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Thread: Cloak Board

  1. #1
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    Angry Cloak Board

    So, i got a cloak board a few months ago thinking that it would allow me to trough that swarm box away. Wrong! I have put 3 batches of cells in so far...first batch the CB swarmed and only got about 30% take. Second no take. 3rd no take. I caused the last 2......there were cells already up there both times (man made and bee made).
    So...this is what i did. I took the CB (lead by multiple virgin queens) and set it on the other side of the pallet facing the opposite direction that it was. Then I set a queen right single in the same spot that it was. Then I put the cloak board and a empty on top. Then I tore down the old cell builder and shook the bees off into the hive with the virgin queens...then put the naked frames of brood above the cloak board on the queen right hive....all the field bees from both hives will fly back to the new cb.
    Essentially what i did was shook all the old nurse bees and the virgin queens in a new hive...will the old spot make queens?

    mike
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Yes. Confusion is king.

    I do not care for cloak boards. Keep that swarm box or start using a single... queenless starter, queenright finisher... great cells all season.

    Tip: by moving a queenless single and adding capped brood, you will lose the foragers as they will return to the queenright side... this causes the bees in the queenless single to "regroup" and take on whatever roll the new hive needs at the time... adding capped brood will cause an overcrowding, but make sure they have no eggs or young larvae to raise a cell (an excluder on the queenright hive 4-5 days before separation will do the trick)... CONFUSION ACHIEVED! Now you have a booming box of confused, fresh nurse bees that will raise EVERY cell that you give them... this starter can be used several times by simply adding a frame of capped each time they near full hatch..(when adding the new capped frame, take away a frame that has bees and nectar being stored, use it to stock a nuc or something)... Confusion achieved again! This starter is less effort and more effective... use a simple excluder in a strong double for a finisher... uncapped up, capped and queen down... the place your cells in the top between the uncapped brood frames... this finisher can handle up to three frames of cells.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Both are queen right...one has a nice mated queen and the other has virgins running around....
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Virgins will become virgin soon... you could have caught them up for your mating nucs... lol.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    All were hatched and outta there by time I got there..could not find them at all.

    mike
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Lol. I hate when that happens... was it swarm cells or a graft?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Swarm cells..those suckers hid them to look like capped brood in between some capped brood and a frame end bar....can you tell its been one of those weeks lol. Told a 4-h group on monday evening that i was being sketchy and it was only Monday..they laughed but its true!
    mike
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Virgin queens like to enter the Cloak Board when the slide is open.
    Ernie
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    If you are going to use a cloake board you have to be very, very diligent in checking for cells (both up and down) and moving brood up on a regular timetable. It only takes one lapse for things to get really chaotic in builders especially if they are close together. Always interesting to see how those virgins will ignore the younger grafts but will wipe out a large stash of more mature grafts in no time. We have seen some escapees move into adjoining builders. I'd better not reuse the last analogy I used to describe what it is like trying to control the reproductive instinct of huge hives like this, just suffice it to say that anytime you are trying to control reproduction that the forces of nature can be very creative.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Did another graft before church this morning...was a tight squeeze but it got done. Found one of the new virgins and she met her demise...then another was about to hatch and she met the hive tool. Knocked out all (pretty positive) of queens or wanna be queens in the builder area..came back half a hour later and added the cells...will keep y'all posted.
    mike
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    The cloak board hive did not work yet again. GRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!! Know there was NOTHING wrong with the cells...at the worst i should have gotten 50% take. The only thing I can figure is that there was a gap in the back 1/4 were the metal slide did not go in all the way..but not ruling out any "strays"

    I de-queened a large hive this PM and plan to set cells in tomorrow morning. Took the queen ( a queen from last year introed into a new hive) and put her in a nuc...POSITIVE there are no other queens or queen cells in there...knocking like crazy on my wooden computer table lol. It has about 5 frames of brood and TONS of bees. It is free flying. Will this work to raise a cell frame of cells?
    mike
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Anybody?
    mike
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    it'll work, but your grafts will be competing with the other young larva in the hive unless you removed the frames with young larva and added frames of capped brood.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Jeff is right, if you hurry and give them good grafts, they will take them, but take a look through the frames first and cut away anything that looks like they were starting cells. Also, five frames of brood is a weak hive to me... make it a single to crowd it and move the open brood to the center of the brood frames with your graft frame sandwiched in between them... then take a small board and close of the entrance some (just set it there, don't hammer, it will stay... leave about 1/4 of the total entrance as your opening, and leave the opening on the side that is away from the normal wind flow)... this is to cut off the draft and raise the temp so it is easier for them to keep the cells warm... don't worry, bees have air conditioning down pat, they won't melt. Lol.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    been wary of adding bees b/c of the happenings of the last couple of days...I think for one bar of cells this should do it. Will add bees when i take bulk bees/brood off of hives this week.
    mike
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    You shouldn't have to add any... just crowd them by limiting their space to the one deep... you can even add a full honey super on top if you like, just not empty frames... if the brood is mostly capped, your good to go... if not, you may want to add a frame of capped, and just shake the bees off of it first...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    mostly capped...in one deep...6-7 frames of bees.. about the size of an average swarm box.
    mike
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  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    Well, the single seems to be working...but my grafts are getting dried out before i can finish grafting and walk 50 yards to the starter...should I revert to yogurt graft? Or a water graft? I know for a fact this is what is happening. On one end all the cells look fine, and the rest are just drying out. I try to get as much RJ as possible but when grafting the little larvae it is hardly possible.
    Any Advice
    Mike
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Cloak Board

    I currently use Cloake boards and they work OK for me. I start with double deep and brood in both boxes. Take a third box and staple Cloake board to it with hive staples, makes it easier to move around when manipulating. Take a bottom board and pull back end off. You will center bottom box so bees can enter from either end. Cut a 3/4 strip like a entrance reducer but with no cut outs, it will be used to plug one side or other of bottom.

    Move hive to one side and put new bottom down. Set top box on new bottom, leave bottom box on old bottom.

    Find queen, mark and put in cage. You will be moving frames around so its easier to find her if she's marked.

    Using box on new bottom and box on cloake board, move capped honey to outside of boxes then open honey and then pollen as you work to middle.

    Open brood to top box and capped brood and empty frames to bottom box. If all frames are drawn out put frame of foundation in top box. It will help keep down burr comb on cell frame. Only use 9 frames in top box as you will need room for cell bar frame.

    Once you have everything situated return queen to bottom box and place box with cloake board on next.

    Bottom entrance and Cloake entrance should point in direction of original entrance. Use strip to plug back lower entrance.

    Give hive a cpl days to settle down.

    2 days before graft swap bottom entrance to back of hive, bees will exit back of bottom box and return to front entrance of top box.

    1 day before graft insert metal slide in Cloake board. Top is now queenless starter. Divide 9 frames in middle and insert cell frames with cups into space.

    Day of graft. Pull cell frame from cell starter and brush off bees. Have cell frame and all grafting tools in warm moist room. Pull frame from queen mother and carry to grafting room, if hot and dry cover with wet towell.

    As you graft a bar lay with cups up and cover with wet towell. When finished put bars in frame and keep upside down as you carry to cell starter hive. Remove top and bees should be clustered in empty space. Ease cell frame into slot. Put on top.

    Day after graft pull metal divider and return bottom entrance to front.

    Third day check for takes.

    Some books say to remove open brood from top box day before graft for best fed queens. I dont start over 45 cups and they seem to do OK leaving open brood in top box.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

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