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Bump, any updates Harry or MB or anyone? Is like to try it this year in upstate NY so I can combine some mating Nucs to winter strength and still have the extra queens come spring.... Thanks!
 

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I'll bump this as well. Just combined a small nuc that was repeatedly robbed with another nuc. I have the queen and some attendants in a quickie made queen container sitting on my PC to keep warm. Trying to figure out what to do with her if there is no local takers.
 

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A question:
If they were doing great, why did you pinch the queen? Change up the program? Just curious what your thinking was.

Possibly bees may prefer the laying queen coming out of winter and eventually ignore the caged queens & let them starve, but we have a fair amount of winter left.

I think if it can work, your timing on pinching the established queen may prove to be a critical factor, if indeed it is necessary to do at all.

Just off the cuff, I think If I felt pinching the loose queen was necessary, I'd cage her and bank her along with the others for 10 days before removing her to keep the colony from trying to make another queen cell. After all brood was capped, then pinch or remove established queen to turn the attention towards the banked queens for the remainder of the fall & winter.

If our spring is decent and arrives on time (Unlike last year) let us know how you managed those caged queens if they are still viable and how their seasonal performance measures up.

I've not tried it, but if you have Carniolan types that go broodless for months during winter I don't see why they wouldn't bank for extended period of time, as well, right along side house bees living for an extended period of time during the winter months with extended inactivity.
I think it will all boil down to keeping the banked queens surrounded by the cluster and not left below as they move up to feed & what you do with them to transition into the late winter die off/ spring build up period.

I'm actually a little envious I didn't think of it and try it too :rolleyes:

Would I like to be able to say "I have 50 overwintering queens banked right now?" You are darn right I would!

Good luck!
That was my thinking also, I would left her there as it was or caged queen like you said.
 
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