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  1. #1
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    I just finished my first graft on 7/5 and built a customized excluder for a TBH finisher hive that is queenright. I placed the excluder closer to the back brood nest, closer to the honey end, along with some open brood, the cell bar and nectar, leaving the queen with mainly capped brood combs. In my haste, I forgot to put pollen near the cells, which number only 3. I am assuming the nurse bees will find pollen where they need to and continue feeding the cells, but how crucial is it that the pollen be within easy reach of the cells?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    417

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    It's a golden rule.
    Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    I understand it's optimal, I just wonder how crucial it is, given bees if left to their own devices will build cells throughout a hive and not necessarily where it is most convenient to get to stores. Perhaps that is my interpretation of their cell building, though. Would it be too late to add the pollen now? Would there be any benefit? Again, graft was done on 7/5, moved to finisher 7/6.

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    417

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Queens carry on eating the royal jelly stored in the cells once its capped, so there must be more than enough for proper development and this must be stored before the cell is capped. There is still time to increase this stored royal jelly. To produce royal jelly the nurse bees need a lot of pollen and since they don't move pollen it needs to be placed next to the queen cells. It's late but not too late. With just three cells who can say if it will definitely make a difference but you want the best queens you can rear so to me its worth doing and as soon as possible.
    Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Thanks Stephen. It was one of those "duh" revelations I had today after thinking about it. Complete oversight. Going to go grab some pollen.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    815

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    If it is any consolation, I do not move pollen frames in my finishers. I use three story queen right finishers. The boxes are 5 frame boxes, so three story nucs. I do put young open brood on either side of the cells in the top box and can rotate cells through them every 4-5 days depending on how long they are left in the starter.

    Once the cells are sealed, the larva/pre-pupa only feeds a little longer until it spins its cocoon.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  7. #7
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    If it is any consolation, I do not move pollen frames in my finishers. I use three story queen right finishers. The boxes are 5 frame boxes, so three story nucs. I do put young open brood on either side of the cells in the top box and can rotate cells through them every 4-5 days depending on how long they are left in the starter.

    Once the cells are sealed, the larva/pre-pupa only feeds a little longer until it spins its cocoon.
    Thanks for that. I did move pollen to the cells, which appeared in great shape, each with a generous pool of jelly available by my estimation. This is not surprising however considering they are the only 3 cells on a full size TBH with lots of young bees. Exciting stuff. In the past, I have always used emergency or swarm cells, so I suppose for a first attempt to see any success was a good attempt. I think these cells will make some fine queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    520

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    I don't think you have to worry about 3 cells getting fed, especially if there is any kind of flow as long as they are strategically placed. I've had strong mating nucs knock off the queen cell given them and make 8 or 9 nice cells on their own. I don't think they were strapped for resources or there would have been a lessor effort. The serious queen producers are producing large numbers in one go. They need to take the trouble of a starter and a strong finisher and making sure it is well provisioned.

    I've recently done a 5 frame nuc starter/finisher with lots of bees using a cut cells. They started about 30 cells that I reduced to about 15. Some of the bees used were on open brood so were primed for action. They turned out quite nice with good returns. They also had a decent cohort of foragers as it started out as a failed mating nuc.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I don't think you have to worry about 3 cells getting fed, especially if there is any kind of flow as long as they are strategically placed. I've had strong mating nucs knock off the queen cell given them and make 8 or 9 nice cells on their own. I don't think they were strapped for resources or there would have been a lessor effort. The serious queen producers are producing large numbers in one go. They need to take the trouble of a starter and a strong finisher and making sure it is well provisioned.

    I've recently done a 5 frame nuc starter/finisher with lots of bees using a cut cells. They started about 30 cells that I reduced to about 15. Some of the bees used were on open brood so were primed for action. They turned out quite nice with good returns. They also had a decent cohort of foragers as it started out as a failed mating nuc.
    I may try a starter/finisher next year come spring, but don't really have the resources available to keep one going at the moment as we are in a bit of a dearth. I essentially robbed a strong hive for my starter, fed them 1:1 along with pollen, nectar, emerging brood and after 24 hrs. gave them the combs back along with the bees and cells. I am making these queens for someone else, but might keep one for myself. 15 cells on a 5 frame seems to me an excellent return for the investment. How much of a difference do you think the foragers made? How boiling over with bees was it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    5,164

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    In my recent post about the grafted cells experiment on the pollen frames, there
    is a huge difference on the cell's development that turn out to be great queens
    in the future. You can read it up on the queen forum here.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    520

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    I may try a starter/finisher next year come spring, but don't really have the resources available to keep one going at the moment as we are in a bit of a dearth. I essentially robbed a strong hive for my starter, fed them 1:1 along with pollen, nectar, emerging brood and after 24 hrs. gave them the combs back along with the bees and cells. I am making these queens for someone else, but might keep one for myself. 15 cells on a 5 frame seems to me an excellent return for the investment. How much of a difference do you think the foragers made? How boiling over with bees was it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nordak View Post
    I may try a starter/finisher next year come spring, but don't really have the resources available to keep one going at the moment as we are in a bit of a dearth. I essentially robbed a strong hive for my starter, fed them 1:1 along with pollen, nectar, emerging brood and after 24 hrs. gave them the combs back along with the bees and cells. I am making these queens for someone else, but might keep one for myself. 15 cells on a 5 frame seems to me an excellent return for the investment. How much of a difference do you think the foragers made? How boiling over with bees was it?
    So far I haven't kept them going. I will often recycle the bees from failed mating nucs (made from 2 medium frames of bees and brood) and supplement. So its almost never the same from time to time. I will split up the nuc that is making the queens and let the 2 halves each get a queen mated. In this last case I stocked a failed nuc with bees and brood and a couple of frames of food making it a 10 framer 2 story nuc One of the frames of brood was open brood. On the day I gave them cut cells to make queens, I took condensed them into one box leaving one frame of capped brood 2 frames of food, 1 empty space for them to make comb, and one slot for the cells. It was very well populated, but not insanely so. But they had nothing to look after except for those cells which they jumped on immediately. After a couple of days with the cells started, I gave them another box with bee and brood and empty frames. This just because a 5 frame box with lots of bees may overheat in our weather. I had lots of comb production to the point I had look carefully to discern where the cells were, which to me is an indication that the hive is well fed, hence the importance of foragers in a flow.

    Now in my latest attempt, I had very good returns for the queens and didn't have lots of resources to make one up, just a couple frames of bees and brood. So I went and gathered brood and bees from an outyard including the frames I was going to cut cells from. Into a box with a frame of capped brood, 3 frames of food, I shook all the bees off the brood and gave the brood to my home hives after cutting my cells. I put that 5 framer on top of a hive with a top entrance (well I put a snelgrove board on so I could give the big hive and alternative way out) and diverted the big hives foragers to this setup. Completely packed with bees. After a day I checked them. Clearly on the cells but so many bees that I couldn't tell how many. I then expanded them into 2 frame boxes, giving them some empty space to make some comb and for thermoregulation. When the cells are capped I'll move the starter/finisher giving the big hive its foragers back. My biggest worry, so many bees that gravity rips my cut cells off the strips they are waxed to.

    Last year was my first attempt to raise some queens. I wasted time and resources early in the season with too big of setups. The density wasn't high enough and not so many cells started and not so high quality. By thinking small, I'm having much better success. Also always having a place for bees to go after a process. Everything gets recycled back into the apiary.

    Still lots to learn

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
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    151

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    So far I haven't kept them going. I will often recycle the bees from failed mating nucs (made from 2 medium frames of bees and brood) and supplement. So its almost never the same from time to time. I will split up the nuc that is making the queens and let the 2 halves each get a queen mated. In this last case I stocked a failed nuc with bees and brood and a couple of frames of food making it a 10 framer 2 story nuc One of the frames of brood was open brood. On the day I gave them cut cells to make queens, I took condensed them into one box leaving one frame of capped brood 2 frames of food, 1 empty space for them to make comb, and one slot for the cells. It was very well populated, but not insanely so. But they had nothing to look after except for those cells which they jumped on immediately. After a couple of days with the cells started, I gave them another box with bee and brood and empty frames. This just because a 5 frame box with lots of bees may overheat in our weather. I had lots of comb production to the point I had look carefully to discern where the cells were, which to me is an indication that the hive is well fed, hence the importance of foragers in a flow.

    Now in my latest attempt, I had very good returns for the queens and didn't have lots of resources to make one up, just a couple frames of bees and brood. So I went and gathered brood and bees from an outyard including the frames I was going to cut cells from. Into a box with a frame of capped brood, 3 frames of food, I shook all the bees off the brood and gave the brood to my home hives after cutting my cells. I put that 5 framer on top of a hive with a top entrance (well I put a snelgrove board on so I could give the big hive and alternative way out) and diverted the big hives foragers to this setup. Completely packed with bees. After a day I checked them. Clearly on the cells but so many bees that I couldn't tell how many. I then expanded them into 2 frame boxes, giving them some empty space to make some comb and for thermoregulation. When the cells are capped I'll move the starter/finisher giving the big hive its foragers back. My biggest worry, so many bees that gravity rips my cut cells off the strips they are waxed to.

    Last year was my first attempt to raise some queens. I wasted time and resources early in the season with too big of setups. The density wasn't high enough and not so many cells started and not so high quality. By thinking small, I'm having much better success. Also always having a place for bees to go after a process. Everything gets recycled back into the apiary.

    Still lots to learn
    Thank you for the detail. Sounds like you have done quite well this year, and your methods make sense.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    151

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    In my recent post about the grafted cells experiment on the pollen frames, there
    is a huge difference on the cell's development that turn out to be great queens
    in the future. You can read it up on the queen forum here.
    Will give it a read. Thanks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,164

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    I use the plastic cups rather than the cut cells method.
    This way it is easier to remove the cells into their mating nucs.
    And since these cells are transplanted right into the comb the bees
    will regulate and attached the cells to the frame comb so that they will not be rip off.
    Another advantage of not using the cell bar to grow these cells. Tomorrow should be the
    day to check on these cells on the pollen frame. By then they should all be cap if the bee schedule is right.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
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    151

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I use the plastic cups rather than the cut cells method.
    This way it is easier to remove the cells into their mating nucs.
    And since these cells are transplanted right into the comb the bees
    will regulate and attached the cells to the frame comb so that they will not be rip off.
    Another advantage of not using the cell bar to grow these cells. Tomorrow should be the
    day to check on these cells on the pollen frame. By then they should all be cap if the bee schedule is right.
    That's what my math is telling me as well. I should move them to mating nucs on 7/14, correct?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    520

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    The second day after grafting I had a look at my latest attempt. Alas some of the strips fell off. However, I have managed to get 4 queen cells on the top bar (where I lost most of strips) some doubles. and 11 queens on the bottom bar some doubles. I culled some leaving about 20. I will put some double queen cells in some of the mating nucs. Nice form of back up.

    I think next year I will modify the queen cup frame so that the mass of bees can hang off of the empty bar, fill that in with comb without affecting the cells. This might be my last queen rearing attempt this year depending on the mating success and quality of queens in process.

  17. #17
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    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    151

    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    The second day after grafting I had a look at my latest attempt. Alas some of the strips fell off. However, I have managed to get 4 queen cells on the top bar (where I lost most of strips) some doubles. and 11 queens on the bottom bar some doubles. I culled some leaving about 20. I will put some double queen cells in some of the mating nucs. Nice form of back up.

    I think next year I will modify the queen cup frame so that the mass of bees can hang off of the empty bar, fill that in with comb without affecting the cells. This might be my last queen rearing attempt this year depending on the mating success and quality of queens in process.
    I also used plastic cups like beepro, cheap transparent green ones, a thousand of them for like 5 bucks. I waxed them to the bar (3/4") and the bees attached further with wax. Pretty solid. This was basically a test to see if I could graft. Out of 6 cups, trying to use the youngest of larvae, I got 1 of 6 to take. The day I checked for acceptance, decided to try again on slightly older larvae, so quickly placed two in cups on the same bar with the accepted cell. Next day, both had been accepted. I need to work on my grafting skills, but all appear to be developing at approximately the same rate. Will pull them 10 days from the first graft and place into nucs. Do you think that's a safe bet?

  18. #18
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    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Just check your bee math. I'm no expert and have been struggling with mating success myself (getting better). But generally, from what I've read, a cell is least sensitive during and immediately after capping, or 1 or 2 days before she emerges. That middle period is to be avoided. 10 days after grafting from my finger counting puts them in that vulnerable period. I think its generally preferable to wait 1 or 2 days before emerging as mating nucs just kinda sit there until the queen emerges. So you are gathering resources a week early from other hives, when they can be more efficiently used in parent colonies. Whenever you end up placing, treat that queen cell gently.

    I've been doing my countdowns from capping times as I don't have perfect info on larva age.

  19. #19
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    Just check your bee math. I'm no expert and have been struggling with mating success myself (getting better). But generally, from what I've read, a cell is least sensitive during and immediately after capping, or 1 or 2 days before she emerges. That middle period is to be avoided. 10 days after grafting from my finger counting puts them in that vulnerable period. I think its generally preferable to wait 1 or 2 days before emerging as mating nucs just kinda sit there until the queen emerges. So you are gathering resources a week early from other hives, when they can be more efficiently used in parent colonies. Whenever you end up placing, treat that queen cell gently.

    I've been doing my countdowns from capping times as I don't have perfect info on larva age.
    Thanks again, lharder. I'll check to see if they're capped tomorrow, maybe get some pics. I will treat them like my first born when I move them. I have some cell protectors, so I think this will help when embedding in the comb. I am already looking forward to Spring, as I think these might be the first and last I try this year. Don't really want to expend the resources this time of year.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Proximity of Resources in Finisher

    Any extra comb attached to the cell is very useful to get things attached. When I cut cells I give myself lots to work with. You could even use a tooth pick to help embed it. I shoulda used that trick to get cells in the heart of the brood comb when things were colder earlier this spring. Would have had better success. This time of year its warmer, so am having good success with cells placed between 2 top bars.

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