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I am sick and tired of not having a replacement queen when I need one. This spring takes the cake. The only queens available are from Hawaii, and since there are no varroa mites in HAwaii (or so they claim), the queens will probably not have hygenic traits.

So, I want to make and keep a nuc. Unfortunately, my boxes are all the full-sized brood boxes and that makes an unwieldy nuc.

So, do you think a hive will leave cardboard alone, or do you think they will chew it up? I had in mind giving them space just big enough to have 2 frames.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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They will chew it up. But the corrogated plastic works and the don't chew it up. You can also use wood. A 2 frame nuc won't last long before it's really overcrowded, but then you can move the division board.
 

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>Why would you separate 2-3 frames out of a brood hive? Would this make them raise there a new queen that you need? YES (make sure eggs are on frame)

I always keep 3 or 4 nucs with extra queens all year ,just in case a queen goes missing from a colony.(IMHO one can never have enough queens)


Terry
 

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I take a full super and split 4 ways with small entrance on each side.Put 1/2 cup of bees in each corner sprayed with suger water,then put a ready to hatch queen cell in each one with 3 frames,1of food.Can have lotes of queens ready at all times,not much hasle.
 

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Is it a good idea to replace a queen in a captured swarm? I have a captured swarm with the queen and they seem to be doing fine.
 

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>Is it a good idea to replace a queen in a captured swarm?

I never do. IMO the bees will anyway when it's time. Usually they don't wait too long and they supercede her when things are stable and the timing is right.
 

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Since 1/2 my income if from my bee operation I don't tolerate non-productive queens. Having said that I don't usually install a new queen in a swarm unless she's been damaged somehow. There is some alchemy in swarms that seems to make them super bees for awhile. On keeping queens on hand there is an article in ABJ May 2005 on a method to bank them. I don't bank queens for longer than 2 or 3 weeks as I think it effects them in the long run.
 

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I have a lot of two frame mating nucs and usually I put the queens I'm "banking" in those but sometimes I set up a queen bank for a while. The simplest is just to put a 3/4" shim on top of a nuc and put the cages on the top bars with the screen down and exposed to the space between the bars.
 
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