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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Why do they start cells and not finish...

    I had about 15 started cells on the cell bar this time, out of 30 Jenter cups. They finished 3 nice large queen cells that I transferred this afternoon. I wonder why they only finished 3? I used a queenless hive (she was hot, so off with her head). I eliminated the early queen cells 3 days before the Jenter cells went in. They were all within 12 hours of the same age. I took away one box from a 3 box medium hive. Lots of bees. I fed. It seems like once they get 3 or 4 they like, they clean out the others. Just wondering.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterq...20Down%20Cells

    I've found feeding seems to be the best way to avoid them being torn down either in the finisher or in the mating nucs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
    Posts
    86

    Default Not enought nurse bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    It seems like once they get 3 or 4 they like, they clean out the others. Just wondering.
    Ross,
    When the bees do this it's one of two things... If you did the grafting right and removed the Queen...

    One: You need to have a very strong cell builder hive (two supers) with many frames of extra nurse bees...
    Two: You need to feed this cell builder with a frame feeder.

    The two things above give the bees a false honey flow and they produce lots of wax to draw out the Queen cells.
    Both of them are need to finish drawing the wax and filling the cells with Royal Jelly...
    Lee...
    Last edited by beemanlee; 05-06-2008 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    requirements.... lots of bees packed into some small space with plenty of pollen (preferrable in the frame) and a trickle of feed coming in all the time.

    there are any number of things that can go wrong... when you are actively doing a bit of queen rearing actually the list seems endless and seems to constantly grow longer.

    cool weather can limit the nuc building unit's bioliogical activity and the number of finished cells will be greatly reduced. someone above suggest a frame feeder but in the case of a significant cool snap this is one case where a (and sometimes I use two) boardman feeders placed over the cluster is a better way to deliver sugar syrup.

    closed box... I like to use a swarm box that I close up for the first couple of days and then allow them to fly. closed up for too short a peiod and the box seems to loose population. close them up to long and the dead quickly pile up in the bottom of the box.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I think many variables go into it as mentioned above. I ask myself "Why will one hive make one or two supercedure cells on their own, and the next hive build ten?" or "Why does one hive build 3 or 4 swarm cells, and the next hive build 25?". I think feed, numbers, and many things go into it. But I still think one component is the bees willingness itself.

    I have had three boxes fully prepared with everything you could think of, and they sometimes make less than using a good swarm. I think the swarm is prepared to make wax, and in many ways "willing' to do it.

    I just grafted on Sunday placing two larvae in each cell. Not sure how this will impact my take numbers (Last graft before was 29 out of 32) but am trying to keep the large numbers variables at a low option. It will be interesting to see what this does to overall numbers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    They took over a gallon of feed during the time they were making the queens, from introduction of the Jenter cups to capping. Nurse bees could be an issue as I made them queenless a bit early so I could eliminate any volunteer queen cells (bad attitude), but they had a lot of bees. Cool weather could have had some affect, but not much I don't think. The queen was only in the Jenter for 16 hours or so, so timing shouldn't have been an issue. Oh well, on to the next batch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    if you had a spell of cool weather... access to the feeder can be an issue. this spring I started up a batch of cells (in a 5 frame swarm box) and placed a feed bottle on one end of the top of the starter box. out of 25 possible cells they started 5 and all were on the end with the feed bottle.

    removing the feeder before the cells are finished (capped) can also lead to the cells being thinned by the bees themselves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    My double graft (two larvae) in each cell, using the same cells that were torn down resulted in 28 of 32 being built again. So the acceptance rate seems fine using the same cells, for at least the circumstances explained previously.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
    Posts
    86

    Default You need the young nurse bees Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Nurse bees could be an issue... Oh well, on to the next batch.
    Ross,
    You are now getting the picture of what is need most... If you don't have nurse bees, then you don't have the Royal Jelly to smeer on the toast(Queen Cells)...
    Lee...

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