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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    canada, New Brunswick
    Posts
    95

    Question

    What would you recommend for making queen cells. What I want to do is split hives and put queen cells in them.Any advice will be apreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    There are lots of methods. You can pick what sounds good for your goals.

    First, I wouldn't try to start a queen cell until you already see drones flying. It takes drones a few weeks to mature enough to mate so if there aren't some already flying when the bees start the queen cell, there won't be any mature enough to mate with the queen. The more drones the better chance there will be a good mating.

    If you don't want to graft or buy a Jenter kit, a simple way to get LOT'S of queen cells is this:
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/hayes/abjmay91.htm

    If you only want a few cells, you can just do a split into a nuc. Put a frame of eggs, a couple of frames of emerging brood and a couple of frames of honey/pollen in a five frame nuc. Of course in reality some of the honey/pollen will have brood in it and some of the frame with eggs will have open brood and capped brood, but try to keep mostly one frame that the nurse bees are caring for. This is so you don't have underfed queens. Shake a lot of bees off of the brood combs of the parent hive(s). Make sure you don't shake the queen in. Make sure the nuc is overcrowded. A lot of the bees (the field bees) will return to the parent hive. Seven days after you do this open up and destroy any capped queen cells. These were made from larvae that were more than 3 days from being layed and didn't get as much royal jelly. If you don't have any others, you can keep these, but they will be small and will probably get superceded. 10 days after the nuc was set up, trafer the cells to the hives you want the queens in. Either cut them out of the comb (it helps if it's wax and has no wires in it and better yet, new wax with no cocoons in it) and put them in the hive you want to requeen, or kill the old queen first and then put them in. I like to wrap a piece of aluminum foil around them leaving the end open so the queen can emerge. That way the bees don't tear up the queen cell. If you intend to kill the old queen, doing it the day before may help acceptance. If you don't kill the old queen PROBABLY the new queen will emerge and mate and lay alongside until the bees get rid of the old queen. This is based on QMP (Queen madibular pheromone) which is higher in the new queen, but there is no guarentee of this.

    If you just want one queen with a minimum of fuss, a walkaway split would be basically the same as the first nuc method except you just leave them alone. They will raise ONE queen and she will mate and then you can combine the nuc with the hive you wish to requeen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    Also the Queen and Bee Breeding forum on here is a good place to look for information and also a good place for a question like this one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    >I like this method: http://www.ohioqueenbreeders.com/queen_rearing.htm

    That's pretty much what I did the last time with the most luck. I built a FWOF (floor without a floor) to do what they did with some bottom board that I don't have the plastic bottom board they describe. I just made a frame with a dado in it to slide a 1/4" plywood floor in. The three sided frame protrudes from the front about 1 1/2" and a landing board is screwed on from under that.

    The nice thing about this method is they tell you in great detail how to arrange the hive to get a good cell starter and then convert it to a queenright cell finisher.

    I think the cell starter is the difficult thing to do right.

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

    Post

    Hi Michael,

    Your one step away from a Cloake board. It's much less work and causes less disturbance than the method used at Ohio's site.

    Any thoughts on the Cloake board?

    Regards
    Dennis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    Perhaps it IS a Cloake board. Why do you say it's one step away? The only reference I see online is at Dave Cushman's site.
    http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/method2.html http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/cloake.html

    And it looks like exactly the same thing to me.

    I got the idea from the site above and the name from the Scottish site:
    http://www.apis.demon.co.uk/beekeepi...#Queen-rearing

    I guess I've been abreviating it wrong. They are calling it a FWAF (Floor-without-a-floor) Maybe IT is a Cloake board and mine isn't because I only have one entrance.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    They are actually pretty close Dennis. There is an advantage to each though. In the cloake method you have much less disturbance wich is good. But In the ohio method I really like how they shake all the bees into the top cell starter to really crowd and pack it much like a swarm box. Both will make good cells though no doubt. The only time I used the cloake method was using the jenter set up. The queen really didn't like laying in the plastic contraption. So I really didn't give the cloake method a fair shake. I ended up grafting and starting the cells in a free flying queenless starter/ finisher. LOL......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    MB,

    Instead of using a plastic BB, and I didn't make a FWAF. I simply used a snelgrove board with the top toggle open.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    The advantage to the FWAF is I just pull the board out to make it all one queenright hive again after the cells are started. What do you do with the Snelgrove board? Pull it out? Or just leave it on?

    Actually I also left one cell in the top box and put the FWAF back in three days before emergence so I also used it as a mating nuc. Then I pulled the queen and reunited the box.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    MB,

    I used the snelgrove board just like the ohio people say too in place of the plastic BB. I just slide it out and slide an excluder under to finish the cells. Its pretty much the same thing. I don't use plastic bb's so the screen board was the next best thing I had that would lay flat like a bb and have an entrance to boot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    In other words you lift the top box off and remove the snelgrove board and replace the top box? I don't see how to "slide" it out?

    It would work. But I like not disrupting things as much by just sliding the bottom out. I don't put an excluder in there because I have that on top of the bottom box with the queen below that.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    In other words you lift the top box off and remove the snelgrove board and replace the top box? I don't see how to "slide" it out?

    reply:

    Here's how I do it. I very gently pop the seal under the snelgrove board without distirbing the cell starter. I then lift it up just enough to slide the excluder under the screen board. Then I very gently break the seal of propolis over the screen board. This should be done slowly and gently so the bees hardly even notice your there. Then slide the screen board and box toward yourself, then slide the box back and pick up just a hair and slip out the screen board (box rests on its back edge). Done with just a little patience the bees barely notice and you don't really have to lift up at all.

    Hmmm.... I guess you could even put the excluder under the snelgrove board when you set up.

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