Nuc Making with G. M. Dooliitle (plus 5)

May 2017 192

In my presentations and in several articles I have described how to make nucs using the Doolittle method.  This involves moving brood without bees above an excluder and waiting hours or days for the nurse bees to come up and cover those frames, before removing them into nucleus colonies. This is often done with the addition of queens or queen cells.  The major improvement, however I suggest in my articles is to leave that brood above the excluder for 5 days, allowing all eggs and larva to mature past the point where the bees could easily select one of them to make their own queen.  This forces the bees to take the queen or queen cell that the beekeeper has introduced.  Nuc making after Spring and after the main nectar flow is over will achieve greater success if you use the Doolittle – plus 5 method.   (Thanks to the great Jay Smith who knew more about queens than any of us and shared his knowledge in books such as “Better Queens” ……  and thanks to James Nielson who discussed the Doolittle method at last night’s meeting of Bridgeport Texas beekeepers.)

Note: I wrote about this method in both Bee World and the American Bee Journal.  How I Use the JZ BZ Queen Cage

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