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Once queen cells have been raised, the virgins have to be mated. This has traditionally been done by making up a nucleus with full size frames for each queen, effectively taking a lot of bees out of honey production, just to support one queen.
Modern plastics and a different approach to creating a mini colony have given us the Mating Hive or Mini-Nuc, which uses only a handful of bees at any given time. Not only that but each Mating Hive can look after a number of queens in succession.
Using the Mating Hive is an effective way of rearing new Queens and colonies from surplus Queen Cells or part of a planned queen production programme. It can be very useful to use when unwanted Queen Cells have been produced from a good performing colony.
The Mating Hive is; lightweight, small and made from rigid, double-walled and insulated hard plastic and designed to be unappealing to mice. Requiring only a handful of bees, the Mating Hive is relatively self-sufficient throughout the Queen mating season.