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Author Topic: A new philosophy for cut-out hives  (Read 2184 times)
Bill W.
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« on: August 09, 2008, 04:16:41 PM »

This has been my first year doing cut-outs and it has been very educational.  I have two more scheduled next week, which will probably be the last I do this year, making an even ten.

My experience has been that it is very difficult to get a cut-out hive to thrive.  My really big one eventually managed to stage a recovery, but the rest mostly stayed on a plateau or became weaker.  One that seemed to be doing OK died out almost entirely over a 48 hour period (that one is still a mystery to me).

So, I have a new plan for cut-outs.  I am planning to immediately combine them with a stronger hive when I bring them home (unless there are signs of sickness, of course).  If I get the queen, I will remove her and sequester her in a nuc.  The idea is to produce a strong hive, ready for a split and then reintroduce the queen following the split.  With the resources of an existing hive, the cut-out bees should be better able to care for the brood and better able to fix up all the cut-out combs.

If I don't get the queen, I will start a nuc with the best brood combs from the cut out and try to raise a queen, but still give the rest of the bees and brood to an existing hive.

I've been fighting to try to save hives that I've mangled, when there is probably more value making existing hives stronger and holding on to the new genetics to give to a split that is really ready to run with them.

Any flaws in my logic?
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 04:32:48 PM »

No real flaws that I can see, with any colony you want them to be able to manage well in whatever space you put them in. Sometimes a nuc is better than a medium, sometimes a deep and a medium is the ticket.

The thing with them making a queen is you need fresh eggs so its fine to allow them to make a new queen from what you've given them as long as they have good numbers and seem frisky, and it doesn't hurt to give them an extra brood frame from a booming hive in your apiary.

I have slightly over 50 hives right now, all are from cut-outs. You win some you lose some but there is good logic in your plan, keep 'em strong and let them show you what they're made of.


...JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 10:30:33 AM »

Bill, your decision seems to me like a very wise one.  Strong colonies is what we should all strive for, weak colonies are subject to much adversity, like disease, robbing, things that like to prey on the weak.  I think this philosophy is grand.

JP, holy smokin' kadoodalhoppers!!!  Fifty hives, that must mean that you have been a busy boy this year.  How many hives did you originally start out with, my memory fails me.  Tell us that story, dear pal.  Have that most wonderfully awesome and great day, we be lovin', livin' and groovin' on our great lives.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 01:10:35 PM »

Cindi, if my memory serves me right I started this season with 19 and wanted to peak at 30, oh well, sold some and gave away many this yr, a good bit to a friend and mentor, my friend Bailey in raceland, Keith on the forums here and a customer/friend in uptown New Orleans.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 11:26:41 AM »

JP, good, you have truly been working ya butt off!!  When does the season slow down for you with all the work with cutouts and swarms and such?  or does it?  hmmm....beautiful and wonderful days, so many more to come.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 06:42:34 PM »

JP, good, you have truly been working ya butt off!!  When does the season slow down for you with all the work with cutouts and swarms and such?  or does it?  hmmm....beautiful and wonderful days, so many more to come.  Cindi

Still more to do, banner yr.


...JP Wink
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
KONASDAD
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 10:26:15 AM »

I desire the gentics from my ferals. therefore I try not to combine or re-queen from existing colonies. Therefore I have been giving them about one week and then make an evaluation. If they dont have a queen but have lots of population, I give them eggs from another feral hive.
 

I have come to the conclusion, that individually and collectively we spend too much time caring for weak hives. They are weak for two reasons. 1. Queen sucks. 2. suffered trauma. We do ourselves a diservice by perpetuating the first situation. get them combined and get rid of weak queens. I am endeavoring to take my own advice. I started w/ 5 hives and now have 18. I did have 25, but  a few combines and one queenlesss hive were illiminated. Bees are sacred, but not every bee!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 07:33:30 PM »

I only really do cutouts because I care about the bees and I care about the genetics.  I lose the genetics if I combine.  I'd rather give the cutout a few frames of honey, pollen and after the queen cells are well along, some emerging brood to get them going so I can keep the genetics.
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Bill W.
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 08:28:37 PM »

Combining is only part of my strategy.  I'm putting the queen in a nuc so I have her in a secure place and then combining the rest of the hive.

The whole point of doing things this way is so that I don't lose the queen to a weak, struggling hive.  The idea is to use the cut-out hive to help a strong hive build up to a strong split and then put the queen back in.  My goal is to produce a strong hive for that queen and keep the genetics, rather than risk it all on being able to save a hive that I put through the wringer.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 11:31:05 PM »

When you bring your cutouts back to the bee yard, do you allow them to go out the next day or do you keep them closed up for a day or two so they will reorient to the new placement.  The gum I just brought home lost almost all the population in two days.  I opened them up the morning after I brought them home the night before, now only 100 bees left!!  Did they just fly out to gather and get lost?
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Stephen Stewart
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Bill W.
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2008, 11:55:12 PM »

I haven't closed them in, but I have caged the queen inside for a few days whenever I've found her.  When I haven't found the queen but think there is a possibility I just missed her, I put a queen excluder over the bottom board to keep her from leaving.

Usually, they'll reorient automatically if they have been moved a long distance.

However, they if they don't like the new conditions, they may abscond.  That is why I like to keep the queen caged if possible.
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