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  1. #1

    Post

    There have been several postings on the queen forum concerning queen incubators. For those interested, here's an idea that uses a full sized colony, or well-stocked nuc instead of an electric model.

    Regards,

    Jim
    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net/Incubator.htm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
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    399

    Post

    Jim

    Would you mind if I showed this next month to the class that I will be teaching? I looks really great.
    Rob


    ------------------
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

    [This message has been edited by Rob Mountain (edited April 23, 2004).]

  3. #3

    Post

    >>Would you mind if I showed this next month to the class that I will be teaching? I looks really great.

    Yes...please do!

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    ------------------
    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399
    Thanks


    Rob

  5. #5

    Post

    That looks very neat. How long have you left them in there before moving them to a mating nuc or hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi Jim and Everyone,

    Nursery bars--very interesting.

    Have you tried accelerated queen rearing using the bars?

    Regards
    Dennis

  7. #7

    Post

    My original idea for the nursery bars was to prevent early-emerging queens from destroying their developing sisters. Once the cells are sealed after approx. four or five days, they go into the bars...standard procedure. All that is needed is warmth and that's why I choose to use a full size colony.

    I had a rather slender queen slip through the excluder on a queenright finisher and destroy a full set of cells once...talk about frustrating...they were BIG and well developed cells, too!

    This DOESN'T happen anymore.

    Placing the cells in the nursery bar also eliminates the "webbing" of comb between cells also. Occasionally there is just a slight amount of propolis around the queen cup and the top of the nursery bar, but the cup comes out easily each time.

    When queens emerge early...it's no problem. I simply remove one cup at a time and wait for the little girl to climb out. A quick and steady hand is waiting to cage her and usually all goes well. More than once, I have retreived a full set of virgin queens when the weather has been bad.

    I like this method since it is in close proximity to my nucs. I try to make every effort to get the cells in the nucs two days early.

    Topbarguy...what do you mean by "accelerated queen rearing"? Just curious.

    Regards,

    Jim

    ------------------
    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post


    Mr Burke:

    This seems like a great idea to me; simple, very practical. I am going to build one of these frames tomorrow.

    As I understand your practice it is adapted to the usual grafting and use of cell cups.

    Do you suppose that this could be used in conjunction with the Hopkins method? It seems to me the only adaptation needed would be some means of holding the finished cell at the top of the bank, closing off the hole so that the cell did not fall in and the queen could not get out.
    Ox

  9. #9

    Post

    I suppose you could use it for most any queen rearing method, so long as you can remove the cell without damage.

    The Miller method would be the easiest since the cells hang along the bottom edge of the foundation. The Hopkins method would take a little ingenuity. "Sister cells"...or queen cells that are adjoined would almost be out of the question.

    If you're careful, you may be able to remove a cell intact and somehow attach it to a cell cup (JZs BZs shown in the photos). Again, the key to success is not to damage or tip the cell in any way.

    I know that in some cells, a substantial amount of royal jelly is left over at the top of the cell after the larvae have finished feeding. This should remain for the developed queen to use until she hatches. Whenever I have tried to remove naturally drawn queen cells from the side of comb, it seems that it always breaks open around this area.

    So, anyway...try it out. Let us know.

    Regards,

    Jim

    ------------------
    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

    [This message has been edited by James Burke (edited April 25, 2004).]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Thanks;

    I looked up Miller's book on the net and went down his method. It seems to me that by wide-spacing the viable cells on a Hopkins setup I should be able to get the same result with possibly more cells.

    I found Miller's discussion fascinating, particularly his assertion that the bees will not ordinarily use too-old larvae to start cells. I was also struck by his instruction that the cells should be removed from the parent hive and put in use as soon as feasible after they were sealed.

    Questions for you: Using Miller's method, do you usually find well-separated queen cells, or are they sometimes crowded together?

    Also, how many might you get in a row on a frame?
    Ox

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
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    Post

    James:

    Close reading of your instructions poses another question. You say "key to success is to not damage or tip the cell in any way."

    Do you mean that the cell cannot be moved off the vertical, or that the cell tip is especially vulnerable?

    If you mean that the cell must remain vertical at all times I can see that handling cells off a Miller frame would be much simpler than off a Hopkins frame.

    Ox

  12. #12

    Post

    >>Questions for you: Using Miller's method, do you usually find well-separated queen cells, or are they sometimes crowded together?

    I haven't used this method personally, but I would control it by removal of eggs, prior to placing the frame in your queenless cell builder.

    >>Also, how many might you get in a row on a frame?

    Again, you could selectively remove eggs, but you're still at the "mercy" of the nurse bees and which larvae they choose to feed royal jelly.

    Perhaps there is someone out there with more info who wishes to elaborate.

    Yes...it is important to handle cells carefully and not to lay them horizontally.

    Regards,

    Jim



    ------------------
    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi Jim,

    >Topbarguy...what do you mean >by "accelerated queen rearing"? Just >curious.

    A weekly mating cycle is used rather than a two week cycle. A caged cell is put in the mating nuc at the same time the mated queen is caught. The caged cell hatches and that queen is reared by the nuc while the week old virgin queen mates.

    A week later a caged cell is inserted into the nuc. The mated queen is caged. And the caged virgin is released.

    I've had problems getting a mating nuc to take care of more than one caged virgin at a time. A nursery bar would be a lot easier to handle than individual cages. Maybe virgin queens could just be introduced into the nucs.

    Regards
    Dennis


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