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Can't find queens, will this work?

908 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  SpeckledPup
Asking for opinions. I don't see any reason this shouldn't work, but I could be missing something.

I have queens coming in 2 weeks. Plan is to overwinter them as double nucs like I did last year. If they get too strong I'll pull frames and either make another nuc letting them raise their own queen or donate frames of brood to the weaker hives.

So to my problem, I can't seem to find the queen in my hives, I know she's there by the work she does, so normally don't worry about it. I want to pull frames of eggs and brood and it seems every time I do I end up with the queen in the wrong hive.

So now to my plan. In each nuc box I plan on putting 3 drawn frames and 2 frames of brood and eggs, with bees. I have 10 donor hives so pulling 2 frames for each nuc isn't an issue they have plenty of brood. I'm only taking frames from my strongest hives.

The plan is

Step 1. 3 days before the queens are to arrive shake/brush the bees off the egg/brood frames, place frames in the nuc box, with the 3 frames of drawn comb. Replace frames pulled with empty frames in position 1 and 10.

step 2. Place nuc box above a queen excluder that has been placed on the top of the hive, leave on the hive at least overnight, the nurse bees should move up thru the queen excluder to take care of the eggs, larva and brood. (Finally found a good use for the queen/honey excluders I bought)

step 3. 1-2 days before the queens arrive, move nuc to its new location and place feeder with 1:1 on it, will also place a very small piece of pollen patty on them. Opening will be 1 bee width to prevent robbing.

Step 4. When queens arrive, check for the start of queen cells, place new queens in the nucs that have been queen less app 24-48 hrs, to be released by the bees.

Step 5. Check to see if queen has been released in 3 days and recheck for queen cells.

Does anyone see anything I'm overlooking.
I did this with some queen cells earlier this year and it worked but I could have just gotten lucky.

Any and all comments or questions are welcomed.
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