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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Hobby Queen Rearing

    Next year I plan on looking into ways of rearing a few queens. I would like input on a few things and maybe a few questions answered.

    I was watching the fatbeeman's youtube video and how he rears queens. I was thinking about taking an empty medium frame and placing it into the brood nest (deep). After 3-4 days go back in and see if it has been filled. If so take it out and attach queen cups to the bottom of the frame and graft in larvae. Place back into a queenless nuc (deep). I don't need a ton of queens. I just need a few to fill nucs/splits/requeen. Does this sound like a feasible plan? This way I don't have to make special frames. Also will the brood survive all this or will it die from being chilled? Should I attach the cups to the frame before or after I put it in the egg donor hive? It would be easier if I could do it before, but I am not sure if those empty cups would have any effect on the hive.

    So my next question is what do I do with all the queens that I don't immediately need? I don't really want to invest on a fancy queen castle. I am a small time hobbiest that hopes to keep 5-10 hives without buying anymore bees. Any creative solutions? Take an 8 frame box and split it in 4?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    That should work ok. But, I don't think it will be easy to graft the larva from the same frame you have the queen cups on. Making a cell bar is really easy, a few wax cups, and a cheap chinese grafting tool will get you started for under $15 dollars. For just making a few queen cells the cloake board method or the 5 frame starter finisher will probably be the easiest for you. I like the 5 frame starter finisher, when you get your cells you can just leave one in that hive and you have one of the nucs you want anyway.

    As far as the extra queens worry about that bridge when you get there. You can make extra nucs or give them to some other local beeks. Banking queens is not really practical for a hobby beek. Sure you can make 4 mating nucs out of an 8 frame box. Making up all the mating nucs has been the hardest part for me. It takes a lot of bee resources to raise many queens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    I have access to as many of these things as I want at work.

    http://www.haydenmedicalinc.com/Buck_Ear_Curettes.htm

    I figure that if I fill them with wax they will work just fine. I also plan on making my own wax cups with a 3/8" dowel as the fatbeeman does. I guess I could customize a frame, but at the same time a medium would probably be less work. I would also probably only need to make around 5-10 queens total. I suppose that I'd immediately use them for splits. Then whatever is left I'd requeen where needed. Then keep a few on hand in case I were to go queenless.

    I was also planning on using a 5 frame nuc for this process. I am not sure if there is something fancy about this starter/finisher system that I haven't read or if it's simply that you use a single nuc to graft cells into then start and finish the queen cells. Then remove the queen cells before they hatch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    Your tool will probably work. I have heard of people bending a paper clip and flatening out the end to use as a tool. I have not made any wax cups but, I'm sure you can easily do that too.

    Nothing fancy. The 5 frame nuc packed with bees does everything from larva (start) to ripe queen cell (finish). Its a easy to raise cells this way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    The JZBZ cups are super cheap and it is very easy to make a cell bar frame if you don't want to buy one.

    As for the extra queen cells you don't need just let them die. A small sacrifice.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    McDonough, NY United States
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    Bush 84, I tried your idea of using a medium frame and attaching queen cups onto the bottom of it. It also had the benefit of leaving the comb in the frame to give them something else to do. They didn't take the grafts but it was my first attempt. I am pretty convinced it is an easy way to go. I built a frame with a crossbar for my first attempt, and for just a couple cells I will definitely use the medium frame next time I try.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Hobby Queen Rearing

    Well at least somebody thought my idea was good! I think I will give it a try next year.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

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