Apidea and other mini nucs.

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Queen Bee
Nov 8, 2008
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Many commercial queen breeders use these,i also have some,but do not use very often.R.O.B Manley once described these as a fad,a gimmick, that was not the best way t o mate queens. The good point is you only need a small ammount of bee's to mate a queen,as far as i can see thats about the only good point.Anyone else use them.
The good point is you only need a small ammount of bee's to mate a queen,as far as i can see thats about the only good point.Anyone else use them.

I use 3 frame nucs which has normal frame. I can use quite small amount of bees but is it an advantage? Soon the queen starts to lay and need more workers. Very good is that I may move combs, brood and food between normal hives. When queen lays, I may take combs totally off to normal hive.
One of my daughters got me an ipidea for my birthday at the begining of August.

I will have a go to see how I get on with it but plan to use 5 frame nucs next year for mating.
I use Api's and Wernholtz (I think that's the way its spelt), for my queen rearing and also five framed Nuc's.

The good point is you only need a small amount of bee's to mate a queen,as far as i can see that's about the only good point.

Not quite sure if that reads right? I think you mean only a small amount of bees are required to to be in the Mini's.

I use two honey jars full of bees from my biggest colony and place them in the mini nuc's for four days with fondant Not candy. The bees will have drawn nice clean comb for the virgin to hatch into as the queen cell is placed in the top of the Api, but on the Warnholtz I pin the cell to the frame. Once I see eggs then the lot are placed into a hive with at least three frames drawn for the queen to carry on laying and I also feed to help the bees build up more comb.
The Api's and Warnz are easier to transport from one breeding apiary to the final site were the colony are destined for.

With a Nuc (5 frame) you need plenty of bees to draw the comb, and when the queen is mated and laying you just transfer the lot across to the hive that's going to be their home.

I think cost comes into play when queen rearing as the Api's and Warnz can be bought for about £8-10 at Stoneleigh where as a Nuc would cost ??? don't know as I make my own.

When all said and done its a matter of individual preference and what is easier to use.

I would recommend using the Api's or Warnz for queen rearing.

I forgot to add the queens can be used for re-queening a colony.

Regards; Bcrazy
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As i say i also use mini nucs,even ones i have made myself,but tend to now use them as a last resort,when temporarily short of two,or five frame box's.I agree with taking them out of a mini into a full size nuc is good,as soon as possible.I also believe many commercial breeders take these mated queens from a mini and then straight in the post to the customers,these young queens have not been laying long enough,not asessed properly for brood pattern,because of the size of mini nucs,and have not therfore even layed many eggs.This is not good and can lead to lots of the problems with introduction,and age of queen.So the reason i use mainly two or five frame nucs are, they get a frame of young bee's, brood,a frame of honey/pollen not much more than a mini as regards bee's,you have also taken two frames from a full hive,so this helps that hive regards new combs,foundation.The young queens have much more room with full combs to come into full lay,and remain for longer in these for better asessment of brood pattern,therfore better queens for requeening,and easier introduction.They do not have to collect pollen as you have supplied this. At the end of the season you have full size frames which can be overwintered,as five frame nucs or you can use up surplus queens and easily unite the two frame nucs into full size brood box's,to make up very strong new stocks of bee's to overwinter,some of these can be your best hives the following season. You can also keep these well treated for varroa all through the season,not so easy in minis. But as has been said it does all come down to personal preference,i have just stated my own reasons why i do it this way. I have seen young queens even in 2 frame nucs,laying many eggs in a cell ,because of lack of cells,so in minis they have no chance to lay the way they should,small laying spree,few hundred eggs,no room for more,then a long wait for more laying space,i cannot see this is of any benefit at all unless you are removing them to bigger accomadation straight away,in which case why not just cut out the middle man,the mini.
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Hi Hivemaker.

You mentioned a good point concerning the area for the queen to lay in.

In the mini Nuc's just after the queen is mated there is a possibility that you will find two maybe three eggs in a cell, and that's because the queen is beginning her role within the colony and learning whats what.

Once the queen is laying correctly then I normally place into a 5 frame Nuc and this is so I can asses the young bees from her to ensure they are of the temperament I want in my bees. If they are aggressive then I change the queen before thousands of aggressive bees start to fly.

Its hard to try to explain why we do these manipulations because there are so many contributing factors that have to be taken into account that t try to put down on paper is a mammoth task.


This is how I configure my Api's.

Regards; Bcrazy
Bcrazy i agree with you to get the young queens into a full size nuc as soon as poss,to asses your queens is good sound advice.Also agree to go through all the varying types of manipulations each individual may do,would require us to write a book.My main point on the apis is the commercial breeders,who are mainly out for quick turn around,and not really bothering to asses the queens they sell. not people like us who i hope have the time and desire to do these things properly,and get good queens.
From what I have seen, the commercial guys add the contents of an apidia to 5 frames and a couple of kg of bees using co2 to unite then ship?
What i am refering to is just the queens,that get posted. co2 can be used to introduce a virgin to an apidea. co2 can also be used to make a virgin come into lay,and be a drone layer.as long as some emerging brood is supplied to act as nurse bee's the queen will continue to lay only unfertilised eggs,drones.
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My dad uses these, we have about 20- 25 apedias and then some of the cheaper larger poly mating nucs. We got given a load of apedias so my dad will probably put them to good use.


I look Apidea mini nuc's price here and it was mad! 18,7 €!

Langstroth poly store is 15,80. I have splited it into 3 parts with table saw and I use there normal frame.

From polystyrene insulation board I get
( Its cost is 6 €/m2=

- missing wall to splitted store
- cover
- bottom is better to make from wood of ply

Insulation board is better to paint with latex that ants cannot make their caves next week into soft board.

Bees bite poly board too. You may make inner surface from thin water resistant ply and glue the poly board to ply.

Use as glue polyuretane glue. It makes a little bit foam and stuck tightly joints. Add screws