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Author Topic: Maintaining a Starter-Finisher queenless Colony  (Read 1810 times)
Dr/B
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Location: South Central, Miss


« on: June 13, 2007, 01:43:39 AM »

Anyone have any experience in keeping a queenless starter-finisher colony for raising you own queens?

I have this hive that is so super aggressive, that I decided to requeen it.  These bees were so bad, they'd follow you as far as 50 yards, and still be trying to sting you hours after opening the hive up....even the next day a few would still be flying around trying to get me.......

While in the process of requeening this hive, I decided to try and make a starter-finisher queenless colony.  I had read this technique in my Dadant-"Contemporary Queen Rearing" and wanted to try it.  I killed the aggressive queen, swept down the bees, and took every frame of brood, honey, pollen etc....and distributed it between 5 other hives.  I then set up the box as spelled out in my Dadant book, adding two division board feeders, 3 frames pollen, and two frames of open brood.  This hive is a "free-flying" starter-finisher colony and not confined in any way.  I checked them today and already have roughly 4-6 queens drawn out.  I plan on making some splits next week, then swap out the frames with more open brood and continue to let them draw out more and more queen cells.  I've decided to use their aggression to my advantage, and make them help me increase my numbers........

Everything is going pretty good right now.

Anybody had any similiar experience with this?  I am trying to decide how often to add more capped brood for increasing/replacing the worker/nurse bees, and keeping the number of bees high.  It appears the aggressiveness of this hive is paying off, and they make great queens with all that aggression.  Hopefully, the queens will be not as aggressive, as I used some better bee gene line for larva/open brood.  I'm checking and keeping the division board feeders full, and will probably add more pollen cells every other week.  Anyone had luck with anything like this?

Comments appreciated!


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 06:56:05 AM »

I've never had any luck keeping them queenless and getting more than two or three batches of queens from them.  They lose their enthusiasm.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
doak
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Location: Central Ga. 35 miles north of Macon


« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2007, 05:02:49 PM »

If  you want only a few queens, here's what I do.
#1 Pick the colony you want to get your queens from.
#2 Take the queen with the frame she is on, plus two other frames that have most of the eggs on those.
#3 Put this in a new hive body, a few feet away from the mother hive.
    Add a feeder
    (The colony you take the queen and brood from should be your strongest, gentlest colony)
#4  Now, wait 3 or 4 days to make sure the mother colony doesn't start queen cells.
     If it does, destroy those cells till no more appear.
 #5   By now you should have your queen cell frame ready to go. With day old larvae.
    Put this frame in the mother Queenless hive.
#6 Next, while the queen cells are being developed, "if you have two or more colonies"
  Make up as many nucs "From your other colonies" for how many queens you want.

   In 10 to 12 days you should have capped queen cells, put one in each nuc.

    If you wish to make a one colony increese, save one cell for the mother/cell building colony.
    If not, rejoin the queenhive with the mother hive, news paper type.

    For a few queens  it isn't necessary to have a long term cell building colony.
    If you need one for that long, Like Michael Bush said, You need to make a new cell builder  colony       
    every  2nd or 3rd batch.
doak
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Dr/B
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Location: South Central, Miss


« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2007, 09:25:31 PM »

THANKS DOAK!

I like this technique alot.............I'm gonna try it.............



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