in the hopkins method "The best side of the comb is used for the queen cells and is prepared by destroying two rows of worker cells and leaving one, beginning at the top of the frame."
do oyu have to destroy these row of brood...if not what happens
If you don't you will get lots of queen cells that are in a cluster and are hard to seperate. The reason for destroying the other cells is to create spacing for the queen cells. If you really find it offensive to destroy the cells, you need to learn to graft. You can also accomplish the same thing by leaving the comb in it's normal position and tear out the walls on five or six rows below the places you want queen cells. When the wall beneath a cell is gone the workers will make it into a queen. It still requires destroying cells, but only five below each queen instead of whole rows of them. I think the cells hanging straight down, though, will be easier to detach to put in a mating nuc to hatch.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 20, 2003).]
thaks so much for the reply...If i do destroy the cells using the hopkins method, how do i go about doing it.. thaks again
A stick will do.
One guy uses .25 caliber bullets to plug the ones he wants to keep and dusts it with flour. Then knock it lightly upside down to remove the loose flour and pull the bullets. This dries out the eggs in the cells you want to kill and leaves the ones you plugged. I'm sure anything about 1/4" in diameter and not too sharp edged would do for a plug in this method.
With the stick or a pencil using the eraser end, basically just be gentle on the ones you want to keep. You're going to take out two rows and leave one until you reach the other side and then you do the same in the other direction (90 degress from the first one) so you leave individual cells with walls out in the surounded by two empty spaces on every side. You are just taking out the side walls, not the center core of the foundation. This is on one side of the frame. The other side doesn't matter. it will be facing up and they won't survive anyway.
The other important thing, of course, is the age of the eggs in the frame. They should have just hatched. If you know the age of them, because you added this frame on a certain day, it would be helpful. Then you can do this on the fourth day.
Cell plug version: http://outdoorplace.org/beekeeping/queens.htm
IMN System: http://hermes.spaceports.com/~mdabees/queen1.html
Using flour: http://hermes.spaceports.com/~mdabees/queen2.html
Tearing down cell walls: http://hermes.spaceports.com/~mdabees/queen3.html
Michael gives good information here, but there is a reason for the row by row strippping of cells, rather then picking and chosing spots to tear down yourself.
This way with the Hopkins method you will get a chance to get bees from all the subfamilies top to bottom, vs you selecting certain spots. If you select, though be specific as most carniolan go to the top, caucasian/mellifera to the centers more and italian to the sides and bottoms on edges.
Also cell building tendencies of the different bees vary also. So if say you do indeed want caucasian say for example here. They actually really do prefer the grapelike clusters of cells hanging together and this then takes a slightly different method of knockdown and preparation.
Dee A. Lusby
>This way with the Hopkins method you will get a chance to get bees from all the subfamilies top to bottom, vs you selecting certain spots. If you select, though be specific as most carniolan go to the top, caucasian/mellifera to the centers more and italian to the sides and bottoms on edges.
Dee, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that a Carniolan queen lays more on the top or are you saying that eggs fertilized by Carniolan Drones get layed near the top?
On the "breaking cell walls" link, it sounds like I could take a frame of young brood or eggs, and break the cell walls below a few larvae, and the bees will then raise it as a queen, is this correct? Would a queenright colony do this?
I've never tried it, but I would guess the queenright colony probably would not, but they might.
I'd put it in a queenless "cell builder" hive.
I have tried the Hopkins method on a queenright colony that had a 3 year old queen and they ignored the comb frame entirely.
I was hopping they would build them as supercedure cells.
just South of Lansing Michigan
I heard Mel Disselkoen(the bullet guy) speak at the EAS meeting last Aug.Interesting ideas.I decided to experiment using the cell teardown idea.I took a frame of brood,tried to find the smallest larvae,tore out the bottom of the cell and the bottom of the cell below it with a hive tool.Did it again on another cell.Tossed it in a nuc with a frame of honey and an extra shake of bees.Did the whole thing again in another nuc and moved both to another site.In about 10 days I had 3 queen cells from the 4 teardowns.Squished 1 cell and raised 2 queens.No muss,no fuss,no bullets,no flour.There also was not much of a honey flow on and I did not feed.I'm definitly going to try this again this year.couldn't bee any simpler.
I am thinking of trying the Hopkins method this summer. Since I have never done this, I have a few questions:
1) Since the queen cells in this method grow straight down from the plane of the comb (or perpendicular to the comb), how does one attach one of these cells to a comb where the queen will eventually emerge? Wouldn't such a cell stick way out into the adjacent frame? Normally queen cells kind of bend down when naturally raised or hang from the bottom of the comb. Do you attach the cell to the bottom edge of the comb?
2) How does one actually attach a cutout queen cell to comb in another frame? Just by pressing against it? Will it stick this way? Is there any trick to avoid squishing the queen cell one is handling as you apply pressure to attach it to another frame?
3) When is an approxiamtely good time to attempt raising queens this way in the southern parts of NY state?
Thanks a lot
>1) Since the queen cells in this method grow straight down from the plane of the comb (or perpendicular to the comb), how does one attach one of these cells to a comb where the queen will eventually emerge?
I use some aluminum foil for a cell protector. Wrap it around the cell leaving the end open. Flare it at the top to catch on the two frames. You could also buy a push in cell protector or other kinds available from Mann Lake, Betterbee etc. They will either be pushed into the comb or will span the two top bars to hold the queen cell.
>Wouldn't such a cell stick way out into the adjacent frame?
Yes and it should. That's part of what hold it there. Don't transfer from the original frame until two days or so before they emerge. The cell will be stronger and less likely to get broken or damaged.
The bees don't need access to the cell once it's capped, although they do show a LOT of interest in it, but particularlly in the end of the cell where the queen will emerge. Seems like theres a bee there all the time just sniffing and checking it out from the time it's capped until the queen emerges.
So the comb touching it on two sides isn't a problem, nor is a cell protector.
>Normally queen cells kind of bend down when naturally raised or hang from the bottom of the comb. Do you attach the cell to the bottom edge of the comb?
No, just put it between two frames. You could gently push the frames together and just let that hold it (if it's close to emergence and strong enough), but you could also use a cell protector of some sort to help hold it and to keep the workers from tearing it down. A bee's first instinct when something new is in the hive that they didn't build, is to tear it down.
>2) How does one actually attach a cutout queen cell to comb in another frame? Just by pressing against it? Will it stick this way?
Again, if the cell is far enough along, and the comb you're pressing it in is new comb, yes it will work fine to just press it into the wall of a comb. If it's NOT within a couple of days of emerging the queen cell will be too fragile for this. Also, old comb is too stiff for this.
>Is there any trick to avoid squishing the queen cell one is handling as you apply pressure to attach it to another frame?
Like I said, I would cut a piece of aluminum foil about an inch and a half wide and two inches long and wrap it around the queen cell leaving the end open so the queen can emerge. Then flare the foil at the top so it will catch on the comb or the top bar, either one. Then gently push this between two frames in a queenless mating nuc or a queenless hive.
>3) When is an approxiamtely good time to attempt raising queens this way in the southern parts of NY state?
My theory is if you don't see a reasonable amount of drones flying it's too soon. If you do see them flying, then the drones will be sexually mature by the time the queen is ready to mate.
I don't know when that happens where you are.
I think the hardest thing is getting the bees to want to build a lot of queen cells. For this I'd overcrowd a 10 frame box of queenless bees with lots of nurse bees and only a little bit of open brood and lots of pollen and honey. You could put this on top of a queen excluder on top of a strong queenright hive after the cells are started if you want a queenright cell builder.