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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have three to four hives since 2015 and have once re-queened through a split, that went well.
I have once re-queened with a purchased queen, but don't like it.
The new season is coming and I have three relatively strong hives at the moment with queens from 2019.

The preferred method for me would be to raise my own queens, but that needs to be planned properly.

Her is my thought: see which hives start the fastest to build brood and pick one to do crafting and raise one queen and introduce this queen later when ready to the slowest hive by pinching the old queen and introducing the new queen as explained in this forum by knowledgeable Beek's.

Is this a good idea or foolish? Long-term I would like to do this every second year to each colony, so this would be at this years hive count one this year and two next year.

My biggest problem is my paranoia to hurt the queen and my stupidity to find the queen.

Any thoughts?

Please consider my location when suggesting ideas, main flow starts in late May-early June.

JoergK.
 

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Hello,

I have three to four hives since 2015 and have once re-queened through a split, that went well.
I have once re-queened with a purchased queen, but don't like it.
The new season is coming and I have three relatively strong hives at the moment with queens from 2019.

The preferred method for me would be to raise my own queens, but that needs to be planned properly.

Her is my thought: see which hives start the fastest to build brood and pick one to do crafting and raise one queen and introduce this queen later when ready to the slowest hive by pinching the old queen and introducing the new queen as explained in this forum by knowledgeable Beek's.

Is this a good idea or foolish? Long-term I would like to do this every second year to each colony, so this would be at this years hive count one this year and two next year.

My biggest problem is my paranoia to hurt the queen and my stupidity to find the queen.

Any thoughts?

Please consider my location when suggesting ideas, main flow starts in late May-early June.

JoergK.
Joerge there are ways to accomplish this without finding the queen or to find her by chasing them through a queen excluder. Useing the Snelgrove board creatively can accomplish it without grafting. You make the choice about which colonies queen provides the eggs to produce the new queens.

At the same time you accomplish almost foolproof swarm control. This device really removed almost all the angst from my management.
 

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Santa Cruz, CA
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Grafting for one queen simply doesn't make sense. It takes a lot of resources to graft and really only works if you're making 30+ queens.

As crofter stated, a snelgrove/double screen board would get you the queen cells you need. You could use those cells to make splits or let them hatch and have a colony over another colony. You could then combine one to your weakest colony or just have another hive.

And it's up to you to define "weakest" colony. Keep in mind that Italians may build up earlier so they could be considered "stronger" While Carniolans often expand faster, but later in the year - often showing larger numbers when they are most needed also being "stronger". As such, I look at a hive's performance throughout the year. I move brood from early builders to slower builders and let them all have equal resources, a practice know as equalizing. Only then do I judge them. I did this already this year and can already tell who's getting replaced. If I give you 3 frames of brood and you still aren't expanding, it's time to go!
 

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Another option is to do a vertical "split" of a good hive.

Put most of brood in bottom brood and no queen, then a queen excluder, two empty supers, a queen excluder and old queen and a couple of frames of mostly capped brood with bees in top brood. Ensure there are eggs in bottom brood.

There is enough physical separation to cause bees in bottom brood to raise a queen. . There is also good supply of resources coming into lower brood to feed queen cells well.

Provide a small entrance to top brood. Once weather warms, move top brood away to a NUC. One the NUC is well populated, then remove the queen and let the NUC raise another queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks you all for the advise and I will try late spring - early summer. I know I have one hive I need to split. One that is good and one that is weak. So I will see how this all pens-out this year. I don't want to increase since marketing honey without a good farmers market (Covid) is difficult in my Canola seed country. Time is also in short supply for this year.

Dirty day on the Prairies today, 120km wind and dust flying thanks to the potato, bean & sugar-beet growers.
Sky Atmosphere Plant Natural landscape Tree
 
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