What is the consensus on Queen Cup, wax or plastic?
I have used both, and I think that plastic is great. Wax cells take so much work in making then.
Another question for the forum. Do you graft wet or dry?
Again I have done both, and donÂ’t find any major benefit of grafting wet. I regularly get 85- 100% grafting dry.
If a job is worth doing - Then do it well
I use one of them there fancy suff called no graft queen rearing kits. I'm at a stage of life were things are just out of focus to do that kind of manipulation. Back in the old days (last century) I grafted with a small drop of water, just enough to have the larva float and not dry out. I am quite pleased with the no grafting kit. Keep the queen in there for 3 days, remove the plug and let her out. Then go back on the forth day and place the larva into my builder colony. Great success rate.
Bjerm and I must have gone to the same school. Hard knocks was it? I'm using the Jenter kit and it's usually got plenty of royal jelly in the plug so it works great with nothing added or taken away.
I also use the same kit as the others, Rob. I have had good results with it, so I guess you can put me down as 'plastic'. -Dan
I like both plastic and wax cups. You are correct, it does take alot to make cups, but if you have time, you can make a bunch at a time.
As far as success, I can graft into wax or plastic, and the bees don't seem to know the difference. I will add, the bees can smell the difference if you don't "weather" the cups in the starter for a day. I have done it without weathering the cups, but the acceptance rate is lower.
Grafting wet or dry: If your source of larva is well fed, the larva will have plenty of jelly in the cell. If you starter is well fed, the graft will receive enough jelly very shortly. So I guess I'm saying "I graft dry." The key is how well they are fed, at least that's what I think.
So plastic or wax: Doesn't matter.
Graft wet or dry: Dry
I graft dry using the plastic cups. Does anyone else here reuse the cups? I know the catalogue states acceptance is reduced up to 50% if you reuse cups, but I haven't found any significant difference. I even ran a test once trying half used and half new cells. Acceptance was exactly the same for both (100%).
I never tried reusing the cups. I also read that in some book. I thought, that it would not smell right, and that made some sense. Maybe I will give it a try.
I tend not to reuse plastic cups but have no real reason to say that it would not work.
I also use the plastic. Have never tried wax but might one day just for the heck of it. I reuse the plastic and see no change in acceptance rate. However I was told by a commercial man that if you have a cup that was not accepted the first time to take a pocketknife and shave of the wax ring that the bees have started on it and they will accept it the next time. Have never done any scientific study on this but it just takes a few seconds to do it. and I never had a problem. By the way Rob just wanted to tell you that the beekeepers in the area are blessed to have you here. I me you at HAS in lexington and was really impressed with your level of expertise. We can all benefit from your experience. Thanks
you said > I also use the plastic. Have never tried wax but might one day just for the heck of it. I reuse the plastic and see no change in acceptance rate. However I was told by a commercial man that if you have a cup that was not accepted the first time to take a pocketknife and shave of the wax ring that the bees have started on it and they will accept it the next time.
Reply > I thought we were talking about reusing a cup, that a queen hatched from, that was made of plastic! As far as the other unaccepted ones, yes, scrape the wax ring off, and I usually clean it out with alcohol. If any remanents of the old larva remain, it gets disinfected with the alcohol. That I have done, and yes it will work.
Thank you very much for the kind and encouraging words. As I have said before Â– I do what I love and love what I do, and when I do well at it, it makes me fell good too.
I have never really introduced myself, so here is a little bit about me.
Thanks once again for your support. If I can help any State Beekeepers Associations out as a speaker, please just send me an email.
Resume Â– Robin John Mountain
Name Â– Robin John Mountain
Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Science (Apiculture)
Address Â– 1210 Yuma Trail, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Ph. & Fax 502 848 0626
Office 502 597 6580
Family Â– Stella Mountain, wife Â– computer programmer/analyst
James Mountain, (17), Philip Mountain, (14)
Cathrine Mountain, (11)
Hobbies Â– Fishing, hiking, bird watching, photography.
Born 23/02/1961, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa.
Countries visited for Beekeeping: Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Brazil, Mexico, U.S.A, England, Scotland and Germany.
Education and Qualifications:
Certificate of Management Fundamentals Program (CMF)
Office of Government Training Â– Kentucky State University
Started Summer 2004
First Aid and Safety. Kentucky State University, Spring 2004.
Â“The Seven Principles of Highly Effective PeopleÂ” Steven Franklin Covey,
Cambridge Career College. Yuba City, CA. February 2003.
Leadership. Presented by Richard Teagarden. Superintendent Education
Yuba County, Yuba College, CA. Spring. February Â– March 2003. Average score 92%, Course Grade Â“AÂ”
Pest Management, Pesticide Laws and Regulations. Completed course
through Yuba College, CA. 2002 Presented by Yuba County Agricultural
Commissioner Mr. Dennis Pooler.
Interpersonal Communications Â–Â“Looking Out Looking In, by Ronald B. Adler and Neil TowneÂ”. Completed course through Yuba College, CA.
Average score 90%, Course Grade Â“AÂ” Â– 2002.
Â“Taking The Lead Â– The Management RevolutionÂ”, by Plunkett, Attner, and Allan. http://management.swcollege.com. Completed course through Yuba College, CA. Average score 91%, Course Grade Â“AÂ” Â– 2001.
The Ohio State University Â“Advanced Instrumental Insemination
InstructionÂ” Workshop with Susan Cobey, June 2000.
Diploma in Animal Husbandry Â– With Distinction - The Home Study College of Southern Africa, 1992. This, together with work experience of sixteen years between 1983 and 1991, was evaluated by Globe Language Services, Inc., New York, NY, to represent the equivalent of a: BachelorÂ’s Degree in Agricultural Science (Apiculture) - 1999.
High School Diploma Â– Pretoria BoysÂ’ High School, South Africa, 1979.
Employment and Work Experience:
Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY, - Apiculture Extension
Associate. May 2003
Strachan Apiaries, Inc., Yuba City, CA Â– Executive Manager
August 1999 to July 2002.
Mountain Bee Products, Piet Retief, South Africa Â– Self-employed
May 1991 to July 1999.
Mountain Honey Farms, Irene, South Africa Â– Manager Â– Co Owner
November 1982 to April 1991.
Jim Powers of Powers Apiaries, Kona, Hawaii Â– Trainee
August 1982 to October 1982.
John Haefeli, Monte Vista, Colorado Â– Trainee
May 1982 to August 1982.
Weaver Apiaries, Navasota, Texas Â– Trainee
January 1982 to May 1982.
Mountain Honey Farms, Irene, South Africa Â– Trainee
January 1980 to November
Beekeeping Experience in Southern Africa:
- Second-generation South African Beekeeper with first-hand experience working
in Southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe), since 1982 in a
professional capacity, with the African Honey Bee, apis mellifera scutellata and
apis mellifera capensis.
- Initial training in instrumental insemination of African Honey Bee by Prof.
Woyke from Warsaw University, Poland, at the University of South Africa in
- First-hand experience of building, managing and motivating a strong work force,
by co-directing Mountain Honey Farms with father, Mr. Peter Mountain,
(4,000 bee colonies) and in 1991 starting own business, namely Mountain Bee
Products, (2,000 bee colonies).
- Presented developmental beekeeping workshops to rural South Africans
- Developed the Mountain Top Bar Bee Hive in Swaziland
Beekeeping Experience in California, USA
- Executive Manager of Strachan Apiaries, Inc., running over 10,000 colonies
- Production and sale of 60,000 Â– 80,000 Queen Bees per year
- Instrumental Insemination of 200 Virgin queens for breeding stock and sale per year
- Interaction between Bee Inspectors and Beekeepers
- Interaction between seed growers, i.e. almonds Jan. to Feb., prunes, Feb. to March, vine seeds, June to July
- Honey Production, hive management, colony re-queening, over-wintering, disease prevention, control and eradication
- Rearing breeder and commercial queens, breeding into stock disease-resistant strains and hygienic behavior
- Managing the queen rearing crew, grafting of the larva, candling and cutting cells, packaging and banking queens
- Worked in conjunction with Sue Cobey of Ohio State University, improving the quality of the New World Carniolan Queens
- Moving bee hives on pallets to and from bee locations and for pollination, using commercial trucks and fork-lifts (Swinger and Bob Cat)
- Clearing up of bee spills
- Class A, Commercial Truck DriverÂ’s License. Air Brakes, Double and Triple
Trailers, Tanker Vehicles and Hazardous Materials/Waste Transportation
Heartland Apicultural Society, Lebanon, Tennessee, July 2004
Presented workshops: Moving bees safely. Raising your own Queen Bees
Jacksonville FL, American Beekeeping Federation, Convention, January.
2004, Heartland Apicultural Society Â– A New Start.
Medina OH. Ohio and Springfield IL. Beekeepers Association Fall
Conferences, Nov 2004. Breeding Queen Bees for our own region.
Heartland Apicultural Society, Midway KY, July 2003
Presented workshops: Moving Bees safely, Instrumental Insemination of
Honey Queen Bees.
Savannah, GA, American Beekeeping Federation, Convention, January 2002.
Presented Educational Workshop: Better Employees: How to Hire Them, and How to Keep Them.
Cape Cod, MA, Eastern Apicultural Society, Conference, August 2001.
Presented Short Course on Queen Rearing together with Dr. Medhat Nasr &
Dr. Robert Danka. Workshop: Protective Clothing. Trainee Honey Judge.
Kentucky Beekeeping Association Summer Conference, June 2001.
Workshop: Instrumental Insemination.
San Diego, CA, American Beekeeping Federation, Convention, January 2001.
Topic: Slide Presentation on Beekeeping in Southern Africa.
Salisbury, MD, Eastern Apicultural Society, Conference, August 2000.
Topic: The Cape Bee Â– A Problem To Be Or Not To Be.
Kentucky Beekeeping Association Summer Conference, June 2000.
Guest Speaker Â– Topic: The Capensis Bee.
Fort Worth, TX, American Beekeeping Federation, Convention, January
2000. Topic: The Cape Bee: A New Problem from South Africa?
Nashville, TN, American Beekeeping Federation, Convention, January 1999.
Topic: Beekeeping in South Africa. Educational Workshop: Protecting the
Beekeeper from African Bees.
Authorship of Articles:
American Bee Journal, March 1999, Pg. 187 Â– 188.
Report on Beekeeping in South Africa.
Membership in Professional Associations
Heartland Apicultural Society, Vive President 2004/5
Kentucky Academy of Science, Agricultural Science, Chairperson
Kentucky Association of State Extension Professionals
Kentucky BeekeepersÂ’ Association
American Beekeeping Federation
Africanized Honey Bee Task Force, CA, USA
American Association of Professional Apiculturists
California State BeekeepersÂ’ Association,
Committee Chairperson for Â“African Honey BeeÂ”.
California Bee BreedersÂ’ Association
Eastern Apicultural Society
Northern Transvaal BeekeepersÂ’ Association, South Africa
South African Federation of Bee-FarmersÂ’ Association
If a job is worth doing - Then do it well
>- Developed the Mountain Top Bar Bee Hive in Swaziland
I'd be very curious to see some details of this hive.
Also experiences with TBHs in general and your in particular.