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Discussion Starter #1
ok so this will be my 1st year beekeeping and i have been looking at queen rearing it looks doable , maybe not this year but defiantly next year . As a new beek however I won't have alot of bee resources . I will only have 2 hives this year , and hopefully 4 next year .
but they won't have much in the way of extra comb or brood to spare .
when I look at queen rearing I see the potential to start a new hive from scratch , is this feasible?
What I am thinking of is either grafting a few queen cells ( or cutting out some swarm cells if available ) capturing the virgins into a hair curler cage putting them into a small mating nuke with a cup or 2 of bees and hopefully getting them mated . then instead of using them to requeen use them to start new colonies in nuc boxes . as mentioned above i won't have much in the way or resources to give them right away . They will have to build up the colonies more or less on their own with the bees they start out wit in the mating nuc and their own brood . is this a viable option ?
I don't expect them to do much in the 1st year all I want to get from them is a viable Nuc that I can try to overwinter so I have more colonies in the spring of the following year .
when is the best time to start this , how long will it take to get them built up ?
 

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I started 20 nucs the beginning of July each with 1.5 frames of brood and a frame of honey in divided deeps a la Michael Palmer. I used purchased mated queens. A couple of them swarmed on the fall flow and I ended up putting 16 into winter as nucs and 12 have come out the other side this spring. The 2 that swarmed were combined with the nuc next to them and wintered as singles. I fed each about 2 gallons of 2:1 syrup in the fall to bring up their stores and to get them to finish drawing out foundation. If anything they were too strong too early and this year I will start them a little weaker.

When you say you will have two hives, are you starting with 2 singles? doubles? nucs? packages?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
starting with 1 hive in may ( a nuc ) then another Nuc in june so hopefully i will have atleast 2 going into winter , if they are strong I may try splitting them in july to get another 1 or 2 hives going into winter .
 

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It really depends on whether you are hoping to produce any honey this year and if you feed.

I am assuming you want the two hives to build into double deeps? If that is the case, if you order a couple of mated queens for the 2nd week of July, you should be able to pull a frame of brood and honey from each hive and start 2 nucs or order 1 queen and make one stronger split. It depends a lot on how good your nucs/queens are and assuming your area is similar to ours if you feed them through bad weather and the dearth after dandelions.
 

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given your location, I would buy a queen in july and rob a frame of brood and honey from each hive and only make one split so they will build up enough for your winter.
 
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