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Discussion Starter #1
i have an idea i would like to get some feedback on about queenrearing.

i have access to a yard about four miles away that i wanted to set up as a nuc yard.

i was thinking about using the five frame nuc boxes that i alreay have, and splitting each one down the middle with a divider board, thus creating (2) two frame mating nucs in each one.

i like the idea of incubating the capped queen cells, allowing the virgins to hatch in my garage, and placing them in the mating nucs.

i figure if one side doesn't get mated, or if i use or sell the queen frome one side, i can use a couple of 3/8" holes in the divider board to do a newspaper(less) combine, and end up with a five frame nuc to use or sell.

i envision using a yard feeder for these, and robbing drawn comb and brood for my production yards.

i also envision some of the local beeks bringing me 4 frames in their five frame nucs to put virgins into.

do you think this will work?
 

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i was thinking about using the five frame nuc boxes that i alreay have, and splitting each one down the middle with a divider board, thus creating (2) two frame mating nucs in each one.
This comes to mind....

Root, A.I., ABC of Bee Culture, 1878

If we are to have this [a] quart of bees work to the best advantage, something depends upon the sort of hive they are domiciled in. A single comb, long and narrow, so as to string the bees out in one thin cluster, is very bad economy. Two combs would do very much better, but three would be a great deal better still. It is like scattering the firebrands widely apart; one alone will soon go out; two placed side by side will burn quite well; and three will make quite a fire. It is on this account that I would have a nucleus of three, instead of one or two frames. The bees seem to seek naturally a space between two combs; and the queen seldom goes to the outside comb of a hive, unless she is obliged to for want of room.
 

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Just what I have observed in a friends operation wherein he builds hundreds of three frame nucs, three to a deep box. The attempt is made to make a three frame split and add a queen cell to it. The resulting mated queen, along w/ the worker bees of course, will maintain a brood pattern between two combs, facing each other. They will blossom out as need for more space occurs and ambient temperatures aid in keeping brood warm.

There is a bee economy reason behind why Commercially Raised queens are raised in miniframe nucs. Doing so is more3 successful. Frames half or onethird the length of standard frames. I have seen three frames and a feeder used.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i was inspired by lauri's description of using an egg incubator to hatch out queen cells, and then marking and placing the newly hatched virgins in her mating nucs.

is there any down side to this?
 

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Besides the handling of virgin queens? Maybe Mike has some experience there. I find them quite skittish on the comb and have never tried to pick one up. Whereas, mated and laying queens are realatively easier to grab hold of.

Personally I would rather have a virgin emerge into a mating nuc. How are you going to keep the emerging virgin queens seperate and safe from each other. Transporting and installing too? Just some things to think on.
 

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good points mark.

the capped queen cells are incubated in a 'hair roller' cage. when they hatch, they are in that cage.

lauri explains that she has found it important to remove the from the cage fairly quickly, and she places them on open cells of honey in her mating nuc. since they can't fly yet, handling shouldn't be too hard.

one down side would be getting those virgins placed in a timely manner, especially if one were rearing lots of queens. i am probably only going to raise about 20 at a time.
 

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Flying is not the problem, they run. Run like sprinters run. What I have observed. It's what draws my eye to them.

Give it a try. It just might be right for you.
 

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No way would I use an incubator to emerge my virgins. With the proper time in in your work, I find it totally unnecessary and un-natural. Placing the cell in the nuc and allowing the virgin to emerge among her bees will always be the way I do it.

No method is perfect. Adding an extra chore or two to the queen rearing process adds extra places where things can go wrong, reducing the eventual success and adding to the workload.

The bees have been emerging virgins for eons...but now we need an incubator to do the job better??
 

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My preference is to never see them until they are mated. Handle your ripe queen cells with care, "candle" them or just dont use them if you are suspicious of them at all and the number of non-hatching or poorly developed virgins will be a really, really small percentage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
my mating nuc yard will be about a 10 minute drive from my builder/finisher. how long is 'too long' for the cells to be out of the hive before placing them in the nuc?
 

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Flying is not the problem, they run. Run like sprinters run. What I have observed. It's what draws my eye to them.

Give it a try. It just might be right for you.
I noticed that this spring. Those "B's" are fast. They bob-n-weave like a boxer, like they're in a "Top Gun" dogfight.
Running around and through,and under the other bees like a snake in tall grass.
 

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my mating nuc yard will be about a 10 minute drive from my builder/finisher. how long is 'too long' for the cells to be out of the hive before placing them in the nuc?
Mine is about the same...a few miles. I harvest the cell bar frames of ripe cells, brushing off the bees, and place the frames in a nuc box on the front seat of my Jeep. I turn the heat up, and drive to the mating yard slowly, taking care when going over bumps and railroad tracks. My takes this summer from 128 nucs ranged from a low of 82 to a high of 118. Most of the time ithe catch was in the 90s.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks jim.

ok, so 'candling' is holding the cells up to a bright light, and seeing if it is 'full'?

i didn't see any plastic cups in the video, so i am assuming wax cups were used. are they just stuck to the bottom of the bar with melted wax?

is it best to use 'protector cups' when placing these capped cells in the nuc?
 

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thanks jim.

ok, so 'candling' is holding the cells up to a bright light, and seeing if it is 'full'?

i didn't see any plastic cups in the video, so i am assuming wax cups were used. are they just stuck to the bottom of the bar with melted wax?

is it best to use 'protector cups' when placing these capped cells in the nuc?
Those folks are making their own wax cups, there is an excellent video on dipping setups to make those as well and I believe it is also by Malka. I think it would inspire many to quit the plastic cups altogether.
The cell protector debate is ongoing. I dont use them, many do. In some scenarios I think they are probably real good and what the heck they are cheap.
Here ya go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5LzXXVkA10
 

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I don't know about you. but that does not look like careful handling of the queens cells as he cuts them from the bar and slaps them across the counter top.
That was my impression the first time I saw it as well. It's not at all how we handle ripe cells but these folks do a lot of them, it's good to know that there is apparently a pretty good built in safety margin. The timing is really crucial, though, they would assuredly never be handled in such a manner even 24 hours earlier.
 
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