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Thread: Demaree when brood on 'one and a half'

  1. #1

    Default Demaree when brood on 'one and a half'

    I have been asked to help a beekeeper with one colony to do a Demaree to raise a new queen, but they are on 'one and a half'. Done plenty on single brood box, but not this.

    Obviously put queen on one frame in new brood box at the bottom, then queen excluder.

    If I put the super with brood above that queen excluder, then another super, will there be enough residual queen pheromone on the super with brood to prevent the bees above the top queen excluder thinking they are queenless, so won't raise a queen?

    Or should I put 2 supers without any brood, and all the one and a half (less one frame with the queen) above the top queen excluder?

    I can't lose the super with brood by uniting with with another colony as she only has one.

    Anyone ever done this?
    Advice please!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I've never done brood and a half... It might be an opportunity to take away the 'half' if she wants two colonies.
    I would be inclined to have two broodless supers between the queen below and the brood and a half above, just to give a better chance of reducing the queen pheromone enough. The other option is to simply do an artificial swarm (a split) with the queen and some brood frames on the old site and the super and another brood box on the new site a metre or two away with some open brood from which the split can make a queen. Then ensure that the remaining queencell is in the brood box, put a queen excluder between the super and broodbox and the brood will have emerged from the super before the queen starts to lay. (Can you tell that I don't like the idea of a brood and half?!). If the owner wants to maximise honey with the old queen, once the 'split' has a queencell, the super could be put back on the old site where the queen is and the brood will emerge and strengthen it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    I've never done brood and a half... It might be an opportunity to take away the 'half' if she wants two colonies.
    I would be inclined to have two broodless supers between the queen below and the brood and a half above, just to give a better chance of reducing the queen pheromone enough. The other option is to simply do an artificial swarm (a split) with the queen and some brood frames on the old site and the super and another brood box on the new site a metre or two away with some open brood from which the split can make a queen. Then ensure that the remaining queencell is in the brood box, put a queen excluder between the super and broodbox and the brood will have emerged from the super before the queen starts to lay. (Can you tell that I don't like the idea of a brood and half?!). If the owner wants to maximise honey with the old queen, once the 'split' has a queencell, the super could be put back on the old site where the queen is and the brood will emerge and strengthen it.
    Thanks, Adam, all you say makes a lot of sense. Part of doing a Demaree is a training exercise, so I will stick with it, but remove the super, making sure queen down below, and merge it (newspaper) with one of my colonies.

    Brood and a half has some problems, but easier than double brood, specially for a beginner, and OK until you want to do something like Demaree, so if you are just going for honey production that year, it is fine, and can go down to single brood for the winter, all options open next year.

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