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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I’ve been beekeeping since April 2019 and I’m now curious about Queen rearing. I’m wondering what’s the minimum supplies I need to start; how many frames, kit, etc and when? I just want 2-3 queens to start off some new colonies.
Thank you!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Read up on making walk away splits. They are by far the easiest for a new beekeeper and all you need are a few nuc boxes.
 
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Yup, walk away splits are the easiest way to get 2-3 extra hives. When you want 10+ you can get into grafting, but that will require a lot more equipment/knowledge.

When I started I made some of the D Coates nucs (4 nucs out of a single sheet of plywood) and used those for my splits. Worked great until I figured out grafting - but that's a whole other beast.

How many hives do you have? If you don't have enough to even do splits with, you may want to consider ordering some queens for splits. Buying queens is going to be cheaper than the equipment needed to make queens and you'll likely get better queens as emergency cells are often considered "inferior" compared to purpose made queen cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How many hives do you have? If you don't have enough to even do splits with, you may want to consider ordering some queens for splits. Buying queens is going to be cheaper than the equipment needed to make queens and you'll likely get better queens as emergency cells are often considered "inferior" compared to purpose made queen cells.
I have one REALLY strong one. 2 brood chambers and one honey super. Queen excluder dividing the brood chambers and honey super. I tried making a split without a doing anything with a queen but I there some brood that ended up dead as they hatched. I think it’s because they didn’t have any nurse bees. I’m not sure. I feel terrible about that attempt.
 

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I would suggest a book on queen rearing would be some of the first kit you need. Next, a method that takes a minumum of equipment is the Snelgrove double screen board. It takes care of the chilled brood problem and starts your new nucs or colonies under the same roof with a minimum of weakening the parent colony.
 

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If you do a split without the queen make sure to shake a LOT of bees into it. A lot of them will fly back to the parent colony but the nurse bees will stay.

I liked to put the frame with the queen on it in a nuc or on the side of the box so I didn't lose where she was, then take a frame of eggs, a frame of capped brood, and a frame of food into a nuc. Then shake 3-4 frames from the parent colony into the nuc. The nuc should be FULL of bees. They'll need the bees not only to keep it warm, but to properly raise a new queen. Weak colonies make weak queens.

Some opt to move the current colony, with the queen, to the new location and let the old location raise the queen, since it will have more resources coming in.

The double screened board is a great tool as well. Allows you to split the colony without the chilled brood issue. Yet, you still want to make sure you have a lot of nurse bees in the chamber raising the new queen.
 
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