Queen rearing and banking

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bens-Bees, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Alright, so I really need to learn this technique... since I keep losing queens. I have a basic idea in mind for making a queen bank, but want to get your thoughts on it as well.

    My thought is to build several specialty frames that are designed specifically for housing multiple queens on the same frame maintanence free for long periods of time. I am thinking of doing this by building a frame with non-tapered end bars then adding a 3/8th inch spacer onto each side of the frame and then put a queen excluder onto the outside of that, the QE would be hinged as well so that it could be opened and closed easily. That way I could drop a mated queen onto the comb and close her in behind the QE and she wouldn't be able to go anywhere, but the workers would be able to come and go to take care of her or any brood she might have behind there. That way each frame would have 2 queens, one on each side, but the hive body would have to have a couple fewer frames wide to accomodate the extra width of the queen bank frames. In addition I could sub-divide the frames by building little walls inside the QE so that each frame could hold 4, 6, 8 or maybe even 12 queens. Now, the problem that I see is that I can't figure out why the workers wouldn't ball and kill some of the queens. What are your thoughts? Am I thinking about this all wrong? Am I just stupid? Don't answer that, I already know I am. :lol:
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I am trying to get my head around why, but that may be because I am more shop challenged :lol: . It seems like an awful lot of trouble just to bank queens. Why not just build a dozen or so 5 frame nucs (Coates design), they're cheap and easy/quick to make. Just run a bunch of those and when you have a hive go queenless, just top with newspaper, throw an empty deep on and add the 5 frame nuc.
    You could also try overwintering a bunch of 5 frame nucs (if you haven't needed them) and let me know how it turned out! :mrgreen:
    I hear some are doing this to offset winter losses with some success.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like a lot of wood work to me also Ben. If I was going that far I would just build a deep and put a divider in the middle and make a solid bottom board with entrances on either side. The plywood five frame nucs are very easy to make and are as handy as a pocket on a shirt too. I made 8 of them, gave one away at the Christmas party as a door prize, 2 have not been returned from a nuc sale :roll: and the others are full of bees.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If I understand right. The longer a queen is banked the less viable she will be once introduced into a hive. Becoming more likely to be superceded or so I have been told
     
  5. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Sometimes I miss the totally obvious solutions staring me in the face, and that's where friends like you all come in, and where this board comes in. Who knows what confounded thing I'd be off doing if I didn't have ya'll to set me straight.