Home made mating Nucs

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Tommo 

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We reared a good good few colonies by introducing queen cells into 3 frame Nuc's last summer. But they were greedy for bees, brood and food as is well known.
It is colonies rather than mated queens we require.
I considered using Apidea but whilst they are economical on bees to get a mated queen they are probably not large enough to provide a viable colony and you also have the difficulty of transferring the apidea frames to a larger Nucleus, when the queen is mated and laying well and the 'colony' will, I think be too small anyway for a relatively cavernous Nucleus hive
I was considering trying a slightly modified method.
I propose to make my own insulated mating NUC's and set them up in the same way that I would apidea. My home made nuc will still accommodate 3 frames which will be half the length of a National brood frame and be approx 2/3 the depth so allowing for a larger nest and will at a later stage be easily transferable to an insulated standard 3 frame Nub and onto National frames.
I think, that whilst this will require more bees than an apidea probably twice as many it won't require frames of brood and food as making up a three frame nucleus would.
Management and process would be the same as an Apidea but mine would produce a larger 'Caste'.
I base this on my observations of a caste which was no bigger than a fist discovered in mid June in a hive lid last summer which was hived by an associate into a National hive ( not ideal ) fed through the summer and went into the winter covering 6 frames.
By modifying this as described I might get, weather permitting a larger viable colony that would do well
 

Apple 

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I have tried a stock 5 frame timber nuc for open mating, closed down with dummy boards to 3 frames then once she is away adding another 3 frames of drawn foundation in a nuc box on top( similarly close down with dummy boards) Feeder with 1:1 on top.
It worked, have a good few overwintering in 6 frame Mr P's polly nucs!
Results seem to be better so far than using the Keilers.


James
 

oliver90owner 

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not large enough to provide a viable colony

They are mating nucs, nothing more. The idea is to get the queen mated and then move her to a make a viable colony by either adding her to a Q- nuc or full hive. You would be trying to change it into something it was not designed for.

The simple facts are that small colonies only expand at a slow rate, determined by the number of house bees, among other limiting factors. Think here of dwindling colonies in spring?

The way to achieve rapid colony expansion is to have sufficient bees to service her maximum rate of lay. Her rate of lay will be restricted, otherwise.

You might want to consider why five frame nucs are the norm from suppliers?
 

Goran 

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Au contraire. Some use them active all time, and pile up to 7 boxes. Or later split on two or three mating nucs, use as queen banks, or take the extra brood off, ( merging/splitting) etc.. . Posibilities are endless. Especially when have half frames which can assemble together in standard hive and easily dismantle..
Mnucs are saving me money and time, also let you to respond fast to some situations which occur unplanned.
 

Little John 

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It is colonies rather than mated queens we require.
If you want to make increase, my advice would be to not waste your time with small mating nucs - but stick to full-sized brood frames instead.

The most effective method of making increase - imo - is to create 'monster' hives (aka brood factories), from which you can take frame after frame after frame of sealed brood. Mike Palmer has given an excellent talk on this very subject.
Code:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A
I used one last year and made X8 increase in colony numbers over 2 brood cycles, by which time I'd run out of boxes to put bees in. I think it might well be possible to generate X27 increase over 3 brood cycles (1 > 3; 3 > 9; 9 > 27), but personally I'd rather settle for 2 cycles and give them an opportunity to build-up to an adequate size before winter.

I'll be using the same method this coming year, but employing Mike's 'using nucs to make nucs'-type of brood factory, rather than the 'multiple National brood-box' method I was using last year. Again, I'll aim to produce X9, but will very happily settle for X8.

LJ
 

Midland Beek 

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The fastest route to new colonies is to create queenless nucs and to introduce mated queens as soon as they are available. The delay in waiting for queens to mate can hold back a colony considerably.

Encouraging a diminutive colony to expand can be a laborious process, but you might like it if you enjoy filling up feeders.
 

Bosleeu 

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not large enough to provide a viable colony

They are mating nucs, nothing more. The idea is to get the queen mated and then move her to a make a viable colony by either adding her to a Q- nuc or full hive. You would be trying to change it into something it was not designed for.

The simple facts are that small colonies only expand at a slow rate, determined by the number of house bees, among other limiting factors. Think here of dwindling colonies in spring?

The way to achieve rapid colony expansion is to have sufficient bees to service her maximum rate of lay. Her rate of lay will be restricted, otherwise.

You might want to consider why five frame nucs are the norm from suppliers?
I agree. It "costs" only a handful of bees to get a queen mated in a mini Nuc.

Once she is settled and laying, she can be removed and introduced into a queenless Nuc or hive and with enough bees to support her the colony can expand much quicker.

You can then use the mating Nuc again to get another queen mated.
 

Tommo 

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Thank you for all you responses.
Unfortunately none of you have answered my question, your replies, are all correct I know that, I don't disagree.
But if you read what I wrote you will see that I won't have the luxury of endless frames of brood and food to introduce queen cells but can rear queen cells but need to be able to produce a few colonies albeit over a longer period with a minimal but adequate resource of bees.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Really?
Sounds improbable and ill advised to me.
Probably, but doing just 950 from 100 to start with, would be the sensible approach, just to see if it worked well... before committing to the full 100 to 1000.:cool:
 

mbc 

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Probably, but doing just 950 from 100 to start with, would be the sensible approach, just to see if it worked well... before committing to the full 100 to 1000.:cool:
But the original colonies hammered down to three frames are back up to twenty frames before you can say "Caspian solution" , honest!
 

thebeeman 

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Anybody have the recipe for this magic snake oil Caspian solution
 

mbc 

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"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
 

Bosleeu 

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Thank you for all you responses.
Unfortunately none of you have answered my question, your replies, are all correct I know that, I don't disagree.
But if you read what I wrote you will see that I won't have the luxury of endless frames of brood and food to introduce queen cells but can rear queen cells but need to be able to produce a few colonies albeit over a longer period with a minimal but adequate resource of bees.
I think the suggestion here from a few people is to get queens mated in smaller nucs that does not require a lot of bees.

Then, once mated and laying, introduce them to a few frames of bees (as much as you can spare) or. They should be laying in a few days, so saving the time (and therefore bees) you normally lose waiting for them to mate and start laying.

That I think would be the best way to achieve your objective of increasing colonies and building them up asap but not using too many bees.

Another way would simply be to split hives and introduce bought-in queens.

I hope I understood the question right.
 

kighill 

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Forever more.
This is what I am proposing doing in 2015. I have a number of half sized supers ie they will hold five full super frames. Using any of the multiple methods of raising new queen I will have more space for more bees.

Only a few more bees than required for the smaller Nuc/mating boxes I would usually use, when ready for the next step ie more room I will put the super on a Nucleus box.
I am also planning on using a cloak board again next year so hope to raise a few queens this way, again I will try the supers

This method is used by a highly regarded fellow beekeeper and works well for him.
 

REDWOOD 

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"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
And all available from Tesco's
 

oliver90owner 

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Tommo,

You are seemingly neither reading nor thinking clearly.

Go back to post #3, particularly the last sentence : You might want to consider why five frame nucs are the norm from suppliers?

Seemingly, it appears, you did not get the answer you wanted. I am wondering why! Even the BB*A post the minimum requirement of a good nucleus.

Merry Christmas.
 
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Hawklord 

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How many colonys to start with and how many to end up with? The more colonys required the more bees will be needed. Double brood is the way to go to get the amount of bees. You will need decent sized colonys to get the queen cells capped anyway. Using mini nucs will leave the main colonys building up. An idea I've been toying with is a uniting board for mini nuc to standard nuc.
 

Goran 

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How many colonys to start with and how many to end up with? The more colonys required the more bees will be needed. Double brood is the way to go to get the amount of bees. You will need decent sized colonys to get the queen cells capped anyway. Using mini nucs will leave the main colonys building up. An idea I've been toying with is a uniting board for mini nuc to standard nuc.
Maybe this can help. At start of the season I put in strong colonies usually 1 frame in honey super and other in brood box. And forget it. When needed ( when have qcells) I take and I have in mating nuc 2halff of brood+2halff of food+1halff with foundation, later if want to expand attach together and place in nuc with standard frame size. Usually before taking the frame from brood box I lift above queen excluder and after 3 days I tear all wild qcells if any and then use to make mating nuc.

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/al...31a5cd9604b6c1d12783d7_2918.jpg?dl=1376355225
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/al...993ad0c148a94dc689f5e8_2919.jpg?dl=1376355231
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/al...ebfe4125aadbb565203e20_2920.jpg?dl=1376355231
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/al...f138302f00c67ea3a8699d_2820.jpg?dl=1376355215
 
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