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I started beekeeping last spring and have learned many lessons. One hard-learned lesson is that queens need to be ordered in the fall. Unfortunately, I didn't know that. The good news is that my four hives wintered well, very well. I now need to do five splits. But queens that weren't ordered in the fall seem not to exist. I think I know the answer to this question before asking it, but you never know. Does anyone know a source of up to five queens available now? Don't beat up on me too hard. This won't happen next year. I'll order EARLY.
 

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Hey Cap, congratulations on your overwintering success…sounds like you are in a great position to raise your own queens…! Maybe try some queenless nucs and let bees do the rest…or move the queens from your mother hives into nucs and let the mother hives raise their own queens…That's my plan this spring…good luck!
 

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I started beekeeping last spring and have learned many lessons. One hard-learned lesson is that queens need to be ordered in the fall. Unfortunately, I didn't know that. The good news is that my four hives wintered well, very well. I now need to do five splits. But queens that weren't ordered in the fall seem not to exist. I think I know the answer to this question before asking it, but you never know. Does anyone know a source of up to five queens available now? Don't beat up on me too hard. This won't happen next year. I'll order EARLY.
Hi Capp... I did the same thing I did a 5 frame nuc split and didn't order a queen either... I found a breeder on CL that will be shipping queens on 4/15.... So I am going to let the nuc try to raise its own queen first and if it fails I will add the new queen... I have another split to do but I am waiting until I gave queen to do that nuc split....
 

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Hi Capp, I grew up in Shreveport, went to Southwood High 82.... I'm sorta in the same boat, I ordered a couple of queens and the order has been cancelled. So the next best thing is to do a couple of splits, so they can raise the queens. Usually they make more queens than they need, you may be able to split the queen cells up, if they are on different frames, or can cut them out and make another split. That's my plan anyway... also, have been looking into "cell punch queen rearing" seems simple enough, but then again I haven't tried it. My goal is to figure out an easy way to raise a few good queens this year to get away from having to by $25 bugs.
 

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Hi Capp, I grew up in Shreveport, went to Southwood High 82.... I'm sorta in the same boat, I ordered a couple of queens and the order has been cancelled. So the next best thing is to do a couple of splits, so they can raise the queens. Usually they make more queens than they need, you may be able to split the queen cells up, if they are on different frames, or can cut them out and make another split. That's my plan anyway... also, have been looking into "cell punch queen rearing" seems simple enough, but then again I haven't tried it. My goal is to figure out an easy way to raise a few good queens this year to get away from having to by $25 bugs.
I was thinking the same thing... I opened my Nuc and there are now 7 queen cells on 3 different frames.... In theory I could move those frames to new nucs correct??? If I did I would have to take more nurse bees from one of my main hives??? 1 frames is not enough for a Nuc right...
 

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Once the cells are capped, they don't need very much TLC - that's why queen breeders make the mating nucs small. When was the last time you checked the nuc? Do you know how old the cells are? If possible make 3 nucs (1 or 2 extra frames from your other hive and leave them queenless overnight before adding the frames with the cells).

Edited to add: 1 frame might be enough for a nuc if it is early in the season and it is packed with capped brood, although 2 is better. You will need to feed, put a robbing screen and generally keep a good eye on it. Also, a nuc with just 1 frame cannot afford to loose anybody, so keep them closed up for couple of days in a cool, dark spot.
 

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I was thinking the same thing... I opened my Nuc and there are now 7 queen cells on 3 different frames.... In theory I could move those frames to new nucs correct??? If I did I would have to take more nurse bees from one of my main hives??? 1 frames is not enough for a Nuc right...
Yes, what Merince said, once the queen cells are made your good. I remove a frame with a queen cell put it in a nuc, add more bees from another hive and give it some honey or feed. In your case, provided you have more to pull from... you can could make 3 nucs, you can start them small, but I like to have four frames of bees to start a nuc.
 

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Thanks guys and that is what I was thinking too... I already have the queen cells why let the new queen kill the others.... I did the split 10 days ago so the queen cells are under 10 days old ... I just checked today...
 

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shamrocksbees.com has virgin queens for sale now. I had ordered 2 mated queens from them in January for April delivery. Hive went queenless here recently and they were able to ship them early. Website doesn't show mated queens available now, but wouldn't hurt to call them and ask.
I have capped drone brood in my hives and a few friends already have walking drones. A virgin could get mated this time of the year if we can get a few steady days of nice weather.
 
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