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Queen Rearing Kits and Mini Nucs, Which One?

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Ando 

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Hi All

Being a newbie to Queen Rearing, I was looking at ordering a Queen rearing kit and Mini Nuc, there are a few different ones out there and wondered which ones you prefer and which ones to keep clear off?

Any Advice would be great thanks.

Mark.
 

jezd 

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My first year in serious queen rearing, have 10 x Warnholz Mating nucs and also a number of home made mating nucs that I inherited, just waiting for Cupkit system to arrive. Weather looking better after this week and we have drones finally so 'play ball'.

Others on here have lots of experience - for myself I am avoiding grafting at this stage.

JD
 

Poly Hive 

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If you are serious about Queen rearing then I seriously urge you to learn to graft.

Why?

It means you can short cut the "system". Because and trust me on this if the bees can they will avoid the cups and leave you with a bonny liad up kit, and no "grafts".

I have in the past literally grafted out of the Jenter as the Q had avoided every last plug.

These kits are invented to save the novice having to graft but grafting is in reality pretty easy and a huge tool to have on your side.

PH
 
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Hivemaker. 

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If you are serious about Queen rearing then I seriously urge you to learn to graft.

Why?

It means you can short cut the "system". Because and trust me on this if the bees can they will avoid the cups and leave you with a bonny liad up kit, and no "grafts".

I have in the past literally grafted out the Jenter as the Q had avoided every last plug.

These kits are invented to save the novice having to graft but grafting is in reality pretty easy and a huge tool to have on your side.

PH
Absolutely agree,grafting is the way to go.....easier..faster,and a much more flexible method.
 

Mike a 

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I bought two Swi-Bine 's and to be honest I don't like them. I'm sure they will wear in but the door slides and under tray are very stiff, plus the feeder at the back is fixed in place which limits the amount of usable space for the bees to build comb in.

So I bought four Kieler mini nuc's from the supplier in Devon who is an active member of this forum. The nuc is larger over all and the feeder is removable which frees up space for two more mini top bars when required.

I made my own top bars and like jezd this will be my first year in queen rearing as I have 4 association members waiting for colonies this year so far.
 

Bcrazy 

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I have tried both methods Cup kit and grafting (with a fine glass pipette) and must agree that the grafting method is better than the kit method. the bees seem to take to the larvae in the containers (cant think of the name of the little cup that fits onto the frame). they the bees for some reason seem shy of the little brown cups with larvae in. Just an observation.
 

Onge 

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So do you also recommend making your own cups (as in dipping wooden dowels in wax), and sticking these to a bar?
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi Onge
I don't make my own cups I use the plastic pop in coulored cups, I also place the empty frames in for a couple of days so the bees put their smell over tha cups and frame.
 

beebreeder 

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Bees will build queen cells when in the right setup, ie a box crammed with bees that have no queen and a huge population of nurse bees with lots of stores, introduce a frame of grafts and I have found that bees will build cells in all the different cells both wax and plastic and some straight from the box and onto the frame. Its as important that box of bees are ready for the job..
 

Bcrazy 

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a box crammed with bees that have no queen and a huge population of nurse bees with lots of stores,
I don't mean to bee pickety but we can as i do raise queens in a queen right colony and as you rightly say it needs loads and loads of house bees,
 

Ando 

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Hi Guys

Thanks for all the replies, just got round to reading through them all.

I going to have a go with the cup kit I purchased, with the Apidea Nucs I also brought to see how they go, I want to replace some queens and fancy trying these out.

I am also 3 weeks into a Queen Rearing Course with my local BKA, which we are going to learn to graft as part of the course.

I have really got the Beekeeping bug and long may it continue.

Cheers

Mark.
 

andypigeon 

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i have a cupkit one and i dont like it at all, its much easier to graft.
 

beebreeder 

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I have 2 cupkit boxes and have had great success with them in the past but they do require repeated visits to the colonies and in distant out apiaries that becomes unpractical, this year with hivemakers encouragement I have been grafting all the time with a 00 paint brush straight into new brown cells and I have now got up to an average 75 % take, the only way I would go back to cupkit is if I get the shakes or bad eyes.
The cupkit system is good because each queen cell can be caged just in case one emerges early, the cells can also be moved and strored in an incubator to keep the routine going.
kev
 
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Polyanwood 

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I tried grafting last year and am trying cupkit this year. I think cupkit is easier. Perhaps the take rate is less, but that doesn't worry me. What would worry me would be if I was getting less good queens... but no evidence of that is there?
 

Ando 

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My kit is the one that Marcos sells, the NC one, forget the rest of the name, I have put it in the hive this morning before work, will check it at lunch to see if she has laid any if she has I will let her out. I'll try and get a pic or 2. I like the look of it as I think the bees don;t have to draw out the comb on it unlike other kits I have seen at the local BKA. So I'm interested to see if HM likes it or not.

Also I didn't put all the brown cups on it as I wont have room for them all if she does lay, I have put about 60 in, as I only want to try about 10 or so at a time. Will it matter that they aren't all there?


Cheers

Mark
 

susbees 

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I am also 3 weeks into a Queen Rearing Course with my local BKA, which we are going to learn to graft as part of the course.
Sounds like a lot of coffee drinking. Three weeks and no grafting ;)??

Got Keilers here. Main issue with the grafting we found on our course was finding right age larvae in dark comb with no magnification. And that was the same for everyone. The light stuff was doable :).
 

Ando 

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Sounds like a lot of coffee drinking. Three weeks and no grafting ;)??.
lol Yep there does seem to be a lot of coffee drinking going on! Its mainly down to the weather the first week it was to cold to look through the Hives the next week we had a quick look at them to see which ones were going to be chosen, then last week a good inspection through them to choose 2 for honey production and the rest to raise queens, manipulate with new QC etc. then we had a look at Grafting and the ways to do it, this week I think we'll be doing a bit more after a look in the apiary. but its not got a time scale really just seeing how things go and sort of managing the hives between the peeps on the course but being shown the techniques to raise queens in different ways.

It has got me really hooked on Bees now, but like how Marine Fish tanks and Growing Corals did a few years back.

Cheers

Mark
 

Polyanwood 

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I have had a problem wiht the bees making brace comb inside the feeders of the Kieler mininucs, but not with the Apideas or the the cheaper copies of Apideas, as they both have thin plastic crownboards... which I now plan to have a go at making to fit to the Kielers!
 

susbees 

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The Keilers on our queen raising course had a thick polythene "crown board" attached with drawing pins. Now I see why ;)
 

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