Expansion by locals wanted...

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    ...this includes my wife.   This may not be rapid for some of you, but for an old cripple like me this is a lot.

I started with a feral colony last year July and have two Russians from this year's packages as well as an inherited two colonies of 'Midnites'  a few weeks ago. 

    My wife is finding farmers and local small landowners that want bees on their land.  She would like me to double (split) what we have and buy at least three more packages (possible six packages with three queens) and look at requeening next fall for future splits and breeding strong productive calm, yet protective stock in a couple years.  After talking with her and the kids I agreed and they agreed to be more active in helping, including taking courses.

My question is this.  Is it better to have a queen available or let the new split grow their own?  I know that it takes time and if openly bred that the queen can be lost or lack proper breeding.   


--- Quote from: qa33010 on November 18, 2006, 03:24:11 am ---My question is this.  Is it better to have a queen available or let the new split grow their own?  I know that it takes time and if openly bred that the queen can be lost or lack proper breeding.   

--- End quote ---

BY letting the new split raise their own queen,  you are setting them back close to a month before they start raising brood, and then almost another month before the brood starts to hatch and replenish/grow the hive.

Providing them with a mated queen is best if you can.

Michael Bush:
If your goal is to get a lot of hives, you need to give them a queen.  If your goal is to get local stock, you need to raise them.

The underlying concept of queen rearing is to get the most number of queens from the least resources.

To illustrate that let's examine the extremes. If we make a strong hive queenless. They could have, during that 28 days (by the time she is bred and laying) of having no laying queen, reared a full turnover of brood. The queen could have been laying several thousand eggs a day and a strong hive could easily rear those several thousand brood. Then we have lost the potential for about 30,000 or more workers by making this hive queenless and resulted in only one queen. And, actually, this hive made many queen cells, but they were all destroyed by the first queen out.

If we made a small nuc we would only have a couple of thousand queenless bees rearing several queen cells and those couple of thousand bees could only have reared a few hundred workers in that time. But again they made several queen cells and the results were only one queen.

In most queen rearing scenarios we are making the least number of bees queenless for the least amount of time and resulting in the most number of laying queens when we are done.

Brian D. Bray:
To continue:
If you want the optimum nuimber of queens with the least amount of queenless bees you need to do either or both of Cramming as many queen cells in to a specific area as possible and gather queens by anticipated hatch date. 
Setting up a nuc with several queen cells on each frame and then splitting those frames out to new nucs as the queens reach hatching age is one of the easier ways of raising queens.  It is also why a lot of two frame Nucs are used in the process.
Read MB's articles and other books on the subject and plan thoroughly before jumping off the cliff.

   Yeah, I do have a lot to study before I plunge in.  I have some info that Jay Smith wrote and am looking for other info.  A stupid question.  When you're done breeding and raising queens what do you do with the queenless bees in the nucs or hives?  Do you do a paper combine back to a strong/weak queen-right hive, shake 'em out and leave them, let them die off or what?  Thanks for the information so far.

Or should this question be in the queen section?



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