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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
if i were to take a frame of bees, larvae and eggs out of a 5 frame nuc and put them into a 2 frame mini, like David at barnyard bees does, assuming the frame has honey and pollen, or i could give them a piece of pollen patty. would they be able to make a good productive queen?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Possibly, but not as likely. David introduces queen cells or virgins into his mating nucs most of the time. I have never had success with getting one frame of bees to make a good queen from scratch in a two frame nuc.
 

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I don't know, but dude at Barnyard Bees absolutely says that he does that. I know he grafts and stuff as well, but there is a video where he says one good frame with bees and resources can make a good queen. Makes sense, if 10 frames can make dozens of cells, why couldn't one frame make one decent queen, if they felt warm and crowded in a mini-nuc?

Check out this video, about 16 minutes in:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4A0F25gU_4

Also, he's doing it in a location where a nuc had been sold, so the single frame also had foragers returning there with resources.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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C-bees, not to be argumentative, but have you yourself actually done it? I watch David's videos too and tried to replicate his methods but have never managed to get a returned mated queen starting with just one frame. A five frame nuc just seems to do a better job and you can always move the frames with cells to two framers once they are capped.
 

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It may work, but 5 frames is too big an investment?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Not to get four or five nice queen cells. All depends on one's objectives. I am not saying don't, but doing it correctly is more than just taking a frame of open brood with bees and sticking it in a nuc. At a minimum, I would take a frame of emerging brood for the nuc, then after a week, put in the frame that has the eggs. No extra bees needed. Work it like a mini starter colony. I think one of the problems I had was that there were not enough nurse bees remaining in the nuc after the foragers that were on the frame returned to their hive and the dust settled. Well, that and the dragonflys.
 

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C-bees, not to be argumentative, but have you yourself actually done it?
Absolutely not. I hope I didn't create the impression that I had. That's why I said, "I don't know, but..." and linked to a video by the beekeeper that was the subject of the OP's question. Whether Barnyard Bees guy is honest or trustworthy, I can't say, but I thought my post spoke for itself. That guy says he does it.........

...one of the problems I had was that there were not enough nurse bees remaining in the nuc after the foragers that were on the frame returned to their hive...
Not sure if it would have helped you, but see above where I mentioned that in that video, he is making the single frame split in the location where returning foragers are bringing in supplies. If you want high morale, incoming pollen/nectar and a warm, crowded situation, having foragers working a flow might make the difference.

All of my increases have been caught swarms and various types of splits. I just bought grafting supplies recently so I can be ready for grafting attempts next Spring, so I've been researching different types of mating nucs and stuff, which is when I came across the Barnyard Bees video....
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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All good, I have been subscribed to David's channel for quite some time. I trust the information he provides but I always keep in mind that he is in GA and is way south of me. I started making double deep nucs and then splitting out the queen and four frames, leaving the queenless nuc in the original location to catch all the returning foragers and make a new queen. So far that stategy appears to be working, but it is still a five frame and not one or two.

You will love and hate grafting until you get good at it. I'm still working on becoming marginally competent and not smushing all the larvae.
 

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That Barnyard bees guy is Amazing, running that big business with only 6 years xp, I was thinking about making some of those 2 frame nucs myself.
Here's his first bee video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjgLX_i1YQw
I agree. There's a fair amount of repetition in subsequent videos, but well worth watching nevertheless. BUT - anyone who thinks that they can emulate his success simply by copying that method needs to take into account the guy's location.
Not being from your country, I had to look up the geography - and that must play a crucial part - not just in terms of the gentler climate, but also the extended season enjoyed at that latitude.

I very much doubt his method would work where I'm based, and so I stick to creating much larger nucs, and as a result of course much fewer of them. "Horses for courses".
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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The two frame mating nuc does have a purpose, and that is to mate queens and give them a place to start laying. I have the four I built two years ago, and two 4 compartment queen castles, essentially 4 2-frame mating nucs in a single box. Also using the Mann Lake double minis. But I would not try to raise a queen in any of them, even if it were possible to get a.good one. Tried that already. If the OP wants a queen or two, he is better off moving the queen to the 2 frame nuc, letting the bees make a few queen cells in the now four frame nuc, and then swaping the queen back in and removing the capped cells 10 days later to put in the nuc. Same amount of resources used and a much better fed queen.
 

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What a lot of folks seem to overlook is that bees don't operate on the face of a comb by choice - although they certainly appear to, whenever we pull frames out. This can most visibly be seen when inspecting a mature colony, when the outer faces of the outermost combs are invariably empty - of everything.

Bees choose to operate - especially in more environmentally challenging areas - within the galleries formed between combs: thus a two-frame split will provide one working gallery, and a three-framer will provide two - twice as many.

Also - to help buffer against cold night-time temperatures (if not using insulated nuc boxes) - I find it pays to install a drawn empty frame (or even a dummy) on the outside of these (usually) three combs - hence the attraction of using a 5-frame nuc box. :)

LJ (currently enjoying a very cloudy but the first rain-free day for over two weeks)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the responses, i agree with you JWPalmer with pulling queen and let nuc make cells, i have even pulled queens out of double deeps and let them make bunches of cells and then make up nucs with those. My intentions were not to keep revolving the mini nuc boxes and build over and over again, but to just get 1 start from the 1 frame of brood in a 2 frame box, and build them up into a 5 frame and eventually a 10 frame to overwinter
 

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A manged hive on poor ground does better than an unmanaged hive on good ground is my sad experience.

As a hobby it is more enjoyable as well.
 

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Bees choose to operate - especially in more environmentally challenging areas - within the galleries formed between combs: thus a two-frame split will provide one working gallery, and a three-framer will provide two - twice as many.

..... I find it pays to install a drawn empty frame (or even a dummy) on the outside of these (usually) three combs

LJ
Beeks in the US mostly ignore/under-appreciate the usefulness of the dummy frames.
Just two frames of bees (properly dummified) will be using all galleries available to them. And so on...
Works fine as for me.
I don't even have mini-nuc boxes (too much waste on them - specialized, limited use equipment is typically a waste for a small-scale beek).
General size boxes work very well as 2-3 frame nucs (thanks to the dummy frames - you can run 2-framer in a general box; you can grow the 2-framer in-place up to the box limit).
 

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....... i have even pulled queens out of double deeps and let them make bunches of cells and then make up nucs with those. My intentions were not to keep revolving the mini nuc boxes and build over and over again, but to just get 1 start from the 1 frame of brood in a 2 frame box, and build them up into a 5 frame and eventually a 10 frame to overwinter
Pretty much how I operate.

Making honey from this particular unit is not a goal - so slice and dice it as see fit.
Made my first batch of 2-frame units this year already and that was a success in Q mating (already expanded each 2-framer to 4-5 frames).
There will be another batch of the same soon here.

I do:
- make a strong, desired unit queen-less and have it set the QCs
- once the QCs have been capped - make as many 2-frame nucs as possible using those QCs - not just ONE (purely for mating needs, only doing one 2-framer is risky - consider that mating success is << 100%)
- any successful 2-framers (contingent upon successful Q-mating) - will go on and grow into the full-size colonies for wintering
- any failed 2-framer - will get recombined (not much resource wasted)
 

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Bees choose to operate - especially in more environmentally challenging areas - within the galleries formed between combs: thus a two-frame split will provide one working gallery, and a three-framer will provide two - twice as many.
This is exactly the reason we use a deep split 4 ways with 5 half size frames in each compartment. The cubic volume with multiple 'inner surfaces' allow the bees to form a cluster. Each of our compartments is the equivalent of 2 and a half frames, and I winter colonies in those small volume spaces, we call them our 'spare queens' in the spring.

David is in the deep south, I've taken some interesting ideas from some of his videos, but the two framers the way he uses them scream 'climate that never gets cold enough bees need to cluster'. We are at 50N, and have what some would call a 'real winter', altho we do have a flight day at least once thru every month of the winter. I used to think that with a box split 4 ways like we do it, the 4 compartments would effectively create one large cluster, but after wintering colonies in these units for 3 years now I know otherwise. Pop lids in February when we are doing our first checks and it's clear that we have 4 individual clusters in the compartments, all clustered around the center frame of each.
 

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>...would they be able to make a good productive queen?

No. They need bees and resources to make a well fed queen.
So if you had a two frame nuc, say, and plenty of returning foragers and a good flow is on, how many nurse bees can make a well fed QC, in your opinion/experience?
 

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They do better than I ever thought they would in close to the mann lake size. Capable of average at least. Have not done enough to rate queens as a rule.
 
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