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  1. #1
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    Default How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    I'm a novice at queen rearing - just dabbled a little last year - read about it all winter, and decided to use the Joseph Clemens method. I grafted a few days ago, and here's what I had this afternoon:



    Not all that bad, but I was really hoping for more like his "regular" nice cells:



    Like Joseph Clemens I am using a queenless 5 frame medium starter finisher. I prepped it by filling it with frames of emerging brood and stores and shaking in lots of nurse bees then I put it in the location of the full sized hive that I pillaged for resources. So the entire work force of forragers for a strong hive crammed into a 5 frame medium. It's really full of bees. On top of that I've changed in new frames of emerging brood along with clinging nurse bees every few days - you have to check back in a couple of days because they will make queen cells. 24 hours before I grafted I put a frame of eggs/open brood in the middle between frames of pollen and nectar - then swapped the brood frame out for the cell frame with only 11 grafts. Plus I've fed this hive 1-1 continuously. There is tons of natural pollen in my area right now so I have not supplemented that.

    So why aren't my cells any bigger? Genetics? He did a better job grafting maybe?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    What is Joe's method?

    mike
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    looks like there not done capping the cells they will grow...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    What I mean by Joseph Clemens method is as he describes in this thread.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Quote Originally Posted by franktrujillo View Post
    looks like there not done capping the cells they will grow...
    Really? I didn't know that. I thought when they were capped that's it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Those cells are capped and will not grow.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    The cells are about half full of royal jelly and not 100% full. Some bees are better at it than others. Joe's seem to have more royal jelly in it than yours.

    So you took out the frame of eggs and larvae just before grafting? The bees eats pollen that is converted to royal jelly or worker jelly to feed larvae. No larvae no need to feed on pollen and less royal jelly is fed. Maybe try keeping the larvae in next to the graft, don't swap it out.

    The cells are not fantastic but they are not pooe either. If there were only 2 grades, pass and fail I'd say those cells are a pass.

    Bees also learn how to make cells. That same hive could make bigger and better cells next go around.

    Jean-Marc

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    As a queen breeder, the secret is this....Feed your queenless starter/finishing nuc 1-1 syrup to the fifth day. Any later the bees will "wax" the cells. Two of your frames in the nuc should be solid frames of fresh pollen. The more pollen, the more protein that the bees have to feed the larvae. The more pollen, the more protein the young bees have to consume. The more pollen available to be consumed, the more royal jelly the young bees will produce from the mandibular glands that can be used to feed the graft. Thus better quality queen cells and queens will be produced. I am with Jean Marc, those cells do not look that bad. Also Joseph has been keeping bees and grafting cells longer than even I have been alive. So there is truth that practice makes perfect. Keep at it, we need more queen and bee breeders. TED

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    You larva that you grafted may have been older and they didn't have as much time to fill the cells with royal jelly or build them longer

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    There are so many variables it is quite difficult to pin down the reason for the difference in the cell sizes. Most of my cells are not as shapely as those in the photo you posted, above. I was making extra efforts to grow cells as large as I could get them, in the hopes that queens produced in those extremely well provisioned and generously proportioned cells would somehow be superior to those raised in slightly less well provisioned and proportioned cells. There may have been positive differences, but after running a few batches of the larger cells, I was unable to discern any.

    Maybe Velbert's idea of the age of larvae at graft is the key - I don't know for sure. But, I do know that my old eyes need mighty powerful magnification and lighting before I can easily graft the tiniest larvae without rolling them, flipping them, or missing them entirely. When the light and magnification are right it is easiest to lift them safely and place them safely in the cell cups. Timing of the grafting process is also crucial (especially in my usually very hot and very dry climate), strong lighting only accelerates this drying effect, so I find that I need to complete each graft very quickly or my takes (percentage of successful grafts) goes down dramatically.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Thanks for the helpful comments. I plan to try try again on Sunday, and every ten days after so maybe I'll do better.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Another thing I do differently is, I always feed small pollen substitute patties even when there is plenty of pollen available (I would feed fresh pollen patties - if I weren't so cheap). Sometimes they hardly touch it, but they usually feed on it, at least a little. I only feed 1:1 syrup before and after the flow.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    I'll try that. I have plenty of pollen sub, I just need to mix some patties I guess. Around here you have to be careful with it or you attract hive beetles.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Maybe you need to proceed with caution. I haven't had any issues of that nature (SHB), yet.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Joseph, could you point me to the thread about how you rear queens?

    mike
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Found it
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: How come his cells are bigger than mine? (pic)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Maybe you need to proceed with caution. I haven't had any issues of that nature (SHB), yet.
    After thinking about it a hive as strong as these is probably not going to have SHB problems.

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