starting a mating nuc

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Daniel Y, May 30, 2013.

  1. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I have a brand new Mini Mating nuc. It has 4 half size deep frames. It has no drawn comb in it at this time.

    I have a queen that emerged last night in a container in my house. I want to start her in this nuc but am not sure just what to so.

    What I do know.

    1. I want to fill this litle box with nurse bees. basically shake bees from another hive until what remains pretty much fills the box.

    2. feed them including giving them a source for water inside the hive.

    What I am not sure about

    1. the hive I expect to take bees form has been queenles for quite a whle. do I still need to give them time to settle down after transferring them.

    2. can I expect these bees to draw comb for the mating queen?

    3. WIll these bees on empty frames behave more like a swarm that remains clustered until it gets some comb built.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, introduce the queen into the queenless hive. JOB DONE

    Second, piece the two pairs of half frames together and place them in a strong hive. Get them drawn and freeze them for future use in the mating nuc.
     

  3. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    My solution to the same challenge......

    I had the same challenge this year, this is what I did:

    With two Shamrock Quad NUC boxes, I put ten full frames of bees (overwintered as a hive) in the bottom shamrock hive body with the undrawn mating box on top of that (had to dip quad nuc plastic frames in hot wax to get bees to draw them out). The Beeweaver queen in the bottom made enough bees to fill the top Quad NUC box and draw sixteen half frames out completely, (twice), in the last 8 weeks. I removed sixteen of the half frames, all drawn out and brimming with bees (sometimes freshly laid eggs), and placed them in my specially built mating boxes.


    That leaves 16 more frames on top of the ten frame bottom box to separate soon. Planning to take the top Quad NUC box off and use it as it was intended when a new box arrives from Shamrock. HTH :)
     
  4. cheezer32

    cheezer32 New Member

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    If you want to get the mating nuc started, put just under a pound if bees in it, feed it sugar water close it up and set it in your basement for 3-4 days refilling the sugar water as needed.

    However from what I can see in your situation I would use the virgin queen for your full size hive, and worry about the mating nuc at a later date when you have an extra queen cell or virgin again, you can close it up for 3-4 days with the cell or virgin. This will get them drawing wax and forget where "home" is.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I guess I could say 'what cheezer said but I will do the snippy thing and add > my own comments...

    a snip...
    What I do know.

    1. I want to fill this litle box with nurse bees. basically shake bees from another hive until what remains pretty much fills the box. > with a feeder some feed and about a pound of bees you can do this with half size frames + foundation. I would add the queen in the cage at the same time I poured in the bees.

    2. feed them including giving them a source for water inside the hive. >water is likely unnecessary although sometimes I use a sponge to block the entry and then keep this wet while the bees are closed in. 2 days for an already emerged virgin is like enough and 3 to 4 days better if you are using cells.

    What I am not sure about

    1. the hive I expect to take bees form has been queenles for quite a whle. do I still need to give them time to settle down after transferring them. >this is ABSOLUTELY contrary to 1 above. if the hive has been queenless for quite some spell then almost by definition you have no nurse bees.

    2. can I expect these bees to draw comb for the mating queen? >if you can get young bees in the box and it does not leak then yes you can.. or at least this is pretty much how the commercial folks do it.

    3. WIll these bees on empty frames behave more like a swarm that remains clustered until it gets some comb built. >exactly... a coolish environment (basement or a cold room) tend to make them cluster tighter. at this time of year excessive heat and ventilation are likely to be the primary concerns.
     
  6. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Do to no time and not being completely ready with the nuc we went ahead and introduced her to the hive. I do not like this because it is now the 4th queen that has been given to them and none of the others have made it. I was not gong to let another queen try to get established in this colony.

    We also put the half frames together and placed them in another hive.
     
  7. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Since my post above was so self-absorbed and missed your major questions, I'll try again to add something useful.... ;)

    I'm wondering what method of introduction you used to give them another queen. I'm thinking one of those push-in cages on a frame of emerging brood would give her the best chance of success. :)
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if the hive in question has been queenless that long I would suspect you will not have any luck this time either. sometime rather than trying to make the impossible work you simple have to start over from square one.
     
  9. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    I'd shake them out and start a new hive with some eggs/brood and a new queen.
     
  10. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Daniel,

    You and I must be on the same schedule.

    I ahve a big queenless hives that I put a virgin queen in yesterday ( in a cage) I am going to release her in the morning.

    I also had a queen hatch today in the incubator. i built a mating nuc today. I had a piece of draw com with a little honey at the top from my top bar hive. I brushed off some bees in this new box. I stapled a piece of hardware cloth over the entrance and am feeding them. I am going to put todays queen in with them in the morning.

    Hees a few photos of what I put together. We'll how this goes. Funny how we have the same problems at the same time.

    20130601_165136.jpg 20130601_163230.jpg 20130601_163240.jpg
     

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  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Yankee, Good choice in mating nucs. it is the same one I am using:thumbsup:

    I never thought or taking comb from the top bar. I am waitnng for another cell to emerge. when it does I may do just that to get her mated.

    I agree it seems we are living the very same adventure.

    For now I am getting ready to go buy the materials to make

    6- 5 frame nucs with a deep and a med box for each.
    4 more mating nucs.
    3 ten frames hives with a deep and a med for each.

    I have more queen cells to take out of hives today. Not a lot but I want to get them out and let them emerge and mate separately from the big hives.
     
  12. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    That what I did yesterday, cut and built more deeps. Perry's way. Daddo corners. Much easier.

    I made me jig to hold and square the boxes while I glue and nail/screw the boxes together. The jig causes each box to come out the same and is like having an extra pair of hands.

    As far as comb. I have also seen folk cut some drawn comb and run a bead of metled wax across the ber and stick the comb to the melted wax. the wax will hold the comb to the bar.

    I like the idea of freezing the frames while not using. I was wondering what to do with them while not in use.

    Do you an incubator?
     
  13. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I have incubators. I use a huge on to kiln tobacco. 22 plus cubic feet for that one. I have several small home made ones that I hatch chicken eggs in. But queen cells I pretty much keep anywhere that is warm. A light bulb in a cardborad box works. I hope to get a reptile egg Incubator later for incubating queen cells though. just to keep it neat tidy and have better insurance on heat control.