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Making Nucs & Splits and Queen Rearing for the Hobby Beekeeper. Why rear your own queens? Self Sustainability Make up for Winter Losses Increase in hive numbers Genetic Diversity – within apiary and general area Club Cohesion – Increased Funding (aka – Making Money).

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Making Nucs & Splits and Queen Rearing for the Hobby Beekeeper


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    1. Making Nucs & Splits andQueen Rearingfor theHobby Beekeeper

    2. Why rear your own queens? • Self Sustainability • Make up for Winter Losses • Increase in hive numbers • Genetic Diversity – within apiary and general area • Club Cohesion – • Increased Funding (aka – Making Money)

    3. Why rear your own queens? Cost. A typical queen costs about $20 plus shipping. Time & Availability. In an emergency you order a queen and it takes several days to make arrangements and get the queen. A queen may not be available. Often you need a queen yesterday. If you have some in mating nucs, on hand, then you already have a queen and availability is not a problem. AHB. Southern raised queens are more and more from Africanized Honey Bee areas. In order to keep AHB out of our area we should stop importing queens from those areas. Acclimatized bees. It's unreasonable to expect bees bred in the deep South to winter well here. Local feral stock is acclimatized to our local climate. Even breeding from commercial stock, you can breed from the ones that winter well here.

    4. Why rear your own queens? Mite and disease resistance.Tracheal mite resistance is an easy trait to breed for. Just don't treat and you'll get resistant bees. Hygienic behavior, which is helpful to avoid AFB (American Foulbrood) and other brood diseases as well as Varroa mite problems, is also easy to breed for by testing for hygienic behavior in our breeder queens. The genetics of our queens is far too important to be left to people who don't have a stake in their success. People selling queens and bees actually make more money selling replacement queens and bees when the bees fail. Quality. The quality of your queens can often surpass that of a queen breeder. You have the time to spend to do things that a commercial breeder cannot afford to do. For instance, research has shown that a queen that is allowed to lay up until it's 21 days will be a better queen with better developed ovarioles than one that is banked sooner. A longer wait will help even more, but that first 21 days is much more critical. A commercial queen producer typically looks for eggs at two weeks and if there are any it is banked and eventually shipped. You can let yours develop better by spending more time.

    5. Books and References • Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding (1997) by Harry LaidlawJr. and Robert Page Jr., Wicwas Press, Cheshire, Connecticut. • Successful Queen Rearing by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter • Contemporary Queen Rearing (1979) by Harry Laidlaw Jr., Dadant and Sons, Hamilton, Illinois. • Breeding Queens (1997) by Gilles Fert, O.P.I.D.A., Argentan, France. • Rearing Queen Honey Bees by Roger Morse • Fifty Years Among the Bees - by C.C. Miller • BushBees – Michael Bushhttp://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    6. Beekeeping Math Caste Hatch Cap Emerge Queen 3½ days 8 days +-1 16 days +-1 Laying 28 days +-5 Worker 3½ days 9 days +-1 20 days +-1 Foraging 42 days +-7 Drone 3½ days 10 days +-1 24 days +-1 Flying to DCA 38 days +-5

    7. What to look for or judging a colony Queen Mother Hive • Calm – Gentle bees • Good Honey Production • Resistance to pests and Diseases • Good laying pattern • Hygienic behavior

    8. What you need • Regular Equipment • No Special Equipment Required • You could use… • Follower Boards • Nuc Boxes

    9. Queen rearing supplies • Mann Lake Ltd.- Plastic cell cups, cages, grafting tools, kits, nuc boxes. • Dadant & Sons Inc. - Books, supplies • A. I. Root Co.- Books, videos • Brushy Mountain Bee Farm - Jenter system, supplies. • Betterbee Inc. (800) 632-3379 - Supplies and kits • Walter T. Kelley Co. (502) 242-2012,- Wood cages, wax cups, grafting tools

    10. What the bees Want! • Lots of bees – Large Population compared to the size of the hive/nuc box. Put in extra workers from other frames. • Young Bees – Make up starter with at least two frames of capped brood with all the workers. • New comb – Use of new comb for queen cells makes it easier for the workers to construct cells. • Fresh Eggs/Larva – Give the workers what they need gives the beekeeper a better end resulting Queen.

    11. Queen Rearing Calendar: 0 - Place queen cell frame in brood chamber of Queen mother hive. 3 - Setup cell starter, make them queenless and make sure there is a VERY high density of bees. Make sure they have plenty of pollen and nectar. Feed the starter for better acceptance. 3 ½ - Eggs hatch 4 - Transfer the frame to the starter hive. Feed the starter for better acceptance. 8 - Queen cells capped 13 - Setup mating nucs Make up mating nucs, or hives to be requeened so they will be queenless and wanting a queen cell. Feed the mating nucs for better acceptance. 14 - Transfer queen cells to mating nucs. On day 14 the cells are at their toughest and in hot weather they may emerge on day 15 so we need them in the mating nucs or the hives to be requeened if you prefer, so the first queen out doesn't kill the rest. 15-17 Queens emerge (In hot weather, 15 is more likely. In cold weather, 17 is more likely. Typically, 16 is most likely.) 17-21 Queens harden 21-24 Orientation flights 21-28 Mating flights 25-35 Queen starts laying

    12. H H H H P H B H B H P H H H Queen Mother Hive Ten Frame Boxes All Mediums Brood Chamber H P B H P H H B Q S F B B H P H H H P H P H B B B H P H B

    13. Queen Mother Hive Ten Frame Boxes Deep Brood Chamber H H H P H P B H B H B H P H H H P B H P B H P H H P B B Q S F B B H P H

    14. Queen Starter Set up Honey Capped Brood Frame with Foundation Capped Brood Honey

    15. Queen Starter Set up Honey Capped Brood Queen Cell Starter Frame Capped Brood Honey

    16. Queen Starter Set up ten Frame Honey Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Capped Brood Capped Brood Frame with Foundation Capped Brood Capped Brood Honey & Pollen Honey

    17. Queen Starter Set up ten Frame Honey Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Capped Brood Capped Brood Queen Cell Starter Frame Capped Brood Capped Brood Honey & Pollen Honey

    18. Queen Starter Set up ten Frame box with follower board Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Frame with Foundation Capped Brood Honey & Pollen

    19. Queen Starter Set up ten Frame box with follower board Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Queen Cell Starter Frame Capped Brood Honey & Pollen

    20. Queen Starter Set up ten Frame box with follower boards Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Brood, capped brood and queen cells Capped Brood Honey & Pollen

    21. Any Questions ???

    22. See you Tomorrow!

    23. Nucs and Splits • Taking frames off of a strong hive • Splitting a hive up into multiple Nucs • Set up Nuc yard away from mother hive apiary.

    24. Before you Start Remember…. • You will need…. • Queens

    25. Take a Split off a Hive • Take 5 frames off of a strong hive • 2 frames of Honey with Pollen • 3 frames of Brood • Queen from Queen cell or Starter nuc.

    26. Split a hive into nucs • Take 3 - 4 nucs off of a hive • 2 frames of Honey with Pollen • 3 frames of Brood • Queen from Queen cell or Starter nuc.

    27. Feed nucs depending on need and Season • Build nucs for winter storage or selling

    28. H H H H P H B H B H P H H H H P B H P H H B B B B H P H Ten Frame Boxes All Mediums Brood Chamber H H P H P H B B B H P H B

    29. H H H P H P B H B H B H P H H H P B Ten Frame Boxes Deep Brood Chamber H P B H P H H P B B B B B H P H

    30. Nuc set up Honey Capped Brood Brood, capped brood and queen cells Capped Brood Honey

    31. Nuc/Split Set up ten Frame box with follower board Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Brood, capped brood and queen cells Capped Brood Honey & Pollen

    32. Nuc/Split Set up ten Frame box with follower boards Honey & Pollen Capped Brood Brood, capped brood and queen cells Capped Brood Honey & Pollen

    33. Any Questions ???

    34. Growing a Nuc