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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Steves, yes I do. But I also find larva that have been supplied a better pool of jelly also even though they are small. I am starting to prefer those.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  2. #82
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    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    So can anyone tell me if I can go in and look and know anything a mere six or eight hours after grafts?

  3. #83
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    > The very NEWEST larvae were in a pool of royal jelly that was so small that the tool really just did not work very well

    The only tool I've found that works on the youngest larvae is the chinese grafting tool. The rest you have to pick up the larvae. With the chinese grafting tool, you pick up the pool...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Steves, according to one post above you can go back after 1 hour and look for cells where the larva has been removed.

    I may have to get a Chinese tool.

    At this point I am 18 total cells some of them not producing really good queens out of 96 attempts at grafting cups. I will also say that the queenless nucs I am using are not even making emergency queen cells though. It is like I am in a period where the bees don't care if they have a queen or not.

    What I know for now is I am done. I need 15 queens and will see if I can get them from these 18 started cells. 6 queens have emerged so far with 2 more due today. That puts me just over half of what I need. If I come up I will make up short the difference with a split next spring or swarm captures at some point. But for now my first overall attempt at grafting cells has been a disaster. I am probably going to look at completely different methods of starting queens. Cell punch the nicot system or something. it can't be much worse than this has been.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 06-19-2013 at 06:54 PM.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #85
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    When I am being unsuccessful grafting (often) I do not find punching or cutting works either. What does work consistantly is removing the queen into a nuc temporarily. Relatively new wax helps the looks of the cell, it may not make any other difference. New wax tends to make closely grouped cells though. Make the splits after the cells are started.
    Not high tech, relatively non disruptive.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  6. #86
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    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Well Daniel, I wish I could say something encouraging but I cannot at this point. Out of 40 grafts I tried last week I only KNOW I have two cells to transfer to nucs tomorrow. The twenty grafts I did yesterday looked and felt great though so I will check my cell builder tomorrow and check back in I am also going to make up another cell builder in a different yard and try some more. This particular skillset and beekeeping in general is one of those things that look simple from the outside but has a lot of nuance that I just have not "mastered" yet. So I will just keep tilting the windmill and try to learn

  7. #87
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    [QUOTE=Daniel Y;724816
    1. an egg that is laid in a worker cell compared to a queen cell.
    2. the difference in a queen cell that was made by man or one made by bees.
    3. The care of a larva from the moment it hatches that is laid in a worker cell and one that is laid in a queen cell.
    4. a queen cell in a hive that has a laying queen and one that does not.
    5. The importance of royal jelly or as some refer to it "Milk" In detail and exactly what minute difference are there in how it is supplied to a worker and a queen.
    6. The possible effect it has when bees have chosen and prepared to produce a queen and those that have had in forced upon them.
    7. Why do bees that have had open brood supplied to them prior to being given queen cells produce larger queen cells and quite probably produce better quality queens?
    8. Why exactly is it that bees will produced better quality queens in larger numbers when influenced by the swarm impulse than under any other impulse?
    9. It is impossible to ask bees to do a top quality job that they are not prepared to do. What do you understand is involved in bees being prepared to produce queens.
    10. even bees that are well prepared can only be expected to adequately produce and tend to a limited number of queen cells. what is your understanding of where that limit is? I have seen claims of as many as 150 queen cells being placed in one hive. Is it possible that a hive can produce 150 quality queens at one time? or are there simply going to be 150 trash queens being produced.[/QUOTE]



    Daniel y.. Those are good questions to use on the Master Beekeeper Certificate Exam.

    cchoganjr

  8. #88
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Steves1967 View Post
    My big question is...... The very NEWEST larvae were in a pool of royal jelly that was so small that the tool really just did not work very well, at least for my inexperienced self. I ended up picking SLIGHTLY OLDER larvae just because they had a "juicier" puddle of RJ. Has anyone else experienced this?
    It helps if you feed the hive you are going to take the larva from. Also, you can give the frame of brood a very light mist of water - which helps more than you might expect.

    I'm sure you can tell pretty quickly which ones they are going to make queens from and which ones they are going to abandon, but I've never tried looking before the next day.

    I'll bet that your success rate is about to go up. The magnification alone will probably make a difference - it did for me.

  9. #89
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    I find that if the bees are going to reject my grafts, they do it almost immediately.

    To check on graft acceptance, after about an hour (it may even be possible sooner), I lift the cell bars, turn the cups open side up, then give the bar a sudden bump (I move it in a downward motion, then stop it abruptly against my other hand), just hard enough to knock most of the nurse bees off and back into the top of the cell builder nuc. Then I give a quick look for small pools of RJ in the bottoms of the cells, and remove all cups that have clean bottoms (they were aborted/rejected).

    If I need those cells, I will place them together on another empty cell bar, regraft them and place the new grafts back in the cell builder.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Thank you all so very much, tomorrow I finally get to check Tuesdays grafts, I am going to make another open starter in my other yard. I am happy I learned about that method here. So much better than keeping the bees boxed.

  11. #91
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    Jun 2009
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    Post Falls, Idaho
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Once again, great thread. I have learned a lot of useful information and tips I plan on using.

    In the past few days I have followed the suggestions in building a starter nuc with frames of brood, lots of nursed bees, and plenty of food. Yesterday I took the big step and tried my hand at grafting for the first time. As mentioned over and over, harder than it looks and I expected. At 62, the magnifying glasses were essential and I got pretty comfortable using them. Had several failed attempts getting larvae/jelly into the Chinese tool and transferring it into cup. Anticipate it will become smoother with practice. I am still not confident in my ability to identify the proper stage of larvae to graft. I have read several times that a "C" shaped larvae is too old. But it seems that is all I see at some stage or another or the lone straight egg/larvae in the bottom of the cell without any jelly whatsoever. So I took the smallest larvae I could see that had some jelly in the bottom of the cell.

    One thought I had in the middle of the night when I was pondering the whole process was about stealing jelly from other cells. If I find larvae a little too large/old to graft and it still has jelly in the bottom of the cell, is it OK to discard that larvae and transfer it's jelly over to a cup to prime it and float the chosen larvae into?

    I have read where queen jelly is different in composition and nourishment than worker jelly but thought it might be OK for a primer.

    Your thoughts please and, again, thanks for all the time and energy put into this site. I learn something every time I visit.

    Soapy

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Had several failed attempts getting larvae/jelly into the Chinese tool and transferring it into cup.
    >Not all the Chinese tools function optimally, some work better than others. That's why I buy at least six at a time. Usually one or two out of six work very well, but you need to work with each one for a bit in order to determine which ones work best. The variation seems to be in the goose quill that is used as the flexible, "tongue" part. Some have the perfect amount of flex, while others do not.

    I am still not confident in my ability to identify the proper stage of larvae to graft. I have read several times that a "C" shaped larvae is too old. But it seems that is all I see at some stage or another or the lone straight egg/larvae in the bottom of the cell without any jelly whatsoever. So I took the smallest larvae I could see that had some jelly in the bottom of the cell.
    > I don't know about the "c" shaped larvae, being too old, but I simply graft the smallest larvae, which are usually right next to eggs that haven't hatched, yet.

    One thought I had in the middle of the night when I was pondering the whole process was about stealing jelly from other cells. If I find larvae a little too large/old to graft and it still has jelly in the bottom of the cell, is it OK to discard that larvae and transfer it's jelly over to a cup to prime it and float the chosen larvae into?
    > I'm sure that would be acceptable, except for the time it would take to accomplish that. Since one of the most important factors in successful grafting is transferring the larvae and returning them to the optimal environment of a brood nest as quickly as possible.

    I have read where queen jelly is different in composition and nourishment than worker jelly but thought it might be OK for a primer.
    > Yep, they very well may be different, but generally the nurse bees know best, and seem to be able to replace or freshen any RJ that they feel is not best.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #93
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    Aug 2011
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    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    queenattempt.jpg

    Checked on mine today. Cant tell too much with my crappy cell phone taking ability but Ive got 15 out of the original 20 grafts. Now mind you they arent the big, plump ones of Clemens or Laferneys, but I'll take it. The 2.75 reading glasses I bought worked wonders.
    Last edited by VolunteerK9; 06-20-2013 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Added text

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Well we are going to back track and start a completely new attempt. once we got some queens ready for mating nucs we ran head long into finding out out our nucs are completely inadequate. I had mu suspicions anyway.

    Think through the entire process. WE have a lot of the little half frames that if attached end to end are the same length as a full frame. so we will assemble them place them in hives and get them completely filled with comb and hopefully brood. once that is accomplished we will start grafting again. when queens are ready these frames will be taken brood bees and all and placed in our mini nucs. We have some comb drawn in the frames just not enough and no brood. Every one of our queens wandered off and we where left with nuc with just a hand full of young bees wondering around looking for something to do. We did get enough quality queens to requeen the hives that needed it though.

    We have 10 more cells due to emerge in 3 days. in the mean time I am goign to get 3 queen castles made so we can transfer frames from existing hives to these mating nucs.

    I expect it to take as much as 30 days to get our mini frames drawn and filled. so the window is closing on us to get nucs made for this year.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #95
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    Mar 2013
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    fairfield, sc
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    I just want to thank everyone for all their advice.

    I'm trying something similiar using 4-frame nucs. So far, I've been using a 'crowded' method to force the bees to create their own queen cells - then transfer them over to their own starter/finisher-final product nuc boxes, mostly to increase my # of hives. I've bought the chinese grafting tool, made a couple of frames, and the EZBZ cups along with a magnifier head piece that I hope will allow me enough 'vision' to see what I'm doing. Haven't started yet - but keep reading and following along and just wanted to express thanks to all for their knowledge and time they spend helping out new beeks as they try their hands in this process. Just remember, we all had to start somewhere, before we got here...


  16. #96
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Seapro, and anyone else. I am finding there is a skill involved that must be developed. I woudl compare it to telling you I can teach you to draw. which I can. I can fill you full of the technical information about drawing. but nothing will replace you setting down with pencil and paper and applying your had to the effort. that will be a struggle only you can make your way through.

    What miffs me is that I have very well refined motor skills. I paint. carve, work in clay. draw, Tie flies, and make may custom items including fishing rods. I can hand transfer tobacco seed sprouts. a tobacco seed is about the size of half the period in this text. But there are still some details for me to refine in transferring larva. It will come. But I must find just the right way to hold my mouth as I do it.

    For now I think everything about my attempts needs to be improved.
    Larva to old. starters that are two week. bad time of the year. inadequate mating nucs and feeble looking queens when I do manage to get them. So far my attempts look like stick figures if compaired to my drawing example.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    To continue your art analogy; practice does not require the expectation of a finished product. A small nuc with 2 or 3 grafts at a time which are only kept long enough to practice that step will improve the technigue while you wait for the real attempt.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    What miffs me is that I have very well refined motor skills. I paint. carve, work in clay. draw, Tie flies, and make may custom items including fishing rods. I can hand transfer tobacco seed sprouts. a tobacco seed is about the size of half the period in this text. But there are still some details for me to refine in transferring larva. It will come. But I must find just the right way to hold my mouth as I do it.
    Daniel, I totally understand your "miff". I also have skills in many of these areas and yet there are other areas that I should be able to do well but can't. (or at least I haven't taken the time to do it well) I don't try to graft now because I don't need that many queens to warrant it for now. I use Oldtimer's "cut cell method" slightly modified with other information on here. It has worked well for me to get what I need as a small beekeeper. (God willing my 9th hive will be cut out tomorrow)

    Keep at it. If you desire to do it and work patiently you can get it. If someone has skills with their hands then I don't see a reason why it can't be done IF they want to. It must be a desire!!! I'm very very thankful for this and other threads like this the help incredibly to understand the "how to's" and the "how not to's" of queen rearing!!!

  19. #99
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    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    My first two "confined swarm boxes were utter failures. My first "open" cell starter nuc has four of twenty grafts taken hold. Sunday will be day five for those four. Sunday I will try making another and graft again a couple days after that. Thanks everyone for the help.

  20. #100
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    May 2012
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    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Queen Rearing using the Joseph Clemens Starter/Finisher

    And that leads to another question, I did my last starter and grafted 24 hours later. Do any of you let the starter sit longer than that so the bees are "more" queen less? More desperate to raise a new queen(s)

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