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Mating flights

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Max 

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6 days after emerging I had 19 virgin queens preparing for their mating flights, 2 weeks later I only have 2 queens laying. Don't know why they just didn't make it back.

All the nucs are individually marked, various land marks, adequate space between them, the weather was good i.e sunny and only a gentle breeze here in north Dorset.

Will try a second batch to see if the warmer weather helps with the success rate.

Generating good queen cells under supersedure isn't any problem, its getting them to return from their mating flights, that the problem, anybody else had the same experiences.
 

Poly Hive 

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Give them another week at least please. they may well surprise you yet.

This the UK and queens can and times do take up to a month to mate and get into lay.

The hotter countries do it in toot suite time... we do NOT.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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I agree with PH.

They will be there, or should be! Nearly all of them. Some may not have mated properly and will become drone layers or early drone layers if the weather was poor but as PH, really.

A question might be how strong are these nucs? If not strong enough to support brooding, there may be a problem with some, but I would think you are likely to have this well covered, what with eight 14 x 12 colonies from which to take bees.

Regards, RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Are they absconding as small casts,or is it just the virgins failing to return?
 

Max 

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Its easy to check apedias and purpose built mating hives, I know the queens have not returned from the mating flights, some nucs have started making emergency q/cells obviously without any eggs in them, plus they haven't disappeared in small casts either.

Several nucs had a few eggs and I saw the queen, however she has vanished, I assume she went on several mating flights and failed to make it back, perhaps she has been taken by dragon fly, birds etc.

All the nucs were well stocked, so it will be easy to insert a new queen cell in 8 days time and give the process another go.
 

oliver90owner 

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Ahh, mini nucs, not proper sized nucs! No experience of those. I only use nucs or part of a hive. Not ever done more than a few in a year. I will leave it to those who use these tiny, highly efficient bee-breeding pens!

Regards, RAB
 

Norton 

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Hello,
Could be a problem with Nosema infection. Have some bees checked.
Best regards
Norton.
 

susbees 

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The Keilers I was sent to inspect on my queen rearing course (Gloucestershire) ten days ago had only one laying queen out of the six, no queens in the other five one of which had a queen cell. Similar to your rates.

Keilers are twice the capacity of Apideas so a bit more robust. Weather the week before was terrible.
 

Max 

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Started queen rearing again using the cupkit system, which for me works well. The first session yielded 19 out of 20 and the second attempt 20 out of 20, so all is well so far.

Hopefully we should get better results this time round.

The nuc boxes I have used are Apedia's, 14 x 12 nuc boxes, a couple of supers as I had more virgins than nucs at the time and 5 frame BS national nucs.

So whatever the type of nuc the result has been the same, rubbish.
 

Poly Hive 

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You are saying rubbish but have you checked to see that they actually are queenless?

IE a test frame?

PH
 
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