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Author Topic: Turn Your Weakness Into A Strength!  (Read 5190 times)
NWIN Beekeeper
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« on: February 09, 2007, 01:57:35 AM »

There is a program that has been discussed during field days and on other forums that is worth repeating.

The system utilizes the weakest colonies in your yards to be torn down and used for building nucs.

For example, lets say we have 20 hives and maybe 5 are weakly.

Those 5 weakly hives would contain roughly 20 frames of brood each (or 100 total frames)
We intend to make 5 frame nucs, and so 100 divided by 5 frames yields 20 nucs.

We would first either order or more preferably rear 20 new queens.
Several days prior to the queens hatching we would break down the 5 hives into the 20 nucs.
The now queenless nucs will readily accept the queen cells before they hatch.
This greatly enhances the likelihood that the queen will be accepted.

In two weeks, the new nucs should have mated and laying queens that will exceed the quality and performance of the 5 sacrified hives. In a months time, you should have 20 new, strong, and vigorous hives.

By this method, you increased from 15 strong and 5 weak (20) to a total of 35 strong hives.

The same process would have cost $1125 in packages.

You have taken a weakness and manipulated it into a strength.

This is especially lucrative in southern climates where you get a jump on the season and can offer nucs earlier than northen queen producers.

Furthermore if you explore the economics of the situation:

You could have sold the 10 weak hives for say $100 each = $1000.
With strong nucs, you sell each of the 20 nucs for $80 = $1600.
With some effort and a months time you have yeilded $600.
Keep in mind with the hives you would have sold the equipment.
With the nucs you can buy $5 cardboard nuc box and keep your original equipment.

Gotta think outside the box.

PS
And consider if you were to do this once again in late summer, this time with the 10 weakest colonies.
Those 200 frames could be split into 40 - 5 frame nucs yielding 65 total colonies going into winter. 
Just be careful of frost dates and having a large enough cluster to cover the laid brood.
This also does not take into consideration that you might capture a few swarms during the season.

-Jeff
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imabkpr
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 07:48:55 AM »

NWIN;  In my honeybee operation I have 2 deep hives as brood chambers with 9 frames in each. This a total of 18 frames. For me to have 20 frames of brood in a colony i would have to 3 deeps as brood chambers for a total of 27 frames. If this were to happen I would be very happy, but i can't say they are weak.   Charlie
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 09:16:46 AM »


I suppose "weakest hives" might have been a better choice of words. 

Keep in mind many people are also starting to use mediums in their brood chambers.
Your 3-4 frames of deep brood would equal 4-5 frames of medium brood.
One has to adapt for their own equipment, climate, and management tecnique.

I think you understand the principles that this system uses and that is the big picture.

Some folks only have 2 or three hives, and they can't sacrifice but many one for a project like this.
That is totally understandable, but even one could potentially yield 4 new hives at the right time of year.

Likewise, someone with 3-4 hive may not understand how or actully perform queen rearing.
That's why that person would need to think this through and buy queens weeks, purhaps even months ahead of time.

As in all beekeeping, there are trade-offs, gambles, and your own personal comfort level.
Equally so thought there is gains, rewards, and pride in doing rather than worrying what if.

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imabkpr
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 01:12:01 PM »

NWIN
BEEKEEPER;  Now I understand thanks  Charlie
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Billy The Beekeeper
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2007, 09:18:29 AM »

I like this idea but i think im gonna try that over the summer so im gonna need to get some hives built well i thx for the great idea  grin             afro
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rdy-b
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 01:01:38 AM »

20 nucs will need 5 more drawn frames each to make one ten frame single.or foundation will have to be drawn out.still have weak singles .what you are talking about takes three good rounds of brood rearing.you need a field force for hive to build up. try a circle split done to 5 strong hives.and you would get 20 good nucs.a weak hive is realy just a nuc anyway. grin
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Kris^
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2007, 05:08:26 PM »

I guess I still don't understand what is meant by "20 frames of brood each."  If I had a hive that contained 20 frames of brood (never had one yet), I don't think I would consider it weak.  I'd be thinking of splitting it 2 or 3 times because, if left alone, in about 2 weeks time it would have more bees than could fit into 2 boxes.  Given that one frame of brood can result in enough adult bees to cover 3 frames.  So just by splitting and adding queens, you could get 15 full strength hives in a couple weeks.

-- Kris
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doak
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2007, 05:22:49 PM »

If a weak colony has 20 frames of brood, I don't have any strong ones.
It would take "2" medium frames to equal one deep.
If you're going to new queen the nucs, then pondering the idea isn't worth while.
doak
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rdy-b
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2007, 05:33:13 PM »

may be he meant brood frames - not frames of brood. weak hives are usaly out of balance recource wise anyway.circle split a strong hive 4 or 5 ways and you get a even field force.split will grow fast. and can be done in same iocation. Wink
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Doorman
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007, 10:32:00 PM »

In a variation of this. I had 5 strong nucs april 11. and used the same principle and now have 10 strong hives and 5 new growing nucs. Should have 15 strong hives by fall flow time. I'll probably stop after this last batch, woodenware's expensive.
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with millions of tiny livestock foraging the open range, spring and fall round ups. Boy howdy branding their little butts sure is tedious.
rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2007, 11:52:13 PM »

would like to hear about that. you have my interest. please tell us the variation cool
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Doorman
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2007, 11:35:07 PM »

Actually The variation is turning my weakness as a beekeeper Into a strength as a hive producer. When I got my nucs, 2 were very strong and I should have paid more attention to them. When I put them into hive bodies they both covered about 8 frames. After about 2 weeks all ten frames (five from the nuc and five foundation.) were drawn out and full. I didn't catch it in time and when I went to put the second hive body on, I found queen cells every where. I put the queencells and several frames from the offending hives as well as some frames from the other three hives and put them into five nuc boxes I was making, voila five hives and five nucs. I had decided earlier to replace some queens in other hives but when they came in I put them in the nucs because the weather was bad and was forcast to be so for a week or so, and I figured it would be easier than trying to find the old queens in a steady drizzle. Now I have five hives pulling out their second hive bodies, and five nucs with laying queens on drawn frames. To make a long story short, my wife called me at work a couple of weeks later and said one of the nucs swarmed. It was lunch time anyway so I came home and moved the nucs into hive bodies and put the swarm in a nuc. While I was hiving the nuc that swarmed I cut out four queen cells and put them with frames from all of the other hives into nucs. Now to the present I have five douple deeps, five single deeps, and five nucs. I haven't checked the nucs lately because I've been out of town all week, I should have kept better track of the dates I hope theyre  laying this week. I forgot to mention I've been feeding like crazy. Over 150lbs of sugar so far.  On a side note. 2 years ago I had one hive in my back yard. I was really too busy for bees and had neglected it for several years, I didn't even check inside it for nearly 2 years. At some point it requeened itself and became very nasty and for the first time passersby (read: wife,dog,kid,meter reader, wife) were getting stung just walking by. My yard is very small, about 1100 square feet, and the gate was about 4 feet from the front of the hive. I recieved a very firm request to move the hive to my dads house. During that process I rememberd how much I love beekeeping and told my wife I'd like to start again and would only keep hives in the back yard for feeding while they were getting established then I would move them. She complained about one and got fifteen, bet she doesn't do that again cheesy .

Greg
P.S.
I'm not totally stupid, I'm moving the double deeps to an outyard this weekend.
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Some call me a bee farmer, I prefer rancher. What
with millions of tiny livestock foraging the open range, spring and fall round ups. Boy howdy branding their little butts sure is tedious.
rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 12:14:52 AM »

Right on doorman Smiley some one once said that you dont get to decide whether or not to be a great beekeeper because the bees will decide for you. thumbs up RDY-B
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Mici
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2007, 02:55:56 AM »

it would be interesting to see, what will happen if your wife starts to complain about  ummm let's say annoying child grin

left alone for several years and still alive, my, is that an extra hive.
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Doorman
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2007, 09:09:07 PM »

OH NO!!! She complained about him today! HELLLLLP!!!
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Some call me a bee farmer, I prefer rancher. What
with millions of tiny livestock foraging the open range, spring and fall round ups. Boy howdy branding their little butts sure is tedious.
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