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  1. #161
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Currie, NC
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    OK...
    I'm starting This method now...but....
    Have a small problem.... per OT's day 1... he put Queen into a confined area...
    That is where I'm having problems...
    This hive is 1 deep and 2 med jam'ed packed full..... Queen is in 1 of the 2 med as i put my only excluder between deep and med's
    but i can not find her.... so I'm going to just put in the bar with new drawed comb and hope she finds it.... will look in 4 days.
    she seems to be a laying machine as she will lay in middle of the honey suppers even before they get to back fill... my main flow is over and only a little bit of stuff is blooming now...i.e. bay and sumac we will see....how it go's..

    I have the laying bar in top med now...for ez access , but you think i need to put it in the bottom med, more brood there and they will not try to fill with incoming nector.... what you think...? keep it in top med or put in bottom med... i still have the excluder on

    only thing is top med is kinda of heavy its about 80% honey with small patch of larvae brood in middle, so queen is laying there...lol
    Steve C.

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,457

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    If you put some new comb in both parts and comb back and look in four days you'll find eggs in one of the boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Yes agree with Michael on that one. When the flow is on they can fill those combs with nectar pretty quick and block out the queen. The lower medium is more likely to get good results.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Well, I just did a little bit of queen cell forming without grafting, myself.

    From one of my 5-frame deep nucs with only medium frames (home to one of my Russell SunKist Cordovan queens), there were several small combs being started on the bottom bars to extend the medium frames. One of them contained eggs and a few early larvae. I took it and pinched it onto a top bar, then gave it to one of my queenless cell builders. Now there are three queen cells being built on it. I expect to soon harvest and use these along with my other, grafted cells. There are so many ways to raise queens -- isn't it great.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #165
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    BTT for those getting ready for Spring Queen rearing

    Good write up Oldtimer
    Thanks
    Tommyt
    Last edited by tommyt; 01-13-2012 at 07:12 AM.

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    oldtimer - I have just come across your post by accident - fantasticly clear in words and pictures. makes me feel I can and want to try it

    many thanks

    max

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Am I being technically stupid, or have the pictures disappeared on page 1 at least?

    Sorry, go figure, now they show up. Must be my impatience!!
    Chip Harlow

  8. #168
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tacoma, Wa
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    works for me i see all pics check your flash on your browser
    Jon Taylor

  9. #169
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    SteveC - Old Timer used a hive box with slots down opposite sides. These slots isolated 3 combs from the rest of the combs in the box. He put in a divider with queen excluder material on it so workers could freely pass through to attend her. This arrangement is often refered to as a queen includer. The 3 isolated combs are empty, and the queen should be caught, marked, and put into the isolated 3 combs. It is merely an easy way to know where to find comb with 3-day-old eggs / larvae in it. I suggest using black Pierco, Dadant, or Mann Lake plastic frames for isolation as they make seeing the eggs and or larvae much easier.

  10. #170
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Kilo, with plastic frames he could only do grafting with a tool. WIth wax foundation he can actually follow Oldtimers method, don't you think?

  11. #171
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    AramF - you are right ... Old Timer uses both sides of the comb in the modified Alley Cut Cell method, specifically to use the back side of the comb that does not have the larva in it to melt against the hot wax on the queen cell bar. My problem is, I can barely see the **** larvae.

    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. I wait until the wax is just about to harden. It is then cool enough and usually doesn't kill the larva, although sometimes I wait too long and the cells don't stick. I'm looking forward to trying it OT's way later this month without the black plastic using my new 10X loupe. Again, note that Old Timer's preference for this method was to produce fewer, higher quality queens. He said he usually got better percent mating with queens produced with this method than with Doolittle method grafting, and that this method is practical for up to about 1,000 queens. I confess, I use several methods, and am NOWHERE near the expert OldTimer is. If your eyes are sharp, by all means cut a full, 2-cell thick section of comb and melt it on to the bar like he does. I would, but it is so much easier to see the little clear guys with the black background, that it's a no-brainer for me.

    Another trick I'm using involves having made up some 6-frame nucs. I made these for holding 3 of the hinged frames to capture swarms with a week's worth of comb already buildt. I use one of them with 2 frames of brood, 1 frame of honey, 1 frame with honey/ pollen, and 2 spaces open in the middle for cut cell queen frames. I figure cutting cells off the black plastic is only one cell deep, and the hot wax does kill some of the larvae, so I use 2 frames of cells. It is just a handy coincidence that I had made up the 6-frame boxes and they are perfect for it. I started it this year and the results will be in in a few weeks. Wish me luck!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-02-2012 at 02:06 PM. Reason: omissions

  12. #172
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thank you Oldtimer
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  13. #173
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Oldtimer, I know this is an old thread, and I enjoyed it a lot, but could you tell more about the breeder hive you used when rearing queens professionally, and how it was set up to confine the queen?
    Gary

  14. #174
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,728

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Ha! Got a surprise when I saw the thread get resurrected LOL!

    It was a few years ago I was using these so don't have any pics.

    The frames used were 3/4 length and 3/4 depth of a deep lang frame. So the super was roughly 3/4 the length of a standard lang, but wide enough to hold 12 frames.

    The edge of the box had a divider with some queen excluder wire built in, to seperate off 3 frames from the rest of the box. The bees could move freely around the hive but the queen could not pass through the excluder so had to stay on those 3 frames. The frames in the queen section were blanked out with timber, and just had a section of comb around 4 inches square, top middle of the frame, for the queen to lay in. So there was not much brood hatching but the breeder hives were right outside the shed, and with packages etc being handled constantly there was always enough escaped bees that would drift into the breeder hives and maintain the population. The hive had a feeder permanently attached so syrup could be poured in if there was a need for that.

    Management wise, the 3 frame queen section only had 2 frames in it, because between the 2 frames, each day we would put a top bar with a bit of comb foundation hanging from it, the comb foundation being maybe 4 inches square. The queen didn't have much room to lay, so by the next day the comb foundation would have been drawn, and the queen would have laid eggs in it. We would then take it out and put a new top bar with foundation in, so we got a new bunch of eggs every day. It was changed daily, 7 days per week. The foundation with eggs in it was put on the other side of the excluder for the bees to look after for 3 days till the eggs hatched. So there were always 3 top bars with eggs on the other side of the excluder, each day we removed the oldest one for grafting, the eggs would have just hatched there would be a few not hatched yet. So by the time we allow for the bees to take some time to draw the foundation, pretty much all the larvae we grafted were less than 12 hours old.

    So every day, we removed the comb that we would graft from that day, move the newest comb from the queen section to the other side of the excluder, and put a new top bar with foundation in the queen section.

    No pics, but hoping my explanation is understandable!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #175
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Thanks. I think you did a great job explaining it. I'll have to give it a try.
    Gary

  16. #176
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Esteemed Old Timer - from the description above, I calculate that the special box was about 17 3/4 inch wide (for the 12 frames) and about 16 1/2 inches long (for frames about 15 inches long) and probably the standard 6 5/8 inches deep of the Illinois honey super. You have described frames "blanked out with timber" much as Jay Smith made. So I suppose these frames were 15 inches tip-to-tip and 6 1/8 inch deep. Am I close, way off, or otherwise? Why the short frames? How long do breeder queens and their colonies occupy these special boxes before grafting / cut cell season begins?

  17. #177
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,728

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Just Oldtimer will do, the esteemed bit makes me (and probably everybody else) nervous LOL!

    Anyhow as memory serves, I think your measurements will be pretty much bang on or certainly pretty close. The reason for the shortened frames was because that's what the mating nucs used, and the boss had decided everything would be standard so we used the same for the hives. So the hive supers, strangely enough, were more similar to a Warre box in size, than a lang, although we ran them like langs.

    In winter, the breeder queens simply got put over the other side of the excluder partition so they could have the run of 9 frames and maintain the hive through winter. Early spring it was transferred back to the other side, I'm not sure just how long before grafting started but probably a few weeks.

    You are right about the similarities with Jay Smith. I was only young when I started working for this guy and had not yet read Jay Smith, but while I was working for him I got Jay's book & read it, and realised my boss must have got a lot of his ideas from Jay. Main difference was at that time we didn't cut cells we grafted. Later, for my own queen breeding venture, I went to cutting cells as per Jay Smith, which although more work, in my opinion gives a better queen.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #178
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    OK, Thanks for the explanation - no fancy reason for that length frame - just for uniformity with the mating nucs because the boss said so. So no need for me to build a different size box, a standard Lang' with a slot for the divider/excluder down the inside of the short end appropriately spaced to isolate 3 frames will do the trick nicely (this could be done with a hand saw to an existing box if one is careful). Standard frames can be used in any scheme appropriate for mating nucs.

    Thanks also for the routine of working a comb a day from your setup. That will make my operation a lot more productive, and the idea of moving the breeder queens and cell starters next to the shed should help a lot, too, especially when I begin trying instrumental insemination in the not-too-distant future.

  19. #179
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    Oh the artificial insemination will be interesting I'll keep an eye out for your thread on it once you get going!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #180
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting

    As always, equipment procurement and finance precedes taking the classes at U.C. Davis, or where ever I can catch Dr. Susan Cobey (who, BTW, learned from Harry Cloake in New Zealand). I've been in touch with the goddess herself via email, trying to get blueprints for the various apparatii, of which there are many and several versions of each.

    Fortunately, I'm a former machinist with occasional access to a shop, but the whole process is a few years away yet - my apiary needs to increase first. So far, the year has been dismal - a spray rig poisoned seven of my breeder hives. Of the remaining colonies, I've arrived a day late on one batch (salvaged 2 queens out of 48) and had ants over-run the next (zero for 96 grafts). But still some nectar flow and drones, and your cut-cell method is up for trying next.

    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.

    I found some good pictures in Laidlaw & Eckert's ,Queen Rearing (Copyright 1962, Univ. of Cal. Press), but these are probably out of date. Laidlaw & Page's book copyrighted 1976 has been strongly suggested instead. Dr. Cobey's website shows a Harbo high-capacity syringe, to which I cannot yet open the .pdf file. She recommends a stereo microscope, and hopes I can help develop a cheaper unit with high repeatability. The difficulties are low demand and high cost of prototyping, so I'm looking at a labor of love and cost out of my own pocket. I will photo document as much as I can. It might be well to propose something outlandish, perhaps a piezo-electric servo, CNC-controlled, automatic unit and put it to the government to finance. Got my work cut out for me...
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 07-18-2012 at 03:22 PM.

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