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sahtlinurk 

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Has anyone built their own mating hives? Just had a look around and seems again a major spending buying them. They don't seem to be very complicated constructions.. Going to build loads of supers out of ply so can i use it do make some? had a look at Apieas but haven't found any measures yet.

Lauri
 

sahtlinurk 

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if i got several queens to mate i can't make up lets say five nucs from my six hives, so need something smaller. Apideas (mating hives, mini nucs..) are available just for that reason as i understood. Correct me if i am wrong. I am just looking into something new and got no experience. :hat:

Lauri
 
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That is why mini-nucs are used - you can mate many more queens than making up full sized nucs for the same amount of bees. I know several beekeepers who use mini-nucs, some several dozen and one a few hundred.

The mating success as a % seems to be less than with full sized bees and the only explanation for this I've seen is in Jurgen Tautz's book and is because full sized nucs have more bees to escort the virgin queen to where she mates and importantly, escort her back again afterwards. However, because you can make many more mini-nucs the lower % success rate is more than offset.

Mini-nucs are a lot more work - they need to be made up several days in advance and then kept in the dark and then in the dark again for another 24 hours or so after the queen cell is introduced.

Current advice also recommends not taking a queen mated in a mini-nuc directly into a full sized hive - there is a good chance she will be superceded. The best route seems to be to put her in a full sized nuc for a month or so first. Alternatively, ensure she lays in the mini nuc for 30 days before being introduced.
 

beebreeder 

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if you let a fully mated queen lay in a mini nuc for 30 days at 1500 eggs a day the sums tell their own story, they are small colonies and fill very quickly, mated queens into full size nuc then full sized hive is safest
kev
 

Hivemaker. 

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Quite agree BB, best to get them out of the mini mating nuc's as soon as you can after they have sealed brood,as they are soon filled with brood,don't believe a new mated queen starts imediately laying 1,500 eggs a day though.
I normally make the mini nuc's up just a few hours before running in the virgin queen for the initial set up,then dark place for three days.
Once the first mated queen is revoved i replace her with a ripe queen cell,or caged virgin.
 
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admin 

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So that would be a caged virgin in the dark for 3 days ?

Would you then make a nuc when she has mated using house bees from 3+ colonies ?
 

Hivemaker. 

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>So that would be a caged virgin in the dark for 3 days ?

No, not the first virgin when the nuc is first made up,she is not caged at all,free in the nuc.

Yes Admin, that is how i prefer to make up nuc's,and introduce queen straight away.
 

admin 

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Sorry for the confusion Hivemaker,yes I was also talking about the introduction of the second queen.

I was thinking how things could be sped up if using an incubator at home to hatch and then introducing the best looking virgins rather than just adding a single queen cell to each box.

At least you are guaranteed a hatched virgin in the box at some point that way.

I have an octogon 10 and may dust it off this spring,It will seem funny to use it without the craddle..
 

Poly Hive 

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Using an incubator is the most efficient way yes. Though it carries it's own set of risks too.

anyway I am off.

PH
 

ainsie 

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What is the best procedure for introducing ripe queen cells to a mini nuke.? Ainsie
 
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24 hours before she is due to emerge is what is usually recommended and what I've done in the past. If you do it in the dark wearing a red headlight or have a red light glowing they should in theory not be able to fly - although my experience is the red lights are not very true so there is a bit of white, but generally it keeps the little critters quiet. However, if you use Apideas they have a little flap for lowering the QC through so few bees if any escape - if you are quick.
 

sahtlinurk 

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can someone please with mini nuce give me the internal measures of the box with no questions .Thread is drifting away slowly..

Another thing - all the queen breeders are probably using mini nucs to mate their queens. Do they ship it off as soon as queen is mated?
Cheers,
Lauri
 

Hivemaker. 

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Lauri
they ship the mated queen of when mated and producing good brood,but not the mating nuc box.
Have sent you a pm with more imformation.
 

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