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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default Queen Rearing Questions

    A few questions:

    Anyone keep their breeder colonies (donor mother) in different yards then their cell builder? If so, how do you trasport your grafting bars?

    Anyone harvest queen cells and move them into different yards? Do you just lay the cells on their side while in trasport?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    726

    Default

    II have potential breeders in almost all my yards at this point, but I prefer to manage the cell builders at home because they need work more often. So typically I'll just pull a frame from the hive (or hives) to be grafted from, including nurse bees, stick them in a 5 frame nuc (or incubator if it's cool out), and transport them home to graft.

    Transporting queen cells is no problem at all. A day or so before they hatch and they are relatively tough (they even can be shipped overnight). Laying them on their side for awhile won't hurt, though I prefer to keep them in their natural orientation. I took a 2" thick piece of foam insulation, and melted holes in it with the head of a bolt heated with a torch. It makes a great holder for queen cells (use cell protectors if you are worried about damaging them). Then I can just throw them in a portable incubator, or cooler with a warm water bottle if the trip is more than a few minutes.

    -Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Grafts

    Chef

    I will Graft into the brown cell cups that come with the Nicot system for non graft.

    I will usually place 5 cups on the frame that I am grafting from by pushing them down into the wax. this way they are at the wright angle and close I will also prime them. I have a wet blue shop towel I place the cell cups in after grafting and when finished grafting I place them in a container with a lid with a a couple holes for air and then transport them to my cell builders in a out yard. After I get there I open up the cell builder to get ready to place the graft. then I go back to the truck and put my grafted cell cups onto the cell bar and place them in a frame and then into the cell builder that I had open up this way they are not exposed to the elements to long.

    What I like best is having the breeder in the cell building yard. And do it like mentioned above.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default Ripe Q Cells

    When I make up the Mini Nucs for the first time in the early spring I will collect my bulk bees take them to shop (leave in shaker box for 24 hours) where the empty nucs are. First I will fill the feeds 3/4 full with HFCS Stake them up with in arms length and set and fill each nuc up with a 12 ounce cup of bees put in the Queen Cell, then leave in a cool dark place 4 days

    I usually do all this late at night the bees are calmed down and don't all try to fly off ( I also will have a hand squeeze spray bottle with a very very thin HFCS dilution to keep spraying on the bees as I go about scooping them up this will help keep them from crawling all over the place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Velbert:

    Four days eh? I tried that last year and when I put them out in the field, a lot of them crawled out... fell on the ground... and were "walking" away from the hive. Not sure what I did wrong there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Well, I was thinking of finding the breeder colony I want to use and depending on population, split them, take the queen in a nuc with me to the house and go from there. I can keep my cell builder and breeder at the house and my mating nucs out in another yard.

    That seems to be the challenging part... where to keep everything as I can really "have" two colonies at the house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,469

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    Well, I was thinking of finding the breeder colony I want to use and depending on population, split them, take the queen in a nuc with me to the house and go from there. I can keep my cell builder and breeder at the house and my mating nucs out in another yard.

    That seems to be the challenging part... where to keep everything as I can really "have" two colonies at the house.
    That's how I do it Chef.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    chef isaac writes:
    Anyone harvest queen cells and move them into different yards? Do you just lay the cells on their side while in trasport?


    teucumseh replies:
    when I bought queen cells last spring the folks I bought the queen cell from (about 100+ miles away) placed them in the empty egg carton (gently pushed together in groups of five) which was then placed in a cooler with a sealed bag of warm water for transport. I did notice that one of their clients had a box much like tarheit discribes to transport cells. I think??? this kind of transport device could have a number of advantages.... 1) if the cells are hot when the earliest queens begin to emerges they are confined to the hole in the foam block and 2) if you wear gloves when you push in queen cells it makes grasping the cells somewhat easier.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Default

    Other than price, what are the main criteria used in deciding between the use of queen cells versus mated queens?

    I can see some advantage in having the queen emerge and mate with ‘local’ drones to the area where she is to live. However, I also see a risk that the virgin queen may emerge in an area that does not have a sufficient drone population. In addition there is the issue of virgins never returning from the mating flight.

    It becomes clear why the increased price of a mated queen is worth it.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Advantages of cells: Availability, price and mating with your own drones.

    The extra price your are paying with mated queens covers losses during emerging and mating, evaluation to see if the queen is of good size and laying laying well, population and maintenance of mating nucs, drone colonies, etc. They really take considerably more resources and labor than mated queens.

    Every step in the process from larvae to well mated and laying queen you loose a few. The farther along the loss occurs the more expensive the loss is.

    -Tim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    Also that supply of mated queens has to start somewhere, so producers must start with cells to feed the supply chain.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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