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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, All!
I have a question on when is the best time to make up the mating nucs.
Right now my queen cells are all capped inside the cell finisher hive. They will be hatching on around 8/20.
Since I am using the young nurse bee frames from the mother hive to combine with
the existing cell finisher bees to form these mating nucs, I'm afraid that the worker bees will make more queen cells from the
young larvae. There is a risk that they will reject the about to hatch queen cell too. But I will make better cell
protector to minimize this issue.
So when is the time that you make up the mating nucs for the new queen? At the time of the cells being capped or
at the end when the new queen is about to be hatch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
http://www.thebeeyard.org/cgi-bin/queencalendar.pl?month=8&day=8&year=2014

Ahh, nope. I use this calendar and did my graft on a Friday 8/8 at about 12am.
Four days prior I put the frame of newly hatched eggs into the cell builder hive.
Since our weather is in the mid-90s, do you think they might hatch on the 8/18th?

I'm still looking for the answer to my nuc making question .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How about making up the mating nucs on 8/17, Sunday night.
And then start feeding them and on Tuesday night on 8/19 to
move the queen cells into the mating nucs with a roller cage cell protector on. Then checking them on 8/20 or until I see
the queen hatched to release her.
You think this is doable?
 

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I always place cells on the 10th day after grafting - so the 18th. You can make up the nucs on the same day, and by the time you place cells they will know they are queenless, but they will not have started their own cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, All!
I know what to do now.
Ahhh, the joy of beekeeping!
 

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Remember this is California. With 60+ million eyeballs rolling within the Golden State I would say that to have a few late adapters residing within a state known for its early adapters and inventors is to be anticipated. The weather is still here for consummation although I doubt the drone virility index is at what I would determine to be at its "climax" for the year. That date is long past for 2014.

My preference would be 03-04...XX Mid to late 03 for graft and early to mid 04 for mating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"I have made queens in October and November and they mated well enough to make it through spring with good hives. Good luck with yours."

"We also have had drones all winter the last few years. Not to say that there are not fewer drones because I do see some hives kick drones out but some do keep few and it seems to be enough."

Hi, Honey! Speaking of CA, I think the above statements pretty much sums it up. It was from my bee mentor yesterday's email. He was always busy and does not talk much. But when he did it was always to the point. And since beekeeping is local anyways with the many micro climates that we have in CA, there seems to be an opportunity to make a few good after the solstice queens to overwinter with. Imagine the possibility for the early Spring flow nuc split with these replacement queens. If this experiment is successful then both the early Feb to mid-March as well as the late August queen rearing task is feasible in my area. Just 5 minutes driving from my house there is a local bee farm with 100s of hives placed there. I'll bet that there are a few hives that still "....do keep few and it seems to be enough" active drones there. Wish me luck.

p.S. Check on my qcs today, all are very well capped. RJ filled pass the bigger size plastic cell cups that I'm using. Not too shabby for some in the dearth raised qcs, eh. The qcs size not quite that large but decent enough so that will do. I'm enjoying this process now.


Look, converted QE ready for the multi-castle queen mating nucs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

Made up the 4 frame mating nucs yesterday. Tonight cut the cells off to put in there.
They are starting the qcs already but that's o.k. as the queen should be hatch sometimes before this
weekend. Forget about the orange cell hold that does not work. A wire holder loop is better to plug
the cell into the combs.
OSB hives with a clean bottom. They sure like to clean.

Can you see the many Cordovan eyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
queen update:

Finally, 2 queens hatched today. Still have 3 more to go maybe by tomorrow. They are the smaller after the solstice queens than the bigger
Spring queens. But size does not matter that much compare to their ability to lay. Both cups still have extra RJ attached inside though.
Did a hive check to find both of them. But stupid me cannot see that the cell cap was still attached to the qc and thought she was still in there while
she was roaming the frame already. I hastily put her into the next nuc hive thinking she was the
first one I saw that had climbed over the wall. So she got beat up pretty bad. When I found her about 5 minutes
later she was all in shocked. Then I put her into her original nuc where the workers quickly recognized
her. She was still alive but barely now. Closed up the frames and put another spare qc that has not hatch yet in
there just in case this queen died tomorrow. Maybe she will survive this ordeal all because of my fault.
Good thing I made up these mating nucs 2 days ago.


All after the solstice Cordovan queen bees:
 

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