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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    My last graft of the year is tomorrow, with last cells going out to mating nucs 10 days later. Our Goldenrod flow is usually August 15-early September. Nucs made by first week of August usually winter well, although maybe with somewhat smaller clusters.

    If you're going to raise some cells, you better get to it. If you start a cell builder tomorrow using the method I use, your graft will be on July 29, and cells ready on August 8. Queens won't be mated and laying until about the 24th of August. Then if you're going to winter nucs with them, that seems kind of late for me here in Vermont.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    MP, So you don't raise any later queens to sale? I would think there would be alot of folks looking for queens in the fall to requeen, or to fix a problem hive before winter..

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I have about 450 mating nucs. They're 4 way, with main divider going across the box the short way. That created 2 chambers. Then each chamber is divided again with a division board feeder creating 4 in total.

    My last cells go into group 4 of 4 groups on July 30. At that point all mating nucs are 4 way. I'll pull one queen on each side of that first divider, move the feeder to a side wall, and give the remaining queen all 8 combs instead of only 4. I winter them with 8. So, while I'm not actually grafting and dealing with queen cells after July 30, I can still catch queens until about August 15.

    Anybody want them?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,651

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I'd take a few if shipping wouldn't be an issue (heat).
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    No problem with the heat...especially not in New England. I sent queens to SC and VA in the 90+ degree heat this summer. All arrived ok.

    Can't advertise on this forum. I'll start thread in "For Sale."

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I agree that Bro Adam really doesn't go into enough detail. Heck, he only touches on wintering nucleus colonies.

    I leave my cell builder queenless until the cells are sealed. I've arranged them so they have the maximum amount of nerse bees to feed the cells. If I unite them back with the queenright section, wouldn't a large number of the nurse bees go back to feeding worker larvae in the queenright section?

    I used support colonies too, and harvested nurse bees by placing open brood above an excluder overnight. I find that by adding sealed brood 10 days before grafting that I'm doing the same thing...maybe with better results.
    I spent some time in the hammock re-reading the classics, that includes Br Adams work (1). Yes, he is short in detail but he is summing up a lifetime and I think he always ran experiment in parallel to established methods.

    I like to point out that there is a picture of a incubator (1) on page 59. "Interior of the queen-rearing house. On the right, the heating cabinet for the queen-cups, grafting table and a hive on scales; on the left, a electrically-heated incubator with a capacity of 1000 queen cells".

    So Br Adam used a incubator as well, at least at times.

    A interesting connection to mating nuc management is the image on page 61 with the mating hives. It shows is a four way half-size dadant where the Masonite divider is visible on one side but not on the other, this indicates him running 4x4 frames summertime and 2x8 frames wintertime, or at least have the option to switch between 4x4 and 2x8 configuration easily.

    The image in the center has the text: "The mating hive first used. This also accommodate four nuclei, but on three half-sized BS (British Standard) format". This hive is seen together with the half-size dadant in several pictures, recognized by its longer shape. This hive is described in ROB Manley (1946) "Honey Faming" in detail (page 96). Manipulations such as wintering in two chambers and expanding to four during mating is described, brood removal to maintain size as well including how this affects cell acceptance. Manley used full-sized BS frames in 4x4 and 2x8 configuration (page 113).

    I like to recommend "Honey By the Ton", Oliver Field (3) as well for a description on the importance of locally breed queens (quality and supply).

    (1) Beek in Buckfast 4 ed, May 1987, ISBN 0-907908-37-3
    (2) Honey Farming, ROB Manley 1946, ISBN 0-907908-45-4
    (3) Honey by the Ton, Oliver Field, 1989, ISBN 0-907908-46-2
    Last edited by JensLarsen; 07-31-2010 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Michael,

    I see how adding 7 frames of brood would eventually lead to swarm behavior once they emerged, but do the bees of the CB hive 'see' all the brood and start planning on swarming the day the brood is added?? Do they start building the queen cells at that point, or a couple weeks later once the brood emerges?

    Thanks for posting!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    i do something similar to Mike and winter over 4 frame nucs. i can mate them into Aug though because I have access to an unheated, vented bee basement that can hold a large number of hives or nucs. we feed them heavy like Mike does and move them indoors around Thanksgiving.

    just did our last graft today from a VSH/carni and also a russian breeder.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by JensLarsen View Post
    (2) Honey Farming, ROB Manley 1946, ISBN 0-907908-45-4
    I can recommend this one. I read it recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Read it twice. I was surprised at how much Manley and I are alike in our beekeeping beliefs and practices.

    Funny man him. Never liked honey.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    Michael,

    I see how adding 7 frames of brood would eventually lead to swarm behavior once they emerged, but do the bees of the CB hive 'see' all the brood and start planning on swarming the day the brood is added?? Do they start building the queen cells at that point, or a couple weeks later once the brood emerges?

    Thanks for posting!
    Bees don't think like that Tara. They don't plan. They react to stimulae.

    The bees will start swarming preps only when conditions are right. Brood, emerging brood, or big populations don't automatically start the process. There has to be a flow. They have to run out of room to store nectar.

    These CBs are huge colonies. 3 boxes in the broodnest and several supers above. Ading a box of brood increases the population, but as the brood emerges it creates instant nectar storage space. Read about the Demaree plan of swarm control.

    Some CB colonies will start swarm cells below the excluder, but that's why you check the colony before you set up the unit on grafting day. If there aren't any cells in the hive on the day you graft, then yours will be the oldest and even if they start some in thier broodnest, yours will be removed from the CB before any of the colony's cells emerge.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Mike,

    Thanks!

    When I read your opening post, I was a little confused.

    "Just try adding 7 frames of brood to a strong colony. I call these boxes of brood Bee Bombs...see my article in Bee Culture.
    So, you set up a colony to get to swarming strength, and take away the queen. You control when they start their cells. "


    That part about controlling when they start their cells is what prompted my question--I thought you meant adding the frames of brood made them start swarm preps that day! I didn't THINK bees thought that way!

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Michael,

    I want to make sure I understand correctly:

    10 before grafting you leave the queen in the 2-3 brood boxes, then excluder on top, then box of brood from another hive, then supers.
    On grafting day: do you remove queen with one box (or nuc) for 5 days or keep her at the bottom all the time?

    Wouldn't it make sense to put another excluder on the entrance of CB to keep the rogue virgins out?

    Thanks

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius View Post
    Michael,

    I want to make sure I understand correctly:

    10 before grafting you leave the queen in the 2-3 brood boxes, then excluder on top, then box of brood from another hive, then supers.
    On grafting day: do you remove queen with one box (or nuc) for 5 days or keep her at the bottom all the time?

    Wouldn't it make sense to put another excluder on the entrance of CB to keep the rogue virgins out?

    Thanks
    Remove her. It would make sense to exclude the entrance, but I don't. There's a german queen rearing video out there where they do just that...to keep out rogue virgins.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Thanks. What is the purpose of an excluder for the first 10 days?
    Do you also raise drones in secluded mating area as Kirk does?
    Or do you take virgins on the boat to an island like those Germans in the video?

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    The box above the excluder will be the cell builder. At 10 days, there will be no larvae that the bees will feed or raise queen cells from.

    I don't have an isolated mating yard.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    593

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius View Post
    Michael,

    I want to make sure I understand correctly:

    10 before grafting you leave the queen in the 2-3 brood boxes, then excluder on top, then box of brood from another hive, then supers.
    On grafting day: do you remove queen with one box (or nuc) for 5 days or keep her at the bottom all the time?

    Wouldn't it make sense to put another excluder on the entrance of CB to keep the rogue virgins out?

    Thanks
    Darius, Thanks for finding this thread (the previous reply to this thread was in 2010), and making it visible again.

    Phil

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    your gonna love this!
    I did thank you lakebilly, I think others will too. How about starting a new thread, just to bring it to other peoples attention.

    And of course a Big thanks to MP.
    Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Michael,
    how important in your opinion drone genes? Do you keep colonies that have more drones in the mating areas? If yes, do you select those with particular genes like you do when picking breeding queen? Or is it just mating nucs in the yard?
    Thanks for all the information you sharing. The video of your talk in England is very informative. As well as you detailed threads out here on overwintering nucs and queens on mini frames. Those 3 would be an instant bestseller if you put it in a book!
    Stephenpbird, this is an old thread but it didn't get old a bit.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I really enjoyed both of the videos, it really re-inforces the information in this thread well. But Mr Palmer, I must take exception to one comment in your presentations in England. You directly state 'this does not scale well to the back yard'. Reference our back yard, I think the concept scales quite well to the back yard setup, at least it's worked well for us.



    As you can see, with 6 full size colonies, and 4 nucleus colonies, this concept scales very well. Our climate is a little warmer than yours, so, stand alone 5 frame boxes have seemed to work well so far. All of them made it thru last winter, and, everybody was doing cleansing flights when we had a sunny day last week, so far so good for this winter.

    But, I do have a question now on the queen rearing concepts, and scaling that whole procedure down Our goals are not so lofty as 1500 queens in a year, but, I would like to do a dozen. If I follow all of the concepts presented here in this thread, and so well explained in the video, I am wondering about scaling it down just a bit, for doing only one bar of cells with a dozen cups.

    If I use your concept of splitting the boxes with an excluder, then add in an extra box of brood, for a single bar of cells, would one expect a reasonable result using the 5 frame stack as the builder rather than a full 10 frame stack ? Your photos in the videos show 3 bars of 16, for a total of 48 cells at a time into the builder. I'd be looking at using the exact same concepts, ie take away the bottom box with queen, leaving a 2 high stack of 5 frame boxes, bursting with bees after harvesting brood from the other nucs. It wont be nearly as big as your CB hive, but they wont have nearly as many cells to tend either. Done with 5 frame gear, the process will start with a 3 high stack, and when I remove the queen box, I'll have a 2 high stack as the builder, essentially in the same conditions as you describe, just half the size, and 1/4 the number of cells to tend.

    It seems to me it should work out well, but I may have missed something here.

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