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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
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    51

    Default removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    How careful must one be when removing the larva from the queenless hive, meaning, will introducing queen grafts still work okay if I overlook a couple eggs / young larva on a frame or two? I try to remove most of the frames that have eggs and young larva, but it seems quite a feat to get them ALL... or is that just the way it is? This is my first time grafting. I'm doing it mostly for the experience.

    - Clayton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Utah,Utah,USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    It works fine as long as you check the frames for queen cells a few days after you put your grafts in. I have found that most of the time if the bees have young enough larvae in frames they will build queens out of them as well. The queens they build will most likely hatch before your grafts so you want to make sure you destroy them before they destroy your grafts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I prefer having open brood near the grafts to draw nurse bees. Wouldn't graft without them. A decent cell builder should be able care for both and produce large well provisioned cells.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,379

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I place a body of brood above a strong colony, over an excluder. 10 days later there are no larvae. That box becomes the cell builder and the nurse bees from the queen-right part are shaken into the cell builder. I would never graft into a cell builder that had open brood.

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

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Michael,
    After you harvest the graft do you move that box back into the queenright section and replace it with another brood box for the next graft? I guess my question is how many cycles can you get out of that box just by shaking new nurse bees in on the morning of the graft?

    Keth
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,379

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    The queen-right section is brought back 5 days after graft...the cells are sealed. 5 days later the cells are ready. I harvest the cells, give them to the mating nucs, and then set up the cell builder again by adding another body of brood above the excluder. The first body has now all emerged and the bees are shaken out on the ground in front of the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Thanks Michael. That is how I remember it but wondering why you shake the bees from the emerged box that was above the excluder on the ground. Can't you just put it back into the queenright section and let the queen go nuts on it for another cycle at a later date?
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Using the Harden queenright method, you want brood next to your grafts. Otherwise they may get abandoned above the queen excluder.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Quote Originally Posted by Clay View Post
    How careful must one be when removing the larva from the queenless hive, meaning, will introducing queen grafts still work okay if I overlook a couple eggs / young larva on a frame or two?
    It depends on how you make up the cell builder. If you make it up the day before you put your graphs in, it's very important (don't ask now I know, but I have posted that experience on here). If you make it up 10 days before you add your graphs, all of the eggs will be too old for them to use for queens and they will accept your larva. There are many ways to make cell builders up and the method that you use will determine if open brood can be in with your larva.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I always put open brood next to the queen cells to draw the nurse bees to them...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,379

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I guess it comes down to luring the nurse bees to where they're needed, or puting them there. I prefer to put the nurse bees where I want them, and not rely on a lure.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I start my cell builder in the spring as a double deep. A cpl days before I am ready to graft I move open honey, pollen and 4 or 5 frames of mostly capped brood to the bottom box. I shake the frames of open brood into this box. The queen and everything else goes to a new location.
    This leaves a queenless box packed with bees to be my cell builder/finisher.

    Every Friday I graft and put 45 cells per cell builder. The next Friday, 7 days later I pull the capped cells and put them in an incubator. I then pull out an empty frame where the capped brood has hatched and replace it with another frame of capped brood I pulled from my breeder queen hive. I keep my breeder queens in 10 frame boxes so while I am looking for a frame with the right age larva to graft from I pull a frame of capped brood. This frame often has some open brood. I always place this frame next to where the cell bar frame goes so I can check it the next friday and destroy any rouge queen cells. I also sweep the nurse bees from the frame I am grafting from into the cell builder.

    I currently have 3 cell builders that I have been running like this since the last week of March. With the fresh bees hatching each week plus the ones I sweep from the frames of open brood they do a great job on 45 cells.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    I think we are clearly seeing that different methods can be made to work. I always make a point of having open brood in our cell builders as well, clearly it can be done without but the constant here is to have plenty of young bees and MP clearly has a process for that. The downside to having this open brood, of course, is that you must thoroughly check through each frame (and I do mean thoroughly) for rogue cells.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    We use very strong queen right cell builders. I try to exploit the swarm impulse and emergency impulse simultaneously. A vigorous queen is kept under an excluder in a single shallow or deep until they are packed tight and then we catch the queen and re-isolate her in a new box on the bottom. The freshly laid out box is then set on the top to receive grafts and the box of capped brood(hatching nurse bees) from the last graft is rotated right under the top box. Each unit usually has four boxes total. Our take rates usually vary between 90 and 100% if everything is working properly. If the rates drop below that there is usually is an obvious problem like not enough bees or a virgin. Even heavy feeding will not make up for lack of bees. With a good set up there should be so many festooning bees that the graft frame slot should look completely packed full of bees.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    John,

    Do you rotate the newly laid box to the top and immediately put your graph frame in or do you leave them queenless (above the excluder) for a time? Is the distance (bottom box with queen to top box with graphs) of 4 boxes enough to always make the top box think they are queenless immediately?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    We do both. If it is a good set up it doesn't seem to matter much. If there is a lot of lag time between initial set up its good to knock down any rogue cells started before yours. It seems like if you get them busy building your cells right away they seem to start less rogue cells.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    In my experience with queenright cell building (admittedly limited) I've been led to believe the important factor was that there is no queen pheromone on the cell bars and frame. I haven't had any rogue queen cells. I just made sure that the queen was below and placed what was needed above. 17/18 grafts succeeded and that batch was far better than the queenless batch in every way.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    John,
    Interesting. When you add a new box of drawn comb for the queens next round of laying do you pull off the one that was previously above the excluder? If so where do you put it and it's stores??

    Also, what means do you use for drone escape from above the excluder?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Also, do you make sure there is a pollen frame next to the cell bar frame?
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: removing all young larva before introducing grafts

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    John,
    Interesting. When you add a new box of drawn comb for the queens next round of laying do you pull off the one that was previously above the excluder? If so where do you put it and it's stores??


    Also, what means do you use for drone escape from above the excluder?
    Drones enter and exit via top entrance. The queen is caught and simply placed in the nearly broodless box that was previously above the excluder and rotated down to the bottom position under the excluder. I prefer open brood on each side of the grafts, then maybe a pollen frame or two. Pollen frame right under the grafts is nice also.

    I have been able to keep a cell builder going this way April through August. Occasionally one will have to provide extra stimulation and a frame or two of brood from support hives at certain times of the year.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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