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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on taking a pkg of my "C F Koehnen & Sons" carnis and doing a breed. Then, with my 2 existing, my pickup in April, I'll have a total of 4. I don't own a queen castle, or a nuc, but I'll probably be buying/making one if needed. Very open minded, and definitely love some advice from anyone!
 

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unless you want a lot of hives or are selling queens, queen castles are not needed, nuc boxes come in handy for all sorts of reasons. If you are only wanting to split them 1 time, a walk away is easy as anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
unless you want a lot of hives or are selling queens, queen castles are not needed.
Yeah, I would like to, eventually, be able to produce quite a few queens. I will probably be making a few nucs this year just to have for splits.
 

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Yeah, I would like to, eventually, be able to produce quite a few queens. I will probably be making a few nucs this year just to have for splits.
learn to crawl before you try running. Research walk away splits. that will get you started expanding, then once you have the resources and the skill, you can look into grafting with starter/ finisher set ups, raising queens with the cloak board method, OTS ( on the spot ) queen rearing, etc and decide what fits your operation and skill set best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
learn to crawl before you try running. Research walk away splits. that will get you started expanding, then once you have the resources and the skill, you can look into grafting with starter/ finisher set ups, raising queens with the cloak board method, OTS ( on the spot ) queen rearing, etc and decide what fits your operation and skill set best.
Walk away splits require a queen. So do you think i'd be okay to take a queen cell off the hive I wish? Grafting isn't really what I was thinking anyway and I would want a little more skill in that area as you said.
 

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Must agree with HC here. Take your time, start the easy way, then after you've managed to build your stock up do more. It will take some time to figure everything out.
 

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Walk away splits require a queen. So do you think i'd be okay to take a queen cell off the hive I wish? Grafting isn't really what I was thinking anyway and I would want a little more skill in that area as you said.
Research a walkaway split. The whole process is to create a new queen while keeping your existing queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Research a walkaway split. The whole process is to create a new queen while keeping your existing queen.
My 2nd hive was actually made by doing a walk away split, it was very successful, but, I would like to expand my skillset and try new methods.
 

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my progression was from walk away splits to using a cloak board combined with some OTS methods. I plan to try my hand at grafting but honestly if you don't want more than 10-12 new queens a yr, there is nothing wrong with walk always or the more simple methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my progression was from walk away splits to using a cloak board
I just did a little research on the cloak board, and it looks pretty interesting. I had never heard of it before. Might have to give it a try. Thanks!
 

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I live in a zone 5 area and a method I have had success with is (from what I have read) called reverse splitting. What you do is get into the hive. Then find the queen, pull out the frame that she is on and put into the new box. Find 1-2 more frames of capped brood to go with her. Then put that box to a new location. Then you let the old hive raise queen cells and before they emerge split the old hive as many was as you want or that they can support, making sure that only 1-2 cells are in each split. Otherwise, in my experience they will try to swarm.
 

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I live in a zone 5 area and a method I have had success with is (from what I have read) called reverse splitting. What you do is get into the hive. Then find the queen, pull out the frame that she is on and put into the new box. Find 1-2 more frames of capped brood to go with her. Then put that box to a new location. Then you let the old hive raise queen cells and before they emerge split the old hive as many was as you want or that they can support, making sure that only 1-2 cells are in each split. Otherwise, in my experience they will try to swarm.
That is a "walk away" split.
 

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That is a "walk away" split.
A walk away split is a little different. You don't go looking for the queen. You really dont care were the queen is. You just make as many splits as you want or can making sure each split has eggs or larvae in all stages and then walk away. Reverse splitting you let the main hive raise queen cells before you do major splitting.
 

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I live in a zone 5 area and a method I have had success with is (from what I have read) called reverse splitting. What you do is get into the hive. Then find the queen, pull out the frame that she is on and put into the new box. Find 1-2 more frames of capped brood to go with her. Then put that box to a new location. Then you let the old hive raise queen cells and before they emerge split the old hive as many was as you want or that they can support, making sure that only 1-2 cells are in each split. Otherwise, in my experience they will try to swarm.
I split this way last summer, making sure the queen was removed from the original location and keeping that hive location as strong as possible for more good queen cells. I ended up splitting into 6 hives total. I had enough good looking cells to split 3-4 more by cutting cells, but didn't have the bees. Two of them weren't successful with queens. It's a good way to build quite a few queen cells with a split. A weaker split won't make as many strong cells. I may let a hive go to swarm mode, getting more cells that way, to do more splits. I don't know how hard it would be to keep from loosing that swarm though.

Here's a good thread with some advice from Oldtimer on raising more queen cells that can be useful with splits.
http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...and-finisher/page2&highlight=starter+finisher
 

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Learning2Bee, I can't imagine you're in Zone 5A all the way down there, we are 5B here and you're half a state south of me.

Anyway, that doesn't much matter. You have a few options. I would suggest you build some 5-frame DCoates style plywood nucs. They're fast, and cheap, and they last. I'm overwintering bees in them now (1/2" plywood) and even with -10 degree lows and -30 windchills... they are still alive and well with top insulation and roof felt wrapping.

There are many ways of approaching it, but if you want to double your overwintered colonies from two to four, I would strongly encourage you to look into nucs. My nucs are 5-over-5 deep frames and a couple 5-over-5-over-5 deep frames. Make these around the second week of July. Prepare to feed, but if we have a year like we did last year, feeding will be almost entirely unneeded. Take a couple frames of brood and a frame of food. Shake some bees off open brood if they look weak, but if you use mostly capped/emerging brood, they really take right off in strength. Introduce queens you've raised or purchased as outlined below...

Now your question is really about queens. Have your nuc boxes ready before swarm season (probably Late May-early June like we have here)... Try to prevent your colonies from making swarm preparations, but without drawn comb there's a good chance they will still want to swarm at some point. Be ready to pounce on that opportunity. I wish I would have more aggressively raised queens from colonies had made swarm cells. If you get to mid-June and you've prevented swarming until that point, good for you! At that point I'd suggest you look into cell notching and use some combination of a strong, queenless colony to raise queen cells and then before the queens will emerge split them off into nucs and if you want four queens make up 6-7 nucs with cells. The flow we has last year, was unique... but I had queens mating around the first of September who are heading nucs and looking fine going into winter.

So there's multiple 'gates to the plan'... 1) Take advantage of swarm cells if/when they present themselves. 2) Try to raise your own, there's a good chance you will fail... so 3) Have a backup plan to buy queens mid-July. The season and typical colony progression lends itself well to this plan.

Some 'nucs':


This queen was mated in first week of September:


And if you use a queen calendar you might get to see this at some point in the upcoming summer:


Good luck! :)

I think that this is a good lecture to watch and emulate:
 
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