pulling queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dunkel, May 11, 2013.

  1. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    Well I made it through the winter with several weak hives, laying worker hives and a few boomers. Also lost a few that I wasnt suprised of. Stupid late spring and winter in March, LOL. Any ways I bought six queens and made Nucs from some of the strong ones April 9, all now in deeps and going to doubles in the next week, wished I had went ahead with the usual 10. Four more on the way this week.

    Ill have some extra equipment and pulled frames available. I thought about pulling some of the queens from the boomers and having them raise a few cells and using those queens in nucs to build out. Problem is I have fooled around and become the go to for honey in my area so I don't want to mess that up either. The first of 2 main flows will begin within a week so Im thinking this would be a great time. Any advice?
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    wouldn't you be better off making up some queen rearing nucs instead of disrupting the strong hives? I mean pull 2 frames of brood with lots of eggs into a 5 frame nuc box and let them do the queen rearing.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sounds like to me this question is a matter of allocation. you are correct that at the front side of the honey flow almost anything will decrease you honey crop. I decided some time ago that a better way to make splits and to still have a honey crop is to select a hive that has some reoccurring problem (poor disposition, excess varroa numbers.. any number of negative things really) and then to totally dismantle this one hive breaking it into as many parts as you need splits (since you are at the beginning of your season size of the nuc should nor matter that much.. and if need be you can add brood later). you then allocate the remaining untouched hive for you honey crop.

    ps... I myself have also found that making late season nucs to be a good idea since you pretty much should have your honey crop in hand and lots of brood to make up any size of split you wish.
     
  4. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    Tecumseh, thats about the way I had it figured. Late year I made up some nucs in late June ,early July. Had about fifty percent success. Just seems like evrything is so much more easy early on. I may wait until after the early flow and may some determinations then.

    Pistolpete, your probably also right that was also something running through my head. I may see how many weak ones I have after making up these last four Nucs from the bought queens.

    I don't really care for fooling with the honey, but it has made the bees pay for themselves and people have came to rely on me. I rather make and sell bees but can't seem to get over the hump with the weather we have had and limited flows. I'm thinking I'm too far south and too far north LOL.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I'm thinking I'm too far south and too far north LOL.

    tecumseh...
    I am thinking you thinking is exactly on target.

    nuc making late in the season does require a bit of proper timing and a bit of luck (which is to say rainfall and bloom). in most location success in rearing nucs is much about how you make them up and a good deal about feeding just a bit. late season nucs generally require less adult bees since there is no danger of low temperatures and covering the brood and equal proportion of sealed and unsealed brood.

    ps.... Dunkel I have found that if you are in a place with people wanting nucs (that is to say some population center) that you can reasonable make up nucs in the fall of the year with new queens, overwinter these and then by feeding just a bit in spring split these into two or three parts using this for increase and pretty easily sell the fall queen in a very nicely populated nuc. if the season is just right you may even make a bit of honey from the increase.
     
  6. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    Tecumseh, I appreciate the advice I really do. I would like to fine tune my ability to overwinter nucs. I think thats going to be the key to coming out a little ahead in this endeavor,

    After five years I have been lucky to finally come out in the clear on 30 hives of equipment and extractor set up by honey sales and pouring everything back into it, except for the cost of doing something else with the startup money and time. Got my sales where I canmove all the honey I can make(think plus or minus 60 gallons) that took some effort and time.

    But every spring I find myself making replacements and shooting for the second flow. If I can work out the fall nuc deal this make or break the long term outlook on expanding. I have 40 mommy cows and teach. Id like for bees to bee part of the retirement scheme since they fascinate me so. So many levels to take it. The more I learn the more I find I don't know.

    Thanks again. I guess I need someone to bounce Ideas off of, You have given me the right advice at the right time.
     
  7. Dunkel

    Dunkel New Member

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    BTW, looks like the last week of Middle School Science class is going to be painting Nuc boxes and putting frames together. Wiring and rolling wax will be for the advanced group. Thinking biscuits and honey for friday breakfast. Will have to get some moms involved.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    it seems Dunkel we share a bit of a common background and the idea of keeping bees in our retirement years.

    some years ago I mention in a pm to Michael Palmer (a well known Vermont beekeeper) about how making up spring time nucs really was a lot of problem since it just added a bit too much to a congested work schedule and he was the one who suggested to me the idea of making up fall nucs which I really had never considered prior to his suggestion. this has worked out for me much better in many ways than I ever though possible. after a couple of years of trying this I am convinced timing and just a wee bit of feeding is really the difference between success or failure (we do have a much more forgiving winter here than in Kentucky but I would guess with just a bit of though you can easily overcome this difference).