearth comes i will have them shut down.
    For some practice i grafted again. This queen was my best but i didn't have her here so couldn't. She lays incredibly. she was already built up and expanding into the 2nd box when i opened them in spring. This time i did it all on my own where before i got aggravated and had the kids do it. I filed my graft tool down so its thinner and i was actually able to slip under some doing that floating thing. We'll see how they go tomorrow. Just couldn't help myself and didn't want to end with a sorry display of grafting like i had last round.
    IMG_4892.jpg
    Terrence

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I have four of the two frame deep mating nucs ala Barnyard Bees. They have not been successful because of the robbing issue as well. I will need to modify the entrance to accept a screen so have not used them since two summers ago.
    For others - I can't emphasise enough the importance of anti-robbing screens, especially when working with nucs in a single-yard apiary. This is a shot of robber-scouts trying to gain access to a Klindworther nuc box I'm trialling, just half an hour after I set it up. They gave up after about two hours. Without the screen, that tiny colony would have been robbed-out by hundreds of frantic bees without mercy.



    Fortunately, when I modified the box to incorporate ventilation, I also took the precaution of adding a simple wire-mesh screen - something which doesn't feature in George K's original design.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Terrence, modifying the boxes to use the entrance disc like you did would be an easy fix. Sometimes I overthink things. Thanks.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Terrence, modifying the boxes to use the entrance disc like you did would be an easy fix. Sometimes I overthink things. Thanks.
    After many iterations of boxes I found the only reason i want a bottom entrance is for an OAV wand. Now that we have the diy OAV thing and i'm using MAQ's I will have these on all my nucs. There is enough room that i can make a simple robbing screen to fit over it. I doubt just reducing the entrance with the disc would help alone. Maybe its just me but they just look so much happier crawling into a hole.
    Terrence

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ... This is a shot of robber-scouts trying to gain access to a Klindworther nuc box I'm trialling, just half an hour after I set it up. ....
    LJ
    Wow.
    Is it a dearth situation?

    At this time of the year in my location - I don't care.
    Does not matter.
    Bees are too busy with the normal flows.

    It will matter in August here.
    By then I should be beyond the mating projects, however.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    I have my mating nucs at least a 1/4 mile away from any big hives and I don't have robbing issues. In the same yard it was death to the nucs. Only had 12 to mate had 9 return.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Dan, I would be pretty happy with a 75% return rate right now. Heck, for July queens, 50% would not be half bad.

    I wonder if it is legal to shoot dragonflys with a pellet gun?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Dan, I would be pretty happy with a 75% return rate right now. Heck, for July queens, 50% would not be half bad.

    I wonder if it is legal to shoot dragonflys with a pellet gun?
    I let a friend of mine use one of my queen castles he has a lot of dragonflies he had 1 out of 4

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Well, I got all my grafting stuff set up, loaded the cell bars with new cups and then went out to combine the 3 nucs that had not started cells. Good thing I double checked. Two of the three had capped queen cells in them, although not terribly large ones. First time ever to be disappointed to find queen cells in a walk away split! The one that did not make cells is lower on stores and has fewer bees than all the other nucs. Scratch that plan.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    As of yesterday's checking - I am 5/5 so far.
    9 more nucs are pending.
    Next weekend will go and check (though maybe too early).

    One comment - I have documentation (Iliazov, 2015, pp 88-93) where they actually tested different sizes of the mating nucs by colony size (300g, 600g, 900g of bees) and concluded:
    - the weakest mating nucs had the worst mating #s - 300g of bees (using little frames - 1/4 Dadant frames).
    - the strongest mating nucs had the best mating #s - 900g of bees (using 1/2 Dadant frames and full Dadant frames - frame size did not really matter as they found).
    - mating nucs with populations of 600g of bees were in between by the mating #s (using 1/4 Dadant frames and 1/2 Dadant frames)

    Overall, the strongest mating nucs had the best mating numbers and these were conclusive test results (they claim so).
    In the strong nucs they got ~40% success rate.
    In the weak nucs they got ~20% success rate.
    While the trial #s are pretty poor overall, still the weak vs. strong nuc #s are significantly different.

    So, I personally just have standard nucs with 2-3 full size frames with good bee coverage as my mating nucs (just for equipment re-usability and standardization).
    But I am yet to see the "horrible mating numbers" beeks are talking about.

    It maybe people should revisit these ideas of mating with micro-nuc equipment.
    It may work fine if you mate 100s of queens and high tolerance for failure rates.
    It may NOT work too well if you only mate 5-10 queens for personal use.
    So this is the comment.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-15-2019 at 10:08 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Minnis are for those who would otherwise have a surplus of cells
    love to see the Iliazov # on success

    figure 8.8 pees per gram, a cup used to stock a mini (600) is like 68g of bees, so one could stock 13 mini nucs with the same resources as the "best" in your Iliazov example

    to put it in figures more appuacal to this forums reader's
    one deep frame, with 60% capped brood and cover bees is around 6,000 bees one the brood emerges. So you can run at least 10 minis for the same bee costs as one of the 2F deep mateing nucs that are in vogue right now.

    Once you start cellbuilding cultured and portable cells (grafts, cell punch, cut strip, etc) its not much effort to have way more cell per week then you could ever use in fullsized nucs, even after culling dink cells.

    end goles also matter.. many people talk "mateing nucs" when they mean splits that will raize a queen and grow out.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    .......So you can run at least 10 minis for the same bee costs as one of the 2F deep mateing nucs that are in vogue right now. .....

    I don't disagree.
    Myself I only do queen-less splits around the QCs - these are not even mating nucs, technically.
    Simple that way - I can do immediate re-splits/re-combines of these nucs on the spot (thanks to the frame compatibility).
    I don't need single-use equipment to juggle about.
    I only need 5-10 home-raised queens if so - don't really have time/desire/business model to manage tens and hundreds of new queens.
    So this simple, homesteader method works fine.
    Yesterday found a newly laying queen in a single-frame nuc - just pulled a QC out, so not to waste it - she mated fine - a good stand-by queen to be combined anywhere I need.

    There are plenty of bee-eating predators out - this is mid-July.
    Still, I am yet to see the "horrible, terrible mating numbers".
    Maybe next week I will see just that.
    Somehow doubt it.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-15-2019 at 11:26 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    First round out of about 15 i got 3 mated.
    So, yes, I hope OP is doing better now..
    But 3/15 (20%) per a batch is really amounts to wasted time while the summer time is limited.
    Also, I am targeting the ideal mating to occur while my own drones are in the air - so the ideal time frame is even more limited.
    Mating time window is the really most valuable and limited resource (for open mating).
    Especially so if you also then plan to grow the new starts into the winter - using newly-mated queens - these starts must be started not later than July - to be able to grow enough.
    Cost of the bees saved on the mating nuc configs - is really trivial and not that important to worry about it (for a small scale - 5-10-15 queens - beek, not a big business).

    PS: I guess I am just talking myself out of mini-nuc project - well done. hahaha
    Last edited by GregV; 07-15-2019 at 11:50 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Horrible mating numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    So, yes, I hope OP is doing better now..
    But 3/15 (20%) per a batch is really amounts to wasted time while the summer time is limited.
    Also, I am targeting the ideal mating to occur while my own drones are in the air - so the ideal time frame is even more limited.
    Mating time window is the really most valuable and limited resource (for open mating).
    Especially so if you also then plan to grow the new starts into the winter - using newly-mated queens - these starts must be started not later than July - to be able to grow enough.
    Cost of the bees saved on the mating nuc configs - is really trivial and not that important to worry about it (for a small scale - 5-10-15 queens - beek, not a big business).

    PS: I guess I am just talking myself out of mini-nuc project - well done. hahaha
    Still struggling. Went through them again last night and did not find any new ones. I did have one that had a ton more bees and wondered if it was bees a queen brings back after mating. Had to put them in a 5 frame nuc to give them room.
    Still have a couple more rounds to do. Have some in the cooker to go in the nucs and some in the starter to go into the cooker. Some of the nucs are so calm its like there is a queen but not seeing any signs.

    In my limited knowledge of this queen breeding thing, I can't see the size of any individual nuc mattering. She is going out and breeding with others in a different area so what does the home yard really matter?
    I have a really hard time coughing up that kind of money for a mini mating nuc Styrofoam box. I much prefer to build my own 2 frames. Between all of them i think i'll have a good size colony or two when i put them to bed for the winter.
    Terrence

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