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  1. #1

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    I'd like to open a discussion on using just this system to raise queens. I understand that grafting may well be a 'superior' way to go about raising queens - BUT in this thread, I'd like to focus on getting this particular method to work.

    Since we've had a fairly recent discussion about this "system" and various folk's success or lack of success using it, I'll jump directly into it:

    I thought I'd try One-More-Time this coming Spring to see if I can get it to work. What I specifically want to try different this next time, is to use the method where the cell raising colony is the same one that was used to initially lay the eggs. In the past, I have found a website that described how to go about "splitting" the mother colony (however, you didn't physically do a split) and in some fashion making it queenless so they would raise the new queen cells. But since a literal split wasn't done, it was easy to reunite the colony after the new queen cells are drawn out. I recall that the website was from England - and obviously, can't find it now (should have bookmarked it!).

    Does anyone know of or use this technique (or can describe it again)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Question

    I'm also interested in learning about this topic, I've missed ealier discussions on this and I'm also a new beekeeper lacking much beekeeping experience.
    I did experiment last August with the Jenter system using the "shook swarm" method to try to iron-out some problems /(my inexperience)for next season.
    The cells were started fine, the cell finisher colony seemed to draw out & cap these queen cells ok but my problems seemed to ocur when I divided these capped queen cells into several 4-frame nucs with capped brood and worker frames & 1 frame ea of sealed honey borrowed from other "donator" colonies. I deprived these nucs of a queen for 24hrs before introducing the capped queen cells, and scattered these nucs throughout our 8-acres for mating flights.All the nucs were fed sugar water. A 3 weeks later I only had about a 8% succes rate of qeened nucs laying eggs.The remaining nucs were queenless with only the empty queen cages and workers remaining.
    I also have a 1/2 acre pond with frequent dragonfly visits that I've read can prey on emerging queens in their mating flights. I did this late in the season (early August) but I thought this would be the best time to barrow bees from other "donater" colonies while their numbers were the strongest.

    The whole shook swarm process, and making nucs from donator colonies seems to cause a lot of stress on the bees and this new beekeeper. I've got a lot of problems to iron-out for next season and I know that buying queens is the easiest way but it seems important to me to raise queens suited for this region.
    Any advice on simpler methods of using this Jenter system?

    Thank you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    I have my notes on what I did last time, which worked pretty well. I think they are at work, I will try to post them on Monday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    Queen rearing plan:

    Make sure you have a minimum four medium box strong colony (or equivalent).
    Make sure you have chosen a queen mother.
    Make sure you have cell bars set up with cups etc.
    Make sure you have a cell cup system of some kind. (Jenter, grafting, etc)
    Make sure you have a "Floor without floor" box. Make one with a 3/4" by 3/4" piece of wood with a 3/8" x 3/8" groove in it. Hang it out from 3/4" to 1 ½” in front and put a piece across the front under the sides to make a landing board. Cut a piece of 3/16" laun to slide in for a removable bottom. Coat edges with vasoline to keep from connecting. Maybe make it with the landing board on both ends and make a 3/4” x 3/8” (7/156”?) x 15 ½” entrance block for one end. That way you can make it open either directions by just moving the entrance block.
    Make sure you have mating nucs. (three frame nucs with a 1 frame division board feeder from Brushy Mt. (only takes one frame) and adequate ventilation to close them off such as a #8 hardware cloth closure across the entrance.)

    Possibly make a three box bottom board facing “normal” direction (side?) so that you have three medium boxes side by side with all the entrances for those facing the same direction. Have entrance blocks/reducers for the boxes. Put excluders/includers on the bottom of outside boxes. Arrange cell starter in middle and put two queenright colonies on the sides. Block entrances on sides to force bees into the middle box.. Or build a single “three box wide” box with queen excluder and solid dividers.

    Days are counted from the day the egg is layed.

    This is all done in one strong hive that already has the breeder queen.

    Day Action
    -1 Set up top box with: Feeder - Nectar- Brood- Pollen- Eggs- Cell Bar- Eggs- Pollen- Brood- Nectar.Put breeder queen in top box with Jenter box and cell cups brood, division board feeder, pollen and honey, over an excluder. Put all remaing brood and pollen in the bottom box. Put everything else in the middle. If you want to have royal jelly to add to cups, now would be the time to take a couple of frames of eggs from some other colony and put them in a nuc and shake in several frames of nurse bees from some other colony than the breeder colony. That way they will start some queen cells that we can rob the royal jelly out of.

    0 Close breeder queen in Jenter box. Feed. Check in 12 hours and if it’s pretty much layed full of eggs, then release the queen.

    1 (24 hours) Release queen from Jenter box. Feed

    2 Set up Cell Starter/Cell Builder: Take the queen out of the top box and cage her. Put the top box on top of the inner cover (with a screen over the hole). Shake all bees from all the other boxes into the top box. Put bottom box (as set up above) on the bottom board and release the queen there. Add an excluder on top of this and the middle boxes on top of that. Add Floor Without Floor. Put top box (will all shaken bees) on top of the FWOF and the inner cover on top of that. Feed. (what if we turn Jenter box sideways so the cells face down so they will feed them like queens?) The field bees will return through the bottom entrance and the nurse bees will stay in the top box.

    3 Transfer eggs from Jenter to cell cups with preference to those that are already started as queen cells and replace in Cell starter. Feed nuc and cell starter. If you started the nuc as Roayl Jelly donor, steal the royal jelly out of the queen cups in it and add it to the cell cups as you transfer. Be careful not to touch the larvae when doing this. You now have a queenless cell starter on top of a queenright colony.

    5 See if queen cups are started. Remove Floor from FWOF to establish queen right cell finisher. Feed.

    6-8 Feed

    8 Cells capped

    9 If you want more queens you can move the capped cells to a nuc and start another batch of queen cells in this breeder colony if you want.

    12 Make a shaken swarm box of nurse bees from other hives (from brood comb) and then divvy out bees to mating nucs and close up in the shade for the night. (Maybe use some QMP (Bee Boost) to hold them). Feed mating nucs. Each should have at least some honey, pollen and some open space for the queen to lay. Some emerging brood would be ok too. You can fill a frame of PermaComb for each. Pollen on one side, honey on the other or steal some frames of pollen and honey from a hive.

    13 Transfer the queen cells with protectors to the mating nucs. I just used aluminum foil for protectors. I wrapped it so the end was open and the sides were covered. Open up the entrances for the nucs.

    15-16 Queens emerge

    22 First possible day to fly

    25 First possible day to mate

    27 Still mating

    28 First day we may find eggs in the mating nucs.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

    Post

    My biggest problems have been getting the cell builders to build the queen cells. Don't skimp on nurse bees in the cell builder.

  6. #6
    http://www.apis.demon.co.uk/beekeepi...n-rearing.html

    Finally found it AND bookmarked it this time! Michael, as I recall, you and I were (are) having problems at about the same step in the process (i.e., the cell raising step). I ran across this website some time ago and thought it might be worth trying to get the bees to pull out those queen cells.
    Can you take a look at it and see what you think?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Micheal,


    Have you read Jay Smith's Better Queens? I know its a hard book to find but well worth it. Jay's thoughts and methods will produce the best cells I have ever seen. Jay's methods he finnally settled on after a lifetime of queen rearing rival the grafting methods. The method may not pump out as many queens but the quality is equal to what bees produce under swarming impulse which grafting and other methods usually don't do. Jay point's his finger at most of the short comings of todays queens, since most all queen breeders use the methods he wrote in his first book.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >Can you take a look at it and see what you think?
    This is where I got the idea for the "floor without a floor"

    For ideas I also used: http://www.ohioqueenbreeders.com/queen_rearing.htm
    and http://www.gobeekeeping.com/queen_rearing.htm http://www.gobeekeeping.com/queen_rearing.htm


    >Have you read Jay Smith's Better Queens? I know its a hard book to find but well worth it.
    I have read any excerpts I can find from it, but I have not been able to find the book. I did buy and read Dolittle's book and Snelgroves. Snelgrove tries to explain everyones method, whicn is both nice and irritating. It's nice becuase I can find more about Jay Smith and irritating because I wanted to know what Snelgrove used.

    I would love to know how you implement Jay Smith's methods. I'd also love to find a copy of his book(s).

    So far my biggest problem has been getting them to build the queen cells. The rest didn't seem that hard.

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