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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    368

    Default Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    My idea next spring is to skip grafting and queen-finding altogether--I'd cut out a strip (or several) of egg-filled comb about 1" wide from my chosen hive and face the eggs or very young larva downward and tack or rubberband the comb to a bar which I'd insert onto a frame similar to every $75+ system out there. Then every cell on the strip of comb would be 'downward facing' and the bees could use whatever discretion they have to pick which eggs to turn into queens.

    Similar to the OTS method where you just cut the bottom 1/3rd of existing cell walls to the midrib, as described by Mel Disselkoen (http://www.mdasplitter.com/), except that I don't need the starter colony feeding an entire frame of brood.

    (HHHHH = horizontal comb)
    (V = queen cell)

    =I=====================I=
    . I HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I
    . IVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVI
    . I HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I
    . IVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVI
    . I=====================I

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Tara; 09-21-2010 at 06:35 PM. Reason: graphic spacing not working out...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    similar to every $75+ system out there.
    We use the $8.00 method....... 100 JZBZ plastic push-in cups cost about $8.00. Graft to cups, place 10 cups to a bar and 2 bars to a frame (easily constructed for about $2.00). Place this frame in a queenless 5 frame nuc with a feeder...End up with between 15 and 20 cells everytime. Put the cells in JZBZ hanger type cell protectors and use them for splits and re-queens. Thats our method now that we're winding down, in the spring and summer we use a full sized (8frame) queenless cell builder and draw up to 45 cells at a time.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cordova, AL
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    Sounds very similar to the Hopkins Method. Check out this link.

    http://www.ohiohomestead.com/ohioque...s%20Method.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    You can learn to graft in 15 minutes. You may not have a high success rate at first but you will improve with age! Take out a frame of young larva and practice! It won't hurt your hive and you have thousands of subjects to choose from. BTW, I think you'll find that with your proposed method, if you place a strip of eggs the bees will eat the eggs. If you place larva, you need to thin them out so you have 3-4 empty spaces between cells. The other more important aspects like having an overflowing queenless cell starter of young bees, and proper feed, honey and pollen, plus syrup or patties, are not going to be any different.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,868

    Default Re: Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    but you will improve with age!
    That's pretty optomistic as I seem to be dis-improving with age.

    I use one of those $80 systems that does not require grafting, doesn't need steady hands, and compensates for poor eyesight. I've switched from trying to raise queens in a queenless colony to a using a queen-right colony.

    And I thought it couldn't be done.

    There are dozens of queen rearing systems, all with advantages and disadvantages, all which appeal and repulse our personal opinions. More power to those who try new things!

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    http://maxhoney.homestead.com
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Does anyone use this method of queen rearing?

    Thanks all for your advice so far! I may eventually learn to graph, but I really see no reason to if the bees will build queen cells right on the combs the eggs are already in! Plus, I can't really see myself grafting out in the field, but I can see cutting out a strip of comb and tacking it to a bar when I'm out there.

    Oldtimer--glad to see someone's already paved the way! When you say you believe it makes a better queen, do you think its because the larvae aren't handled, aren't grown in an artificial cell, or because the bees 'choose' a better larva when given a choice? If I didn't kill every couple cells, would the bees attempt to raise EVERY larva to be a queen? Using this method, do you use young larva, or eggs? Have you experienced what fish stix mentioned, with bees removing eggs? About how many cells per frame in a well-stocked starter nuc do you get?

    I'd love to see a pic of your 'special combs' if you get a chance to post!

    Thanks!

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