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  1. #41
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Seems like it would work. Try it.

  2. #42
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    Jul 2013
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    536

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Michael,
    What is your opinion for a person who only has a handful of hives, wants to make their own queens, and build up their apiary with those queens and bees by altering what you are saying at the day 9 mark? Could one, in the right (very subjective here) circumstances let the bees at that point make the supersedure or swarm cells, and instead of tearing them down, make 3 or 4 frame splits with those cells? If done during the main flow and along with SOME supplemental feeding of syrup, they should double in size or more by the end of a lengthy flow and be ready for making nucleuses at that point for overwintering? Basically, you are making a simple split here, but it is what I would call an "induced split" if you will, by taking advantage of the bees ' natural tendencies, like you say, and expounding on that. Then again, maybe I'm just crazy.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  3. #43
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Of course you could raise the queens for the initial nuclei by building a powerful colony and when they start swarm cells use the cells and split the colony up into nucs. You want to then nuc the nucs? Hmmm...

    You're in TN. When do you think there would be brood ready to boost your parent colony. April? And when would they have cells ready so you can make the first round of nucs. Two or three weeks later? And when would there be a laying queen in those nucs. Middle of May? Then it's probably at least a month before those nucs are ready to split up so that's June sometime.

    When does your flow end? If you make walk away splits after the middle of June, will they have enough flow left to raise their new queens and build up for winter?

    I can't tell you it would work or not. I don't know TN flows. Certainly the first round would. If my flow ended in June, I don't think I would do the second round. Rather I would make as many as I could on the first round and keep it at that.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I usually put supers on around Tax day (April 15th)... My main flow is May/June with some random items bloom earlier.

    I usually get a heavy dearth in Late July/Aug with some stuff starting to bloom in Aug/Sept.... But the weather's been pretty whacky the last 3-4 years...

    Someone else from TN can chime in their experiences...

    I'm hoping to try getting a earlier start this year with supplemental feeding/brood box management..
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    536

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Of course you could raise the queens for the initial nuclei by building a powerful colony and when they start swarm cells use the cells and split the colony up into nucs. You want to then nuc the nucs? Hmmm...

    You're in TN. When do you think there would be brood ready to boost your parent colony. April? And when would they have cells ready so you can make the first round of nucs. Two or three weeks later? And when would there be a laying queen in those nucs. Middle of May? Then it's probably at least a month before those nucs are ready to split up so that's June sometime.

    When does your flow end? If you make walk away splits after the middle of June, will they have enough flow left to raise their new queens and build up for winter?

    I can't tell you it would work or not. I don't know TN flows. Certainly the first round would. If my flow ended in June, I don't think I would do the second round. Rather I would make as many as I could on the first round and keep it at that.
    According to my records, my neighbor beekeeper and I had queen cells capped as early as the first week of April this year. Queens were hatched and laying by mid-late April, and definitely by first of May. This year the flow for the most part tapered off at the end of June. I had one of my hives fill a deep completely during the last half of August. Basically, the flow peaks here around last half of May and into June, tapers off for July, picks back up mid to late August and peaks for the fall flow in the first half of September. Two of my hives, first years by the way, made above 90 lbs of honey each (one 8 frame brood chambers). I think I could pull it off, but weather is definitely the factor.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  6. #46
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Well, all you can do is try and adjust your timing to fit. Give it a few years and you'll know.

  7. #47
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    Jul 2013
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Well, all you can do is try and adjust your timing to fit. Give it a few years and you'll know.
    That's the nature of it isn't it? We'll see what happens with time being the judge. Thanks for the input and the thread.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
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    323

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Code:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day -9  sealed brood and queen go in bottom brood box
            unsealed and extra frames of pollen and honey go above the excluder in top brood box
            there should be 5-6 frames of sealed brood below and 4-5 unsealed above
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day -2  checked for queen cells
            start feeding 1:1
            feed until cells are capped 5 days after graft.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day 1   morning : prepare CB
                    bottom box with queen is removed from stand, and turned around to face the other way
    
                    The CB:
                    upper box put in the place of the bottom box
                    fresh pollen frame in the center where the graft will go later in the day
                    gap for the QC frame
                    the core of the queen's broodnest is shaken into the cell builder
                    after shaking, close both the queen's hive and the CB
    
            afternoon : graft and put the graft into the CB
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day 5   put the bottom box with the queen back to it's former place bellow an excluder and add the CB on top
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day 8   feed the bees that will form the mating nucs
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day 9   prepare the mating nucs(feed, robber antrances)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    day 10  add QC to the mating nucs
    ------------------------------------------------------------


    I've made this for myself but I thought to share it to others also. It helps more on visualising all the steps.
    After reading about all kind of methods I find this one suitfull to me. It's a variation on cloacke method just that it's more straight forward.

    Still have one question:

    after shaking, close both the queen's hive and the CB
    I guess this means putting the lids on not closing the entrances.

    Regards,
    Cristian
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  9. #49
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    I guess this means putting the lids on not closing the entrances.
    Yep

  10. #50
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    323

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    About the mating nucs:

    Could anyone use standard 10 framers? Does it harm to have more space then necesary? Should I bother in making division boards to isolate the unused space or just add frames of foundation? My problem is time. I'm not a full time beekeeper.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  11. #51
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
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    217

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    About the mating nucs:

    Could anyone use standard 10 framers? Does it harm to have more space then necesary? Should I bother in making division boards to isolate the unused space or just add frames of foundation? My problem is time. I'm not a full time beekeeper.
    How much brood or bees are you going to add to the 10 framer to get it started when you put your cells in? If your just adding a couple frames of bees I would probably reduce the space somehow.
    Stuart Ratcliff - Ratcliff Beekeeping Facebook page

  12. #52
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Actually I did some dividers yesterday... no big deal; also did some 2x2 nucs and a robber screen.

    Does robber screens interfere with the virgin queen ability to find the entrance back into the hive? I see this as a problem if I install the robber screens before the mating flight.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  13. #53
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I have been intending to rear queens for two years. I made my first attempts mid season last year. From over 200 grafts I ended up with 10 queens to build nucs with. I will just sum up those results with this comment. I tend to have a sense of knowing when I know enough and more importantly knowing when I don't. Up to that point I simply never felt right about rearing queens. This past winter we spent a lot of time effort and money being prepared for many things I see we where not ready for last year. In that process it began to accoured to me that a side effect of this preparation also resembled what we might need to rear queens. A boat load of nucs to hedge against lost queens due to swarming. a pile of empty equipment just begging to have bees added to it. a bunch of queen castles with no queens to put in them (they where there to move swarm cells to). And an early spring with colonies building up by leaps and bounds. All I needed was queen cells. Why wait?

    I Then saw Micheal's video on sustainable queen rearing. Still I did not have that feeling that all was ready. So I contacted Micheal privately and he replied with specific direction for me. Of course it was probably the same thing he has always said but it was enough to kick me out of the ditch and get me moving. He did give me his advice on what queens to rear from and in what percentages. He also shared his reservation concerning weather. Well all you ever have to do is tell me not to, to get me elbow deep into something. So of course i took my strongest hive which I think had 14 frames of brood at that time and added 10 more to it. Counted out 10 days and started adding notes to my calendar. At that moment the warm springlike weather we have had since January broke and we had 2 weeks of cold temperatures and even snow. The good news is it now has proven that Micheal's method is flexible. The bad news is it made me completely prevented me form doing the queen cells check. By the time we could open the hive and search we found 11 queen cells all destroyed or emerged and 3 dead virgin queens on the queen excluder. one still living but she has since also died. We added 3 additional fraems of capped brood and 45 grafts. Now keep in mind these grafts came from larva in colonies that had just come out of a cold snap. Not the best grafting material. In all we have 32 very nice uniform and large queen cells as of today. In addition we have 21 additional cells that where built on the brood frames we had added. this makes a total of 53 queen cells built by this cell builder over the past week. And this was just the first round of cells so the cell builder is not even up to full strength.
    we will be adding another 10 frames of brood to it today and starting the process over. this time we will remove queen cells and there is no forecast of another cold snap. I am looking forward to what this cell builder will due with the grafts when they are not tending to additional cells. In all the additional cells run from fair to poor. But that is a whole lot of cells for any colony to build all at one time. If numbers are correct that I have seen it would require 21,200 nurse bees to do it properly. Overall I believe they came very close.

    I have started to call these cell builders Super Colonies. I am starting to see the bearding outside the entrance as Micheal has shown they will do. I a thinking it is time to start removing some of the excess bees. That is one of the best things I like about this method. nothing is wasted. hives that donated brood will get the bees back as they complete their service to queen rearing. The impact to the donor hive is minimal. Maybe some reduced brood production for a period of time. But I cannot be certain about that since the cold snap reduced brood rearing in every colony. I see it may simply give strong colonies a couple of empty frames to keep more bees busy doing something constructive.

    I am thrilled with the results and my personal thanks to Micheal. You have made a tremendous difference in more ways than I can say.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #54
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Stupid question:

    What's the average rate of succes starting from accepted graft to the final product - the mated queen? I mean how many cells should I preapare, in order to get a given number of cells - in my case 10 for the first batch?

    I'll use 2 deep frames for each nuc.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    That's a very loaded question. It varies widely based on the operation, the time of year, the operator (and his skills at grafting), the population of the builder, and the population of the mating nucs.

    Most grafters can get 95-98% take on their grafts. I'm not that good. I get 85-90% on average. But, here's what you should probably be looking at, at least in my opinion:

    20% loss of grafts that don't take (insert your own percentage here based on your skills at grafting)
    10% loss of capped cells not emerging (it happens significantly less than that, but it's a good buffer to add in there)
    25% loss of mated queens not returning to nucs (can vary between 10% and 40%)
    10% loss of mated queens failing to mate, or mating poorly

    So, if you want to end with 10, graft no less than 22 (lose 3 to poor grafting, lose 2 to poor emergence, lose 5 to non-returning queens, and lose 2 to poorly mated queens, resulting in 10 left)

  16. #56
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Thanks.

    I should probably bank the cells in case I have a good percentage of acceptance in order to have a backup for later failure.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  17. #57
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Doesn't really work that way.

    You can put unused cells in an incubator or in california cages if you want. That way you can see if some cells didn't emerge or hatch correctly. If that happens, you can introduce the virgins that emerged in your incubator or cali cages. But virgins need to mate within 2 weeks of hatching or they won't mate at all. So you can't bank cells and hold onto them to see if a queen doesn't mate properly. You'll just have a drone layer.

  18. #58
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    I usually average 46 cells from 48 grafts. The number of mated queens varies widely depending on who knows what. Last year the lowest take was 80/128, while the best was 118/128. 90 something is usual take.

    I need 3 cell builders of 48 grafts to stock my 128 mating nucs, but always set up 4 in case one fails…which does happen.

  19. #59
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    3,178

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    Stupid question:

    What's the average rate of succes starting from accepted graft to the final product - the mated queen? I mean how many cells should I preapare, in order to get a given number of cells - in my case 10 for the first batch?

    I'll use 2 deep frames for each nuc.
    Overall I have no idea. 71% is not meeting my goal though. I am looking for 90% at least. The good news is i still clearly see improvements that can be made. It has not gotten to the hard tiny refinements yet.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    444

    Default Re: My Cell Building Methods

    Daniel,

    Mike gave you some really good numbers to work with. From my experience, a 75% success rate each step of the way is a reasonable working/planning percentage. 75% of your cells will be started and finished, provided you have proficient skills. 75% of your cells placed in nucs will result in viable mated queens. Keep in mind these are long term averages, some days are better, some are worse. Cells are relatively easy to produce, so always have more cells than nucs ready to go.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

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