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Author Topic: mini mating nuc question  (Read 3203 times)

Offline adamant

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mini mating nuc question
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:14:35 PM »
i over herd a guy talking about setting up mini mating nucs. he was telling a guy that all u need to do is cut a queen cell out on one of your active hives and place it in the mini nuc with frames along with a CUP of bees and thats it! check on them in 2 weeks see if they started to draw comb!
is it that easy?

Offline BjornBee

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 02:58:48 PM »
Depends what you trying to achieve.  ;)

Personally, I don't use, or like mini nucs. The smallest unit I use is a three frame medium box. Most breeding boxes are three and five frame deeps.

Why you ask? .....Well I'm happy to explain!  :-D

Ever get a bad queen? A drone layer, or one with a crappy pattern? I have. And many times it goes bad to the weak management of the queen producer. Please note that queen producer, and queen breeder, is two different things.

The queen industry is notorious for the "see an egg, pull the queen" technique of queen production. There is no way for anyone to truly evaluate a queens performance in a mini or baby nuc. Some will suggest they move the queen to larger units for evaluation which is pure B.S. most of the time. Rationalization is just lies for many. 

Mini nucs confine the queen on such a small amount of comb that she can easily go back and forth many times in one day and have a pattern that looks fantastic. And any good queen breeder knows that 10-20% of all queens will be duds. So how are you supposed to cull out the bad queens if you have no way of actually seeing what the queen is doing from the inside of a mini nuc? This is why bad queens are passed along to the consumer way more often that should be.

I like using full frames. I can pull them in the spring from strong hives, and combine them back in late summer into bigger units to overwinter. I have no wasted comb or dead mni-nucs at the end of the summer.

Mini-nucs are good for the mass production queen producer. But bad for the purchasing beekeeper.

For the backyard beekeeper, I find the purchase and cost of the mini nucs a real waste.
5 frame (or three frame) nucs are much more flexible in application and can be use for many uses. (Swarm traps, found swarm cells, etc.) mini nucs are use for one thing and one thing only.

If your only raising one or two queens, why buy extra equipment? Any box will do. Production is still production. So why not have bees drawing wax and filling comb in frames you can always use?

Mini nucs push the envelope of what is needed to feed, take care, and produce quality queens. I'm glad my operation is not based on that outline for success.
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Offline rwurster

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 03:27:02 PM »
I considered splitting a deep into 2 or 3 sections to raise/mate grafted queens (when I try grafting).  It just made sense that all the equipment I already possess would readily interchange between the deep mating nuc and any of my deep hives. Plus I could put deep frames from existing hives filled with brood or honey or pollen.

I can't wait to try some grafting.  My plan is to use deeps for all stages.
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Offline backyard warrior

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 07:37:44 PM »
I never thought of it that way Mike keep talking a rookie like me needs all these mental notes as usual awesome info thanks  Chris

Offline adamant

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 10:14:09 PM »
Depends what you trying to achieve.  ;)

Personally, I don't use, or like mini nucs. The smallest unit I use is a three frame medium box. Most breeding boxes are three and five frame deeps.

Why you ask? .....Well I'm happy to explain!  :-D

Ever get a bad queen? A drone layer, or one with a crappy pattern? I have. And many times it goes bad to the weak management of the queen producer. Please note that queen producer, and queen breeder, is two different things.

The queen industry is notorious for the "see an egg, pull the queen" technique of queen production. There is no way for anyone to truly evaluate a queens performance in a mini or baby nuc. Some will suggest they move the queen to larger units for evaluation which is pure B.S. most of the time. Rationalization is just lies for many. 

Mini nucs confine the queen on such a small amount of comb that she can easily go back and forth many times in one day and have a pattern that looks fantastic. And any good queen breeder knows that 10-20% of all queens will be duds. So how are you supposed to cull out the bad queens if you have no way of actually seeing what the queen is doing from the inside of a mini nuc? This is why bad queens are passed along to the consumer way more often that should be.

I like using full frames. I can pull them in the spring from strong hives, and combine them back in late summer into bigger units to overwinter. I have no wasted comb or dead mni-nucs at the end of the summer.

Mini-nucs are good for the mass production queen producer. But bad for the purchasing beekeeper.

For the backyard beekeeper, I find the purchase and cost of the mini nucs a real waste.
5 frame (or three frame) nucs are much more flexible in application and can be use for many uses. (Swarm traps, found swarm cells, etc.) mini nucs are use for one thing and one thing only.

If your only raising one or two queens, why buy extra equipment? Any box will do. Production is still production. So why not have bees drawing wax and filling comb in frames you can always use?

Mini nucs push the envelope of what is needed to feed, take care, and produce quality queens. I'm glad my operation is not based on that outline for success.

thank you ..it makes sence..

Offline adamant

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 10:15:03 PM »
i over herd a guy talking about setting up mini mating nucs. he was telling a guy that all u need to do is cut a queen cell out on one of your active hives and place it in the mini nuc with frames along with a CUP of bees and thats it! check on them in 2 weeks see if they started to draw comb!
is it that easy?

is it that easy?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 02:19:38 AM »
First, it's hard to get them to stay with no brood to anchor them.  Next, Bjorn covered several other issues.  Last, what do you do with them at the end of the season?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#matingnucs
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Offline ronwhite3030

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 04:31:23 AM »
great explenation bjorn, by the way what is the inner width of a 3 frame nuc?

Offline BMAC

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 02:39:21 PM »
First, it's hard to get them to stay with no brood to anchor them.  Next, Bjorn covered several other issues.  Last, what do you do with them at the end of the season?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#matingnucs

Michael is right on.  I have tried setting queen cells on broodless mating NUC boxes (4 frame mediums) with 2 cups of bees.  Out of 100 NUCs I found that 80 of them obsconded before the queen emerged and many consolidated into 5 of my NUCs making it near impossible to find the mated queen.

If you are going to play with mating NUCs do yourself a favor and use frames with brood on it.
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Offline RayMarler

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Re: mini mating nuc question
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 12:38:00 AM »
Yes it can be that easy. You might need a feeder.
Just keep in mind,  the smaller the box, the more management attention needed.
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