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To super-up my Queen Castle... or not


#1

So, my queen breeding is going great guns with my Queen Castle this season. Last season I got about three mated queens out of it. But this season I already have three and it’s developing three more as I type. All from the split made on September 24th. So, I’m a happy camper. But the bees are crowded and I’m pretty sure the foragers are a bit bored…

So, I was thinking of changing the top vents to queen excluders and putting a super on. I imagine there won’t be any fighting of workers, but what do people think about the virgins getting through the QX and going next door for a bit of street fighting? This, of course, would make my QC a complete failure.

Better ideas welcome (unless they involve me making more and more splits… I’ve somehow ended up with 18 colonies and I’m running out of wife points)

Cheers, Paul (what an amazing Christchurch spring!)

QC 1

QC 2


#2

Paul,

Your doing amazing. Honestly your out of my league here. Best I’ve done is splits. But your right … if a virgin Queen was able to get thru the QE you’d possible have an instant issue/disaster!

I’ll let someone with much great expertise help you on that one. I’m just impressed what you’ve done so far. Awesome Bro.

Cheers,
Gerald


#3

Sorry, not being familiar with how a queen castle works, my suggestion would involve more & more splits, which it sounds like you don’t want.

A good way to reinstate “wife points” should be when your beekeeping generates some good revenue.

Are newbees chasing bee colonies in Christchurch?


#4

If the weather doesn’t turn cold enough for them to cluster for any length of time you might get by with an excluder on top (assuming the queens can’t spill over) but I would probably do it with a sheet of newspaper as well so they don’t ball the queens next door. It would not work here in winter and I’ve never tried it in summer. It’s an interesting idea.


#5

Yes Jeff. I went from one to eight hives last season and am now at 18…! So, all good with splits and catching swarms. And with requeening my hives. Have been considering selling nucs or hives… but get a bit obsessive about collecting honey, so like to merge smaller colonies for the flow… I could go on and on!

Wife points rather depleted with all the purchases of new gear… and spending time building yet more! But, I agree, if there was a positive in the income column I’m sure I could earn a few wife points. Thanks!


#6

Hi Michael,

Yes, have looked into the potential for fighting but feel fairly sure it will be ok.

It’s pretty consistently warm here now, so I don’t think too much clustering is going on. I would have thought that the foragers would move down to the brood on cool nights. And I won’t run it over winter.

So, my main concern was the virgins popping out to visit a neighbour!


#7

So, I bit the bullet and plonked the super on top of the queen castle. No newspaper or air freshener. Didn’t appear to be any fighting so I just left them to it for a couple of weeks. First check and voila! lots of the foragers have moved in and have started the house work. All three queens present and accounted for!!

I have also recently set up a double queen hive (just a regular lang) and had a virgin down the bottom and a mated queen up the top. I was warned that the virgin would go through and kill the Q, hence this thread, but it didn’t happen and all is well!

Yay!!!