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Thread: Nuc as a cell raiser question

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  1. #1

    Default Nuc as a cell raiser question

    Hi,

    This is my 2nd year trying grafting and I'm confident of a good year because my technique has improved greatly - I think.

    I've been using my full hives to raise queens and this season I'd much rather use the the eight overwintered nucs I have, which are on double boxes.

    I'm hoping less fiddling with the full hives will deliver more honey.

    My plan on the nuc is to use one as a cell builder. My plan is:

    1. separate the double brood box nuc with a queen excluder.
    2. Move all the sealed brood to the top box and maybe add a few frames more so I can get four or five sealed frames.
    3. Wait for them to emerge.
    4. Remove the queen and any open broad.
    5. Shake some extra bees into the queenless nuc.

    That should give me a big nuc, full of nurse bees and no broad.

    My question is - if I have the equipment of six national frames of bees how many grafts could I put in for optimal results.

    I only need twenty queens and do this more because it's fun - I'm just not sure if I'll get poorer results if I put 20 grafts in (my max) than if I just do 10.

    Any advice to this novice queen rearer would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Hi, we only use nuc sized units for queen rearing now. We do it differently to your plan but it's the principle that matters in this instance rather than the methodology. I just find it preferable to use a handful of nucs which can be actively cell raising or resting, depending on what's needed rather than one or two big units. Personal choice.

    I'd personally not worry about getting the maximum take although a powerful nuc will do your twenty +/-. Looking at it from the mating end of the plan I'd aim to have maybe three or four batches of ten or so queens going through (having made maybe 14 grafts to begin); more potential drone diversity and plenty of wriggle room for getting out of problems with the weather and other general mishaps.

    Several small batches also give you a built in opportunity for culling some, this is something I now believe to be even more important than selecting the mother.

    A final advantage is that you'll be extending your practical experience of hands on queen rearing through the season, that's important because with our relatively short seasons it's hard to get hours on the clock.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post

    A final advantage is that you'll be extending your practical experience of hands on queen rearing through the season, that's important because with our relatively short seasons it's hard to get hours on the clock.
    Great point, thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    If you raise 20 all at once you'll need 20 nucs to raise 20 queens..

    I only have 17 mating nucs..!:-)

    You might enjoy reading this...http://tinyurl.com/y9u6ppbt

  5. #5
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    Which is where mini nucs come into play.

    PH

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poly Hive View Post
    Which is where mini nucs come into play.

    PH
    I have 20 minu nucs. So I'm covered there. I'm starting to think I've got a poly nuc addiction

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