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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have newly laying queens in quad deep mating nucs and am hoping to release them into regular four or five frame nucs for sale. I built the mating nucs following the plans from the Michigan beekeepers site here https://michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Mini-Nucs_20150130.pdf

The mating nucs are in the same yard as the donor hives to make up the regular for sale nucs

My first choice for introduction is- Clip two of the frames together and put them in a nuc box, they will have a laying queen and will have lots of bees in attendance. I can then add frames of bees and brood from donor hives.. In theory they will not try and ball a laying queen with a full frame of brood and attendants.. I'd then go back a couple days later pull the clipped minis, replace with a frame from the donor hives and sell the nuc.

My second choice would be to make the nuc up, leave queenless for a day or two, then insert the clipped together minis with laying queen. This might make them more accepting of a foreign queen and many of the older bees, who are more likely to reject the queen would have returned to their home hives.. Is this step necessary?

These are my first laying queens of the season. I really don't want to kill them so wondering if anyone has experience with this. I made one of these up last year and while making it is a pain, it overwintered well up here in coastal BC Canada, so I made a few more.

Thanks

Jake
 

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Both methods could work, although I would leave undisturbed for more than 2 days. But an introduction cage would be a whole lot simpler.
 

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I've added four mini frames with a u-pipe clamp to a nuc to introduce. Never did much of anything as a hive, the queen would not leave her frames. Not really your question but I found it different than expected.
I've set a single box of a similar mini over a screened inner cover an left it a couple of days. Removed the screen and still I had to run her in because she also would not move down. There was absolutely no disruption as she moved in.

Subjectively I believe frames moved from different hives into a strange hive are much less defensive of their territory because they do not have one. Take a queen easier.

You might find the easiest introduction is to place a separate box with her frames over the screened inner cover and after a few days, remove the screen, pull the frames, shake her and some of her bees into the box over the inner cover. I expect if you do it when you make up the nuc you can skip the screen.

Might be less work than OT's but if not skip the clips and go push in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I tried three methods, but decided to make the nucs up the day before and let the foragers return to parent hives.

2 direct release with a little smoke and spray of light sugar and spearmint.

2 on frames clipped in, same smoke and spray

2 in cages

I was going to wait four days and release from cages and see what the results were, but I got a little impatient, so went in today and marked them. They are all doing well and laying.. Both queens on the clipped in frames were laying on frames apart from the ones they were introduced on, which was a surprise to me. Not sure what I learned form this, direct introduction still makes me nervous.. I liked clipping the frames in this time as it allows me to cycle frames out of the mini nucs for building new ones.

This is the halfwide deep frames clipped in
20200528_133418(1).jpg
 

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Oh that's nice and tidy :thumbsup:.

When you talked about clipping frames in i had imagined something pretty ill fitting. But the way you have done it looks good, and if the intention is to remove those small frames to re make more nucs, should work well. :)
 

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That clip is ingenious!!
Over the years I'e tried nails,strips of wood/metal,hive staples etc. PIA!
I'm going to steal that idea.
 

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I have found the clip to be a better theory than reality. The double wide clip (for 4 half frames) makes a safe introduction as she can stay in between her own frames. Try an inspection with the clip ears in the way and the burr comb between the half frames. I thought about making the clips with a spacer to fill the gap but never did. they do not like the metal and will glue it down pretty well. Break the frame free before trying to raise or both halves come up at the same time but will bend , jam and otherwise annoy. Often well adhered to the full frames by burr as well. I would plan on pulling the mini frames within a day or two and shake the bees off at exit.

Why do you think I moved to just putting her over the inner cover? It was not to enjoy making it more complex.

Introduce the queen and get the half frames back in the minis is my advice. Once she is accepted by the new nuc you can add a replacement frame from another hive safely.
 
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