Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
July 31, 2014, 10:56:57 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Rapid growth - all nucs?  (Read 3579 times)
specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« on: April 22, 2012, 05:24:48 PM »

I had a 100% loss last season. I'm trying to make up my numbers this year. I already caught 2 swarms, I'm hoping on more, and I have 2 nucs on order (should be any day now). I have plenty of drawn frames.

In planning on growth, I'm wondering which strategy I should take:

1. Operate all 5 frame nucs. Once every three weeks (or so) take 2 frames of brood and adhereing bees from each nuc and use them to make new hives, adding in a queen. For example, if I had 2 hives right now, take two frames from each and make a 4 frame nuc, giving me 3 hives. Three weeks later, take two frames from each hive (making six total) and make two three frame hives, giving me 5 hives total, ect.

2. Let the two swarms fill out to two boxes (20 frames), then split them 4 or 5 ways.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 07:41:56 PM by specialkayme » Logged
Sparky
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 804


Location: Hagerstown MD


« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 07:21:55 PM »

I think your approach is a bit aggressive to start out. If you rob two frames the growth will be slower. If you start with one frame from each and increase at a slower rate the bees will be more productive.
Logged
specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 07:42:46 PM »

True, which is something I can do when I have four or five nucs going. When I have two I can't take one frame from each one and expect much to happen. A two frame nuc is slow to build.
Logged
AllenF
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 8113

Location: Hiram, Georgia


« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 08:34:19 PM »

Keep the feed to them until next spring.    grin   At least you are putting them on drawn comb.
Logged
specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 09:38:55 PM »

I already counted this year as a zero honey year Cheesy
Logged
vmmartin
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 394

Location: Kountze, Texas


« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 10:59:44 PM »

I lost 10 out of 15 myself.  I have decided to rebuild with swarms and cutouts.  I am already back up to 14 and only did one split on a huge swarm that I caught.  I am having to stay very active to keep enough boxes on them.  Do you think you could recover enough of your loss through swarms and less splits? Maybe even get some honey this year. I just read your previous thread about hobby to business.  I imagine that a large number of us have dreams of turning this passion/hobby/lifestyle into a viable business sometime in the future.  I think if you keep a balanced approach and stay small at first, then measure your returns, then your bottom line will direct your path to where the best return on investment lies.  Best wishes.
Logged
specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 07:24:23 AM »

Do you think you could recover enough of your loss through swarms and less splits?

I won't be able to fully recover this year off swarms alone. Last year I got 0 swarms, 1 the year before. I'm at 2 this year, but things appear to go gangbusters. I could get a dozen more, I could get no more. But either way, I was at a high of 22 last year, so it's doubtful I'll be able to catch 20 (or so) more swarms this year.

I just read your previous thread about hobby to business.

My intent with the topic was more of a "plan for 10 years down the road" kinda thing. I would hate to get to 200 hives in 10 years to find out that I don't know what to do with them, cash flow wise.

I think if you keep a balanced approach and stay small at first, then measure your returns, then your bottom line will direct your path to where the best return on investment lies.

My goal in rebuilding this year is to get to a point where I can start grafting again. It's hard to make a swarm box, a queenless builder, a queen-right finisher, and a dozen mating nucs when you only have two nucs.

Once I can rebound to a point where I can graft and raise a few queens, I'm happy taking the rest as it comes and not pushing the envelope.
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6391


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 08:10:11 AM »

I had a 100% loss last season.
How many hives, and have you determined why?   There is a big difference in loosing both hives of 2 or loosing all of 10 or 15?  I would hate to see you invest a bunch of time and resources just to repeat last winters results.

 
Quote
My goal in rebuilding this year is to get to a point where I can start grafting again. It's hard to make a swarm box, a queenless builder, a queen-right finisher, and a dozen mating nucs when you only have two nucs.

This seems to be your limiting factor.   I would highly recommend not doing a bunch of walk away splits as you might end up with a bunch of late fall failures.

I would take your two swarms and the 2 nucs,  put them on drawn comb and let them build up real strong between now and June/July.  Keep an eye on them and feed if necessary.    I would then pick the strongest and turn it into a queen rearing unit using the Cloake method.  Pick a mother queen and raise a round of queen cells from her.    Once you have the cells,   I would take and split hives up into 2 frame mating nucs and give each a cell.   I would then grow these 2 frame mating nucs into 5 frame nucs by fall and plan on overwintering them.  If things go well, there is no reason you can't go into winter with as many nucs as your high.   Overwintered nucs build like gangbusters the following spring.

Of course this is based on my climate/experience, yours might be different.

Good Luck....
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 07:25:45 AM »

How many hives,

22

and have you determined why? 

I didn't lose all of them at once, and I didn't lose all of them for the same reason. I was doing a treatment free thing (had been for six years), and I think it finally caught up to them. Varroa related problems took out the majority of them, but the rest had some other issues, including a suspected nosema issue, a few with supersedure queens that just didn't work, ALOT of robbing during a dearth followed by absconding, one or two that had a queen who died in transport, and a few that just kinda left (I suspect those were a combined Varroa and nosema issue, but not too certain).

Some of it was also beekeeper error. I was studying for the Bar Exam (that test you take to become an Attorney) all last summer. It was literally a 7 day a week, 18 hour a day event. As a result I was only able to check up on the bees once a month, sometimes less. So when I would notice a hive had a problem, there was usually little I could do at that point to fix it, and by the next time I made it back to the yard (which was over an hour away) I found I wasn't keeping bees so much as keeping wax moths.

I've taken steps to eliminate those issues, or deal with them as much as I can. I'm not taking the Bar Exam again (thank god), and I moved my apiary into my backyard. I'm not treatment free anymore. I can't tell you why that was working and then stopped being so. Some I've talked to blame it on my cell size (natural), others say it had something to do with the farm that was neighboring my land. I don't know. But I know treatment free doesn't work. So I'll be testing for varroa monthly, and treating with ApiGuard when necessary. I'm also planning on incorporating Fumagilin-B into my regimen, and attaching robbing guards during dearths.

I would hate to see you invest a bunch of time and resources just to repeat last winters results.

Agreed. Which is why I'm relying on swarms and only one (or two, depending on availability) nucs that are purchased. I would be shocked if I lost all my hives again this year, but it's a possibility that you can't ignore.

I would highly recommend not doing a bunch of walk away splits as you might end up with a bunch of late fall failures.

Never doing walkaway splits again (unless with swarm cells). I made my mistakes in the past with that strategy.

I would take your two swarms and the 2 nucs,  put them on drawn comb and let them build up real strong between now and June/July.  Keep an eye on them and feed if necessary.    I would then pick the strongest and turn it into a queen rearing unit using the Cloake method.  Pick a mother queen and raise a round of queen cells from her.    Once you have the cells,   I would take and split hives up into 2 frame mating nucs and give each a cell.   I would then grow these 2 frame mating nucs into 5 frame nucs by fall and plan on overwintering them.  If things go well, there is no reason you can't go into winter with as many nucs as your high.   Overwintered nucs build like gangbusters the following spring.

That is essentially what I meant by number 2 above. Sounds like a good plan. Thanks for the help.
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6391


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 08:08:23 AM »

Excellent,  sounds like you have put a lot of thought into it have have a good plan.

When I hear someone lost all their hives (22), I immediately correlate it to one cause.  Seems like you have worked through this and have changed things up so you will hopefully not end up going down the same path.

Best of Luck.....
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


specialkayme
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 929

Location: Central NC - (somewhere either in Raleigh, Greensboro, or inbetween)


« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 07:17:38 AM »

Thanks Robo. I had all winter to think about it, lol.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.413 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page July 27, 2014, 01:55:16 AM
anything