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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For you experienced queen breeders:

In the past, when I made up my nucs, I'd cage my queens and introduce them to 3 frames of brood and 2 frames of food - per standard.

However, seeing Bob Binnies talk on queen acceptance it can take 4 weeks of queen laying for her to fully develop herself and her pheromones. Since my queens will have only been laying for 2 weeks I'd like to keep them laying by not caging them.

What I'm thinking:
Since I place brood above an excluder to make up the nucs ahead of time I'm probably getting mostly nurse bees. As such I could put 2 frames of brood into a nuc, and 24 hours later introduce the frame with the new queen and her brood from the queen castle. (I use deep frames in queen castles and nucs) I could then shake in new nurse bees into the queen castle, and a new frame, and reset with a cell.

Since I'd have almost all nurse bees, with bees who already accept the queen, anyone see any problem with this?

I could also spray the 2 frames of bees with hbh syrup before adding the frame with the queen for a distraction/scent mask.

This would keep the queen laying and things moving along quicker.

Thoughts? Any other methods I may have missed? I considered an intro cage but that would be a lot of work with ALL the nucs - but would certainly keep her protected.
 

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I could also spray the 2 frames of bees with hbh syrup before adding the frame with the queen for a distraction/scent mask.
I'm not a veteran queen raiser, but I've done a fair amount. I like this idea the best. I myself just use a little sugar water in a trigger spray bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not a veteran queen raiser, but I've done a fair amount. I like this idea the best. I myself just use a little sugar water in a trigger spray bottle.
I've certainly had success with a misting as well. I use a little spray bottle quite frequently in the yard, usually while mixing bees, or introducing virgins. Gives me that little extra assurance things will go smoothly.
 

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Yes, same here, does wonders with mixing bees or joining hives or introducing queens etc. And introducing a queen in between 2 frames of open larva or on a frame of open larva works good, especially if she's an actively laying queen.
 

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For you experienced queen breeders:

In the past, when I made up my nucs, I'd cage my queens and introduce them to 3 frames of brood and 2 frames of food - per standard.

However, seeing Bob Binnies talk on queen acceptance it can take 4 weeks of queen laying for her to fully develop herself and her pheromones. Since my queens will have only been laying for 2 weeks I'd like to keep them laying by not caging them.

What I'm thinking:
Since I place brood above an excluder to make up the nucs ahead of time I'm probably getting mostly nurse bees. As such I could put 2 frames of brood into a nuc, and 24 hours later introduce the frame with the new queen and her brood from the queen castle. (I use deep frames in queen castles and nucs) I could then shake in new nurse bees into the queen castle, and a new frame, and reset with a cell.

Since I'd have almost all nurse bees, with bees who already accept the queen, anyone see any problem with this?

I could also spray the 2 frames of bees with hbh syrup before adding the frame with the queen for a distraction/scent mask.

This would keep the queen laying and things moving along quicker.

Thoughts? Any other methods I may have missed? I considered an intro cage but that would be a lot of work with ALL the nucs - but would certainly keep her protected.
mtnmyke,

I put the cell into the NUC and leave that queen with that nest.
If I have a hive "needing" requeen I either use it up making the NUCs , or put the mated, laying new queen NUC and all on top of the hive , newspaper combine with 2 excluders. I leave her for 2 or 3 weeks then , place her box on the bottom board, and remove the old hive to a new location to either Make NUCs or re queen or do the same thing 1 more time.
so basically newspaper combine, with 2 excluders, (any supers in-between the excluder's.)
then a fly back split to the new Queen
redo with second new queen, or break the old hive up.
My preference is to never stop the queen from laying, most of the time this works, when I cannot get back they get big fast, but just need to keep track.

your plan sounds good.
just when ever you can delay the stop, they certainly can stop,, over winter, for example, but in the first 3 or 4 weeks they are still getting their grove.

GG
 

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I've used sugar water to get a lot of things done, including a quick introduction, but I always figured a spray bottle would clog up. Is it just a really weak mixture, a special type of sprayer, or me over-complicating something? Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gray Goose,

I have also used the newspaper combine to introduce a laying queen. I'll likely do that with many of the hives I need to requeen this year - for one reason or another. However, I usually remove the old queen, add newspaper, a second deep with the new laying queen in it. Once they are all combined I put them back down to one deep.

It sounds like you do a double queen colony for a few weeks in an over/under fashion? If I understand you correctly?

I'd also love to put the cell in a nuc and have her just crank along. However, the way my yard is laid out it's MUCH easier to put them in queen castles with a limited number of bees to get mated. My mating rate is also over 90% vs having my nucs all in a row - since I don't have unlimited room to deal with.

In short:

Make up the nuc with 2 frames of brood and 2 frames of brood.
24 hours/ the next day add the newly mated queen (She will have been laying for 2 weeks) from the queen castle with her existing brood/bees.
A misting of hbh syrup as a distraction - as an added step of security.

I'll then add an empty frame back to the castle, shake in some nurse bees, and add another cell. My next round of cells will be ready on Friday.

I think my plan will work, and maybe I'll try to build a stand where I can place nucs on pointing different directions, but with 30 nucs to make up that's pretty hard to do! My neighbors already think I'm nuts with placing strange boxes all over the place.
 

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It sounds like you do a double queen colony for a few weeks in an over/under fashion? If I understand you correctly?

yes very often, replacing mean queens or old queen or poor performing queens. :)
in a month the 2 frame with queen is 8 or 10.
I want the "trained behavior" and the "Micro biome" to blend.

generally pull the old and leave the new queen with all the field bees and supers.

when the next cells are available, could be 3 weeks or 5 weeks so I have some flexibility.

I only generate 6-10 new queens a year, so if I did 100's this would be a more time consuming process than needed.

GG
 

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joebee, I have just a "regular" sprayer and have never had it stop up even with 2:1. I use it for introductions, combining hives, swarms, ect, however I keep it in the fridge when it's not needed. Lasts for months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
GG,

Do you find the bees accept both queens in an over/under? In that, you can remove the queen from the bottom and replace with the queen up top without issue?

I figure it would all be fine.

And your desire to mix the micro biome is interesting! Some would happen naturally from drift and such, but I certainly have some great colonies that have never shown any disease and great resistance to the effects of mites. It might be worth experimenting with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've used sugar water to get a lot of things done, including a quick introduction, but I always figured a spray bottle would clog up. Is it just a really weak mixture, a special type of sprayer, or me over-complicating something? Thanks! :)
Definitely overcomplicating ;) I've never had one clog up, even the ones from the dollar store. But I find the fancier ones to give a better mist. They can go for as much as $3 😜
 

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GG,

Do you find the bees accept both queens in an over/under? In that, you can remove the queen from the bottom and replace with the queen up top without issue?

I figure it would all be fine.

And your desire to mix the micro biome is interesting! Some would happen naturally from drift and such, but I certainly have some great colonies that have never shown any disease and great resistance to the effects of mites. It might be worth experimenting with.
Once you are "combined" with newspaper, the bees treat it like 1 colony. Just as you often find 2 queens in 1 hive naturally the bees do not give a hoot 1 queen or 2. the queen can and do care hence the 2 excluders. I like the supers "excluded" so when I tear down, I have less place to look for to find the queen. once combined, it is like a split to the bees, to take the bottom away.

I can transfer 8-12 pounds of field bees to a new queen, move the base and do it again. I have added a second queen maybe 50 times and never lost a queen, as few as 2 frames with queen on top, as many as 2 deep + 2 medium on the bottom.

Can also take one of the bottom deeps shake the bees into a shaker box and add a deep of brood to the new queen as well. I usually pull the base when I make up more NUCs or find some cells I want to hatch.
the queen are in somewhat a tandem when the bees decide to swarm. As the "colony" decides to swarm there can be cells in both nests, what a mess.

Even to save a bottom and a top I have set a queen on top of a hive.

They seem to grow well and prosper up there.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I only do an over under when I make my cell starter. I take the deep in the queen right portion and put an excluder on top of the supers of another colony and add her on top. However, 48 hours is as long as she stays there. I may have to experiment with it longer term!

So... One of my queen castles was pretty weak with about 30 bees and a beautiful laying queen. I took a frame of brood from over an excluder and shook the bees on the top, with the feeder hole open, so the nurse bees could walk in and foragers could fly away. That was three days ago and today there are a lot of bees but no queen...ugh.

I may end up using queen cages as usual, or the introduction cages. I have a lot of queens on hand but can't keep losing them. Looking back at the math from Bob Binnies video the queens will be 28 days old which is at full development, so even if I do cage them it shouldn't be the end of the world. 🤷‍♂️
 

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I only do an over under when I make my cell starter. I take the deep in the queen right portion and put an excluder on top of the supers of another colony and add her on top. However, 48 hours is as long as she stays there. I may have to experiment with it longer term!

So... One of my queen castles was pretty weak with about 30 bees and a beautiful laying queen. I took a frame of brood from over an excluder and shook the bees on the top, with the feeder hole open, so the nurse bees could walk in and foragers could fly away. That was three days ago and today there are a lot of bees but no queen...ugh.

I may end up using queen cages as usual, or the introduction cages. I have a lot of queens on hand but can't keep losing them. Looking back at the math from Bob Binnies video the queens will be 28 days old which is at full development, so even if I do cage them it shouldn't be the end of the world. 🤷‍♂️
bummer on the queen, 30 bees is a small one.

i have the best luck adding in 1/3 to a 1/2 of the existing, so the is 10 to 15 not a fast way to proceed
next time you have that issue, try to shake 1/3 frame of bees from 3 different hives, then add in the 30 bees and queen.

generically bees often run into a single source of bees, usurpation swarm, robbing etc. they tend to fight and the winner is who has the most mathematically.

when 3 or more groups of bees get shook together they are confused , as there is not programming for this "event"
I ordered 8 queens one time and used 8 frames from each of 3 different hives, 1 each to each, and intro the queens to the 3 frames of bees all were accepted, so I used the 3 or more for that day and it worked. a bit of the sugar spray with some essential oil may help confuse the smell also.

agree 28 days is a good amount of time for the queens to mature.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maybe when I make up the nucs I'll use a frame from different hives, on top of spraying them with hbh syrup.

I'm still debating introduction cages. Keeps her laying BUT I have to go back through and release them all, which is a pain. Would rather do the work then lose them though. Safest option may be the best option.

My next round of queens will likely be mated in their nucs. I made up a few stands today to spread them around the yard. They still be in tight quarters though, which I don't know how that will effect my mating rate.

Trial and error!
 
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