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  1. #41
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thanks for the comments!




    On day 12 (Monday) the queens in the nuc hives are caged so the nucs will be queenless 24 hours before the cells go in.





    Day 13 (Tuesday) the queen cells are taken from the finisher hive. Here they are being cut from the bar, there is quite a bit of burr comb so they are cut off in a strip.





    They are then cut into individual cells. The bees finished 26 cells, 2 had to be sacrificed too close together, so I ended up with 24 cells, exactly what I wanted, because the previous day I had made 24 queenless nucs.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 01-11-2011 at 12:02 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting



    The cell carrier box is prepared by filling a water container with water set to 35 degrees C, which I think is 95 Fahrenheit (someone correct me if I’m wrong).






    The sealed water container is put in the styrofoam box, the cloth is put in and the cells are laid on their side. If the box has any knocks during transport, the cells do better on their side, than if they were vertical. The cloth is folded over the cells and the lid put on.
    The cells can take lower temperatures, but it is higher temperatures that will more quickly kill them.





    The nucs, in this case, are standard sized frames in a standard deep Langstroth. There are two bits of hardboard dividing the box into 3 nucs with 3 frames each, and a bottom board giving each one an entrance. Random patterns are painted on the boxes to help the queens orientate to the right one.

    During queen caging the previous day I noticed the nucs were very strong and with bees hanging out. So bees and frames were taken away, to make into hives that will be sold. Each nuc has been reduced to one frame of brood and 2 frames of foundation. This is because very strong nucs sometimes kill the queen cell given them, but weaker ones are more likely to accept it.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 01-10-2011 at 10:39 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #43
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting



    The cell correctly positioned on the comb, at the top middle of the brood. It is attached just by pushing it on, and some of that burr comb comes in handy to wedge onto the brood comb and make sure the cell will not drop off before the bees properly attach it. Don't stick the cell onto pure capped brood, there is a good chance of it falling off, in this pic there are some non capped brood cells at the top of the cell that the cell was easily waxed onto.

    Also, one thing bees do not always do, is look after the cell properly if it is away from brood, sometimes they just abandon it. There are certain ways to put a cell in a broodless hive where the bees will look after it, but if not experienced with this try to put the cell among brood.

    Hard to see in the pic but the bees, who have now been queenless for a day, are already taking a keen interest in the cell and licking and fussing over it, these bees will certainly accept the virgin when she hatches.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
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    1,073

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Oldtimer,
    You have done great. There are many new beekeepers who will do well because of all your help. Helping other is the greatest thing one can do.
    Thanks,
    jrb
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Excellent thread. Your photos are great (oldtimer) and the content is well worth the read.

  6. #46
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    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thanks Oldtimer, great thread, always good to read you
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,118

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Re: placing the cell into the brood comb.

    I don't have a lot of experience, but once when I did it like Oldtimer described, I tore up the queen cell when putting the frame back in. Since then, I've been cutting a hole all the way through the comb & wedging the cell all the way into the center of the comb, leaving an inch or so gap below the cell.

    Is that a good or bad idea?

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,149

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    If you bank it would be interesting to see how you go about that part of the process too. Thanks.

  9. #49
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Well cutting a hole in the comb would work but a little practise at sticking cells on and you wouldn't need to worry.

    When you put the combs back next to a frame with a new cell, have a two frame gap. Put in a frame a little way from the comb with the cell then push it over, at the same time eyeballing down the gap to make sure you don't push too far and crush the cell. Then put the other comb in which is away from the cell and can't do any damage.

    Re banking, yes I do do it but not at the moment. Next time I'm over where the queen bank stuff is I'll take a pic and tac it onto the end of this thread with an explanation.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    pomfret, ct,USA
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    163

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Oldtimer...thank you for this thread. Great info and pics.

  11. #51
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    Loganville/Greensboro, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Fantastic thread! Thank you. I've been snowed in for two days now dreaming of spring. Ready to give this a try
    Buffalo Lick Farm & Nursery
    http://www.buffalolick.com

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pearisburg,VA
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    82

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    If anyone gives up over one seasons trial failure, then maybe you should get out of beekeeping. I have had better results from walk-away splitting my bees, than some of the poor quality of purchased grafted queens. Just remember that honeybees have been with us much longer than grafting, so they must survive. I agree that you may improve the species by sellective breeding.

  13. #53
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    I never said I'm giving up. I said I'm not doing walk away splits. I did a trial, it failed. Why repeat the results?

    If you consider walk away splits a part of the natural aspects of the honey bees, and they have been doing it for millions of years, I would tend to disagree. Emergency queens are really a last ditch effort by mother nature to keep the bees going when some freak of luck happens to kill their queen. Bees use swarm cells to reproduce, not emergency cells.

    I choose to rely on Dr. Tarpy's scientific study on emergency queens and the results that he has come up with, i.e. they are inferior to supercedure and swarm cells. The 'experiment' that I did last summer (while not necessarily scientific by any means) seemed to coincide directly with Dr. Tarpy's findings.

    You, however, are more than welcome to produce queens however you like. Walkaway splits arn't for me. Thanks for your advice, but I'll stick to beekeeping all the same. I enjoy it too much.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
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    348

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures and detailed explanation. I've been reading one of the books M Bush was talking about that explains this method but just could not visualize it until now. Thank you again!!


    Tim

  15. #55
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    I talked with Oldtimer and we agreed to put his pictures and text on the static site here: http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...t-cell-method/
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2011 at 10:16 AM.
    Regards, Barry

  16. #56
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    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Great move Barry, because present and future members will go and read it again and again.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  17. #57
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    May 2010
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    Thetford, Norfolk, UK
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    8

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    brilliant presentation, cheers

  18. #58
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thanks for the comments!

    Re the queen banking question, it's what commercial guys do if they find themselves with more queens than they can immediately use.






    Here's a pic of some queen banking cages. One can be seen with the "door" open. The queen is put in, no bees with her and the door closed. One important thing with banking is to use mesh with quite small holes. If the holes are larger the queens can be damaged by bees pulling on their legs they will sometimes lose a foot.





    Here's a pic of a frame that can hold 60 queens. The hive is prepared by putting the queen below an excluder, then some frames of young larvae are put up above the excluder, and the banking frame is put between the brood frames. When i was doing this commercially we could store up to around 180 queens in a queen bank hive, although less is better. The hive was maintained weekly by lifting fresh frames of eggs and young larvae up around the banking frames to keep a good supply of nurse bees there. They feed the queens through the wire and queens will often continue to lay, the cages will sometimes have a pile of eggs in the bottom.

    Queen banking attracts controversy because some people believe keeping the queen locked up for a couple of months must have a bad effect on her, although it has never been proved one way or the other. However it sometimes has to be done if there just isn't anywhere else for the breeder to put his spare queens temporarily.

    Other literature on queen banking talks about losses, and sometimes recommends keeping quite a low number of banked queens in a hive. However I don't remember ever losing a queen in a bank, I think it's just about having a healthy strong hive, and not asking more of them than what they can do.

    Now I'm just doing a few queens as a hobby I haven't banked any for years, but I've made a couple of banking frames just in case I ever get caught.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Eatonville WA USA
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    169

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    this is a wonderful post . I am new to bee keeping and wanted to raise a few queens for my self just to see if I could do it before I take the full plunge with the dollars and invest alot. your post was clear and concise and easy to follow. thank you very much.

  20. #60
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,851

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    I may be getting rather picky here, but I would also like to see pictures of how you mate your queens. What set-up do you use, ect. Thanks a bunch Oldtimer, very helpful.

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