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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to raise queens after the honeyflow here in Georgia and split all of my hives. I was told you cant raise good Queens in the south after the honey flow. Is there any truth to this? If so why is that. What are your thoughts on this. Would I be Better off Just buying queens from somewhere North and requeening and spliting that way.Thanks
 

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I have not found that to be true. We can make queens all summer long here in central FL, As long as there are drones to breed them queens can be made.
 

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Let's just say for a moment that that statement IS true; that you can't make good queens after the honey flow. What could you do to SIMULATE a honey flow??

Feed. That's right.

Your starter nuc (confined) always does better if the bees are well fed before asking them to start queen cells. Likewise, your finisher colony (free flying) does much better with feed on also. 1:1 sugar water is the key to making queens without a flow on.

DS
 

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The issue that I had was that my mating nucs were in the same area as my other hives. Since the flow was over I tried feeding with frame feeders. Robbing was brutal. Even with a "one bee hole" they were just overwhelmed with robbers.
 

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I have same problem, when the honey flow is over, you will have bees from hives great distance robbing the nucs out. Our flow is over middle of June and I try to have queens pulled an nucs combined in full size box by then, so middle of May is my last graf
 

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As mentioned, feeding is the secret to making up for no flow. The cell builder is usually strong so that isn't the problem. Feeding nucs is the tricky part because if you don't the queen won't fly out to mate, and if you do you have to deal with robbing. So the nucs need small entrances and it's best to feed a small amount right at dark so the feed is gone by morning thus avoiding robbing. I bought a bunch of those cone shaped dixie cups and deform them to fit between the frames and put just a tablespoon or two of syrup in at about dark.
 

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I will say that even with the robbing I got mated queens. The robbers just helped themselves to the feed. They didn't seem to have a huge detrimental effect on the mating process. I did note that the new queens brood always seemed dry. But I could tell that there was brood.
 

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For the following reasons some of us use strong five frame nucs for breeding queens:

They can defend their hive against robbers better than a smaller nuc.
They can defend themselves againt ant and yellow jacket attacks.
Your queens will be properly nourished.
You can draw out foundation.
The frames are interchangeable with your production hives.
If you do not sell the queens you have nucs to over winter.

However, they are more expensive to set up into production.
You might consider either buying or making robber screens.
Ernie
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of your replies. My plan is to use the nicott systom and raise up some queen cells in June and then use a double deep to be the cell builder. Once the cells are closed and ready i will put my splits into 5 frame deep Nucs move them to another yard where it will only be Nucs. and feed thru the winter if needed. Thinking that if all have feed there wont be as much robbing. As for any queens that need to be replaced I May just buy some russians to mix with my Cordovan Italians.
 

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I know this is kinda late, considering the amount of responses you have already received, but I wanted to share with you what I have learned, being in South Georgia. Before and after the honey flow you will get larger cells. When you put the cells in the starter/finisher, give the bees feed to build the cells with. This will give you a better chance of nice cells. During a honey flow, more bees are out foraging and your cells will be smaller, unless you use a closed box system. You should be able to get some nice cells after the honey flow in Georgia.
 

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We have no fall/late summer flow of significance and have found feed helps enormously with late summer cell production. The trick is to avoid robbing. We do this by being strategic about the time of day any liquid feed is used and nucs are fed only drivert or sealed honey late in the day. Drivert can easily be consumed and has never stimulated robbing. Also if it is robbing season don't just feed a few of the hives in the apiary, the strong hives will find it and pillage. Sometimes we use diversionary feeding tactics just to be able to work the bees without a cloud of robbers following you hive to hive. Bottom line, if there is no flow, simulate one, including protein. We can usually make queens through September or the first hard frost. Best of luck.
 

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Open feeding can be dangerous. You are putting sugar into all the hives around, which mostly means the stronger ones. The only hives that really need feed are the starter/finishers. They need the feed to raise the cells. Usually you use a very strong hive to raise cells, so robbing isn't a problem. The nucs shouldn't need feed, especially right after a honey flow.
 

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What about open feeding to make a "flow"?
Kingfisher

A great diversion... Feeding only the cell builders when there are idle bees nearby is a recipe for trouble.

"You are putting sugar into all the hives around, which mostly means the stronger ones." CMB

This is not a problem, as they are the one most likely to do something productive with the feed and the hives can be equalized later by using the ample resources of the strong.
 

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I'm on the same page as the initial query suggests--raising summer queens after the nectar flow. Our flow ends in this county around mid-July, and yes, I've had problems with robbing...even before my mating nucs got fed!

My solution has only been tried once, last year, but I liked the results. I'm going to try this again this year.

1. I set up a mating yard about a mile from my production yard. Drones will fly to find the queen, and she'll fly to meet the boys. You don't have to have drone colonies or normally strong hives in the same yard with the mating nucs. My mating yard is made up of mating nucs only. Robbing wasn't an issue when I fed them. Queens were mated just fine.

2. I started a little earlier with my queen production, around the second week in June which meant my cells went into the mating nucs toward the end of June. Then I finished up the honey harvest. After the nectar flow, during the first half of July, I robbed out frames of brood from the production hives and strengthened the nucs. Hives were equalized, in a sense.

3. Then I fed everyone as in late July and August, there just ain't much forage in Cape Girardeau county.

I was very pleased with the results.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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We tend to have better luck when everybody has something to do besides rob, but be careful with syrup in the nucs. I like to feed our mating nucs frames of honey or drivert.
 
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