How many Nucs can I start from 7 to 8 double deep hives?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Yankee11, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I advertised today to take orders for Nucs. Advertised 140.00 and got 10 orders today. Wow, wasn't expecting that. So, if I have 18 hives and set 10 aside for Honey production. Wont 10 Nucs be a doable number from the remaining 8 hives. Generally speaking ( understand there are circumstances) just wondering if I should stop at 10 and start a waiting list. I could even pull a frame or 2 out of the Honey producing hives and not hurt them if I needed to, couldn't I?
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    if you are splitting 8 double deep hives you can get as many as 4 nucs per double deep if done right, are you ordering queens for the nucs? raising your own would take alot of time.
     

  3. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    "if you are splitting 8 double deep hives you can get as many as 4 nucs per double deep if done right"

    Ok Zookeep, I'm listeneing..

    I am planning on raising the queens but may purchase them or do a combination of both. So 10 nucs should be a safe number.
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    you want to put 2 frames of brood in all stages and 2 of food into each nuc plus a frame feeder unless your using top jar feeders in lid of nuc then add an empty comb or new foundation, in the nucs you are adding bought queens wait 24 hours and put queen cage in, in nucs you are raising queen make sure 1 of the frames of brood either has eggs or very young larva for cells, remeber not to start the new queens until you have drones, once queens are laying nucs are ready.
     
  5. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    That's kinda of the plan.

    I also bought one of these. Shipped yesterday.

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Queen-Castle/productinfo/687/

    I'm gonna stick a frame of eggs/larva and a frame of honey (or frame feeder) in each section. 2 frames per section. Each section has its own entrance. 4 queens at a time. This way I'll have backup queens being made also.

    I also have a cabinet incubator for chicken eggs. I can use it to hatch out any extra queen cells that get drawn out. So maybe I wont have to buy any queens.
    Hopefully I can the timing down. Although all the people didn't seem to be in a rush. I did explain to them that we are at the mercy of the weather and the bees.
    We have no control over either one. :) They just seemed delighted that they found some. Everybody already sold out.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think a good number when it comes to splitting hives is 3. sometimes you will get more and sometimes less but 3 seems to approach a good mean estimation.

    if you are just starting out in the nuc selling game then I would also suggest you approach this in a very conservative manner. I would suggest..... things will go wrong and having a small crowd of folks mad at you is always better than having a mob who feels the same way and who also have a rope in hand. I have seen folks get all overwhelmed in selling nuc and then find out that moving from selling an item to producing an acceptable for sale are two quite different things. A waiting list seems like a good idea.

    after some experience you do get some idea of a normal failure rate.... for example bees leave hive or are robbed out, queen doesn't get mated or doesn't get mated properly.... so the 10 nucs you have made up to sale now are only 7. there are of course those years when everything works and of course other years when everything fails < this latter outcome is quite normally the product of very unusual weather that no matter what your plans will still happen.
     
  7. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Ok, Thanks everyone so far.

    Here's where I'm at. I have sold 10 nucs with an additional 5 on waiting list. All these folks are new beeks and I did not set any high expectations. I explained to them that a lot of things can go wrong and we are at the mercy of things we can't control. I don't want to disapoint them either. (or have them show up with a rope :shock:)

    So here's what I am thinking now.

    I have 18 double deep hives. I should be able to pull 2 to 3 frames from each of the 18 (and will probably have to on some of these). My question is. if I just pull 2 to 3 from each hive, wouldn't they still be able to make honey? This way I don't hit 7 or 8 hives really hard. All but 3 of these hives have new queens in them and laid really well in the fall. They should be laying fools come spring.

    My concern is the queens and timing. I could see myself getting overwhelmed trying to time these nucs with the the hatching and mating of queens.

    I have secured queens from 2 different local beeks that raise a lot of queens and sell nucs.. I think I am just going to buy the queens for this first go around until I get better at queens. Mated queens will run me 15 to 20 bucks with no shipping. I got 140.00 for the nucs. And some are going to bring their deeps out here.

    I will try and raise some queens as well, but I am thinking, concentrate on getting the nucs out and then focus on queens rearing.

    All comments welcome and appreciated. I am pretty pumped about this next step in my beekeeping journey. It was fun talking to these new beekeepers that
    were asking all the questions I started asking 2 years ago. Its like getting a swarm for somebody or handing them a jar of honey. It makes them happy.

    Also, I just got in my new Ultrabreeze Jacket. Figured I may have it on quiet a bit this summer. And that's a good thang.
     
  8. mdunc

    mdunc New Member

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    One question for everyone....If you buy queens for the nucs you plan to sell instead of raising your own from your stock...isn't your reputation riding on these queens you buy? I wouldn't want to make up nucs to sell with just any ol' queen. I would want to make sure I purchased good queens from a reputable dealer. I do understand it would be more time consuming to raise your own but think it may be better in the end. Just thinking out loud here.:dontknow:
     
  9. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    mdunc,

    I am thinking that with my lack of experience breeding queens, that I would be afraid I would be the one selling an inferior queen. I think at this point, I would feel better buying queens from reputable beekeepers that raise a lot of queens and know what they are doing. Not just any ole queen. Raising queens and selling nucs is what these people do for a living.

    I am going to raise as many queens as possible this summer to get my skills to the point I am confident in queen rearing.

    I think it's pretty common practice for beekeepers to make up the nucs and buy queens to put in them.
     
  10. mdunc

    mdunc New Member

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    I totally understand. And I hope you didn't take that the wrong way. I was in no way implying you'd just stick any ol' queen in your nucs & sell them.

    With me, I have very limited resources when it comes to buying queens locally. I have to order them & get them shipped to me. I've purchased some good ones & some not so good ones this way. I guess this is true with any queen though, whether purchased or raised from my own stock. That's why I was saying my reputation would be riding on these queens.
    I'm like you, I want to get my skills to a level I fill confident in queen rearing. I've made splits & let the bees raise their own with good success, now I want to learn to graft.

    Good luck & keep us posted on how this works out. I'm interested in doing some of the same in the future.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    My question is. if I just pull 2 to 3 from each hive, wouldn't they still be able to make honey? This way I don't hit 7 or 8 hives really hard. All but 3 of these hives have new queens in them and laid really well in the fall. They should be laying fools come spring.

    tecumseh...
    once again it is good to review basic bee math prior to getting some ideas of doing something and as is 'normally' the case doing two things at the same time.

    the maximimum number of deep frames in a hive early in the season will likely be something like 6 or seven. if you leave two for the existing queen this means you have a total of 4 or 5 frames of brood that you can allocated to whatever new nucs you are making up. some amount of feeding may increase your odds here but not in any real dramatic manner.

    as to queens I would cover all bases and produce cells and also buy mated queens. in this way 'your bet' is cover in multiple ways.

    as to your question above. I really don't know much about your season and certainly if you took very little in brood, bees or food resources from a hive it would impact a hive in only a minor manner. however, no matter what you do it will impact other things like honey production somewhat. depending on your landscape you may want a hive to do more but in a lot of place a hive will not do more. < my strategy here is to identify hives that I either don't like or represent problem and ruthlessly use these for splits while essentially leaving other hives to produce honey. it use to be a fairly well known that if you wanted to maximize a hive honey production that early on you set it up properly and then left the hive alone. any and all intrusions beyond adding another empty box to the top of the hive was considered to be bad practice and if this 'rule' was broken would in some way impact your honey crop.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mdunc writes...
    If you buy queens for the nucs you plan to sell instead of raising your own from your stock...isn't your reputation riding on these queens you buy?

    tecumseh...
    well I guess anything you sell does in some form or fashion represents this kind of situation. I would suspect a lot of folks new to all this really don't have the skills to select both queen mother and drone mother hives and therefore what a customer may get is subject to question < at least I do know when I got to this point choosing these two required resources for the endeavor was a very very difficult decision.

    again I am not absolutely certain of how things work in Arkansas but here selling a nuc with a purchased queen vs a queen you raise yourself places you in two very different legal context. in most places this likely means little unless you run into a very disgruntled customer who decides that you need to discuss how you do thing in front of their lawyer and a judge. At least here if you purchase a queen from someone else and then install this in a nuc you are actually operating off of the original person queen rearing licenses (actually call a queen breeder's licenses here in Texas) < a licensed queen breeder should be able to provide you with a 'queen tag'. If you raise the cell yourself then legally you are required to have a queen rearing license. Of course a lot of folks don't and there is likely only larger legal issues with this if the buyer takes the product over a county line or a state line.

    one might expect > at some point in time folks that go to the trouble of obtaining and paying for bee selling permits may get a bit tired of those folks that do not. as far as how I look at these sorts of issues.... such circumstance only really bothers me when someone enters a market without paying for proper permits and then insults everyone by low ball pricing whatever product they may be selling.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Member

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    I guess it's, 'let the buyer beware'. (as Tec pointed out, you need to obey the APPLICABLE laws). If you sell your nucs as 'survivor' or 'local' or whatever, (with a disclaimer or some sorts) what's wrong with that? With few exceptions the American breeds of honey bees are a long way from pure bred.
     
  14. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    I have never bought a queen, but I think many people have mentioned that, especially if you are inexperienced, a poorly introduced queen can often be superseded, so you end up with a "homemade" queen anyway. Also, it seems like a big selling point I see when folks sell Spring nucs is that it's an overwintered queen that is with "her" hive, not some newly hatched unproven queen tossed in a strange hive. That leads me to offer two thoughts:

    1) Make your splits in Summer or Fall, overwinter those nucs and sell those nucs in Spring, with intact colony and proven, overwintered queen.

    But since you want to sell nucs this Spring:
    2) If you have 18 colonies and want to sell, for example, 10 nucs, maybe you pull the existing queen and 5 of the best frames of brood and food from 10 of your existing hives and make your nucs with your existing, overwintered queen and the bees she's used to.

    That way you don't have to stress about producing queens, you already have them right now. You don't have to hope that the queens you buy are good quality and that you introduce them properly so that they are accepted by the hive, etc...Heck, you can go and make the nuc up right there in front of your customer if they want, they can see that they are getting nice frames with the most brood, etc...

    Then those 10 hives are plenty strong enough to make a new queen, knock the mites back, and you still have 18 hives.

    Either way, cool thread, hopefully you keep us up to date on what you do and how it works out..........
     
  15. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    No queen rearing license here in Arkansas. I did speak to the state inspector. They have to be inspected for disease Foul brood, Africanized ,etc. Can't sell until
    inspected. He also said just to be upfront. Don't call feral nucs "Italians", "Russians" etc (common sense). Although the guy I can source queens from breeds Italians. I will disclose to the person buying about where the queens came from. Either mine or his. I didn't get a feel that any of these folks would care one way or the other. All brand new beeks. I just want to make sure they get the best start.

    If I got queens fairly early and put them in the nucs, couldn't I just wait a couple weeks then there should be capped brood from her in the nucs. The breeder
    said he will have queens starting in April.(usually)

    But having read dr buzz's comments about an over wintered queen- That would be another option, and dropping the purchased bred queens in the hives I removed the over wintered queens from, or yes let them raise a new queen. Hmm, I kinda like that one. Question, what about them getting a 2013 queen as opposed to a 2014 queen.

    I think getting good at grafting and queen rearing is the answer here. I have some great feral hives, I did splits from them last summer and the splits did great as well. I am really wanting to see if I can develop my own queens. If I do this then I probably don't want to get rid of my good queens at this point.

    Bottom line, I think 10 nucs from 18 double deep hives should be doable for my first try at this. plus, I bet some of these folks either back out, or may find nucs else where. Which is fine. I have plenty of deeps to put them in if the don't sell.

    Thanks everyone so far. Been a good discussion so far.
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Yankee snip...
    I think getting good at grafting and queen rearing is the answer here.

    tecumseh...
    I would guess that I have said this before but the only thing required for getting good at grafting is practice. If your eyesight is poor or old like my own some optical enhancement may be required. there are some other small details relative to going from graft to fully mature cell that also requires some consideration and practice. some total failures are an inevitable part of the learning curve here.

    it sounds like your state inspector gave you some good advice... all I have known are very matter of fact and quite practical minded. I myself buy queens from a fairly well known and local source and sell these to folks as 'so and so queens' made up in my nuc boxes. I also produce some queens of my own and I directly tell folks these are my own 'mutt italians'.
     
  17. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Yea tec, I have glasses for reading, but I just bought one of those hands free magnifiers with a 60 watt build. It's the one on the arm so I can position
    it where I need it over the frame. Picked it up at Harbor Freight.

    Got in all my queen grafting stuff from Mann Lake this week. Fixtures, cups, cages. grafting tools etc. Ordered a queen castle from brushy mountain, holds 4 queens in one deep box with 4 separate entrances. Pretty slick. Already have a incubator.

    Just need some warm weather and some larva:thumbsup:
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    It's the one on the arm so I can positionit where I need it over the frame.

    tecumseh...
    sound like the one I use. I have this permanently set up in my grafting/wax storage room. I have found that my eyesight required the addition of a couple of light positioned to shine right over my shoulder.