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  1. #181
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    "Apparently Dr. Harry Laidlaw wrote an article in one of the bee journals about making up an insemination instrument out of off-the-shelf parts. This might get me started much sooner if I can find the article."

    If you find this, please do share. I would love to read it and then have delusions of grandeur about it, lol!

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,999

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Here is some mention of a modified Laidlaw tool along with some grainy pictures...
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...mUZ1fBkipINoOA

    look around printed page 1402 or pdf page 7

    Ed

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Wisconsin Beek - If I can't find it, I'll design the bugger. I've already started drawing an apparatus using fly-tying vises (micro-midge vise jaws) grooved to hold the hooks , a 60 mm bicycle inner tube Presta valve stem to actuate the syringe, a Starrett .00005" desk micrometer head to actuate the dovetail blocks, etc. I need to go visit Dr. Cobey before I go too far into this. She's the grand master Yoda of the game right now, not me. Also, if I merely copy an existing devise, much time and effort is spent and no forward progress is made. I'm thinking of a multi-station turret where a partner can anesthetize a queen and mount her in the holder, another can position the devise for the scope, another can apply the hooks, the 'scope operator can focus and inject the queen, another can remove the queen and cage her, a la Henry Ford production line, while others collect semen from the drones and a video team handles the boob tube equipment.

    See also Roberts and Mackensen apparatus for artificial insemination of queen bees. Amer. Bee Jour. 87(9):425.

    Ed Intheswamp - BIG thank you for that link! That was a good read and I think the devises are Roberts and Mackensen insemination devises. Laidlaw's at that time was probably a small (6" long x 3 1/4" high) platform on a ball tilting mount that fit nicely under a dissecting microscope. Both hooks and the queen holder fit on the tilting platform. The syringe holder was attached to a lower, larger platform (the stage, or base of the scope). These Roberts and Mackensen instruments are probably better for those of us with big hands, though. But Gawd! how I love seeing that 1937 yearbook article you so kindly passed along!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 07-19-2012 at 06:00 PM.

  4. #184
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    [QUOTE=kilocharlie;776542] I use black plastic, and can pop a row of cut cells off (note: only one cell deep, not two) and attach them to a queen cell bar with melted wax on the bar.

    KC: I want to try this. What is the technique you use and what tool do you use for cutting the cells off of the black plastic? It looks like it would be easy to damage the larva by scraping the cells off.

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Heaflaw - I cleaned and cut several old, black plastic frames into about a dozen 5 1/4" x 7 1/4" pieces. I sandwiched them between pieces of "thin surplus" foundation (used in comb honey production). I only chose thin surplus because I had some, its cheap, and it shows lots of black through. I mounted these thin surplus / black plastic / thin surplus sandwiches into frames that have a 5" x 7" window with a 1/8" slot all around the window. The rest of these frames are blocked out with wood to limit the area that the queen may lay eggs in. They are very similar to what Jay Smith built for isolating queens for his cut-cell method, except for a couple of modifications. The parts that are blocked out are actually small frame feeder boxes instead of useless hive dummy volume, and they are about 1 5/8 inch shorter than the standard, 19" top bars.

    The frames are shorter than standard because I built them to fit into a box that hangs like a fat frame in a standard Langstroth deep. I call the box a "Queen Jail". It has wooden short ends with a shelf to hang the slightly short, special Smith-type frames. These short ends are 5 3/4" wide and 6 5/8" deep. The bottom is wood 5 3/4" wide and standard Langstroth frame bottom bar long, and is nailed onto the bottom of the short sides, leaving room for the medium Illinois depth Smith frames (6 1/8" deep). The long sides are made of queen excluder wire. They are securely fastened to the edges of the short sides and bottom with hot glue and staples. The lid is made of 1/4" wood and sheet metal, fitting tightly over the whole queen jail box. The queen jail is hung by sheet metal brackets mounted on the outside of the short ends. The jail holds 3 of the special Smith-type frames.

    I build an extra standard-length top bar with 2 screw holes centered and about two inches in from each end. The holes are countersunk for flat head wood screws. I paint these pink, so I can find them quickly, as no other bars in my apiary are pink. I screw these extra, standard top bars on to the slightly shorter Smith-type frames "piggy back" style onto the short frame top bar so they can hang in a standard Langstroth deep of any strong colony to draw the foundation out into comb. When the comb is drawn out, I remove them, unscrew the standard top bar, placing it aside, and place the special frames into the queen jail. I put my breeder queens into the queen jail for 80 to 84 hours in their own colony for egg laying. The oldest larvae are mostly tiny and only slightly bent instead of a full "C" shaped, and just right for grafting or cutting cell strips.

    I can take the whole queen jail out of the breeder queen hive and put it into a nuc box. I bring the nuc to the "robber screen" backpack tent that I've pitched behind the cell builder colonies. Here in the tent, I can either cut cell strips or graft. The larva source Smith frames won't dry out as fast when I'm grafting because they're tended to by bees and in a nuc. If I'm doing the cut-cell method, the advantage is that I have a lot less walking out of the tent to do on the day that bees hate the most. They are usually VERY pissed off on queen rearing days, with so many hive manipulations. You do have to set up very safe for melting wax inside a tent, though. I use a slightly damp burlap lawn wrap over the nuc to keep the bees in while I'm in the tent, and a metal driveway pan under the wax melter.
    (In a pinch, you can use wax from a solar melter and liquify it with your smoker lighting propane torch.)

    I cut the cell strips with a small, polished Rapala fish fillet knife, but any 2" to 6" thin blade knife or razor that is thin, sharp, and slick should work quite well. If they don't lift right up, a narrow potter's spatula should get the strip up. The grubbies should be just fine. I melt the wax just barely hot enough, I dip the bar, and let it cool just enough to form the very beginning of a skin. I immediately slap the strip onto the queen cell bar. Temperature is critical, as too hot kills the larvae, and too cold and the strips won't stay attached. This is the part that needs improvement. I mostly kill lots of larvae.

    The whole point of the black plastic sandwich is so I can see the grubs better. My up-close eyesight is fairly poor, and I'm using lots of magnification. Not that easy while looking through a veil...

    You may well decide to use standard frames or Oldtimer's top bar with strips of foundation, skipping the queen jail box idea altogether - Oldtimer's hive partition looks easier. All it requires is a slot down the insides of the short ends of a hive box. One could make these slots with a hand saw. His partition is entirely made of queen excluder bent 90 degrees across the bottom, and the top is "sealed" with another regular metal-bound excluder. Jay Smith used a piece of 1/4" plywood with about one inch of excluder on the bottom. Smith's slot would have to be wider than a saw kerf - probably 17 /64" - and I'd suggest routing or cross cutting it on the table saw before assembling the box.

    Any modifications in mounting the strips to the queen cell bars that you can improve upon I'd love to hear about. I would really like to get my method working right, as Oldtimer is convinced he gets better queens with cut-cell than with grafting. Right now, grafting is coming closer for me, but I want to improve both methods. I may indeed have to resort to full, two cell thick comb strips, cut-and-pray, just like Oldtimer, or more magnification. Best of luck to you, and thanks! - Casey
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-02-2012 at 02:31 AM.

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,173

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Sounds interesting, and a lot of thought gone in. If you can at some point, a pic or two would be great.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    <snip>

    Ed Intheswamp - BIG thank you for that link! That was a good read and I think the devises are Roberts and Mackensen insemination devises. Laidlaw's at that time was probably a small (6" long x 3 1/4" high) platform on a ball tilting mount that fit nicely under a dissecting microscope. Both hooks and the queen holder fit on the tilting platform. The syringe holder was attached to a lower, larger platform (the stage, or base of the scope). These Roberts and Mackensen instruments are probably better for those of us with big hands, though. But Gawd! how I love seeing that 1937 yearbook article you so kindly passed along!
    I'm glad you enjoyed it, kc. That's all a bit over my head, but interesting none the less. I think I'm leaning more to Disselkoen's OTC queens or the basic Hopkins. Being such a newbee as I am I'll probably settle for swarm cells to create some starts from.

    Best wishes on your project(s)!
    Ed

  8. #188
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Oldtimer - maybe you could describe how to post a photo to me. We all envy your experience, your post, your photo prowess, and your ability to post it all with photos and plain language. And we love you attitude and kindness. Maybe Barry could make the instructions into a new thread...or a sticky up at the top of the list!

    Ed - Mel Disselkoen's ".257 caliber" method has all the advantages of cut-cell. It does waste a whole comb, but I'll bet his queens are top quality, as the babies are given almost uninterrupted care by the nurse bees. It looks very quick, and a little easier, too. I will be trying it myself as soon as I get some short pistol brass that diameter. I wish he came out and said exactly what round he used.

    In the average guy's situation, sending his (or her) top queens and drones off to an insemination service will prove more realistic and practical. As for myself, I'll have nothing to do with an easy way out if I can make an improvement by doing it the hard way (Ha Ha!). I've been infected with Inventors' Syndrome all my life. I do think having I.I. technology will help give my business a competitive advantage in the long run, and possibly give me more credibility in getting financed. A superior line of queens lends very strongly to a better return on investment. Worst case, it will be a fun machine shop project for a decaying machinist-turned-beekeeper.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-02-2012 at 01:43 AM.

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,173

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    OK well re posting pics, once you open an account at photobucket, which takes about a minute, it's easy.

    Here's photobucket http://photobucket.com/

    Once you've opened your account you hit the üpload photos button. Then, when your photo shows in photobucket, you hold your mouse over the pic and a drop down list shows under it. The one that says IMG code, copy that one and past into your post on beesource, and your photo will appear.

    Before actually posting for the first time, you can use Beesources Go Advanced button, under the post you just wrote, to check what it will look like before you actually post it so you can know you will get it right before actually posting it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #190
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    MEGA THANK YOU, Oldtimer! I'll go hunt down that digital camera and learn to post photos this month!

    Long live the grand, old Kiwi! Hurrah!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-02-2012 at 12:18 PM.

  11. #191
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Also, be sure to limit your photos to (I think) a 640x480 resolution...if the photo is too large you'll get your hand slapped by a moderator and your photo turned into a clickable link, a toaster, or worse.

    I looked in the "Rules and Announcement" forum for the image posting rules but the "Image Posting Rules" thread has been deleted. The "Forum Rules" thread refers you back to the deleted image rules thread... Anyhow, keep'em small.

    Ed

  12. #192
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    MEGA THANK YOU, and long live Ed, the swamp guy! Hurrah!

  13. #193
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,999

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    <chuckle>

  14. #194
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    WI-Beek - I just realized that Dr. Cobey emailed H.H. Laidlaw's articles about the cheap, off-the-shelf I.I. device to me as .pdf attachments. I'll post them as soon as I figure out how to put them up.

  15. #195
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    That would be very interesting Kilo, if you could do it. Otherwise, would you be able to email them to interested persons?

  16. #196
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    has anyone ever tried just taking a frame with eggs in it and turning it on the side? would that trigger the bees into making queen cells?

  17. #197
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,173

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Trust me it's been done LOL!

    The bees will raise queens on it, if they need queens. If not, then no.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #198
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    AramF and WI Beek -
    I'm willing to try. PM me and I'll trade emails with you and I have a good chance of sending it that way. It is rather crude, and you want to send off for the catalog from Small Parts, Inc., as most of the parts come from them.

    Another idea - contact Dr. Susan Cobey. Just google her and look for her website, I'll get the info and post it in the next few days. The articles were the Laidlaw-Goss and Laidlaw-Kunhert I.I. articles. These are simply get-er-done-quick offerings.

    Dr. Cobey has been very kind and helpful about giving me hints where to research. She suggested looking at Dr. Peter Schley's I.I device because it has micro adjusters controlling the hooks, and the Harbo high-capacity syringe, which she can supply. The Schley apparatus is considerably more engineering / machining to tackle than the Laidlaw-Goss instrument.

    Do search Susan Cobey on Google and watch her and other YouTube videos on I.I. They help.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-07-2012 at 01:36 PM.

  19. #199
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by seamuswildflower View Post
    has anyone ever tried just taking a frame with eggs in it and turning it on the side? would that trigger the bees into making queen cells?
    Google "Hopkins queen rearing". Also check out Jay Smith's "Better Queens" ebook on Michael Bush's website.

    Here is a pretty good article (pdf) by Larry Connor on graftless queen rearing... http://www.wicwas.com/document%20fil...06February.pdf

    Ed

  20. #200
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    1,089

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Those wanting the H.H. Laidlaw articles regarding the Laidlaw-Goss low-cost, off-the-shelf-parts Instrumental Insemination device, please send me a private message (the Notifications button on the top bar of beesource) with you email address. I will forward Dr. Cobey's email including the two .pdf attachments.

    Also, there is considerable description of the original Laidlaw apparatus in the back of his and Page's 1976 book, Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding, available from Dr. Larry Connor's Wicwas press. www.wicwas.com
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-24-2012 at 06:15 PM.

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