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  1. #1
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    Default How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    I'm experimenting with a home brewed graftless system:


    I caged the queen yesterday, and when I checked today some holes had eggs and others didn't. I didn't release her yet - hoping she will lay in at least a dozen or so spots before I do. It's kind of hard to tell because the attendant bees have crowded in:



    That's supposed to be a picture of the queen - she is in there.

    Anyway, I guess I'll release her this afternoon in any event (if I don't get what I need I'll just graft) but just in case weather or something interfered how long could you leave her in there without doing any harm?

    BTW, those are regular JZBZ cups sticking through the wood - filled with wax and then the wax drilled to regular cell size (some are .20" and some are .22" to see which work best) the excluder is held shut with a button magnet. After I made this I realized that I should have just ordered some Jenter cell cups and saved all the waxing business.

    Anyway, it's an experiment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Louisville, ky 40206
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    28

    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Hi, love your "thinking out of the box" been watching the photos the last 15 min. I am wondering if you could finish your project with some kind of Hopkin's system. Having the larvae growing in an horizontal position.....
    Good luck and keep us inform.
    THANKS

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    That's the plan. The JZBZ cups are just a slip fit in the queen cage - they should come right out. The plan is for the queen to lay in them, then remove the queen excluder - free the queen - leave everything else in place, and let the mother hive take care of them for 3 days until they hatch, then pull the plastic JZBZ cups out of the cage and put them into a regular cell bar frame (where they will hang vertically) and on into a cell builder hive.

    This is the first time that I've had a weather forecast that had enough good weather in it to do all that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    sounds interesting!
    I'm just thinking outloud and wondering about the cell size. Normally the queencell cup is worked into queencell size before the queen lays into it I'm wondering what will happen when these eggs hatch whether they will be regarded as regular brood or whether the cell will be reworked and treated as a queen.

    It will be interesting to see what happens keep us posted.

    frazz

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Natural queen cups are already vertical which I suppose has something to do with it, but if the cell cups are larger than normal and horizontal I would think that the queen would lay drone eggs in them. I suspect that there is an ideal width and depth for getting the queen to lay worker eggs and then getting them raised into queens. I don't know what those numbers are though so I tried to make them as close as possible to regular worker brood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    As to how long to leave the queen in, she could stay there for weeks and likely be fine, so the few days you are needing will not be an issue.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    That makes sense alright - you can bank for weeks or months. I know one thing - I'm going to do something like you do to limit the queens movement within the hive. Finding a free roaming queen in a full sized hive full of bees takes too much time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    how long could you leave her in there without doing any harm?
    Your interesting homemade job is pretty similar to the Nicot Cage that I use. I have had the most success leaving the queen in the cage until I graft which is usually 5 days after caging and have noticed no ill effects on the queen.

    When I have released the queen immediately after eggs have been laid (1 or two days after caging) I have a signifcanly lower yield of larvae because the nurse bees clean out many of the eggs and back-fill the cells with nectar.

    Leaving the queen in the cage until the larvae are ready for grafting I have a larvae in virtually every cell

    -fafrd

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Thanks fafrd, that is extremely helpful, although I already released the queen after about 24 hours - I'm actually planning to move them to the cell starter today. If I see what you are describing at least I will know what to do next time.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Orlando, FL
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    1,313

    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Queens can stay confined a long time. I once requeened a hive and put the queen cage in there and did not see the clear tape over the candy. Came back 2 weeks later and she was still in the cage and alive and well.

    OOPS, shame on me - but 2 weeks and she was fine.
    Troy

  11. #11
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    When I have released the queen immediately after eggs have been laid (1 or two days after caging) I have a signifcanly lower yield of larvae because the nurse bees clean out many of the eggs and back-fill the cells with nectar.
    -fafrd
    And that is exactly what happened - so since the cell starter was all primed and ready I grafted instead. I'll try again in a few days.

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

    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    Dave, Love your pics. Can you show how the cups fit in the drilled board? More pics of you setup. Thx. Lb
    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
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    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    I'll look and see if I have some clearer pictures. The JZBZ wide based cell cups are just a slip fit into the bars and the bars are a slip fit into the frame.

    I haven't tried this again, but I probably will - I'm having pretty good success grafting on my first 2 attempts, and despite the pitfalls of grafting it doesn't involve the risky act of catching and confining your best queen.

    That said, If I had known about these brown cell cups for the jenter system I would have used them instead of the JZBZ cups, because A) they are already the right size for the queen to lay fertilized eggs into B) Because they don't have a wide base, they can be left on the original bar until they are ready to plant into the mating nucs - the base on the JZBZ cups would prevent them from coming out of the hole once the cell is built.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
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    932

    Default Re: How long can you confine queen on graftless system?

    When i did the nicot year before last I kept her in the grid about 2/3 months would add brood from a support nuc I was using a 1/2 length deep 5 frame nuc I would harvest my 15 - 40 cell cups from the grid and move the eggs to the outer edges and just put my new cups in the center for her to keep laying usually would get 20/25 average cups for using in the cell builder. some time i could graft every 2 to 4 days because the eggs that was moved to the outer edges was ready for graft in a day or two but you have to keep check every day to catch them when they hatch.

    if using the jzsbzs cell cup for her to lay in they are a lot bigger than a worker cell she will more than likely lay a drone egg in them when she does lay any eggs.

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