Spacing for queen bee nooks

Asked June 6, 2018, 10:31 AM EDT

We need to know what would be the best practice for queen bee nooks to utilize ground space and maximize queen nooks. In the past, when the nooks are close together it is less than 10% of the queen getting back to the nook. When they are spread out in a haphazard, (30-40 ft apart), it is almost 100%. Is there a recommended spacing or other way to make sure the queens get to their nook after mating?

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Both land marks and spacing between mating nucs are important in minimizing queen loss due to drifting. As per my knowledge there is no published peer-reviewed study that suggests a specific distance to be maintained between mating nucs. I would suggest a minimum of 10 ft between each mating nuc (more the better if it is feasible). Good visible land marks/ markers such as trees, big stones, bushes or any other objects close to the mating nucs really help in reducing queen drift. Please avoid placing the mating nucs in a straight line and if possible make sure the entrances of adjacent hives are facing the opposite directions.