Re: My first go at grafting (by my self) today!
If the queen is in the cell starter, most likely they will start a few cells but not many. Or maybe none. But there are other factors that may make them start, or not start, the cells in the presence of a queen but for the most part, if the queen's there the take would be low / zero.
BTW looking through a hive for the queen with all those boxes, unlimited brood nest, and vicious bees, can be a nightmare. Here's a tip, 5 days before you will take the nurse bees, put a queen excluder in the middle of the brood nest. Then when you make the cell starter take the bees from the 1/2 with no eggs, don't bother looking for the queen.
As to pinching the queen, yes. Me, I like to work in comfort. I simply refuse to tolerate aggressive bees and it is still possible to have a very good bee that is not aggressive. If you split this hive into nucs, bear in mind that if any of your cells don't hatch they will then raise their own from the aggresive queens brood. You can solve this by going through a week later and pinching any cells.
Yes you can combine the starter onto a different finisher hive. When you put this starter onto the other hive, if you are still not sure where the queen is, look for eggs. If she is in the starter there should be eggs in some of those combs.
24 hours is normally as long as an enclosed cell starter should be left. longer then that and quality of care of the cells drops off.
And yes, the offspring of the aggressive queen are likely to be aggressive also. Maybe not all of them but probably most of them. Bear in mind also that using the offspring of this queen is going to be putting, in the future, a lot of drones out there with those aggressive genetics.
As this is your first attempt it's likely results might not be awesome, but looks like you're learning a lot already! All the best, do post some pics!
Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-01-2011 at 04:34 PM.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).