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Discussion Starter #1
I have hives out in the country and in one of my strong hives I was inspecting, the first frame I pulled, frame one, had the queen on in side of frame, brood, stores, bees but not loaded with bees on that frame. I had an empty nuk right there and it wasn't the plan but I decided to take that frame home, pulled another with some bees and brood. I want the remaining colony to make a new queen.

So the nuk had 2 frames and not a lot of bees but I thought it'd be ok. When I got them to my backyard I had another nuk that needed to be transferred to a 10 frame box, so I moved that one, put the pulled queen nuk in it's place so it would get the foragers coming back. I did that last week, and now this week we had a couple cool nights and I noticed today a big drop in traffic at the nuk. I went in this evening and it looks like almost all the brood got chilled. There's maybe 200-300 bees left. I also put in a frame of empty comb at set up, which was the middle frame and the two other frames in 1 and 2 position. I didn't look hard for the queen but she didn't get my eye either.

Not sure what to do. They are failing fast. I have a few hives in the backyard, should I take something from one of them? Wait and see if they sort it out?
 

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The foragers may not fly at cooler weather but chose to stay with the 10 frame box hive instead.
The proper way to make a nuc is 2 frames of bees, 1 frame of honey and 1 frame of pollen and the
new frame in the middle. Then brush more nurse bees from the other hives to keep things crowded until the new
queen is laying again.
The best way to do now is to go thru your several hives to donate more young nurse bees into this hive to make it strong again.
As long as the nuc is properly warm from the nurse bees the new queen can lay while these newly added nurse bees can tend
to them. Before adding the nurse bees make sure you have found the queen first. This will ensure that you
don't have a LW nuc hive later on. In the future be sure to look at the weather forecast before doing any hive manipulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think the bigger problem was not enough bees. When I first put in the 2 frames there appeared to be enough, but I had other bee yard work and I suspect some went back to original hive. The 2 brood frames also had a lot of nectar and pollen, they being the outer frames of the box.

My weak area continues to be queen rearing. This morning I checked a nuk I brought home awhile back, 3 frames, 2 open brood, 1 pollen, and fed them (spilled) honey during the time it would have taken to make a new queen. Well I checked this morning, no queen or brood of any kind, but lots of bees. So I took the 2 frames with it's little cluster of bees and put it in with that hive. This may not work either, but it seems the least disturbing for both hives.

Maybe I should have put the 2 frames with existing queen and put them in the queen castle I bought last year, rather than a 5 frame box with empty frames.

I'm doing very well with swarm boxes and the occasionalcut outs I do are staying strong, along with my other hives are strong. Just this queen rearing I can't seem to do well. I might be at 50/50. Probably not even that well.
 

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queen rearing is a time consuming process, From egg to emergence is 16 days, then it can take another week or more for the queen to finish breading. by the time all is said and done a month can pass. All the while the hive is not growing. when done with a split the added factor of worker removal for the split also decreases hive volume. Cheating the split usually results in a split that fails. This is the reason queen rearing is done on a large scale rather than hive by hive. If the intent is to raise queen then Raise queens. if the intent is to make splits, Then be sure the nuc is given ample workers (Nurse/foragers) to cover ample brood, and gather necessary stores. This may very with latitude as the development season is shorter the further north one goes. Thus the further north one is, and the later in the season it is, the greater numbers the split will need.
 

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I don't know how much you have studied about queen rearing.
You have to do it the bee's way and not the human 'thinking' way to raise some good quality queens.
Once you give them what they want then you will get what you wanted.
Looks like this is an area you can improve on. With so many hives now you should be raising some early
queens in your area every Spring. Have you try queen grafting before? It is a fun and educational process!

Here are some good quality laying queens:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wanted to start some backyard queen rearing this year, in small quantities. I stopped buying queens for the first time. I tried a few starts last couple years with 4 and 5 frame nuks. I had a robbing problem, mostly. Even when I thought plenty of bees, very little success with queen cells I'd gotten started. So I bought a queen castle and planned to use one of my backyard hives for starting the cells and then moving them to castle. (save you the story) I moved all strong backyard hives in February so castle plan didn't happen.

I've done quite a lot of reading but I have a major problem. I basically can't see eggs or tiny larvae. I tried some open brood frames in hope of having the right stage, queen rearing that way and little success. If I could go to some class or somewhere where I could do it hands on for a few hours, maybe that would work but I know of no such place.

That's why I thought I'd take the queen out of the really strong hive, as that so far is the only successful requeening I've done. Remaining strong colony makes queen. I've done that with good results. Pull queen and leave them alone. But those hives are out in the country and I can't get out there as often as I'd like--even so, I tried in March in a strong flow where I moved a frame with capped queen cells into nuk, it failed. They tore down the cells and that has happened to me several times over the past year.

I've had a few successes with smaller hives, like a medium earlier this year that had 4 frames of bees, I added a frame of open brood and they made a beautiful queen. My problem is the backyard queen rearing. Now I have a strong hive in the yard that I want to use for queen rearing but I feel it's a bit late in the spring to try it, with the castle that is.

Back to the books, keep reading here, and I'm watching as much You tube as I can.
Thanks for the help.
 

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Grafting Is really pretty easy, and fun. you can literally raise 100 queen a month with a small operation. I learned from books available from any bee supply. However I do understand that many do much better in a hands on situation. I don't know how you are fixed for time but there is a great Queen rearing workshop coming up in Medina Ohio on June 13, 14, 15 At The A.I.Root apiary. Which in it's self is worth the visit. Jennifer Berry will be the Clinician and I believe you will find this extremely informative.

On another note, Get a magnifying visor, Yes you look like a eccentric neurosurgeon when working on grafting. But what a difference it makes. At nearly 70 I would rather look like the mad hatter than give up what I love.
After you get the visor find a frame with eggs on it. look at it very closely every day you will see newly hatched larva, a few today, a few more tomorrow, Take pictures with a good camera, and study them you will soon learn to Identify newly hatched larva. amazing the difference between new, and one day old larva.
 
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