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queen castle success rates?

1965 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  NewJoe
What are your queen castle success rates? Sometimes they make it, sometimes the queen doesn't make it back or even the hive gets slimed by SHB. What are your odds of success?
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I don't keep exact track but most make it and start laying. Maybe one out of ten doesn't make it back from their mating flights.

Early seems like the survival rate is higher than late in the summer. However I believe my best queens are raised after the summer solstice.
This year my new queen castle is 0-2. My mating nucs and queens reared in a large hive are 6-7. I don't know why my queen castle is lost both queens after they hatched. After our flow slows I'm going to do some experimenting to try and get this thing figured out.
I may be confused about what a queen Castle is. What I have is ten frame boxes divided into four two frame nucs.
I got 4 of 4 returned and laying now on the 2nd try. The first try was a disaster 1 of 4 made it back in early March.
Seems like the flow and nice 80s weather help them a lot here.


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last year I had 100% success. I use a 3 chm=amber castle with two frames each. This year so far I have had 33 % success....same procedure and resources give to them both years.

I have no idea why the failure rate is so high this year so far?
So far this year 16 out of 20. Luckily no slimming here. I think 2 never had a queen emerge, I know of 1 queen with messed up wings that i found on the ground in front of the nuc, she flew away and never returned. I lost 1 to swarm that I made a bit too strong and they filled all the comb with nectar/honey. The queen layed for 1 day and then they all left.

The great thing about divided deep queen castles is they share heat during cooler weather in spring, all the equipment is standard and can be easily converted back to a full size hive, also is if you loose the queen, just pull the divider to combine. Just make sure u watch them closely during the flow, they will run out of space quickly.
I grafted for the 4th time( im learning) I have 3 queens. Would you share, what you put in the 2 frames. I was told one frame brood, one frame drawn comb, sugar water on top
I give them a frame of brood (mostly capped) and a frame with food on it (mixed pollen and honey) and all the bees attached to them... and a queen cell, and a good shake of nurse bees from a frame with mostly open brood.
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