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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you that run single brood chambers and replace queens how do you do it? Spring before flow or after

I am wanting to try a few single brood chambers this year and continue with growing some. I was thinking of doing this let me know if this sounds like it would work or not to try and capture a honey flow

When drones are present and before swarming happens my plan is to take my existing hives that have more than 4 frames of brood and remove those frames along with the existing queen and shakes of nurse bees and transfer over to a nuc box to grow.

Leave the parent colony with 4 fames of brood and resources to fill 10 frame box. Add another box on top if needed. Let them raise a new queen.

I am thinking my time frame for this will be around the end of March early April (in Oklahoma) I have heard of people catching swarms as early as March 10th but dont think it's common. (I obviously will make sure they have room to grow so they dont swarm until I can make sure drones are out)

So the queen will be mated if everything goes right by end of April. Our flow is May June if everything goes well.

Will removing the old queen from the parent colony before the flow weaken it so it wont be strong to go after the flow? I was going to add frames of brood to it along the way from the old queen in the nuc box or take from my resource colonies to continue to build up while queen develops so thinking numbers will still be good. Or use the time for a brood break but that sounds like it will set them back.

That would give me a new queen in the early spring time for a production colony and a new colony to get going by making an artificial swarm with the old queen. Then after the end of June first of July I was going to re queen all the hives to start with fresh queens going into winter. I am hoping to graft them from my over wintered queens from this winter, so I can add new cells from proven overwintering queens to all my hives. Let them build up on our golden rod flow or feed if needed and pack the box up for winter. Then repeat the process till I build up to the amount of hives if the singles work.
Thanks Justin
 

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Sounds like you have a plan. Work it and see how it goes, then make adjustments for the next year.

I run singles. None of my current-year spring queens produced much, if anything. The colonies that had been requeened after the flow (in July here) in the previous year far out-produced colonies that I had to requeen in the spring. Br. Adam is of the opinion that queens perform better in their second year (the year following their birth), and I experienced that first-hand last season.

Also, with single brood-chambers you will find brood on almost every frame in a single brood box, especially if you run either 9 frames or 8 frames plus a feeder (assuming you use ten-frame equipment). The bees store their honey above the brood nest and excluder, and my bees didn't have enough honey in the brood chamber to sustain the colony if all the supers were removed. So, if you harvest heavy (and I do) the bees have to be fed fed fed or they'll starve in a couple of days. For me that means feeding syrup on the same day as pulling honey.

Here's a good video about Ian managing singles in Canada: https://vimeo.com/247534144
 

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Joshua W thanks for the video link and information about the queens. I had not heard that about 2nd year queens. Good to know. I was under the impression it was the other way around (new fresh queen would out perform the winter queen) good to hear first hand experience with that.

Think I may swap the queen process and introduce or let the nuc/split raise a queen for spring and then replace after summer solstice for winter with queens I have grafted. Appreciate the info
 
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