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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did a cutout today on a colony of gentle, law-abiding bees in a hollow log. Got very lucky and found and caged the queen in a clip, so the battle is won for hiving.

But one comb has 3 capped swarm cells, so would like to set up some mating nucs. Advice on what to build, # of combs of brood and honey to include, links to instructions on how to do it, volunteers to come to Texas and show me how, etc. would be appreciated;)

Thanks,

TxBeek
 

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I built 6, small TBHs the same dimensions as my main hives, but only 13in long. I plan on using them as Nucs, but do not yet know how well they will work or not?
 

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I was wondering if anyone has mating nucs as well. I made a bunch of 12 inch TBH's last year for splits, but I was wondering if anyone is doing anything differently. I was thinking maybe making something like a queen-castle style TBH with dividers so you could have 4 queens in the box. I'm thinking that three bars would be more than enough for each section, and it would be just over 16 inches.
 

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I just built 2 15 bar TBH boxes. Haven't bored the entrances yet, but the plan is to bore 4 entrances, one on each end, one on each side. I should be able to use them as nucs, mating nucs, swarm boxes or starter hives. Using appropriate follower boards and sponge entrance closure, I will have 1 to 4 mating nucs, with a minimum of 3 frames each.

They are a bit heavy for swarm boxes, but then again, I have had good luck with swarm boxes lower than normal, some as low as 2 feet off the ground. Since I'm just getting back into beekeeping (actually I am letting the bees teach me this time, so a more likely term would be Honey Bee Facilitator), I'm trying to keep all of my equipment multipurpose, in so far as possible.

I just started experimenting with the Miller method of queen production. If I get the queens I want I'll be able to test them as mating nucs. I'll keep ya'll posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Things changed fast. By the time I checked this afternoon, one queen hatched and had killed one queen in the cell. I was able to save the other cell. So, in the new cutout hive i have the original queen, the newly hatched queen, and the remaining closed queen cell in queen clips.

So, how many bars of brood do I need to place in new hive with the new virgin queen? How many bars of honey? Or can I feed 1:1 syrup instead of honey? Can i use the same setup for the unhatched cell? I built two new hives with follower boards, so plan to use those for the mating nucs. I just need advice on the resources needed to get two new hives going with virgin queens.

Also, should I move the new hives to a new location to avoid robbing and drift? Should I include some drones from another hive to hopefully mate with the virgin queens?

I guess this has really shifted to doing a split with new queens.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: I split my mean hive today and gave one half my newly hatched virgin queen. Hopefully she will mellow the disposition of that hive. Marked the old queen and will transfer that hive to an outyard to bother the cattle and wild hogs.
 
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