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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Thumbs Up 5 Frame Cloake Method

    I have been messing around with a 5 frame nuc setup for queen rearing. MY friend Mike at North American Beehive in Jacksonville made me a couple of 5 frame double hive bodies with a very nice cloake board and excluder entrance. My goal is to produce some high quality queens from my mixed stock. I began using this system last year and had some good results, my goal was to produce 24 queens from each batch of grafts. The second batch of this years queens are in the queenless compartment, and I will remove the cloake board and close off the bottom entrance in the morning. Upon inspection last evening my take rate is good, and for my operation the system is working wonderfully.
    I would suggest this method and size hive for your own queen rearing, There are several benefits to using this smaller setup. One benefit is the handling ability of the nuc vs the full size hive body. Queen locating is much easier, and it provides for easy management. Don't be worried about making sure you have enough bees in the nuc cloake method, as of last evening I had a 90% acceptance rate of the cells. This works great, and you new queen rearers should consider this method.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Reminder Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Pics? Dimensions?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Update: Three batches of queens already for the year, 91.6 % success rate for the three batches.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    I want to try the cloake method. the 5 frame sounds good.

    I am limited in resources so I bought the less expensive plastic Qn excluders.

    Q. Does anyone think that using the plastic is a bad idea?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,684

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Don't be worried about making sure you have enough bees in the nuc cloake method...
    acceptance of cells doesn't insure that the larvae are well fed (which is key...if there is food left in all the cells after the queens emerge you are probably in good shape).
    You should always be worried about having enough resources (honey, pollen, water, nurse bees of the correct age) when rearing queens.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with using 5 frame equipment to raise queens, but just because you have 2 stories and a cloak board, it does not insure that your larvae will be well fed...and it definitely doesn't prevent the beekeeper from trying to raise too many cells with too few resources.

    deknow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    I've only always used 5-frame medium nucs to raise queen cells. I always make sure to only have about fourteen open cells at any time, to keep the nuc well fed and packed full of young nurse bees. I've produced some of the most well-fed cells when I had a frame of just-hatched larva in the colony, and removed it (shaking those nurse bees back into the colony) as I placed the bar of freshly grafted queen cells. Those nurse bees, primed for feeding all those young larva, quickly fill the new cells with copious amounts of royal jelly.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Joseph,

    Do you bother with a cloake board. Or do you just use the medium as a standard starter/finisher.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Deknow, Been doing this for about 50 years, but thanks for the tips.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    deknow
    Plenty resources, here in central/south Florida.
    I just picked up some nucs and queen cells from broodhead, in Vero area.
    A very strong citrus nectar aroma on the interstate from southern counties I didn't know had it. (young trees)
    His nucs had lots of fresh wax etc.
    Early this morning took this picture of Bob Youngblood, in citrus. (broodhead)
    Different citrus varieties planted together extend the flow slightly, but orange is the best producer.

    acrylic projects picture blog
    http://plasticsjournal.livejournal.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    I just use the medium by itself. Usually, one made of 1-1/4" thick styrofoam, seems to be easier for the bees to keep warm when its cold and cool when its hot. I make it wide enough that five frames and three cell bars will fit in it - and a little deeper, for extra clustering room - I close the bottom by placing the nuc on another piece of 1-1/4" thick styrofoam and slide the cover back a little for a top entrance. Usually there are only two cell bars in there at a time, but I like to have room for one cell bar of new grafts, one of just sealed cells, and one almost ready to harvest.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I want to try the cloake method. the 5 frame sounds good.

    I am limited in resources so I bought the less expensive plastic Qn excluders.

    Q. Does anyone think that using the plastic is a bad idea?
    The plastic will work just fine, I had my cloake excluders made from plastic. I probably will replace with metal someday when it gets brittle and starts to show signs of breaking. It really should last a long time I just make sure I handle them carefully. I will try to get some pics posted of my setup but I am busy working these days and have limited time available. Yesterday I was paid a visit by one of our forum members and I gave him a little tour and we worked a few splits with the newly harvested cells. Hopefully he will find time to come back in a couple of weeks and I will be going through the cloake system so he can become comfortable with this method. He was really sold on the method and the benefits of using the size and method of the system.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    I was expecting to buy 16 complete hives from a buddy that was going to retire beekeeping, he may have changed his mind. Can't see how I'll be attempting the queen rearing thing with the three that are still alive. Cloakeboard seems to be only way. now I am scrambling tryin to find nucs..in NY...yeah good luck w/that. 2 from Michael Johnston, & 6 from a guy in Arcade.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,684

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Quote Originally Posted by broodhead View Post
    Deknow, Been doing this for about 50 years, but thanks for the tips.
    ...there is no reason you shouldn't have good luck with 5 frame equipment for queen rearing...it's what we use (no cloake board in our case).

    For someone without 50 years of experience, and without guidance of how to stock the cell builder or how many cells to raise at once, simply stating that one should not worry about having enough bees seems misleading. My reading of your post was that using a cloake board means that you don't have to worry about resources available (nectar/honey, pollen, young nurse bees)...probably not what you meant, but again, beekeepers of all levels of experience are reading.

    deknow

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: 5 Frame Cloake Method

    Never mentioned anything about resources, you must have been reading another post. As far as the number of cells in the Nickle setup, you should know that for those raising queens on that platform it is of most importance not to overload, although in our type of conditions one can expect to raise more than the 24 that I experiment with. The last 24 had good webbing, another sign of a good food source available.

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