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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sarasota, fl
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    David, thank you for working on this thread. I have studied your info and read 3 queen books this winter. I live in south west Florida and it is early Spring here. 80degrees during the day now and 60 at night. I have used a version of the Clemmons system 3 rounds so far. The first try I had 4 capped cells and 2 hatched .#1 (Eve) hatched in the incubator on day 10. I introduced her to a new nuc by direct introduction on top of the frames. She had a full frame of brood on both sides at day 15 following introduction. #2 went into a nuc and is now laying also. The other two never hatched and when I opened them up they were partially developed and died in the cell.round two, I had twenty cells capped at day 5. I was really excited. When I went to take them out on day 10 all were chewed open. I neglected to check for starter queen cells. I took the virgins and bees from the starter nuc and made up a ten frame hive and she is laying now, so all was not lost.round three and I had 19 started cells and 13 were capped and removed at ten days. I installed them today into nucs and grafted round 4. I really feel like I am getting the hang of it. I am send this to you to THANK YOU for your work and for sharing the knowledge with all of us on the forum. I thought you would like to hear what I think is a success story, only possible because others shared info and took the time to help others. Jim

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    I appreciate you saying so, and your experience really highlights the great thing about learning with a system like this - you can easily use it over and over to sharpen your skills. Sounds like you are doing great.

    BTW, If I had an incubator I would put cells in it as soon as they are capped I think. A friend of mine who is an actual queen producer does that to eliminate the chance of capped cells being torn back down in the finisher. I think he also uses some kind of cell protectors to keep an early bloomer from spoiling a batch. An incubator would be good to have.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Charles City, VA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    what temp and humidity would you keep an incubator with queen cells in it?

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,726

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Optimal 92.2 - 93.2 F
    RH is less sensitive 50-70 is probably fine.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  5. #45
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    What happens to the cell builder after you removed the first round of capped cells on the 10th day? Is it ready to be used right away? Do you split it up and put a fresh one together? Or do you simply keep adding fresh frames with capped brood to have a steady supply of hatching brood in the cell builder? Thank you for your time in putting this together David. I sure am excited to try grafting for the first time this spring!!
    Last edited by Marc; 02-18-2013 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Spelling

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    You can use it again right away, but as long as you are continuing to use it you need to give it at least one good frame of brood per week. When you place your new grafts you want them to be pretty much the only open brood in the hive, so ideally you give it frames of capped/emerging brood. Although there is almost always a few larva that they build queen cells from, so you have to check for those once a week too. Still, the maintenance doesn't take much time at all.

    When you're finished queen rearing for the year just remove the queen includer (if used) and let a queen hatch into the cell builder - although you might want to put it into a larger hive setup first so that they don't immediately swarm.

    I'm looking forward to this season too. Good Luck.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    David what is the queen includer used for?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    It's between the bottom board and the hive body - to keep a lost virgin from taking over. If you have a separate mating yard it is less needed than if your mating nucs are close.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    I am SOOOO thankful that there's this kind of info here and it isn't deleted after a given ammt. of time. Barry hat's off to you!!! Here is a thread I was following a couple years back. There's a TON of good info on this thread from Joseph Clemens and others.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...o-great-queens

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    David, I would like to echo all the words of appreciation that have already been shared here. I am preparing to start 'down the road' of queen rearing this Spring. And this thread has answered a lot of my questions. Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belews Creek NC
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Thanks for a great post Dave. Im going to try my hand at it this year. Really appreciate the tread. CU Dave

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    David,

    Can you inspect too often?

    I like Deans configuration. I am wondering if frames of stores flanking the cell bar & stores overhead would be a good way to go.

    What is your pollen sub/syrup recipe?

    When nurse bees become foragers, move cell builder & replace with weak nuc? Assuming you maintain a store supply.
    Sponge w/H2o? for hydration?

    Cage capped cells & leave in starter?
    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. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    Can you inspect too often?
    I don't think you are too likely to.

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I like Deans configuration. I am wondering if frames of stores flanking the cell bar & stores overhead would be a good way to go.
    You should try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    What is your pollen sub/syrup recipe?

    8% protein mega bee candy

    1.25 cups water
    1/2 liquid oz veg oil or shortening
    5 pounds sugar
    1 pound straight mega bee powder - without sugar already added.

    Even though you don’t have to heat this to the very high temps that some recipes call for it will still burn you very badly if you get it on you – wear gloves, safety glasses, use a long spoon to stir, and if you use a mechanical mixer of any kind protect yourself from the possibility that you will slop some out. For Pete’s sake don’t do this in tee shirt and shorts.

    a cordless drill with one of the blades from a powered hand mixer chucked in it is very helpful – almost essential, because it will be very thick after adding the megabee until you get it mixed.

    In a large container bring the water and oil to a boil.

    Leave heat on high.

    Add 5 pounds of sugar, bring the mixture back to a boil stir pretty much constantly.

    Remove from heat and add the mega bee. mix then pour out into mold. I use brownie tins sprayed with pam. In a few hours to a day or two it will set to the consistency of a sugar cube and will come out neatly.

    This is what I feed as pollen sub, and it keeps really well in this hard candy form and isn't likely to be infested with hive beetle larva. To make patty to feed to weak hives or cell builders I crush some of this up and add a little bit of syrup to get the consistency I want


    You can easily scale this up to make 30 pounds at a time - 25 lb sugar 5 lb megabee.


    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    When nurse bees become foragers, move cell builder & replace with weak nuc? Assuming you maintain a store supply.
    Sponge w/H2o? for hydration?
    No, you just keep adding emerging brood every week to keep the nurse be population up. It will get really strong with foragers too, but it isn't really a problem. But if you want to you can certainly move it to a new spot to leave behind the foragers if you want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    Cage capped cells & leave in starter?
    I don't but it's probably a good idea.

    Sorry I didn't see this question until just now.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,990

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    David,

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do the write-up on this method that Joseph uses, and for sharing it as well as you did through this forum and your blog. I followed your instructions, and just checked my first batch of grafts to discover I had 87% of the cells take on the first attempt (27 out of 31). This method is a nice, minimal approach to grafting and uses very little resources from the bee yard.

    Perfect for us little people.

    I know that one can put a lot of effort into things for the internet, and wonder sometimes if anyone cares.

    Well, I want you to know that your effort made a difference to me.

    So thanks.

    Adam

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Thanks for saying so. Good luck with it.

    I just did a couple of hands on workshops with our local association using this method, and I think it was a hit.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,123

    Thumbs Up Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Yes, thanks again David!.....This is as good as any sticky :hinthint:
    Last edited by Lburou; 06-12-2013 at 04:38 PM. Reason: spelling
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Wow, what a great thread for us novices. I have learned a lot and am ready to try my hand at this.

    One simple question and I apologize if I missed something that already explains this. But why do we need to confine bees to the starter nuc for some period before grafts are introduced?

    Thanks in advance.

    Soapy

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    When the nurse bees have recently become queenless, they are much more motivated to build and grow queen cells. But, for subsequent batches, as long as all finished cells and rogue cells are regularly removed, they remain queenless, and waiting isn't as important. When the cell growing colony is first assembled, it seems to work better to wait overnight before giving new grafts. I try to spot rogue cells early, before they are capped (though this timing isn't critical - capped cells still have royal jelly that can be collected), then I collect the royal jelly from them and load it into a plastic glue syringe, to use for priming future grafts.

    I've tried a few other things, adding them to what I do, in these past few years:
    1) I build my cell growing nucs from 1-1/4" thick styrofoam board, with foil lining the entire inside of the nuc, and pieces of wood trim on the edges for reinforcement, especially of the frame rests. I put a few small 1/4" plastic tubes or straws in the bottom corners for drainage, but let the bees use the top for ventilation. I leave a small 3/4" wide area front and back on top for entrance and ventilation.

    2) I feed pollen sub constantly, but only add 1:1 syrup when there is no flow on.

    3) Similar techniques have been mentioned earlier in this thread, so I will describe this version, which I use, that I've found helpful to me> I get the largest cells, with the most RJ, when I place a frame of grafting age larvae into the cell builder overnight, then shaking those bees into the cell builder nuc, and removing that frame (and replacing whichever frame was removed to accommodate it), just before adding new grafts.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-16-2013 at 04:34 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,152

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Joseph, I noticed this reluctance to build queen cells after a period of time also. I was told it was becasue the queenless bees had grown to old. made since. that is until I added several frames of young nurse bees and a frame of open brood including eggs. not one queen cell was produced from that entire frame.

    This has caused me to rethink the long term cell starter. I am thinking that every frame of grafts will be introduced to a colony that was made queenless only 24 hours prior. I have no idea why colonies that have been queenless for a period of time will not make queen cells. I do know I have seen it for myself. And it is not all about age of the bees.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Daniel Y, I really haven't seen that, yet. I'm not sure what the differences are between how you're doing it and how I do it - which may be the key. When I add a fresh comb of emerging worker brood, each week, I make sure that it contains some eggs, so it can help suppress the development of laying workers as a problem (I also want that worker brood to be the target of any Varroa that might be present, instead of my queen cells). I've also found that if I have a 15 cell bar, or two in the builder (open or capped cells), when I add the frame of grafting age larvae, with attendant nurse bees (for an overnight visit), they often fail to start any additional cells on the frame of open worker larvae.

    However, I do not run them forever. Every so often I break one down to restock mating nucs, one frame of bees from the cell builder and a cell for each 3-frame mating nuc compartment. I sometimes shake a frame into a weaker 5-frame nuc that I want to boost the population of.

    And, just to see how it goes, I've relocated cell builders, leaving the field bees behind (I put a weaker nuc in its place so it benefits from the field bees), and added even more nurse bees, to see what differences that might make. Of course I make sure I'm feeding 1:1 to help compensate for the missing field bees. Also, when a comb has been filled with syrup or honey, I remove it and replace it with a fresh comb of either emerging brood, or one that has some pollen in it, but is only partially finished - giving the bees wax work to do, instead of encasing the queen cells in burr comb.

    And, sometimes I take a batch of 22 finished cells, carefully remove a little bit of wax from their tips, if the bees haven't already done so, then gently insert them into California mini cages, placing them on a frame I made up just for that purpose. I then remove a frame from a cell builder and insert this incubator frame with the cage screens facing a comb of brood, and inspect it as the virgin queens are expected to emerge, so I can quickly transfer them to cages with attendants and candy - to be used as needed. During this process I also QA the new virgins, discarding any that don't appear well-formed.

    -------------------
    About the older cell builders no longer willing to build cells:
    I have seen this, but only when there was a rogue virgin present. Earlier, when I was getting my feet wet, I would sometimes unintentionally overlook a stray queen cell and batches of grafts would mysteriously fall to take, until I located the rogue virgin and remove her. I keep my cell builders and mating nucs in the same yard, underneath a large mesquite tree. Every so often I would also find a similar issue, when a nearby virgin would find her way into my cell builders and destroy batches of cells, that's why I frequently use excluders to help reduce that happening.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-16-2013 at 08:44 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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