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  1. #81
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    They look good to me David!

    I just did my first round of grafting about an hour ago. I know Russell will be pissed at me, but I caved and ended up feeding them some pollen sub and a pint of sugar water (although, I did without the HBH this go around). I figured if they didn't want it, they wouldn't eat it.

    I'll check on them tomorrow when I do my second round of grafts (thinking about doing three total rounds, about 10 cells per round). Hopefully I'll have great pictures to share with you guys!

  2. #82
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,585

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Pissed?? No way! Lol. I use open or scratched honey comb and at least 1 (usually several) frames filled solid with pollen (bee bread) to feed my starters, but I'm also in MS where 90-99% humidity is common and I use the full hive split method when it gets really really hot, so they are free flying and there are always ponds, creeks and rivers around for plenty of water... giving them 1:1 will raise the moisture levels which is probably going to be a necessity for your climate, and certainly for Joe's... so you guys are doing exactly what you should do... as for the pollen substitute, if you need to use it, by all means, do so... you are also doing right by not using the hbh... you've got this man, now let's see some pics of some pretty cells and ladies! :-)

  3. #83
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Lol, I thought you were going to flip over the pollen sub, not necessarily the 1:1. They have a few frames of pollen, so I don't think they will need the sub, but I felt it was a "better safe than sorry" kinda thing (although, you can't really call feeding them playing it safe).

  4. #84
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,585

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    No worries. True pollen and nectar are of course the best for "Moving from ok queens...to Great queens". Lol. But summer queen rearing presents many challenges that are rarely discussed in books because its something that has generally not been a common practice of large queen producers... in general, queen producers get as many queens mated as possible during spring and early summer, while banking as many as they could... then they stop rearing queens and rotate their manpower back to the honey harvest... more northern producers mate a bit later since they still have a flow and they start later than the southern producers... but for the south, summer is very tricky... you evaluate what you need and make adjustments so you can give the best situation that you can under the circumstances..."stay flexible" and make notes on your calendar of what you experience this season... that way you can make earlier adjustments next season to keep up the optimal provisions... like storing a few supers after extracting just to throw on the hives at the right time so you can utilize the open honey frames in your starters instead of having to feed... or placing thumb tacks in the top of frames that are filled with pollen (bee bread) during your inspections, so you can easily locate them to use for provisions in your starters... etc.. you are doing a great job, keep it up...

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    rrussell,

    Since you mentioned that there are differences in raising queens in the summer, I have a question. I'm getting better than 90% acceptance of grafts and had really good looking (long and light colored cells) in the early summer but as time went on, the acceptance of the grafts remained the same but the colonies kept on tearing down the cells as the summer progressed. The cells were shorter, darker, and between day 10 and 14 they were systematically torn down. This happened 5 times in a row with different finishing colonies and "no" queen above the excluder. The last batch had a lot of torn down cells so I decided to let them emerge in cages. Only about 2/3 of the cells that were intact actually emerged. During the first part of the season I took 12 queen cells home, after requeening out-yards, and did the same with 100% emergence. Something changed between May and August. I do start all the cells in a swarm box, so initial graft acceptance is good. What do you think accounts for the appearance of the cells changing in color and size plus them being torn down? The only thing I can think of is a dearth because there was less burr comb on the cells later in the season. I don't fully understand how that could make a difference when an internal feeder full of syrup is in the finisher.

    p.s. Should I toss queens from batches that survive the above scenario because they may be inferior?

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,017

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    They look good to me David!
    Thanks for the encouragement. Despite my less than impressive cells I've gotten some pretty nice queens, that lay great patterns and produce nice tame bees - so I feel pretty good about my learning experience. Also, it looks like I'm going into (my 3rd) winter with 20 strong hives (17 headed with my own queens) and a good stock of comb - where last year I had 10 hives with every scrap of crappy comb I had just to fill out their boxes. So progress is being made.

    3 day old grafts -



    I doubt if I'm helping anything by pulling them out every day for family portraits, but they grow up so fast.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Dahlonega, GA
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    82

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    David,

    Looks good. Thanks for the post. I am going through the learning curve also. My last grafts only one took. Which I planted in a sub par hive last night. Pinched her head. I would like to try some of the jz cell bars. I am using a homemade one now. When I receive my rj from russell this week I plan to try my hand at some more great queens. Good stuff. Keep it up.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    I've only tried rj that I harvested myself, but i've about come to the conclusion that a tiny drop of suger syrup works about as well for me, and since it isn't refrigerated it's simpler.

    Keep trying, but think twice before pinching a reject. I use my culls to keep idling nucs healthy, then just cage them and hang them all in a queenless nuc until needed again.

    BTW I took that last picture with my droid phone- I finally figured out that it has a macro setting.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,326

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Kingfisher Apiaries was right, that cell bar is just a JZsBZs plastic wide base cell bar (holds 15 cells). It's fastened to a narrow strip of wood which extends beyond each end so it hangs in the hive like a frame. I did pull it out and rest it on its side on top of a top bar for the photo.

    David, your cells sure look good to me. Not every batch of mine turn out that little bit longer and better provisioned like I wish they would. I have hopes for this batch, the batch just before this looked prime, they're placed now, so we'll see what the queens look like that emerge from them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #90
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,585

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    HVH, are the finishers in the sun or a mix of sun and shade? Have you been resting them every so many cycles? What type of bees are in the finishers? Are you moving open brood to the top and capped brood to the bottom between each cycle? and finally have you checked to make sure that the finishers have not thrown a swarm?

    Sorry for all the questions, hopefully we can get to the bottom of your troubles and get you back up and rolling quickly.


    Guys I sure wish I could join you with pics of cells in different stages, but even though I graft pretty much every day, it is such a rushed process because of the number of cells... I will start trying to remember to take a few pics as I am working... Here is what an average day's cell bars set out the night before so they are ready to go when we get started the next morning...


  11. #91
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    BTW I took that last picture with my droid phone- I finally figured out that it has a macro setting.
    Which droid do you have, and how do you get to the macro setting?

    Russell - very impressive photo.

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Dahlonega, GA
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    82

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Same question I have about the droid camera setting.

    Robert,
    Do you re-use any of your cell cups?

  13. #93
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    David, your cells sure look good to me. Not every batch of mine turn out that little bit longer ...
    Thanks, that actually makes me feel better. Still gonna keep trying though.

    Specialkayme - Ginn68

    I have a motorola droid. Just fire up the camera app and tap the center of the screen, and that will activate a menu on the right side - Scenes, Effects, Flash, Switch to video. One of the scene settings is macro. Found it by accident when my grand son accidentally set it to black and white while playing angry birds.

    It's actually a pretty decent camera. Cell phones have about put snap shot cameras in the dust bin along with CDs - the 8 tracks of the new millennium.

  14. #94
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    As requested, here are some pictures.

    I set up the cell builder the way Russell described for summer cell building. I took the queen and three frames of open brood from a busting hive and put them on a new bottom board. The queenless hive I then let sit for about two hours or so, queenless, with pollen sub and 1:1 sw. I primed the cells with a drop of RJ. I only put in about 10 or so cells the first time. Checked on them today, about 23 hours after I first put them in, and added a new frame of freshly grafted cups.



    I thought they should have been filled with a little bit more RJ by this point, but not too certain. Thoughts?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #95
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Those cells look just fine for 23 hours old.

    After I install a set of grafted cells into my cell builder, if I check them for the first time, within a day or two, I also usually feel that they should already contain a larger quantity of royal jelly than they usually do.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 08-24-2011 at 05:51 PM. Reason: added comment
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #96
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Good to know, thanks for the input Joe.

    I'll take a picture tomorrow, of both the (then) 48 hour old grafts and the new 24 hour old grafts. Then I'll put the queen back to make a queenright finisher.

    The starter downed a quart of 1:1 in 24 hours. Had to fill it back up. They also went to town on the pollen sub, even though there was plenty of pollen in the cells and some coming in (not too much coming in though).

  17. #97
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    4 day old grafts - some just capped - best cells ever for me.



    That's the best one for sure, but they all look pretty good in this batch. The main thing I did different this time was I gave them a frame of young larva/eggs (thanks!) for 4 days before swapping in my grafts. I only started 12 - 10 built into cells. I'm pretty happy with this.

    Again - what did we do without the internet?

    Another droid phone picture BTW.

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
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    216

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Great looking cells David!!!
    Can't wait to see the pics of the queens!
    Congrats!

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Me neither. Thanks.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    715

    Default Re: Moving from ok queens . . . to great queens.

    Keep the photos coming.

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