First grafted queen cells of 2009 season
This is a close-up of three of the nine ripe queen cells, from my first grafts of the season.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 04-06-2009 at 08:07 PM.
Reason: reduce image size to 640x480 please
Looking Good! They are well provisioned with royal jelly. They are well sculpted and thinned at the bottom.
I got my bees to grow these in a different way than I have before.
I've been building more nuc boxes, lots more nuc boxes. My plans are to build nuc colonies, raise queens, and sell or trade them. I run my nucs by starting them in a five-frame medium nuc box and stacking a second five-frame medium nuc box on top.
I thought that if I used a similar plan for raising the small quantities of queen cells that I presently raise, it might be easier to work the two processes together. So, I began by taking two combs of honey/pollen and put them, one each, on the insides of the bottom nuc box, then inside those I put frames of emerging brood, then I left the center open to receive the cell bar. Next I placed an empty nuc box above and placed two more combs full of honey/pollen, one on each side of the top box, just inside the side-walls.
I then placed a cover with one end moved back 1/4" for an entrance and proceeded to shake nurse bees onto the lid until both nuc boxes are jammed full of nurse bees. Next I graft the day old larvae into the cell cups, place it into the spot reserved for it in the bottom box, lay a pollen substitute pattie over the top bars in the bottom box and a quart syrup feeder adjacent to it, replace the top box and wait.
I plan to use this set of bees for about three rounds of queen cells, then move them to the nuc yard, leaving them a queen cell (effectively turning them into a nuc). Then I would start a fresh queen cell building colony.
Edited in later: I only graft eighteen or fewer cells, at one time, on a single bar. In the future I plan to build medium depth cell bar frames, so I can install a double-level of queen cells, and produce, perhaps as many as twenty-eight cells at a time.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 04-07-2009 at 10:34 AM.
This is a close-up of three of the nine ripe queen cells,
Super photo and queen cells.