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hi i just purchased i queen castle and was wondering if it is to late to start it or not and if they over winter well. I live in pennsylvania so our winters can get bad with a few feet of snow. Also i was wondering if i raise the queens in the castle and build up the hives if it would be possible to use the two frames to start a 5 frame nuc and the eventually get them into an eight or ten frame hive. Thanks
 

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Nucs are tough enough... I would think a castle would be pretty tough to baby through any kind of winter. Where'd they keep stores?
 

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hi i just purchased i queen castle and was wondering if it is to late to start it or not...
I have two (and two mating boxes from Walter Kelley), am using them now and plan to keep using for several weeks. I am in NH.

.....and if they over winter well.
Depends on what you plan to do with them. After I fill my polystyrene nucs, if I have any queens left over I plan to try raising two five-frame nucs in each QC. Keep in mind you will have to feed them over the winter. Last year I used dry sugar to good effect with my nucs. If I overwinter in the QCs, I will to do the same this winter.

Also i was wondering if i raise the queens in the castle and build up the hives if it would be possible to use the two frames to start a 5 frame nuc and the eventually get them into an eight or ten frame hive. Thanks
Absolutely. I am doing that now.

Bill
 

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Jean marc- http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Queen-Castle/productinfo/687/ I would call it a divided hive body.

With only the center divider in (ie 2 compartments 4-5 frames each), stocked with 2 frames of brood and one honey by the end of July/ fed if needed... I would think you should do alright with this. Do a search for michael palmer's discussion on this, in the archives. He overwinters double nucs in Vermont successfully. In reading through old posts, I found tons of input.

I have overwintered homemade versions in WA successfully with good results. You need the right stock (ie probably not italians)...
 

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thanks you for all the advice and you were right there is some great info in michael palmers old post i think i am going to go for it
 

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Some of us overwintered nucs successfully a la mike palmer method, and used the queen castles. i have lots of photos and my own input, from a virginia perspective anyway.
here is a link to some photos, but please make a note, I recommend putting the feeders on the OUTSIDE wall unless you make your own divided deep with a shared feeder. otherwise come Spring when you take them out, they are very hard to get out, and you may lift up the divider by mistake (like I did and left it that way for weeks). If you are using your own divided deep with a shared feeder, then the feeder should go in the middle. We are working on further modifications to the bottom board so that it could also hold 2 nucs or a divided deep.

http://www.pbase.com/winevines/overwintering_nucs_summer_into_fall_2008
http://www.pbase.com/winevines/queencastlemodifications
http://www.pbase.com/winevines/image/104546705

BTW, after this, there is no turning back.
 

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Karla,

Thanks for the pics with the feeders. Are those yellow/green feeders from Better Bee? Would it be too much trouble to ask what the width of those feeders is? I like your idea, but for me, the black plastic feeders are just too wide to get four frames and a feeder in the box, but it looks like you have solved that problem.

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Karla,

Are those yellow ...... feeders from Better Bee? Would it be too much trouble to ask what the width of those feeders is? I like your idea, but for me, the black plastic feeders are just too wide to get four frames and a feeder in the box, but it looks like you have solved that problem.

Thanks,
Joe
I do not know the width off hand, but they are definitely much narrower than those big black ones (which I also have and hate) and they fit just fine with 4 frames. The ones you see in the photos are from Brushy Mt., but Betterbee may also sell them. They work fine, although I did sand the floats a little bit. I do advise putting those feeders on the outside walls. I did not feed when it was freezing anyway and that way the bees can cluster towards the center on each side of the divider. I fed until late October and then in Jan. I started with hard sugar since they did not have enough honey. I hope to manage them better this summer so they have better honey stores, but also this year, I am freezing frames of honey to give them in Jan/Feb. (No. Virginia winter)
 
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