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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Question First Time Graft question?

    Yesterday I shook nurse bees into a 5 frame nuc with 4 racks, some with honey, some with pollen and drawn comb and I screened the entrance to keep the bees from leaving. Today I did my grafting and installed the rack of grafts into the nuc. My question is how long should I keep the entrance screened

    I should add that I got the nurse bees from 3 different hives, as I just started everything this year....
    Matt....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    I use the starter finisher method. If I were you I would leave the cells in the screened starter colony for 12-18 hrs. Then pull the cells out. Find the queen of an established hive and put her in the bottom deep. Put a queen excluder on top of the 1st deep. Then put open brood next to the frame of cells in the top deep. This is your finisher colony and will complete these nicely for you. Sstarters do a great job of starting but a lousy job of finishing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    Thats a good suggestion Mosherd1, but I don't have any double hives yet. I am doing this mostly to see if I could learn to graft. What if I just leave the grafts is the nuc and let it be my finisher.
    Matt....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,350

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    That's what I do. I use a deep 5-frame nuc and install four medium frames of emerging brood, then pack it with enough young nurse bees so they festoon beneath the medium frames -- I place narrow cell bars between the frames. Before and after the flow I feed with sugar syrup and pollen substitute patties. I have little problem getting cells started and finished quite well in these conditions.

    I've never confined them -- they like their freedom, nurse bees don't try to find their way home, they don't know where their original home is.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-15-2011 at 09:18 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,076

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    Your starter will finish your cells too- whenever you set them free. Any queenless hive will try to produce a queen if it has the resources.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    All three of these gentlemen are exactly right... but I think in your situation, you have created a starter... tons of confused bees, no queen, over abundance of pollen and honey for jelly production...

    Not having any doubles yet is not that big of an issue if you are wanting to make this try count, but not relying on the results... you can always do it a little differently next time.

    After the cells have been in your nuc for 24 hrs, Gently, replace the two frames that are directly surrounding the cell frame with emerging brood frames from other hives... make sure that you do not take any queens, but leave the bees that are on the brood frames... shake (lite flutter motion directly above the nuc, do not bump the nuc) the bees that were in the nuc on your two feed frames back on top of the top bars of the nuc, then place those frames on the outer spaces of the hives that you took the emerging brood from.... open the door on the nuc, and close it up until time to pull the cells and plant them.

    Hope this helps... it sounds more complex than it will be when you are actually doing it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    Thanks guys, you have answered my questions, and given me several options...... I will work with them and reply back later and let you all know what happens........
    Matt....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: First Time Graft question?

    I decided to use this nuc as my starter/finisher. I checked them this afternoon and was surprised to see that 4 or 5 cells have been accepted out of the 12. This really surprised me as I had a hard time trying to learn to graft. I damaged the cells next to the ones I grafted from and damaged all had larve of different ages in them. I've learned a lot so far. I removed the screen from the entrance and started feeding them a little sugar 1:1. To be honest this is a little challenging but it is interesting......I think everyone has their own system that works well for them, I just haven't found one yet........
    Matt....

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