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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    425

    Default OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    OK, last Sunday I pulled a queen from a strong hive, and notched 4 frames using the OTS method. The areas I notched had eggs, maybe a few larva in them. Soooo.. When is the best time to pull this four frames and transfer to mating nucs? 7 days would be convenient for me (this upcoming Sunday), and Monday probably won't work. Is it OK to transfer queen cells to a mating nuc before they are capped? Would I be better off to wait until Tuesday? All input gladly accepted

    Thanks much
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,137

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    Capricorn, I can tell you that it is better to make the splits up just couple of days before emergence. However, what is best does not always fit with your life. I would wait until the cells are sealed before splitting.
    However, there is nothing to stop you inspecting and organizing on Sunday. I would mark the frames that have the best cells on, and make sure you have enough boxes ready. Then when you split on Tuesday it will go quicker.
    I have made OTS splits several times, and I have found two things. Even though the splits appear small they will swarm if there is more than one cell in the split - so when you check on Sunday before they are sealed - you could destroy all but the best cell on each frame. Choose the largest cell with the most royal jelly in it.
    Secondly, be prepared that despite notching there will be some cells that look better than the cells you notched. If this is the case, trust in the bees, and let the best cell live no matter whether it is one you started or one they choose.
    Good luck, and be gentle with the frames, those queens-to-be don't need shaking or banging.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    Capricorn keep us posted.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    So I went through my colonies today. A good sunny Sunday I was a bit surprised to see that all but two of the queen cells I found were capped. I went ahead and stocked my queen castle (4 2-framers in a 10 frame deep). I had notched 4 frames, 2 from 2 different hives. One frame ended up with 0 queen cells. I could only find 1 cell (uncapped) anywhere else in the hive. I cut a cell from the right genetics to place in with the frame that had 0 cell. I dropped a cell. Will that pretty much kill it at this point? I cut a cell and placed it in the parent colony that is currently queenless. I then went through my castle, and selected the best looking cell in each compartment, and destroyed the rest. Now I just get to wait I learned to make sure I don't notch in the same place on both side of the frame. Makes cutting out a challenge... I was pleased to see that I think I'll end up with a surplus of 50 lbs of honey or so between my 3 quasi-production hives :P All in all a good day, and I look forward to checking on their progress
    Last edited by Capricorn; 07-09-2012 at 10:05 AM.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    Hey capricorn,
    Check my post-- I split on June 24th please advise.
    In there about half way through the posts you will see one from Solomon Parker. He has an excel spreadsheet attached. It is a Queen calender with the stages noted and tidbits of info for that stage. Download it and put in your graft or split date and the rest is done for you. It will tell you which day to move them, etc...My queens hatched this past thurs and fri. Im stoked!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    Enter your dates in this calender. I then use the GRAFT LARVA day as the day I notched the frames.

    http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalen...y=20&year=2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: OTS Queen Rearing Timeline Question

    An update:

    I went through my queen castle and checked some other colonies, including the one I took the queen from. In the queen castle I found 1 laying queen. The 2 starts from the second queen were just packed with honey and some pollen, and the two starts from the first queen both had 1 frame left empty for laying, one frame full of honey and pollen. The colony I pulled the queen from has eggs, so I'm all good there. The cell I left in that colony had the ragged cap from emerging, and a big hole chewed through the side. Kinda funny.. The cell that I had dropped was opened like it had emerged, but failed to come back mated. The genetics of the mated queens are from the original colony I pulled the queen from. I wish it had been 1:1 if only two were going to return, but oh well. These genetics were great for me this year.

    My plan at this point is to just combine all 8 frames from the queen castle into a single deep, and over winter in that. They should already have plenty of stores. This will leave me 6 or 7 colonies for winter. 2 in a deep and a medium, 1 in 2 mediums, 1 or 2 in 5 frame nucs, 1 in a single deep and 1 in a 2 story 5-frame deep nuc. (I have a 5 frame nuc I left as a trap several miles away that I haven't had a chance to pick up yet.) I'm still on track to pull about 50 lbs of honey here in a week or two. I started this spring with a single colony. Cheers to the bees and to the up coming winter, this season has been fun!
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

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