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BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => RAPID BEEYARD GROWTH => Topic started by: beepro on June 01, 2018, 04:03:02 am

Title: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 01, 2018, 04:03:02 am
Hi, All!

Main purpose: In a short and sudden honey flow to find a method for faster hive growth while collecting honey using lighter bee boxes in the first season!

With members encouragement and support on this forum, I've decided to share my experience on my little bee box experiment, specifically using 5 frames deep nuc boxes (a complete hive set up) for a rapid hive expansion.  For those of you that do not know, Michael Palmer, on his you tube vids talk about using the nuc hives to build up his nuc-yard to support the production yard.   You can find lots of infos on the net about the nuc subject.  For this particular experiment my hives are stack 5 boxes high, 2 on top for honey collection and 2 in the middle in case they run out of room. Don't want my first year queen to swarm.  Never have this issue so far.

The advantage of using deep nucs instead of a 10 frames box is so that the hive can build up faster.  Mine are full of bees, see pics below.  For one it shape like a tall hollow tree trunk that the bees like.  The cavity size already standardized that I'm using ML 5 frames standard nuc boxes for this experiment.   You see, in a normal 10 frames hive the 2 outer side frames will be use for pollen and nectar storage.   With my method of confining the queen to the bottom nuc box with a QE on top, all 5 frames are full of cap broods.  There is not a single cell of either pollen or nectar there.   This is a method to force the hive into using all available cells in the bottom nuc box.   The effect is more bees and a faster hive growth. <== Key point!  So the time to issue foragers and honey collection is shorter compare to a 10 frames deep that take more time to expand.  And nucs are forever in an expansion mode.  Because our Spring flow is short and sudden, I'm able to collect honey as well as raising more bees for faster splits in its first season using standard deep frames.  Forcing the queen to lay all broods in the bottom box will force the bees to keep honey in the top boxes achieving my purpose of having bees and honey at the same time-- 1st season.

When beekeeper has the assumption that you cannot make bees and honey at the same time in the first year I have doubts about that.  Then find a method to test out this thinking that is spreading in the bee community.   It is a false assumption that I found out!   There is nothing wrong with the design of these bee boxes.  It has something to do with my set up that change the way they do things in the hive.

It is interesting to see that because all cells are utilized at the bottom for raising broods the bees store their nectar and pollen in the upper boxes. The box above the QE has the most pollen/some nectar stored follow by 3 deep nucs full of nectar in various processing stages.  When using the standard 10 frames deep last season (in comparison) with a honey box on top they stored all their pollen and nectar in the bottom box leaving not much room for the queen to lay.  She has to use the top 10 frames box for broods with no more room for honey storage.  Then I have to add a 3rd deep to compensate for the nectar/honey.   I was afraid of this issue repeating this season so did not use any 10 frames box. 

Imagine that if you need the brood or pollen/nectar frames you know where to find them.  How's that for an efficient splits later on.  Imagine how you would manage this hive for mite treatment and disease control (I never have to going tf 4th seasons.)  Because of using 5 honey frames per box the amount of time it takes to cap the honey is shorter also in a flow.  Less time to fill up the honey cells!

And speaking of split, because of this rapid hive growth, I have utilized this nuc set up to raise some QCs already before the main flow and returning it back to a queen right state while in the main flow right now.  It only takes 7 days to make a cap QC.   And no need to make a separate CB/CF hive either.   The hive is presently queen right and continue to cap their honey after the QCs are removed for splits.     Many honey frames are ready to be extracted also but I will wait a little longer.    When they are completely cap I will remove them and store for honey processing later on.  Then put more drawn frames into the top 2 boxes for more honey gathering. What ever they gather is for them to keep over the summer dearth and I keep the first round of the honey.   Now I don't have this issue of stealing honey from the brood frames because there isn't any there.  Another issue corrected! 

My hives have never swarm.  I never have an issue with swarming in my 6 years of beekeeping.  Even though the hive population is more as it seems to be, the ratio of young nurse bees to foragers never exceed the level making the hive want to swarm.  If your nuc hive swarmed then the ratio of nurse bees and foragers has exceeded their level of balance.   In a regular 10 deep box because of larger box volume making the bees issuing more nurse bees than foragers, thereby tipping this scale, they tend to swarm more. When they have reached a critical point where the young nurse bees and foragers are no longer balance, especially during the flow, the hive will be in a reproductive cycle.  With this nuc experiment confining the queen to the bottom box the young nurse bees will never exceed the level to issue a reproductive swarm.  For one the young bees are utilize efficiently one bee cycle to the next tending to one bee box only with a strong queen's scent in the bottom.  Early in the season, I mentioned about using the newly mated dinky queen to head the production hive.  Was afraid of her not having a strong queen scent that might cause a supersedure situation, so I put her in this set up to see.  No issue with supersedure at all because in a 5 frames box there is no diminishing of her queen scent. Also, the queen's life will be longer because she doesn't need to lay that many eggs compare to a 10 deep box.  This way I can evaluate all the queens' performance from hive to hive when it is time for breeder selection. 

Thank you for encouraging me to make a post about my findings!

More bees:

Equal more honey:
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 02, 2018, 03:03:29 pm
An update:

It is now hotter into the season.  Going to be 95 degree today!   Feeling the heat in the early morning already. 
The bees from this hive responded by issuing more foragers, maybe to collect more water to cool down the hive.  I wonder
how they do it on such a tall hive?   Do they go directly into the honey boxes or just cool down the brood nest box?   Glad that I
put the queen in the bottom box instead of in the middle box.   

At night time I saw a group of bees bearding on the entrance.  This may be a sign that this is a healthy hive with more foragers issue.
The honey frames are continuing to be cap now that the white Hubam clovers are blooming along with the privet trees.  Stay tune for more updates.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: Ben Framed on June 03, 2018, 12:41:40 pm
You have covered a lot of ground with your experiment , I just read for the first time. You have shared  much information, I will need to read again to absorb it all!!  This took a lot of time and effort on your part to put together this topic and I thank you for sharing your findings! Keep us updated on your progress please. I have a question. Do you use something to strap the boxes together being the 5 frames are so much narrower that a 8 or 10 frame system leaving a lesser amount of surface base to support the top weight of the top boxes? In other words, with the with narrower boxes stacked 5 high are you concerned about wind blowing them over? We get some pretty heavy winds here in the south at times. Strapping might be something I would have to incorporate in my area.  Thanks for sharing..
Sincerely, Phillip Hall

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: DuaneB on June 03, 2018, 09:47:52 pm
Interesting concept.  Like Ben said, please keep us updated. 

So let me see if I got this right.  As long as there are more foragers than nurse bees, they shouldn't swarm? Hence the 3 honey boxes to 1 brood box?

Since this is my first year, and I already have (2) 2 deep 10-frame hives going well, I won't mess with them.  In the mean time and thru the winter I'll build up a collection of nuc boxes and frames.  But I will continue to follow this thread.

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: cao on June 04, 2018, 12:18:35 am
In the mean time and thru the winter I'll build up a collection of nuc boxes and frames. 

I recommend wholeheartedly that every new beekeeper have nuc boxes handy and use them.  You can learn a lot playing around with them.  IMO they are much more fun to do an inspection with a nuc as opposed to the back breaking removal of full sized boxes.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 04, 2018, 04:43:10 am
@ Ben: "In other words, with the with narrower boxes stacked 5 high are you concerned about wind blowing them over?"

Yes, this thought cross my mind when starting this little nucs experiment.  To solve this issue, I've installed a wind break around these hives using  nylon fabric with tiny holes in it that is UV resistant and will last 15 years according to the manufacturer.  It is not that expensive to put one up.  Do a net search on wind break to see if you can find better and cheaper materials.  Even for free used fence panels will work too.  In 50 mph wind everything still holds.  Because these nuc boxes are uneven leaving a small gap in between, the bees heavily propolize these boxes together.  Every time on hive inspection, I have to use a heavy duty kitchen knife to crack the propolis seal.  Somewhere in this yard my hive tool is hiding from me.   You can hear the crack sound too.  So I don't have to use a tie down strap.  On the top box there is a standard red brick and the 60 lbs. (not weight yet) honey super.  The top honey box and the one under it is also full of nectar. The heavy top on even surface will put pressure on the rest of the bottom boxes causing it to stabilize under the heavy wind.  In this case it did not fall over.  Very interesting result so far!

@ Duane: "As long as there are more foragers than nurse bees, they shouldn't swarm? Hence the 3 honey boxes to 1 brood box?"

From reading thus far, the hive will issue swarm when there are enough young nurse bees (after the swarm) to sustain the operation of the original hive with the ratio of foragers issued.   If there are more nurse bees then they will swarm because there are too many bees in a crowded hive condition.  The foragers keep on filling up the cells while young nurse bees are being crowded out without enough cells space for the queen to lay, very typical during a flow if not manage properly.   That is why you will hear some beekeepers complaint about their nucs warmed in September or on the Autumn flow.  The 3 honey boxes are there to ensure that they will not have a crowded condition while reducing the number of young nurse bees per hatch cycle.  After one month the bees can fly to become foragers.  More room less likely to swarm.

So far I see that honey will cap faster and fill up the nectar cells much faster.  That is why I don't want to take the chance of them swarming by adding 3 middle boxes.  This hive is headed by a first year queen mated earlier this Spring.  Every empty cell she will deposit an egg. This will also help with swarm control compare to a 2nd season queen.  In the bee world nothing is a guarantee including their tendency to swarm either using 1 brood box or many.  I just want more insurance because we're working with narrower, less hive space than a 10 frames box.  Also the fact that the bottom box is full of cap broods with zero nectar/pollen stored there.  Talk about space constraint!

@ cao: "You can learn a lot playing around with them."

Yes, this is my 2nd seasons playing with these nuc boxes.  I don't want to break my back using the heavy standard deep boxes.  This will extend my beekeeping into old age.  I also like to know what will happen when I add the cap brood frames from other support hives (to control their swarm) to fill up the 2nd and 3rd middle boxes.  Will they swarm? Or will they increase the honey collection?   So far I got my answer. 

At night time, just now.  They are bearding into the adjacent hive within inches away also full of their own foragers/bees.  What if I remove the adjacent nuc box of equal foragers strength?  Two hives of 5 level nucs side-by-side.   Will that increase honey production when the foragers are absorb by the neighbor hive tomorrow?   So many question so little answer.

Bearding is hive strength:
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: DuaneB on June 04, 2018, 09:52:20 pm
Now I want to go play, but my wife doesn't want me to upset the balance of the two hives we have.  She wants to make sure they both overwinter.      Women - LOL!
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: cao on June 04, 2018, 11:34:21 pm
Now I want to go play, but my wife doesn't want me to upset the balance of the two hives we have.  She wants to make sure they both overwinter.      Women - LOL!

That's why it's nice to have a couple nucs around with your full size hives.  You can always play around with the nucs and if something goes wrong it's not a terrible loss.  And if all goes well they can grow into a full hive by winter.

I don't want to get you into trouble with the wife, but it is still early enough to make up a nuc from your two hives.  Around here as long as I get a mated queen by the first part of july, they can build up enough for winter(without feeding).  You could take a couple of frames with bees from each of your two hives an make a good nuc.  As long as one frame has eggs or larva young enough they can raise there own queen.  Those 2 frames taken from your hives wouldn't set them back at all.  As long as you don't remove the queen with them. :wink: 
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: Ben Framed on June 04, 2018, 11:55:47 pm
@ beepro
Yes the explanation of the wind break and propolis sounds good. I am heavily considering conducting this same experiment the next coming spring.. keep is updated from time to time with the progress that you and your bees are making with this experiment please sir? Thanks, Phillip
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: Vikingcnp on June 06, 2018, 12:58:23 am
I watched Michael PALMERs brood factories videos.

I initially built 3 5 frame Nuc boxes. They were too wide for the 10 frame box that I put a divider in.

First lesson. If you split a standard deep box you really only have room for 8 frames. Any Nuc boxes you build have to be 4 frame Nucs.

Second lesson a nuc moved into a narrow box really goes to town in a hurry.

Third lesson. The bees seem to pull foundationless faster in the nuc.

Fourth lesson. 2 4 frame Nucs fit a 10 frame hive Stand perfectly.

I am also planning on going to side by side nuc colonies next year. An organic farmer asked me to put 2 colonies on his land next year.  I?ll easily be able to split my current Nucs in the spring as walkaways provided they winter over. A single full super filled would meet the university of MN recommendation for overwintering.

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 07, 2018, 12:30:31 am
If you are going to use a wind break (for overwintering) then might as well put it to use for this
set up.   

I'm sure the organic farmer will appreciate your small nuc hives there.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 07, 2018, 12:46:06 am
Update:  2nd phase, interesting results.

Hi, All!   

For the last 3 weeks, I've been playing around with the hive configuration.  In any little bee experiment I try to get the maximum result in learning the bees' behaviors as much as I can.   This time, I want to know what will happen when I take the QE off the bottom box.  So I did.

The result is that the bees reacted by changing the brood nest into a regular hive with pollen/nectar frames in the bottom box follow by the brood chambers (2 middle boxes) and then the 2 upper honey supers on top.  Hive boxes are HHBB(P/N) configuration.   They changed this hive into a honey dome (inverted U arch) in an oval shape.   Try to imagine an egg shape that they are trying to build for this hive from top to bottom.  With a QE on as before they cannot make this oval shape because all nectar/honey got stored in the upper boxes saving the bottom box for broods only.

This is your typical 10 frames deep hive configuration that the bees like to make (((B))).  Remember before that I said there weren't any pollen/nectar stored in the bottom box where the queen is confined to.  Now that the QE is off she is free to roam into the 2 upper brood boxes.  This is what I've predicted it to be also so not that much of a surprise to me.  Somehow the bees like to store their food source in the bottom box ( ) and then the brood chamber, follow by the nectar/honey dome.  <-- From the bottom up! 

Speaking of honey dome, they make the inverted U shape honey dome by storing pollen in the 2nd to the top honey box also.  This will make the dome shape into the cap honey frames right in the middle (reserved some cells for pollen.)  The nectar/honey frames only they stored it into the upper honey box.  Glad that I provided 2 honey boxes instead of one.   So the bees like the arch shape hive configuration!

Here is the fun part.   Last night I put everything back to what it was before by confining the dinky queen in the bottom box again with a modify QE on top.  Gave them 5 empty old drawn comb from last season that I've stored away until now. ( ) To catch the dinky queen I use a small tweezers where I found her exploring in the bottom box as the middle boxes are all full of cap broods/larvae.  So no eggs just a fresh beginning at the bottom box that I put her in.

Then I remove some of the eggs/larvae frame from the middle box and donated them to the other queen less nuc hive to make some new QCs.  I kept all the cap brood frames in the middle 3rd brood box.  And put all 5 pollen/nectar frames from the original bottom box into another nuc box and put it just above the bottom box.  This is to say that the bees prefer to put their food source close to the brood nest.    Now the hive boxes arrangement are as follow: HHB(P/N)D ; D = 5 old drawn frames from last season.

Who would know that one piece of equipment, the Queen Excluder, would change the dynamic of this bee hive.  You can take broods out when it is overcrowded or add cap brood frames from other support hives when the hive population is a bit low.  Gotta keep up with honey collection, alright.   Although so far I do not see a drop in hive population as our main flow is just in its beginning. 

One draw back I like to point out is that the top boxes are very heavy when they are full of the cap honey.  To me it seems like 60 lbs. (not yet weighted) when lifting it off the hive stand that high.  If you are a shorter person then use a short step ladder to take some honey frames off first before lifting the box off the top.  This will avoid any injury on your back.  They are that heavy!    At the same time you have to keep on removing the cap honey frames and put new drawn (honey) frames on to avoid a honey bound situation on the main flow.   Without these drawn frames either you extract and return or put more foundation in the brood nest for them to draw out.  A hive this tall it is inconvenience to do it all the time.  That is why using drawn comb is better.  The last thing you want them to do is to swarm if honey bound.

At night the bees are relaxing in the top box forming small clumps under the hive cover.   The hive cover (  ) I have a 2.5" lid made out of picket fence for feeding homemade high protein patty subs.  With that many bees ( )  you don't want to starve them even when the flow is on otherwise they will eat your honey reducing your surplus. I don't want to put sugar bricks on so I started off with all empty drawn frames this season to collect the pure honey mostly from the nearby privet trees.

If you see any discrepancy in my writing or is not clear, please let me know so that I can make a correction, before judging my little nucs experiment.  Learn it on ebay that give me a chance to make correction (whatever it is) before giving negative feedback.    Last season I only ran 2 nuc boxes experiment without any honey to collect.  The full size 10 frames hives in comparison I collected only 16 lbs.  This is what happen on a short sudden flow.   This season I already have 4 cap honey frames and many uncap nectar frames like this  ( ) just when our flow is about to begin.  With the laying queen confined, I already tested before by adding 11 cap brood frames in the middle boxes (from other support nuc hives) into this hive without any swarming issue.  So you can add or take out cap brood frames when needed.  By tearing down the neighbor 5 level nuc hive, you can make 4 little nuc hives for splits.  A fairly strong split if you want.  I already made such a split (2 -double nucs, 2 single nucs) for a total of 4 nuc hives.  Three hives have a virgin in there now.  In a short, 3 days period, I temporary dequeen this hive so that they can make some QCs in which I made the splits from.  Then put the queen back in the hive (or give them another proven first year laying queen.)   All Italians and Cordovan origin.  And many more to come as our season is still early now.   Nice gentle bees!  ( )   Can you spot the Cordovan virgin?

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 07, 2018, 01:07:47 am
Update:  Follow up, addressing the mite issue!

When I made these nuc splits, I also removed all the cap broods frames from this hive.  Then take the QE off allowing the queen to
freely roam.  These cap brood frames I suspect that they will have a high mite count (30 free running mites per emergence cycle ) once the new bees emerge.   By doing so I should be removing 99% of the free running mites off this hive.   They are now inside the virgin queen hives with majority of the cap broods already emerged.   If you are treating your hives then now is the time to do so by removing the virgin first.  Caged her temporarily until the treatment is over so that with each treatment you have to remove the virgin queen with a small tweezers.  Or you can wait until the virgin is mated then confine her to one drawn frame to lay. Then treat the hives. 

If you are tf like I'm then you have to either squish these free running mites with a tweezers or confine the mated queen to a frame of larvae to capture these
mites.  Then remove the cap brood frame to another nuc hive.   Don't let these mites to continue to multiply over this summer.   Because by early Autumn they will over take your hives leading to a hive crash situation over this winter without the young fat nurse bees to sustain your hives.    This is how I interrupt the mite reproductive cycle manually.   It is doable, folks!   

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: Ben Framed on June 12, 2018, 10:51:13 am
A very good experiment. You are doing your homework, very interesting. The results that you are achieving are basically what I was expecting. I agree with you and your results. A first year Nuc handled this way will, or should produce honey. This is something that I intend to try coming spring. Thanks for sharing your results!!   
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 16, 2018, 08:43:56 pm
Update, update!

Starting from the bottom going up, in the 4th nuc box I saw 5 rather large cap QCs on a hive check last night. I found 2 cells on a dome shape honey frame and 3 cells on another honey frame.  I then use 2 QEs, one between the 4th box and 3rd box to allow these virgin to emerge in the same hive.  In about a week I should know if there are virgins running around inside.

This is one method, out of an accident discovery, to raise some quality QCs.  Put the dome shape honey frames with some eggs laid by the queen in the upper 4th box then they will make these 1.5" QCs.   Now I don't have to use a cloak board or any CB/CF hive anymore.  To improve this process next time I would use the natural drawn comb instead of the plastic foundation.  This way I can cut out these cap cells to make more splits.  What a better method to make QCs when the flow is on with plenty of bees to grow these large Q-cells.

On last night's hive inspection they have made plenty of drones from a drone frame that I put in on the last hive check confining the laying queen in the bottom box.  They also made this hive a normal hive with 2 nectar/pollen frames on either side then the honey frames in the top boxes. I suspect that the drone frame has something to do with normalizing this hive.   This time I also put 3 wax moths damaged brood frames in the bottom box after putting all the open larvae frames in the 2nd box above. The rest of the cap brood frames in the 3rd box I put them in another split nuc hive ready for these emerging virgins.  This hive got reduced to 4 level instead of 5 now.  I just want to demonstrate that expansion or contraction is as simple as it is with this hive set up. 

These cap brood frames that I suspect with mites in them are in the mating nuc boxes now. The attaching bees are not being remove at all.  They will form the base for the new mated queen later on.  On a flow I can make honey, new queens and plenty of broods/bees too.  I saw 2 cap frames of honey and more open nectar frames in the most upper honey nuc box.   

I also made some Q-cell cages out of window wire screen cut into small rectangular pieces. Then fold them into small cages with a small hole on top to fix over the cap QC.  After folding and tieing them down with small wires, they look like small trangular shape dumplings.  And after putting the cage over the tip of the Q-cell with a small strip of wax bit that fit over the small opening, this will hold the virgin inside the cage after emergence. After one day the bees will deposit more wax to cover the entire cell opening fusing the wire together.  On another larvae frame, I saw 9 QCs made but I can only wire cage over 4 cells allowing the rest to fight it out later on.  This way I can select the Cordovan queen color that I want without sacrificing the rest of the cap cells.   Interesting findings so far.

Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 19, 2018, 08:52:45 pm

So this dinky queen
had slipped by the QE and entered the upper brood boxes.   This experiment would of fail if I haven't inspected it in time.

I suspect that she has this ability since it is just a bit bigger than an ordinary worker bee.   Luckily, I check on her the next
night.   Then swap her out with a newly mated, mid-June big thorax Cordovan laying queen
Why I don't put this newly mated Italian queen with a big thorax  in this 5 level nuc hive?  Well, I just want to see if combining a nuc hive queen without
using newspaper will work.   I just transferred the frames of bees from the nuc hive along with the Cordovan queen into the 5 level nuc hive in the 4th box. 

Then next night, went in for a hive check and found the big yellow queen in the 3rd brood box.   I then use a small tweezers and grab her by the thorax to put her in the bottom nuc box from the hive entrance.    I have confidence that with a strong laying newly mated Cordovan queen swapping out with the dinky queen should not be an issue with balling.   Now the QE should keep her there to continue with this experiment. 

The question I have now is will they deposit pollen/nectar in the upper box and all broods in the bottom box?

All the cap QCs are gone since the dinky queen migrated across the QE.   Maybe she gave the signal to destroy them all.   I still have developing QCs from the caged QCs
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 22, 2018, 08:43:55 pm
Another update:   Bees consolidation for last honey harvest

Our summer is officially here.  This is also the sign of the flow ending soon.   And before you know it our summer
dearth is just around the corner.    So knowing this in advance, last night I consolidated all the bees into 3 boxes and
took the Cordovan queen and all the cap/larvae frames out to other hives.    Then put drawn frames for honey
collection in the upper 2 boxes.   The bottom box has 12 developing QCs sandwich between a pollen and nectar/honey frame and one frame with partial developing larvae in the upper box to take away the last few free running mites.    This hive is now queen less with 12 developing QCs!

I also injected some RJ into one QCs that does not has enough RJ in it.   Maybe the cell is at the edge of the frame that the bees have not
much interest in it.   It was a successful experiment to fill up the plastic cup with extra RJ.   

If you can see the pics:

Cordovan queen --

Left pollen and right nectar frame --

Bees after consolidation --
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: BeeMaster2 on June 23, 2018, 09:06:30 am
None of your links seem to work.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on June 24, 2018, 11:45:11 pm
So sorry for the broken links, folks!

Here is an update of the QCs after the bees consolidation.  Last night, I inspected the hive after one week of grafting.  Apparently, many of the cells
are not cap yet.   RJ is still being channel in to these developing queen larvae although I think it should be the max by now. Somehow the bees don't seem to know when to stop feeding them.    Overly excessive, don't you think so.   They want to feed these cells some more.   RJ fill to the max!   Somehow they keep on expanding the cell longer instead of wider.  Guess it is the more the better, eh.   These are my largest cells so far unlike my other dinky cells last time.    They're not the typical peanut shape cells but rather it is like a long narrow pinky size finger.

I made the mistake of putting the cell frame in the lower box, where majority of the returning foragers are.   I should of put it in the middle box right after the graft where the young nurse bees are at.   So after inspection I put the cell frame in the middle nuc box last night.   Either way I feel that these cells should have enough RJ to develop a strong large healthy queen later on.  So upper box is for honey collection and bottom box for pollen gathering.   The other nuc hives will be exploding with young bees just in time for these virgins since they have solid frames of cap broods in there now.   Assuming that these cells are being cap on 6/26 by 7/3  I should see some new queens in my small homemade fridge incubator next week.   Remind me on July 1st, next Sunday to transfer these cap cells into the incubator at 94F.    It will give me enough time to prepare for the temp. setting, humidity and all.

Being that our flow season is really short and sudden this year, I don't think there is much honey harvest this time.   Maybe the early Autumn mini-flow will
make it up. 

Pinky size large QCs:

and 2nd box, the solid bees after consolidation last week,
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on July 02, 2018, 08:20:39 pm
Another update!

So all virgins emerged except one which still has a pupa in it.   I already cut off the power to the incubator.  Two queens died one being a
Cordovan and the other a regular Italians.   So out of 9 QCs, I now have 6 virgins already in their mating nucs.

Overall, I'm really impressed with these large queens.   Some are almost an inch long, big and plump.  At 91.4F and 55% humidity, the queens
emerged on Sat (night) and over to Mon early morning (AM.)   Had I been monitoring then the 2 queens would still be alive.    Without nourishment they can
only last 24hrs inside the incubator then died.  I was under the idea that lowering the incubator temp. that they would emerge later.    So they did not.  They
will follow their usual 7 days queen emergence cycle after cap.    Now I know!    <<==  Just delete the hyphen - between youtube.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: BeeMaster2 on July 02, 2018, 09:43:14 pm
Thanks for the results. Good info.
Title: Re: using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey
Post by: beepro on August 15, 2018, 09:55:35 pm
Hi, All!

I thought to share some of the newly mated queens this season using the RJ injected method.   Store bought RJ is
injected into the developing QCs at an early stage.   This will make big and healthy mated queens.  All mated queens went
through their normal method of elite queen selection process.  Only the ones that passed this strict selection criteria will be allow to overwinter.  This will
ensure another generation of top quality queens in the next season.   Do you see any mites?  Why, how?    Getting close!