Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    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 07:35 PM. Reason: graphic spacing not working out...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    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
    2,297

    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
    1,858

    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
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,064

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

    Yes your method will work, and in fact I would recommend it.

    I used to graft bee larvae, in fact I grafted up to 400 daily during the season. I still graft a few but mostly now I'm using the cut cell method & I believe it does make a better queen.

    Do what you said, but my recommendation anyway, don't cut the strip an inch wide, cut along a row of cells, then cut the other side of the row of cells so you've got a strip of cells just one cell wide.

    At this point I use melted beeswax to attach the cells to a wooden bar, however if that's too complex I guess cotton or similar could be used. The strip is mounted on the bar so one row of cells will be pointing straight downwards when put in the hive.

    Then, you have to thin out the larvae so only every 3rd one is left. To do this you poke a hole in the bottom of each cell with a small screwdriver or similar. With a hole in the bottom of the cell the bees will remove the larva. So you go along the row of cells, killing two, leaving one.

    Provided these cells are put into a strong queenles hive with no unsealed brood, the bees will raise fine cells.

    BTW, I don't waste a frame by cutting it, I get the bees to build special combs that I use for the purpose. Later today when i've got time I'll post a pic with an explanation.

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

    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,064

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    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?
    OK well I didn't pave the way! Most what I do I was taught to me when working for others.

    As to it making a better queen, a "better queen" is very hard to quantify subjectively. But I base my belief because queens raised this way achieve a higher mating percentage than queens that were grafted. That's across all mating yards, all else being equal. So, I can only assume they are better in terms of maybe health, vigour, or whatever, I don't really know but the mating results are better, so likely other results will be better.

    I can say that when larvae are grafted, they are deprived of food for a short time because the first thing the bees do when they are placed in the cell raising hive is clean them, and they can stay this way for a while before the bees start feeding them. This does not happen if using the cut cell method.

    And yes, the bees will choose the best larvae but for their own reasons, it might not always be the youngest, we should make sure we only give them larvae under a few hours old.

    If you don't kill every couple of cells, the bees will reject a lot of the larvae anyway. To them they don't need 100 or so queens, 1 is enough. So we have to "assist" them to raise more than what might be their natural inclination. But what will happen if you don't thin the larvae yourself is that a lot of queen cells will be so close they are joined together, and you will not be able to seperate them without killing one of them.

    I use young larvae just hatched, and some eggs, just hatching. And yes, bees will remove eggs or young larvae, as they see fit.

    To a well stocked starter nuc I give 64 cells, but they won't raise all of them, a 90% or better take is good but it can be less than that. Then after 24 hours the cells go into a finisher hive, which gets a maximum of 32 cells to finish.






    So for the pic, apologies to those who have seen it before i did post it in another thread a while back.





    This comb is made like a "top bar", the piece of wood is ripped down the middle on the saw bench and a small piece of comb foundation is put in and a nail hammered in to hold it. BTW the comb foundation is less than 1/2 the size of the comb in the picture, the bees have built the comb bigger.

    It is then hung in a hive for 24 hours for the bees to draw the comb. After that, it is put in my breeder hive, where the breeder queen is sectioned off into an area of only 3 combs. This is to prolong the life of my breeder queens, but also, when I put the comb in this section, the queen will lay in it straight away & I can remove it next day with eggs of a known age in it. It then gets stored in a hive for 3 days over a queen excluder to stop any unwanted eggs being laid in it, and it then used for grafting or being cut into strips.


    To do this at home, without the special breeder hive, go through the hive you want to breed from & find the queen. Then put her and only two fullish combs, plus your "top bar" style comb in between them, into the bottom box of the hive. Move the rest of the hive away and set it up on a temporary site. A lot of the bees will drift back and the little hive with the queen will be overstocked with bees. the queen will find the empty comb and lay in it. Next day, check the comb has eggs in it and if so, put the hive back together how it was before, there is no need to use re-uniting techniques the bees have not been seperated long and will get back together peacefully.

    Store your comb in a hive between two combs of brood, and 3 days later the larvae will be just hatching and ready for you to graft, cut, or whatever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

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

    Thanks! I did see your picture before, but I guess I didn't read closely enough on your method.

    One question: "I can say that when larvae are grafted, they are deprived of food for a short time because the first thing the bees do when they are placed in the cell raising hive is clean them, and they can stay this way for a while before the bees start feeding them."

    The first thing the bees do is clean the cells? The larva? What, do the bees clean up the royal jelly with the larva, or are they just so busy cleaning they neglect the larva?

    Thanks for your reply and the pic!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,064

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

    They lick up all the royal jelly. When I graft I try to include a little bit of royal jelly on the brush with the larva. However if you remove the newly grafted cells from the starter hive 1/2 hour after they were put in, the larvae will be licked clean and have no food at all. (Usually). Then after a time they start to be fed.

    But cut cells will normally not be licked clean and will at no point go hungry.

    During this time the larvae are growing incredibly fast, their weight increases several hundreds of times in only a few days. So even 1/2 hour without food must have a negative effect.

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

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

    BTW, thanks for the links Michael!

    Also, thanks for your site. Whenever I wonder "Is there an easier way to do this?" I go check your site. Unfortunately I don't check it as often as I should...

    I think the closest method to what I'll try is Alley's. All up until attaching the strip of cells to the comb... I'll just use a bar and thumbtack or rubberband it on, so I can get 3 rows on a frame.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

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

    The easiest method I have found for raising queens is to remove the laying queen. The bees will start several emergency cells. (I have seen 20 emergency cells started.) Either cut out individual queen cells to use, or take any frame with cell[s] and put that frame in any nuc/hive that needs a queen. For me, moving frames with queen cells is the simplest and least likely to damage cells. Getting 4 or 5 frames with queen cells is common for me.

    I guess it all depends on how many queens you are wanting to raise.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

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

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshopkins1886.htm

    This is basically the Alley method except simplified and with new comb instead of old comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

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

    Ah, yeah. That's what I plan to do!

    Countryboy--Queen sellers around here run out quick. I plan to join them.

    Next spring, I'll try to get a round in starting late March/early April, if there are plenty of drones. If not, the first round will be when I remove my queens from the colonies in prep for the nectar flow in late April, and I'll harvest a bunch of those cells. I'm gonna use the Hopkins method for the last round, in June, to make a bunch of queens so I can split all my hives into nucs to build into ~30 1-box hives for (hopefully!) a foray into almonds in spring 2012.

    All theoretical, of course... first I have to figure out if I can overwinter successfully!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

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

    I'm gonna use the Hopkins method for the last round, in June, to make a bunch of queens so I can split all my hives into nucs to build into ~30 1-box hives

    I tried the Hopkins method using queenless, single deep hives. A half dozen cells is the most I was able to raise in a batch. I 'think' what is holding me back from more cells is my bee density of young bees is not high enough. (Although during the main flow the bees plugged out the frame with honey and drew a bunch of combs in the inch gap between the frame in the Hopkins jig and the top bars below.)

    It is a lot easier to work with cells cut from a Hopkins method frame than it is to cut out emergency cells and work with them.

    If I was just wanting to split my hives in June, I'd just do walkaway splits and let the bees make their own queens. But that's me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

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

    I considered that... but if they were down to 2-3 frames, would they have the resources for great quality queens? I hope to make at least 60 queens, split 2-3 frames into each side of a divided super, let each queen build up her side, and then sell about half of the queens thru late summer to combine the 2 nucs into 1 strong hive. I want 10 frames CRAWLING with bees so my medium supers don't get turned away come almond season...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

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

    I considered that... but if they were down to 2-3 frames, would they have the resources for great quality queens?

    Maybe...if you kept them fed well. You could also consider splitting at 4-6 frames, letting them make their own queen, and them splitting again 8 weeks later. (late July)

    When adding mated queens, you should be able to split a hive every 5 weeks.

    One big hive will build up faster than 2 small hives.

    Let me get this straight...you want to start by building to 60 nucs, in the hopes of ending up with 30 hives to send to almonds? You can either make bees, or make a honey crop. Since you are choosing to make bees, you will have to feed them a couple tons of syrup (literally) to get 30 hives to weight. This is if you have drawn comb to start with. (Plan on feeding a minimum of 100 pounds of syrup per hive if they have to draw combs.)

    Have you priced your shipping costs to the almonds? Or checked out brokers fees? (You want a good broker - how much will you lose if you don't get paid? or if your bees disappear, or come back dead?)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

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

    Hm....good point about a single hive building faster than 2 small...

    I have 2 hives and 6 nucs right now. I have an order in for 1 nuc and 4 packages for next spring, and will try to pick up as many swarms as possible. If I have 50% losses for being a newbeek, I hope to have 1 good production colony for the nectar flow, plus whatever the other 3 overwintered nucs provide as they grow to support the queen rearing. Three of the packages in early spring will be split into mating nucs for the first queens, to avoid robbing the production hive. I'll probably buy about 60 PermaCombs to speed things along.

    I hope to harvest about 50-75 lbs of good honeycomb/honey for myself and friends, and put everything else back into the bees. This year I started queen rearing and nuc-making on a whim in late July-mid August, and the best of them are laying in their 2nd nuc-super. (The latest ones started laying 27 Aug, I gave them 2 frames, and they're pulling their 4th frame now) If I start the queens back in mid-June, they'll be a good bit ahead of where my latest ones are now.

    I'm one up on the shipping to almonds thing--I'll probably be moving to NM next November (not my choice of location--BF is in the military). I'll have a truck and trailor already, and can take the bees over for about 2 tanks of gas, and load/unload them myself. The broker thing and all the rest of those details is why I'm doing this so early--so I can figure out what I need to know to do it 'for real'! People on the site have said the best way to start with a small load is to add onto someone else's contract, so come next fall I'll be looking.

    I'm trying to do all this in small-medium scale so I can figure out what works, what doesn't, etc, to make up my business model and get an idea of costs. Its still a hobby, so I can sink money into it without feeling bad, and I'm learning TONS. The next couple years will decide whether it stays a hobby, or becomes a new career.

    Again, I appreciate all your advice! Thanks for your patience while I learn.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    165

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

    Oldtimer, from your experience with the Cut Cell method, does cutting the cell wall down actually make a positive difference? Thanks for your input!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,064

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

    As in removing the cell wall after cutting the comb into strips?

    If so, I haven't actually tried it, but i would doubt it would make much difference because the bees remove most of the cell walls themselves before remodelling into a queen cell sized cup.

    This can be seen by taking the larvae out of the cell starting colony a few hours after first putting them in, the bees will have stripped the cell walls down and will be remodelling them into queen cups.

    However, I guess if I did it for them, maybe it would speed things for them, not sure.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads