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Offline TheHoneyPump

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MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« on: August 13, 2018, 04:18:19 am »
Not sure which section this question properly belongs in. I think it is a crossover point between queen rearing and rapid bee yard growth, so I am posting it here.

For 2018 we have been aggressively increasing the size of the apiary.  Managed to reach our goals and even getting the bees to fill supers so we will also get some honey off.  There is still a very good flow on, however knowing it will be tapering off soon and fall/winter is imminent I am thinking forward as I like to try to stay at least a month ahead of the bees.

For 2018/2019 fall/winter there will be some losses and are preparing for 2019 by getting a group of the better looking nuc colonies built up with intention to winter them indoors.  The preps have generally all gone very well.  We are down to our last few to deal with and have been blessed with the dilemma of running short on equipment.

I have a question of experience/experiment on multi-queening to get colonies sharing bees to support the queens and expand the nests rapidly.  I am familiar with combining two queens with the excluder divider above them - horizontal style.  I have done this successfully short term with the divided 10 frame box nucs as well as full 10frame colonies with a tower of supers above them in the middle.  That covers running two queens.  What about three queens?

The situation is this: 
Bottom box is a divided 10frame that has a queen in each side, each on 5 frames.  Queens 1 and 2.  These originated from 2 frame mating nuts.  The best queens (the keepers) have been moved into these larger 5 frame setups so they have room to grow out. One side was bit weaker on bees and resources when initially setup but the queen is a bomber, the bees cannot keep up to her.  A queen excluder is put on top of them and added a super for shared space.  The expectation is the bees to mix and mingle and equalize between the two queens.  It is mainly the nurse bees that move to care for developing brood in each nest.

For the third queen, Q3 is in a stand alone 5 frame nuc box.  She is packed out with bees and frames full of honey and pollen as well as having a good foraging force.  She is more than ready to move into a full hive, but we are out of equipment to setup any more full hives.

What is being considered is to put Q3 into the last spare 10 frame brood box.  Then place her on top of a queen excluder that is put on top the super that is on top of the the other two queens way below.  Lotsa toppings there!  Hope that description makes sense.  I have made an attempt at illustrating what the hive would look like, see attached.

The idea here is Q1 and Q2 need more bees to expand more rapidly and Q3 needs more space immediately. This gives everybody, Q1 Q2 Q3, a boost in nurse and field bees and space. The super is space for bees to move between nests and a place for them to put the resources that are coming in without overpacking the 5frames nests the queens are on. Our end goal is more frames of brood and bees out of this, not honey.

In late September we will be culling out anything subpar from all the hives in the apiary and supplanting them with these queen-nucs.  What nucs are left will be reduced to the divided single hive bodies (5Fx5F) which will be wintered indoors.  Until then I want to keep as many queens nucs going as possible. 

I am hoping this could work to give everybody what they need right now and hold them over. This is intended a temporary setup for 4 to 6 weeks.

Any thoughts on this or what problems could develop?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 01:06:59 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen - will this work
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 04:26:44 am »
...
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Offline texanbelchers

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 09:13:48 am »
Short term it will absolutely work.  You'll want an entrance up top.  When running stacked multiples I found they preferred one queen or maybe it was nest location in the stack.   I can't say they had more bees because they were stacked,  but it will get you over an equipment shortage.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 12:51:12 pm »
I would say it will work for a short duration or during dearth?s/winter. Most of my queens will bee forced to swarm with only 5 frames to lay in.
Jim

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 02:24:10 pm »
Short term it will absolutely work.  You'll want an entrance up top.  When running stacked multiples I found they preferred one queen or maybe it was nest location in the stack.   I can't say they had more bees because they were stacked,  but it will get you over an equipment shortage.

Why the top entrance?  I would prefer them all to go down out the bottom entrances.  Particularly with the wasps pestering them at this time of the season.  More bees at the door to keep the wasps at bay.

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Offline texanbelchers

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 05:54:27 pm »
Drone escape.  They will plug up the QX if there are many trapped in the box.  It can be really small and could even be an escape cone to prevent re-entry.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 10:15:24 pm »
OK thanks.

I made the move and change today.  Hope it all works out!  Placed some thin paper between the excluder and the top box, with just a 1" open slot for bees to go up/down along each wall.  The bees in the top box will have to move out to the walls to go down in the super and beyond.  That should slow them for assimilating to all the queen smells, I hope.  I did not provide a top entrance.  I expect to be back in there within a week, at that time while I work the rest of the bee yard I will lift an edge of the cover at the start leaving a good gap for drones to escape.  Will close it when I am done in the yard. They will have at least an hour to get out and fly.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 12:24:13 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline beepro

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 10:33:06 pm »
In winter mode the bees tend to cluster together.  The strongest scent queen will cluster with most of the worker bees.  They will choose the strongest queen to survive the winter with.  I've experimented with single and multiple queens over the winter here for the last 2 seasons.  Some will drift to the strong scent queen's hive leaving the weaker queen to die.  Workers are very choosy with the arrival of winter.

I can see that if your bees are aggressive then they will kill off 2 queens while leaving the strongest one to survive the winter.  If they are not the aggressive bees then the majority will cluster with the strongest queen on top.  The 2 queens in the bottom nuc may not have enough bees to cluster in because the QE prevent them from going up the top where it is the warmest place during the winter.  Bees prefer the warmer spot to cluster in.

If the honey ran out then all 3 hives will starve.  This arrangement doesn't work for me. I rather group them together in their individual bee box.  Inside the building you still have to lower the temp. so that they will not burn through all their honey before Spring arrives. 

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 11:09:26 pm »
They will not be wintered in three like this.  The arrangement is intended just to hold them and keep them busy building population for the rest of the summer while there remains a strong flow on.  This will be 2 to 5 weeks, depending when the first frost hits which could be as early as Aug 20 or as late as Oct 10.

The third queen on the top will be pulled off the top as a whole box to replace/combine with a weak main hive in September. Already decided where she may be going as in the same yard inspected today there is one hive there trying to supercede their cripple queen. That one is just. a sad situation.  She is a beautiful queen, her bees are super productive and very gentle, and she is an egg laying machine!  She's been heading that colony for 8 weeks.  Her problem is absolutely my fault as she was injured during her introduction to the colony where she was balled for a bit before I got them off her.  A few days later they accepted her.  As a result her back legs do not work well, if at all and her wings are chipped.  Because of this they want to replace her.  I've delayed the supercedure for a few weeks (by destroying QC's) in anticipation of the pending flow, timing of her brood cycles, and her downright prolific egg laying.  Now I am letting them go ahead and do it, using her offspring.  If her supercedure fails, Q3's box (her twin sister) will be newspaper combined to take over.

The "condos" will be wintered in two like this illustration attached. Before winter they will be completely packed out with feed. The box will weigh 80+lbs.  The indoor wintering building is climate controlled at 4 deg C constant from mid October all way to end of March when they come out in spring.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 02:29:02 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 08:29:07 am »
THP,
Why did you add the paper above the excluder? 
If you do not have a top entrance, how are the bees going to cool and oxygenate the upper box with a piece of paper blocking the flow of air?  Hopefully the bees removed most of it over night before it got too hot.
Jim

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 12:19:02 pm »
Great question!
The paper wasn't really a paper. Burger King napkin. Unfolded and opened into single layer, very thin material.  Also covered only the centre, left 1" open uncovered all way round the perimeter.  Plenty of air through the napkin and from around the edges by the wall.  Reason I put the paper over the centre core of the nest area was just to slow them down for an hour or two. The Q3 colony moved into that top box is much more populous than Q1 and Q2 below.  My thinking was I didn't want them running straight down into the super and the others below, all at once.  Hence the napkin.
Daytime highs currently are 22 - 26 deg C.  Temperature shouldn't be a problem.  The super is also an old pos box. Good frames in it but the box itself has plenty of cracks and edge chips around it for air flow too.
Thanks!
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Offline beepro

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2018, 09:41:48 pm »
Last year I tried to configure the hives using a 2 -3 queens set up.  Because the bees are so aggressive some
queens got killed.   This season I tried something different.   I got the gentle type local bees.   After the sister
queens got mated, I combine them in a single hive 3 boxes deep.   In each box there is a new laying queen separated by a
plastic QE.   I also tried and separated these queens in their individual box without the QE.   After 2 months reunited them in the previous hive
arrangement.  This is to see if they are still gentle type bees or they might kill off one of the weaker queen.

You can do this when the flow is on plus you have the gentle type bees that don't mind having another laying queen in a
separate box.    Gentleness is the key!

 

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 01:51:32 am »
Fortunately, my bees are all my own select raised stock.  They are very calm and super productive.  My veil is my Berkley fishing sunglasses and my bee suit is tan jeans and a brown T-shirt.
The three queens are also sisters, all been grafted from the same mother queen.
There is also a really heavy flow on.  Mid-August the red clover is out in full and the last growth of alfalfa is allowed to flower.  This will persist until the first frost (1 to 3 weeks).
So based on the experiment and experience that you said there beepro, this should be a very good situation for the time being.

I will be going to that yard tomorrow to do a round.  I am anxious to see how well the three are rooming together.  Hoping for no surprises and that it is all well as the original concept!

I will be sure to come back here and let y'all know what I seen.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 02:37:03 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline beepro

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2018, 04:37:57 pm »
When the flow is on you can also make lots of QCs too.   With a hive arrangement like that you can
certainly make some beautiful late season queens to sell or keep.  After the queens consolidation you can even
expand some more to sell bees or nucs when the new queens are mated using the extra brood frames.  In a small
operation I can use this method to make many 5 frame nucs here.   Every year the weather is different.  And especially this
year our bee season might even be extended into Nov. before it gets cold.   You will learn a lot this way.   Enjoy your new bee experiment!   

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2018, 01:39:28 am »
Apologies for not posting back sooner.  Been busy making final round of pulling honey and extracting.
I am very pleased to report back that all is well, very very well, with the three queen arrangement.  The bees are happily mingling in the hive and depositing nectar/honey in the super.  Q3 on top is booming away, lots of brood.  They have not top entrance.  All bees must go down and out through either Q1 or Q2 side.  Plenty of bees and to-fro flight activity from both Q1 and Q2 entrances, which are on opposing sides (front/back) of the hive.  I will post a picture when next I am there over this weekend.

Not sure what the overall end result is going to be yet.  That other hive that is superseding has a gorgeous virgin that as of 2 days ago was not laying yet.  I am giving her until Monday to get performing.  It is getting really late in my climate for queens, I expect the first killing frost within a week.  If she isn't laying by then she will be pulled and popped into a 2 frame nuc to do her thing there or to expire.  If I have to do that then Q3 will be moved over to take over the colony - kinda what I was thinking from the beginning of this setup.
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Offline beepro

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2018, 01:54:47 am »
If you combine them into an individual hive then the worker bees will favor the strongest hive to be with.  This will
leave the weaker queens without many bees with her this winter.   You can either even out the hive or allow the
queen to die while saving the strongest queen.   I already even out the hives 2 times and it is not even the winter yet. 

Offline TheHoneyPump

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MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2018, 03:40:29 am »
There is NO intention of wintering them this way.  Temporary setup only.

I went through them all today, checking.  All the queens are still there and they are happy.  The bees are quite equally distributed.  Exactly what I was hoping for. 

In the end I ultimately exercised the backup plan today.  I did use Q3 putting her onto that other main production hive to take over.  The supercedure of that hive is timed out.  I saw no eggs and the bees and I have no time left to muck around.  It was cool today and we will likely have a frost tonight. A mere +2 deg C this evening.  So no queen mating happening until next year. 2018 Season is done here.  Today was her deadline and she missed it.  She?s done.  I looked for the supercedure virgin but could not find her.  She could have been lost in one of the flash thunderstorms last week.  I removed all frames from the hive looking for her. No VQ seen.  I placed a fresh bottom brood box completely stocked with frames of resources onto the bottom board. I shook all the hive bees through a queen excluder into the new box but still could not find the virgin.  So I shook the rest of the sprawling bees off the  qe and put it onto the bottom brood box.  Put a newspaper on the qe then put Q3 and her box, bees and all on top.  I will go back saturday to look in the bottom again and will remove the qe to complete the merge once I am absolutely sure that virgin is gone.

The other two queens Q1 and Q2 are fine and set ready to final stages for wintering.  Q3 is removed, the super is removed, and a shared hivetop feeder is placed to top them off with syrup.


Am pleased this experiment was a success and worked as hoped.  The young bees distributed fairly evenly between the three queens.  All queens were well looked after, didn?t lose any.  Was able to hold them with minimal equipment until needed.   I can foresee doing this again in future with less hesitation.  I may use this technique in the spring to power boost weak nests that otherwise have great queens - for more rapid spring buildup leading to making splits and sale nucs.    The queen just lays the eggs.  It is the bees who make the bees.  The nest growth is limited by the number of bees looking after it. 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 11:09:19 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 10:56:49 pm »
This is very interesting, I wish I had seen this topic earlier! Thanks for sharing your results and keep up the good work!  Phillip Hall

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2018, 06:25:59 pm »
This is very interesting, I wish I had seen this topic earlier! Thanks for sharing your results and keep up the good work!  Phillip Hall

Glad you checked it out and had a read through!  It was an interesting experiment and am happy that it was successful.
Here is a fuzzy picture of them during that interim period.  There are 5 queens/colonies in this picture. Q3 is in the brown box on top. Q1 + Q2 are in the bottom most box under her, with one honey super box between them all.  Q4 + Q5 are in the bottom most box beside, with a common super on them.

The system worked wonderfully for the 4 weeks that I needed to bridge due to equipment shortage.  Looking forward to using this type of arrangement again in the spring!

In the second picture, all brown boxes. In that picture there are 2 colonies, each of 2 deep brood boxes. This is my standard two hive pack system. Q3 is shown happily moved in and heading up the colony on the right, she is in the bottom box on the right.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 06:37:48 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Live Oak

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2019, 08:38:29 pm »
Have you considered the 6 frame nucs made by Lewis & Son?

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/aic9pkolatcjt53rilpksuv6hl5gjb

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/six-frame-nuc-top

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/sloped-six-frame-nuc-bottom

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/entrance-reducer

These are designed so 3 of these 6 frames nucs can be placed together with 2 ten frame queen excluders and 2 ten frame double deeps for the bees to store resources in.  As the nuc gets stronger, you can add a 2nd deep nuc box and eventually make spits from these. 

Ian Steppler in Manitoba uses these and from what I have observed had very good results from them with respect to increasing hive numbers as while at the same time producing maximum amounts of honey. 

I had Lewis & Sons ship me one of these complete nucs and I had some local Amish folks build me 50 sets of these nucs that I will be incorporating into my apiary this season.  6 - 7 frames seems to be just the right size for this purpose.  Just a idea I was working on for similar reasons as you. 

Offline TheHoneyPump

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MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 01:48:25 am »
I had looked at those.  I have standardized on all 10 frame deep equipment. In this way everything is 100% interchangeable and am never wanting for the right size box.

My cell emergence and mating nucs are individual 2 frame deep boxes. As they grow, those are moved into the split 10 frame box, on 5 frames per side.  The two 10 frame bottom boards at that point are holding 4 colonies.  Queen excluders and honey supers go on top for bee room and equalizing. They soon outgrow the 5 frames on the next brood cycle.  Then they are all moved into their own full 10 frame hive body.   2F to 5S to 10F
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2019, 02:16:19 am »
Have you considered the 6 frame nucs made by Lewis & Son?

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/aic9pkolatcjt53rilpksuv6hl5gjb

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/six-frame-nuc-top

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/sloped-six-frame-nuc-bottom

http://www.lewisandsons.ca/components/entrance-reducer

These are designed so 3 of these 6 frames nucs can be placed together with 2 ten frame queen excluders and 2 ten frame double deeps for the bees to store resources in.  As the nuc gets stronger, you can add a 2nd deep nuc box and eventually make spits from these. 

Ian Steppler in Manitoba uses these and from what I have observed had very good results from them with respect to increasing hive numbers as while at the same time producing maximum amounts of honey. 

I had Lewis & Sons ship me one of these complete nucs and I had some local Amish folks build me 50 sets of these nucs that I will be incorporating into my apiary this season.  6 - 7 frames seems to be just the right size for this purpose.  Just a idea I was working on for similar reasons as you.

by lucky chance I can use the same setup and Ian Steppler gave me the last push to try it coming season. I got 5 frame Jumbo nuc-boxes (3 on a pallet) that are the same width as 2 of my 9 frame jumbos. So I can put 2 exclusders over 3 nucs and  use my standard supers. As they sit on pallets, too, I can move them with the forkload into the flow. Planning to put 3 brood frames in per nuc, so they will really be able to produce honey in summer.

Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2019, 06:30:06 am »
What you try, will give you a lot bees really early, but the lower queens, are restricted to just 5 combs. Less then they want to lay.

You propably are better of, if you combine two wintered Queens into one hive, both with at least one 10 frame deep. Keep these hives as bulk bee raising farms.

Then also take some good hives, with two deeps. 20 days before the first Main flow is on, put a queenexcluder between both brood boxes. 9 days later you remove the box with the queen and put the other box onto the bottom board. Add a grafted frame of larva, after 24 h distribute these cells into finisher colonies and regraft or recombine the starter hive.

After 5 days you can move the cells into the incubator (the most important tool for expanding rapidly, if you dont buy in queens). Hatch the queens in the incubator or in hatching cages in the finisher.

For every cell that get's capped in the finisher, set up a 3 frame nuc with liquid feeder or fondant and foundation. You need a ventilated bottom.

One day after hatching the queens, you go for the two queen hives, shake all bees out of the supers above and between the brood boxes. Keep them in package bee cages without a queen.


Once you are finished shaking enough bees (1/4 gallon per hatched queen), spray the bees with watter, so they can't fly anymore. Shake about two gallons into a bucket and distribute 1/4 gallon into each mating nuc, close up with a feeder.

The nucs are keept closed.

Once all nucs are filled, you take one virgin queen, open the entrance and shove her into the entrance. If you work with two people, you can add the queen directly when putting the bees into the nuc (just throw her in and close the nuc).

Now keep the hives 3 days in a cold spot, like a cellar.

After three days move the nucs out to the mating yard. Keep feeding them (about 1 gallon of sugar sirup or 4 lbs of fondant in the next 4 weeks). After 5 Weeks all combs are drawn and the first hives are ready to be transfered into bigger boxes.

If you wan't you can check after 14 days which queens got mated, and which hives are queenless. Take the queenless hives, shake about 4 into a package give them a queen. 3 days into coldstorage and hive them onto foundation.
The drawn foundation from the nucs can be safed for expanding the other nucs.

This way you usally end up with about 2 packages and 22 established new nucs, from 30 started. All on fresh comb.

The key element of this method is to trigger the swarming impulse, by keeping getting the bees queen and combless.

When you wet down the bees, you can use oxalic solution with 0.5% concentrarion, to straight treat for varroa.

If you don't have spare queen for creating the packages from the nucs that failed to mate, setup a couple mini mating nucs, when making the nucs.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 03:22:57 pm by robirot »

Offline TheHoneyPump

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MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2019, 12:01:54 pm »
???? What ?

A Ripe cell goes into full size deep 2 frame mating nuc box with 2 cups of nurse bees.
4 weeks later the 2 frame box is emptied, moving the laying queen and brood into divided 10 frame, 5 frame nuc per side. Full size 10 frame excluder and 10 frame deep honey super put on top. The two colonies mingle and cowork in the super. The nurse bees equalize between the two queens below, usually.
2 to 3 weeks later the divided box is emptied, each side is moved into her own full 10 frame hive body and honey supers stacked on..

2 - 5 - 10. From cell to full blown rip roaring 10 frame hive in 6 weeks.

All same frame size from the start. The frames are moved. She starts on 2 frames as a ripe cell, at end when she is moved into her own 10 frame hive she is still on the 2 frames she grew up on top. Soon as you start mix-mish-mashing equipment; different frame sizes and boxes you are complicating the program and effectively self limiting the flexibility and thus the capacity of your operation.

Keep it simple ...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 12:20:03 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2019, 12:55:38 pm »
???? What ?

A Ripe cell goes into full size deep 2 frame mating nuc box with 2 cups of nurse bees.
4 weeks later the 2 frame box is emptied, moving the laying queen and brood into divided 10 frame, 5 frame nuc per side. Full size 10 frame excluder and 10 frame deep honey super put on top. The two colonies mingle and cowork in the super. The nurse bees equalize between the two queens below, usually.
2 to 3 weeks later the divided box is emptied, each side is moved into her own full 10 frame hive body and honey supers stacked on..

2 - 5 - 10. From cell to full blown rip roaring 10 frame hive in 6 weeks.

All same frame size from the start. The frames are moved. She starts on 2 frames as a ripe cell, at end when she is moved into her own 10 frame hive she is still on the 2 frames she grew up on top. Soon as you start mix-mish-mashing equipment; different frame sizes and boxes you are complicating the program and effectively self limiting the flexibility and thus the capacity of your operation.

Keep it simple ...
Well that only works if you have enough good drawn comb at hand or if you keep old dark combs.
But when you are rapidly expanding, comb is usally on the short hand.

Also i find your system complicated. Why transfer them two times?

Also i don't really like making splits with cells or old comb.

But if you use 3 comb hives all stays in the same system.
Mini-Nucs are just for spare queens, shook swarms or requeening a hive.
.

The reason shook swarms are great when starting new hives, while growing is just the fast drawing of comb and you got way less problems with diseases.
A 3lbs swarm will draw a full box in about 7-11 days, then you add the second box, and the hive is ready to be split 6-8 weeks after shaking the bees in. Then straight requeen with a laying queen. If you don't resplit, it is ready to go into honey production.



But this system is also adapted to season first flow at mid of may and last flow mid of july.

You say that working with different comb sizes makes problems, i find that one comb size makes way to much work.

After all I guess different working systems and styles, pick what suite you.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2019, 01:55:00 pm »
3 frame nuc-boxes is what you mean?
filling them with the bees from cold-storage with queen only on setting them up or right away?

to make it clear: I use jumbo frames. so 5 jumbos is about 6 deep frames. if a honey super goes on top, they will lay pretty much from wood to wood (no food storage in the brood boxes). that ought to suffice, Id say?
In case of doubt, I might add a second 5-jumbo-frame box for brood chamber.

What volume of bees would you give per nuc if 5 jumbo-frames (6 deep) of foundation are given? Cause I got those boxes already.

What do you mean with: shaking the bees from the supers and from BETWEEN the broodboxes? Gotta live some....

how much is a cup? for.... crying out loud?

Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2019, 03:50:08 pm »


3 frame nuc-boxes is what you mean?
filling them with the bees from cold-storage with queen only on setting them up or right away?

to make it clear: I use jumbo frames. so 5 jumbos is about 6 deep frames. if a honey super goes on top, they will lay pretty much from wood to wood (no food storage in the brood boxes). that ought to suffice, Id say?
In case of doubt, I might add a second 5-jumbo-frame box for brood chamber.

What volume of bees would you give per nuc if 5 jumbo-frames (6 deep) of foundation are given? Cause I got those boxes already.

What do you mean with: shaking the bees from the supers and from BETWEEN the broodboxes? Gotta live some....

how much is a cup? for.... crying out loud?

You fill the nuc boxes first with bees/foundation/fondant then 3 days into cold storage (just like a Kieler, Apidea or EWK).

For a 5 frame Dadant i use about 1.5 L (1 L until 15 of may) of bees. 1 L is enough, but that 50% extra really accelerates them. With 1 L you Start sorting out a lot more nucs that didn't really build up, until August.

A cup is a little less then 1/4 litre.

For your 5 frames boxes, i really recommend you to contact Meister Miezebien or bee-equipment from UK (ofc before brexit) and get some of the man lake frame feeders, one of the best things for starting in bigger mating nucs.


In a 2 queen hive, you usally run bottom board, brood box(es), qc, super, qc, brood box(es), qc, super(s).

The lower super is most times quite empty, as the bees move all honey brough into that box, into the upper supers. But kots of bees in that super.

Have a look here:
http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/2queen.pdf
or translated into german:
https://www.imkerforum.de/forum/thread/6380-zwei-k%C3%B6niginnen-betriebsweise/

The reason for these is, that two queens that can smell each other, but can't reach, start to lay a lot more. You can either remove one queen, a couple weeks ahead of the main flow, to maximise honey production (lots of foragers present, but just normal brood raising. After the flow most foragers die due to old age) or keep them together to produce a maximum of bees.
In either case, you need to expect both queens to be exhausted.



Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2019, 10:05:19 pm »
Well, it is possible I am be doing something wrong or my 2-5-10 program described too complicated. Usually the results speak for themselves. Perhaps the results for 2018 may be considered meagre and something needs to be changed.

For my son's apiary 2018 was an expansion season. The summary results are:
- Started the spring with 7 viable colonies
- Sold 9 new queens caged
- Sold 6 new full hives, 10 frame.
- Sold 3 new nucs, 3 frame.
- Harvested 1150 kg of honey
- Ended in the fall with 30 full colonies on new queens going into winter

Open to suggestions for improvement ...
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Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2019, 10:42:40 pm »


Well, perhaps I am be doing something wrong or my 2-5-10 system is too complicated then. The results for 2018 may be considered meagre and something needs to be changed.

For my son's apiary 2018 was an expansion season. The summary results are:
- Started the spring with 7 viable colonies
- Sold 9 new queens caged
- Sold 6 new full hives, 10 frame.
- Sold 3 new nucs, 3 frame.
- Harvested 1150 kg of honey
- Ended in the fall with 30 full colonies on new queens going into winter

Simple? Perhaps not. Open to suggestions for improvement ...

Which is it now 520 or 1150 kg? 1150 kg would be 164.3 kg per hive. Which is allready a huge ammount. Even 70 kg is a lot with all those splits, but i don't know how your flow situation is.

I started this season with 9 good and 3 Bad hives in my own apiary (70% winter loss. 3 normal losses and 18 sisters of one top breeder queen (18  out of 18). So there must be something wrong with the mother.)

Ended up with 124 mated queens, 42 hives (all in virgin comb and new queens) 525 kg of honey.

That was a top year, witch was really hot and more honey then usal.

In normal years this wouldn't be able. In a normal year i would have maybe got 30-35 hives, 120 mated queens and 360 kg of honey.

Less queens would allow for more hives.

Buying in queens would have allowed for more hives and been cheaper in the end. But i don't want to give up the queen rearing part, and i promissed 50 queens to my stepdad.

Now I'm back to 50 hives, 3 hives i got from my stepdad for the queens, and 5 from an other guy who i help since a couple years.

Well this year is time to get up to a max. of 70 hives (well if i can stop myself) and i need to raise 500 queens.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2019, 11:38:35 pm »
Approx same results then.  Well done, good job.
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2019, 02:30:32 am »
so neither of you two use brood-frames to make nucs?
don`t you ever make splits?

@thp: you use 0,5 l of bees (like an after-swarm) for two frames. thats what I use for a Mini-Plus or similar system (that`s roughly 3 mediums in comb-area). numbers seem to be the same over the world.... northern parts anyway.

@robirot: I know the farrar-paper. with these jumbo frames the stacking is .... o well.... are you alinked with "immenfreunde"?
I do have frame-feeders of my own design and manufacture, two frames wide, which I could use to make the space smaller. I used to do this always, sometimes with a simple follower board, but decided to make the nucs so large with bees that they`d fill the box right away and after first hatch crawls out, be used in honey-production. I don`t want to enlarge that much any more. We are up to 75 hives and I don?t think much more than 100 could be handled at the moment. If the year gets hot I make some smaller nucs to be build up till fall to be sold in spring. 6 frame nucs, that.
I got a hundred nuc boxes, which I won?t fill this year, I am sure.
Apart from that I got some boxes, about 10-framers, which can be divided into 4 compartments of 2 frames each. That would be THP`s setup (I built one single 2 framer, but for reasons of warmth I never used it). I use those for late queens and I dump those mating nuc into the new late splits.
In so far I divide between "mating nucs" and "nucs", which ought to have their own life.

@THP: A two-cup-KUnstschwarm (artificial swarm, we call it) will build up to a full nuc or colony in late summer (you might harvest a couple of brood-frames late if conditions where good), but I doubt that you could get any honey out of it in our parts. I sort of get the impression that bees keep on exploding in your parts during best part of the summer? Also, there seems to be extremely good flows. If harsh conditions.

@robi: So once again: You use nuc-boxes with screen as Kunstschwarmk?sten(packet box)? I did that once, brushing off loser mating nucs. Bees killed themselves. Probably put too many in, was August already.

glad for the discussion!

Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2019, 06:14:01 am »


so neither of you two use brood-frames to make nucs?
don`t you ever make splits?

@thp: you use 0,5 l of bees (like an after-swarm) for two frames. thats what I use for a Mini-Plus or similar system (that`s roughly 3 mediums in comb-area). numbers seem to be the same over the world.... northern parts anyway.

@robirot: I know the farrar-paper. with these jumbo frames the stacking is .... o well.... are you alinked with "immenfreunde"?
I do have frame-feeders of my own design and manufacture, two frames wide, which I could use to make the space smaller. I used to do this always, sometimes with a simple follower board, but decided to make the nucs so large with bees that they`d fill the box right away and after first hatch crawls out, be used in honey-production. I don`t want to enlarge that much any more. We are up to 75 hives and I don?t think much more than 100 could be handled at the moment. If the year gets hot I make some smaller nucs to be build up till fall to be sold in spring. 6 frame nucs, that.
I got a hundred nuc boxes, which I won?t fill this year, I am sure.
Apart from that I got some boxes, about 10-framers, which can be divided into 4 compartments of 2 frames each. That would be THP`s setup (I built one single 2 framer, but for reasons of warmth I never used it). I use those for late queens and I dump those mating nuc into the new late splits.
In so far I divide between "mating nucs" and "nucs", which ought to have their own life.

@THP: A two-cup-KUnstschwarm (artificial swarm, we call it) will build up to a full nuc or colony in late summer (you might harvest a couple of brood-frames late if conditions where good), but I doubt that you could get any honey out of it in our parts. I sort of get the impression that bees keep on exploding in your parts during best part of the summer? Also, there seems to be extremely good flows. If harsh conditions.

@robi: So once again: You use nuc-boxes with screen as Kunstschwarmk?sten(packet box)? I did that once, brushing off loser mating nucs. Bees killed themselves. Probably put too many in, was August already.

glad for the discussion!

#0 no, i don't use old comb for new hives, just foundation.

#1 i only used the nucs boxes when I started or dor overwintering queens. Last year i didn't use them at all. I also tried the follower board method,  never again, you are far better of, with either switching to the right box sizes. 
But I'am thinking about using them this year again, just to cut down on the ammount of bees needed and to overwinter some more queens. To make that ammount of queens, I'happ about every bit of bees that isn't needed. Since i hopefully don't need to increase a lot this year, i could make all increasing steps after the last flow.
Most hives that are allready established i just take the old hive, after last flow and replace with a new hives, put the old hive 20 m away. Then have a look if i can find the old queen and cage her. Then after two hours put a new laying queen in a jz-bz cage into the new hive and add 3 gallons of syrup. The old hives are brushed of to make packages and then 4 stacked onto one string old hive  to hatch the remaining brood. Those towers get treated for 10 days with formic a couple times and the bees are used again to make shook swarm.

Just a hint Kunstschwarm is shook swarm or sometimes also package.

no im not alinked with immenfreunde

#2 i done so, but that only works in the beginning of the year. In the late season you need to many bees for a to little space.

I used to use IKEA trash can package bee boxes, but now moved over to using multiboxes, much more convenient. 


Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2019, 06:15:09 am »
Approx same results then.  Well done, good job.
Thank you, but you too. We both know now much work that is.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2019, 12:11:24 pm »
Approx same results then.  Well done, good job.
Thank you, but you too. We both know now much work that is.
sure is a lot of work. but it`s fun, too.

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2019, 12:46:50 pm »
What was your problem with follower boards? I use them all the time.
Or was it because bees got too cold?

My mehtod after last flow is: take out all brood frames (could of course take the entire box), give foundation, a new queen in a cage, put an escape board on top and the last honey supers with the bees in. The old brood frames with the old queen make the new colony, which gets treated with FA right away.

Your method shows even clearer the habit in Germany to use fresh combs a lot more than what I read of our American beek-friends. I reuse the brood in frames in the last brood-nucs as described above.
With a late pine-flow this gets difficult.

In nuc boxes and mating nucs I don?t even use foundation. Also shook swarms get no foundation, just wood. BIOLAND wax is expensiv or.... a good income, if you don?t have to expand anymore.

Hopefully it gets warm enough for a cleansing flight soon. My bees sit on pine honey...

Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2019, 01:58:00 pm »


What was your problem with follower boards? I use them all the time.
Or was it because bees got too cold?

My mehtod after last flow is: take out all brood frames (could of course take the entire box), give foundation, a new queen in a cage, put an escape board on top and the last honey supers with the bees in. The old brood frames with the old queen make the new colony, which gets treated with FA right away.

Your method shows even clearer the habit in Germany to use fresh combs a lot more than what I read of our American beek-friends. I reuse the brood in frames in the last brood-nucs as described above.
With a late pine-flow this gets difficult.

In nuc boxes and mating nucs I don?t even use foundation. Also shook swarms get no foundation, just wood. BIOLAND wax is expensiv or.... a good income, if you don?t have to expand anymore.

Hopefully it gets warm enough for a cleansing flight soon. My bees sit on pine honey...

Yes foundation got expensive. 10 years ago we where talking 5?/kg now 20.

I get my wax made into new foundation by Froh, but lately switching more and more to plastic foundation and selling the reworked foundation.

With th e follower boards i didn't see any faster development (the classical manager colonies rather go further) and i often don't see my hives for multiple weeks, specially in spring, when you have to see them more often.

In the end, with the board (on Jumbo), all hives get build up to 8 combs and then you wait to give 9-10 f?r winter stores. I tried a couple Segeberger 1,5 with 3 comb wide feeders, those worked like a charm.

Thats why I'm thinking about going 9 comb paradise beebox or go 10 frame, then propably with the man Lake feeder in all year.

You wait for the cleansing flight, I live in Kiel we are waiting for the bees to stop flying and breeding. So different in such a small country.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2019, 03:45:50 pm »
Been away for a bit.  I notice some questions from BFB to me which have not yet been addressed.

BFB questions.

Brood frames in nucs:  YES. I build nucs on drawn comb only, 1year old comb. I do not use foundation in nucs.  Foundation really holds them back from reaching potential. In a nuc I want all of the bees resources and energies going to building bees, not building comb. If you want a nuc to grow rapidly, use only drawn comb.  We are using the term nuc here, but in context of this discussion what we are really talking about is a starting up new hives from scratch.

Splits:  If we are expanding the apiary we do not do any spits. Early in spring we will sacrifice complete hives to makeup the target number of mating nucs needed for the expansion goal. The nucs are intensively managed to grow at their maximum potential to achieve full hive status soon as possible.  If we are not expanding, then we are at the size wanted and are managing the apiary as normal. In normal operation we will do splits for swarm control, those splits are promptly sold.

Queens emerge and mate in individual separate 2 frame nuc boxes. I tried the multi-mating queen castles. Too many losses and inconsistencies. Better results by mating them in their own separate unit. Can be combined after they are established. Once she is laying a good pattern then one of three things happen to her.  She may be caged for sale and another ripe cell immediately put into the nuc, or the whole nuc is sold, or when the nuc is intended to become a full hive it is left to grow for a couple more weeks.

The 2F nucs that have grown and are slated to become full hives are moved into the divided 10F just before their 2nd brood cycle emergence explosion. Excluders and honey boxes are put on. 2 queens side by side below, shared honey boxes above. It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, however it is necessary if intent it to grow as fast as possible. The purpose of putting them together is that for a queen to reach her potential, she needs bees to support her. All the queen does is lay eggs. It is the bees that do everything. More bees make more bees which make more bees which make more bees. The startup nucs do not have that critical mass of bees to really hit the exponential curve. By combining, then they do. The bees are shared and will go where the brood needs them the most.  The side by side queen system works better than over under when clusters are small. By keeping the nests closest together, by thin divider, the bees work each side as a single cluster. The bees access each brood nest by crossing over through the boxes above the excluder. The result is a compact 2 queen hive that expands very very rapidly. These typically also fill 1.5-2 boxes of honey easily.  By the 3rd brood cycle each of the queens is feeling cramped in the divided box. At that time she is moved into her own full 10 frame hive body. When all goes well: what started as two 2 frame nucs with ripe queen cells end the season as two double deep hives full of bees ready for winter and a bonus of 1.5-2 boxes of honey harvested.  It works, but yes it is a lot of work to rapidly expand an apiary.

Seasons differ in extremes.  Winter is harsh.  -27 degC this morning.  Summer is 26 to 30 degC and 20+ hours of daylight.  The bees work tirelessly from dawn to dusk.  With those long daylight hours per day, yes the rate they bring it in and overall honey yields can get rather impressive.

Did I miss answering any of the questions?

I hope what is described is easy to follow, and helps - in some way.


When I started this thread, we already have had much experience with two queen setups. What I had not tried yet was to put 3 of them together. We now know that also works, under good conditions. I am looking forward to experimenting with a 4 queen setup this spring and see if they can get to being on their own any faster.  Its all about maximizing the number of bees as fast as possible.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 06:43:18 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2019, 03:01:13 am »
THP!
Thanks for Your answers. There are always a lot things to be learned from you.

With the 4-compartments of 2 frames in 1 box I have similar experiences and don?t like to use them. Queen getting in the wrong compartment or generally bad to handle. I had done this for reasons of warmth.

I see the difference in your setup and I think I know why. You need to minimize your time-effort. so by sacrificing whole colonies everything can be more tight and organized than if you make nucs and queens out of the running apiary. I was as yet to samll for that. I am thinking of similar ways, if not the same. matter of ways to drive and matter of material.

I am thinking of putting 3 brood combs (I will sacrifice a few stragglers and the combs from swarm control) into a 5-frame nuc box with a cell. That will fill the box rapidly. when first hatch is emerging I migth add another 5 combs on top and/or do the thing with 3 nucs and 2 honey-supers.

To clarify, some questions: You use "shook swarms" - only bees, no brood - in your (mating) nucs of 2 frame?
You do not use brood in there, but take brood for swarm control, give a cell and sell that unit off right away (after queen laying I presume)?

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2019, 03:28:20 pm »
_______
I see the difference in your setup and I think I know why. You need to minimize your time-effort. so by sacrificing whole colonies everything can be more tight and organized than if you make nucs and queens out of the running apiary. I was as yet to samll for that. I am thinking of similar ways, if not the same. matter of ways to drive and matter of material.
_______
**Sacrificing one large colony will yield between 3 and 6 new colonies. You need to -invest- a colony to make more colonies. How many more depends on how heavily you invest. Take down a big hive, big investment, big yield. Take down a straggler weak hive, small investment, small yield.  If no sacrifices are made, and resources are drawn from the main running apiary, then the whole apiary will suffer some, negative yield.  Best to set the goal and take whole hives to meet the goal. As you say - for well organized streamlined work, as well as to minimize the impact to the rest of the apiary.

When a full double deep hive is taken down, it gives 20 frames of comb with bees and resources. This usually gives 4 to 5 new nucs.  4 nucs (2F) get ripe cells, the 5th nuc may be a bit larger (3F to 5F) is the donor queen, some bees, and a small amount of capped brood from the original hive. Any frames left over are used towards getting the divided 10F boxes prepared for later.

_______
I am thinking of putting 3 brood combs (I will sacrifice a few stragglers and the combs from swarm control) into a 5-frame nuc box with a cell. That will fill the box rapidly. when first hatch is emerging I migth add another 5 combs on top and/or do the thing with 3 nucs and 2 honey-supers.
_______
**A great plan. Just keep in mind that the larger the size of the nucs are made, the fewer number of startups can be made. Rapid expansion is focused on quantity of new startups. The mass/size building comes after the startup quantity goal is made.


_______
To clarify, some questions: You use "shook swarms" - only bees, no brood - in your (mating) nucs of 2 frame?
You do not use brood in there, but take brood for swarm control, give a cell and sell that unit off right away (after queen laying I presume)?
_______
** Correct. Most of the 2F nucs will have no brood at all when they are made. 1 frame of resources, 1 frame mostly empty but fully drawn comb. Few bees are used to make the nuc so try not to have brood for them to stress over taking care of. I want the bees looking after the queen cell and the new queen first and foremost. Yes, some small brood may be used in making the 2 frame nucs, however not much and is not intentional. When the hive is sacrificed, it will have some brood. Very small patches of brood may be put into the 2F nucs simply because they will also have some resources on them. The negative side of no brood is if the cell fails or the mating flight is lost, there is no retry with another cell. The bees will be too old. The nuc is shook out in front of another nuc or hive. Extra nucs are made to account for these. If the goal is 10 new hives, then start 14 nucs at the outset. Later when the results are in, losses tallied, the extra queens are sold and the nucs resources are recombined to increase the new colony mass/size OR the whole extra nuc is sold.

The queen cell is RIPE, meaning she is out within 12-36 hours. There is no delay between making the nuc and putting the cell in. When cells are ready, nucs are made that day and cells put in immediately.

Large patches of brood from the donor hive are put into a nearby production hive that needs a boost or has the bees and space needed to look after the extra brood.
 
You are correct on swarm control. When brood is taken (splits) for swarm control it is put into nucs and sold with a laying queen.  I do not put a QC in with a lot of brood, as I view that like a supercedure/requeening situation. It is ideal if the timing of the swarm control for the main big hives coincides with the time to transfer the new and growing 2F colonies into the divided 10F boxes.  When those stars align, swarm control brood is used to boost the 2F colonies as they are being moved into the 5F spaces.


Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 02:31:39 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2019, 02:56:58 am »
sure helps.
some more questions. some more comments.

excuse me.... I ended up in the wrong thread, as the goal this coming season is NOT rapid growth any more, but maximizing honey-production and saving on work on the nucs. Therefore the 3-brood-frame-nucs in 5-frame-boxes.
I will make nucs of course and I might even start selling some spring 2020. But the nucs for sale will be 1 brood-frame or similar (simlilar to what you described - no brood, just bees) and they will have to be fed, in my experience. at least from end of may on. these will go into 6-frame-jumbo-nucs, the standard for sale for that frame-size. they will grow till August to size. Sometimes brood-frames can be harvested in July/August.
The nucs to stay in our apiary will be the 3-frame-nucs (5F-box), they will sustain (no feeding) themselves in a normal year even if stay put, can be moved about to a flow at ease cause of pallets, can be split after the last flow. So 1.5 frames of brood or at least 2 frames will yield a colony and honey. They won`?t make 2 deeps of honey, I am sure, not at our place. But I might get 40 kg out of 3 if stay put. Or even 80 kg out of 3 if migrated to flows. But forest-honey is not so very good for building nucs. Did it last year....
So.... having about 8 frames in my colonies, I?d get about 4 out of 1 if I sacrificed a colony.

These last years I have reluctanctly only sacrifized stragglers. After every flow I took em out and made nucs or put them together for builders.
The running honey-producers I took brood from very reluctanctly, if possible not at all. We DO have a swarming tendency which can amount to almost 100% wanting to leave, depending on the year with all its circumstances. This year was about 50%.
I used to let em run till they showed swarmcells, then took (out of 6 to 8 combs) 1 to 2 combs with swarmcells and made up a nuc right from that. Usually that sufficed, but  3 weeks later they might get ideas again.
Last year I tried taking out all brood, but that really stomped the colonies back to much. Never trust a beek-friend who hasn?t been doing things for years with success....!
I did do this with breeder queens. So I harvested swarm-cells and nucs with swarm-cells from them and so made sure they wouldn`t take flight. I value those genes, I know many don`?t. Swarm-cells only taken from bristling, swelling colonies which produce a lot of honey.
in the late flow they produced again. But there isn?t always a late flow...so....

THP: You take apart a two-deep-colony, move good brood frames into the running apiary and you take other combs into your nucs. Using the bees with the combs, the bees from just that colony. No bulk-bees brought in from somewhere else. Moving in cells from your building yard. Move the nucs away and leave the old queen with a box behind.
When I did something like that and moved the pallet with the old-queen-nuc about with the full-grown colony next door, the nuc never developed. So it would be better to take the whole yard apart and reduce it to nuc-size.
Correct what is not fitting, please.

first swarm cells we might get well before we think of grafting, to be honest. The warmth and massive flow of spring start sort of sudden and all at once usually. so real swarming-season is the same time best artificial queen rearing is done. Everything at the same time, really. Bit of a stress.

How do You build Your starters and maintain them?

Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2019, 07:54:52 am »
Why do you use swarm cells, is swarming no problem for you?

Since you are Bioland certified, commercial raised queens shouldn't be a problem for you.

This year i had one swarm (but from one colony of a a. m. sicula (and only because i waited to long to discontinue that hive as it was aggressive and left it unopened for 6 weeks).

From all other i got 50% with swarming tendency, but breaking cells once was all that had to be done.

Last two years i didn't had one swarm cell (and cause of this, a hard time of raising queens, they just weren't in the mood to start cells).

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2019, 10:00:31 am »
I think swarm cells are the best. It is only the largest and most productive colonies I use swarm cells from.
Kiel is now a quite different matter than the Kraichgau concerning swarming tendencies, I am sure.
I don?t notice an increase in swarming tendencies because of this, although I didn?t make a scientific survey out of it...

Offline TheHoneyPump

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MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2019, 03:04:21 pm »
__________________
THP: You take apart a two-deep-colony, move good brood frames into the running apiary and you take other combs into your nucs. Using the bees with the combs, the bees from just that colony. No bulk-bees brought in from somewhere else. Moving in cells from your building yard. Move the nucs away and leave the old queen with a box behind.
When I did something like that and moved the pallet with the old-queen-nuc about with the full-grown colony next door, the nuc never developed. So it would be better to take the whole yard apart and reduce it to nuc-size.
--> 1. ) Correct what is not fitting, please.

first swarm cells we might get well before we think of grafting, to be honest. The warmth and massive flow of spring start sort of sudden and all at once usually. so real swarming-season is the same time best artificial queen rearing is done. Everything at the same time, really. Bit of a stress.

--> 2. ) How do You build Your starters and maintain them?
________________________________________


1. Absolutely correct.  Perfect summary.

2. Recall those straggler hives? That is the cell starter.  She is easy to spot in the spring as an old queen shutting down, a drone layer, or a poorly mated queen that is not making acceptable patterns. When ready to start QC's the queen is killed, making that straggler hive queen less - this becomes cell builder. Boost it by adding in one or two large capped brood frames from a nearby hive that will be later sacrificed. Add grafts. Once a week remove an empty frame and add a frame of capped brood. When the program is done and do not need any more cells, give them a ripe cell and let them become queenrite. ... ... ... The cell finisher is a nearby strong queenright hive. The laying queen is kept in the lower box with the frames of eggs and larvae by a queen excluder. Capped brood is pulled up into the upper box and empty drawn frames are put in below. This larvae/capped brood/empty frame manipulation is done each time new started cells are ready for finishing. Up to 2 frames of started cells are add into (40 to 60 cells) the upper box, sandwiched between capped brood frames. The upper box (10F) is setup as:   E H H/P B C B C B H/P H.  ( queenless cell starter + queenrite cell finisher )


Summarizing:
- Straggler weak hive(s) are brood boosted and later made queen less to become cell starters.
- Nearby strong hive(s) are used as cell finishers. Cells are in the upper box above a strong queen.
- When drones and ripe queen cells are ready. Strong hives are taken apart to make as many 2F startups as possible.
- The 2F startups are intensively managed to be grown into full hives by the end of season.

Note that there is a minimum mass requirement to the apiary before you can get started on a -rapid growth- projection.  There must be a minimum of 6 good healthy strong hives to work with before the program can start. 2 are kept whole (in case you fail). 2 goto queen/drone rearing. 2 are taken apart for new hive startups/nucs. 

As described, is aggressive growth from the resources within the apiary. If you open your wallet to buy the queens, then the program looks a bit different.

That about sums it up. The information interlaced through all of the above posts can be strung together to make up the plan and the program for rapid growth of your own apiary.  Most critical of all:  Plan and execute.  Make a plan, resource the plan, follow the plan.

Here's to a prosperous 2019!  Let the fun begin ;)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 04:21:42 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2019, 03:50:07 pm »
THP: Thanks for answering my questions.

some more, for detail:
When you make the starter queenless, do you wait with grafting? How many days? starter is one box only, I assume?
How many cells do you give? Same amount to the finisher?
How long before putting the cells from the starter to the finisher?

Will read your post again. got to bring the little one to bed now.

Might yet need the rapid growth program. Cold is sitting on us and no cleansing flight in sight. pine honey in the stores... not good for bees in winter.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2019, 02:20:47 pm »
THP: Thanks for answering my questions.

some more, for detail:
When you make the starter queenless, do you wait with grafting? How many days? starter is one box only, I assume?
How many cells do you give? Same amount to the finisher?
How long before putting the cells from the starter to the finisher?

Will read your post again. got to bring the little one to bed now.

Might yet need the rapid growth program. Cold is sitting on us and no cleansing flight in sight. pine honey in the stores... not good for bees in winter.

It is difficult to get into describing a queen rearing program in a forum post and in context of this thread. I know you appreciate there are too many details to address in this format. Further, just as there are different methods to hive management, there are as many to queen rearing. ( I would be amiable to take up detailed discussion in email/PM )

Without taking a deep dive, I can offer only summary points for your latest questions.
- 1 day. Kill queen, graft later the same day or the next day. For next 5 days be sure to thoroughly check all frames for emergency cells (from the old queen), destroy them. OR you can wait 4 to 6 days before starting the grafts. I don't wait as doing so wastes precious calendar time in my short season. I instead take a few moments to inspect the frames in the starter each time am adding grafts.
- That is correct, each starter is one 10F box
- 1 to 2 graft frames of 30 cells each, 30-60 cells, depends on how many bees are in the starter at the time. Also weekly add capped/emerging brood as needed to keep it populated and nurse bees rotating.
- Cells are left in the starter until cups are drawn 3mm long then moved to the finisher. This is generally 1 to 2 days in the starter.
- Cells in finisher are spot checked visually daily, starting the day before the cells are expected to be capped. Some cells get capped quicker some are later. This is a critical check point; the expected queen emergence date is advanced or delayed based on the observed date capped. The work plan on the calendar for nuc day is adjusted based on this. On day 5 after the capping day, the nucs are made and cells are installed.

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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2019, 03:54:09 pm »
@THP:
I will call on that, with the PMs!

But just one more question, as others might profit:
How many cells per finisher?
Finisher: Strong going two-deep-hive, 1 brood box with excluder on top. Grafts go in between (open?) brood frames in the top box, moved from below.
Correct?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2019, 04:13:15 pm »
In the upper box of the finisher: 30 cells per frame, 2 frames - 60 cells max, sandwiched between CAPPED emerging brood. The only open cells in the upper box are the queen cells.
All open brood is down below the qe with the queen, along with at least 2 empty frames for her to continue laying in.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 03:13:08 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline robirot

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2019, 04:16:35 pm »
In the upper box of the finisher: 30 cells per frame, 2 frames - 60 cells max, sandwiched between CAPPED emerging brood. The only open cells in the upper box are the queen cells.
All open brood is down below the qe with the queen, along with at least 2 empty frames for her to continue laying in.
What 60 cells per finisher?

7-10 betwen uncapped brood (to draw nurse bees up). Move at day 5 into incubator.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: MultiQueen for Rapid Growth - will this work?
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2019, 03:02:47 pm »
As described;  The finisher serves both purposes of completing and capping the cells as wells as is the incubator.

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