Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    oswego, ny, usa
    Posts
    20

    Default Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    So I tried the cloake board for the first time. Grafted my very first 12 cells and had only 3 accepted. OK for the first time I guess. Once capped I removed the board and made the hive queenrite again. I also put cell protectors on them, thinking it would help especially if the hive knew they had a queen again. I waited until today, which was one day before the new queens should have emerged. My plan was to put each cell into a new nuc and allow the queen to emerge, mate and begin laying, then requeen with her. When I went out today all of the cells were gone completely, even through the cell protectors! What happened?? Part of me thinks I should have not put the protectors on and maybe that is what made them tear down the cells. Although I thought the protectors would "protect" the cells. Another part of me says I needed to move those cells to a nuc when they were capped and not let them "ripen" in that hive....any knowledge you folks can pass along would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Was the queen confined beneath an excluder in the lower box below the cells?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    oswego, ny, usa
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Was the queen confined beneath an excluder in the lower box below the cells?
    Absolutely, 100% positive, saw her myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    I guess before I proceeded any farther I would smoke all the bees from the upper box down through the excluder and see if there is a virgin in there along with your drones. That works really well...dont ask me how I know . If you find one use her as you see fit (perhaps just let the bees filter back up make sure there is some brood and honey and you have got yourself a nice split ), if not try, try again. I really think the cell protectors are unnecessary in this scenario but they shouldn't hurt either.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    This late in the year, you could also just make the cell builder queenless for the full 10 days to QC cut-out-and-plant-in-the-nuc time, but Jim is probably right. My guess is you have a queen up there somehow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Or coumaphos contamination.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Channel - I just re-read your first post, and I may have not caught it the first time, but you said you waited until the day before the queens are supposed to emerge. That is day 15 in what is usually a 16 day cycle. SOME QUEENS EMERGE EARLIER!!! My buddy had one emerge as early as day 14 last year. Next try, cut your queen cells apart on day 10 to day 13, and don't wait so long.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Channel - I just re-read your first post, and I may have not caught it the first time, but you said you waited until the day before the queens are supposed to emerge. That is day 15 in what is usually a 16 day cycle. SOME QUEENS EMERGE EARLIER!!! My buddy had one emerge as early as day 14 last year. Next try, cut your queen cells apart on day 10 to day 13, and don't wait so long.
    I missed that as well but I did suspect it which is why I gave him the advice that I did. I got thinking later that I hope he understood that the frames need to be brushed and or shook off into the box and then smoked down through the excluder to find the virgin. You definitely want to err on the early side when calculating when a virgin might emerge.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Chanell, another thing you mentioned is that you waited to remove the cloak board until the cells were capped. I think the key is to remove the solid partition and replace with QE after the cells gets started to get better fed queens. Just an FYI for future tries.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Jim - you sound olt und schmart!

    Aram - Good suggestion. Most breeders pull the Cloake out at 24 to 36 hours to convert from queenless cell starter to queenright cell finisher, and one guy suggests reducing the number of cells from 48 down to 32 by removing the bottom bar off the queen cell frame (assuming 16 cells to a bar - if you are running a single bar with only 12 cells you're fine) and using it to make up another 2-bar, 32 cell frame to go into a different cell finisher hive. Either way, FEED THEM with thin syrup + HBH, a high quality patty, and a frame of fresh pollen + honey, and make sure the starter is CROWDED and QUEENLESS, and the finisher is above the excluder with the queen below it.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-23-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    oswego, ny, usa
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    OK, re-grafted and checked for queen. If she is there, I surrender because I did smoke down through the excluder and checked and double checked. I did not see a queen. After grafting again I had 6 out of the 12 cells capped. That is up 100% from my last try! If you remember, I only had 3 of the 12 accepted in my first ever try at grafting. So today I checked and the cells were capped, right on schedule. I am feeding the hive and plan on pulling the cells on 8/31. Then I will stick them into freshly made nucs and hope the mating goes well. Wish me luck.....man this is fun!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Did you pull the Cloake board out at 24 hours? I'm guessing you selected 31 August as day 10...right? Sounds like you are getting it right. Those 6 queens work out and you will be smiling! Give them a full two months in a 5-frame nuc, unless you are on a maniacal nectar flow this late, as it really helps acceptance to the big hive. That, or over-winter them with their mating nuc hivemates. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Somethingto remember about rearing queens; The larvae that are grafted are 3-4 days old, that means you are on day 3 of the 14 day queen cycle, not day 1. The queen hatches on day 14 or so, that is only 9-10 days after the cells are grafted. So the cells need to be moved about 7-9 days after they are grafted to assure the queens don't emerge and kill each other. (I think a lot of folks start counting the day they graft as day 1 instead of day 3-4). It is okay to move the cells early if the mating nuc is well provisioned with bees,brood, honey and pollen.

    I've seen too many folks wait too long to move the QCs, then the virgins emerge and kill each other and the nurse bees tear down all the cells (including her's). Sounds like Channel may very well have had a virgin running around in the nuc.

    The whole purpose of the cloake board is to remove it after the QCs are started, before they are capped. There is no purpose for it if it is not removed, we can raise QCs without a cloake board. Teh Cloake board just makes them better.

    Channel's suspicions that the cell protectors may have played a role in the destruction of the cells has a lot of merit. He put them on and knows how much possible damage may have occured during their installation. It only takes a little damage for the bees to tear down a QC.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Maddox's point is good - what exactly is Day 1? When discussing this on Beesource, we usually are referring from egg-lay, and begin with 1 instead of zero. It would be better to use egg lay as Hour Zero, and graft at 80 hours.

    Again, I must have been half asleep when I first read the OP. I can see the problem. In queen rearing, there are two stages going on, starting and finishing.

    Starter colonies will make many queen cells, but rarely finish very many. They must be 1) queenless, 2) crowded, and 3) well-fed. Because they are closed to flight, they should also be ventilated. The trick is to elicit the bee's emergency response to make queen cells. Pull the Cloake Board out in 24 to 36 hours after the queen cell frames went in, preferably 24.

    Finishing colonies must be strong, open to flight, and it helps if they are in a good nectar flow. They tend to do better when they are queenright, but the cells must be protected from mama queen by a queen excluder. THERE MUST NOT BE ANY OTHER QUEEN CELLS in the finisher, only your grafts. Finisher colonies are utilized to elicit the bee's supercedure response. In this scenario, they will not build many cells, but they will take very good care of built queen cells. A 3-deep box colony is recommended, mama queen in the bottom, a queen excluder, 2 deeps above it. Put the queen cell frame in the top box with open brood (and pollen) around it, so some bees will cluster around it.

    You should stop feeding them 6 days after grafting (Day 9 from egg-lay) when the queen cells are capped. DONT TOUCH THEM until the day before cut-and-plant in the mating nucs (9 days after grafting). On that day, pull the queen cell frame up very gently and count the cells. DONT BUMP THE FRAME. Put it back very gently - like you're handling nitroglycerine. Then go make up that many queenless mating nucs.

    The next day, (10 days after grafting, or Day 13 since egg-lay), cut the queen cells out and mount one QC toward the top of the largest, middle brood frame in the mating nuc, but down into the night time cluster.

    The sequence of emergency response, then supercedure response is the trick to get lots of QC's and well-cared-for QC's. Neither system does both very well very often, but that's where the beekeeper and movable frames come in. We want more QC's than mother nature wants to make, so we trick them.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-28-2012 at 08:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    In my mind that first 80 hours or so of a queens development only serve to confuse the issue of how old the queen cell is. I have never heard people in the business of raising queen cells refer to them in any other way but from the date of grafting and then the "day number" refers to their age. Just as we don't refer to a baby as being 1 until her first birthday, neither do we refer to a queen cell as being a one day cell until 24 hours after grafting. I would agree with Kilocharlie to the extent that starting the clock when the egg is layed maybe makes more sense but it is not the lingo as I know it. In any case Maddox spells it out pretty clearly and my advice would only differ from his in that I consider a 10 day old cell as perfect for transferring because it can be handled without fear of injury and can begin hatching as early as 12 hours later. I am still a bit puzzled why the cells were destroyed and no virgin was found though perhaps the cell protector theory may be correct.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Jim is definitely more schmardt than me about common usage here on Beesource. My sentiment about "It would be better..." using egg-lay as Hour Zero is impractical, as we can only control that between a window of hours with a queen laying in isolation. The feeling comes from looking at the life cycle chart of queens, workers, and drones with the days listed vertically. In my own calendars, it is cell builder colony (I use combined starter/finisher with a Cloake Board) preparation that begins first, and that is my Day 1 (I use a 50-day cycle through brood judging). My calendars - one for each graft - use 3 columns for keeping track of the days: a column numbered 1 through 50; a column for calendar date, eg. May 17, 18, 19, ...etc for 50 days; and a "subroutine day" column. In the subroutine day column, the hour I isolate the breeder queen on 3 combs is Hour Zero on Day 0. Sorry If I've caused a lot of confusion, and I don't mean to offend anyone.

    They probably tore down the extra cells because they were queenless too long. Bees made suddenly queenless usually exhibit the emergency response and will make lots of queen cells when given a whole rack of 48, but rarely ever complete that many. By 3 days after grafts are introduced, they often keep on feeding the best ones and tear down the rest.

    Bees grouped up above the excluder for a while on comb that the queen has not been on recently, especially a box away from her (3 ot 4 box tall colony w/ mama queen in the bottom and grafts on top) will likely respond to queen cells with the supercedure response, or possibly the swarm response. They won't build very many cells in this situation, but they take very good care of them, especially if there are lots of young nurse bees crowded and well-fed. They just don't need to be queenless or locked in.

    By using these responses in sequence, we can trick the bees into making more queen cells that nature usually makes, and taking good care of them too, rendering lots of high-quality queens.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-29-2012 at 10:50 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    kilo: Not sure if I am more schmardt or just a creature of habit. Sounds like you have really got it together with your calendar. If its working for you I wouldnt change a thing. I am impressed with a number of your postings on queen raising, best of luck.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Thank you, Jim, and hope your girls pack away a bunch of honey. I'll bet its no cake walk up yonder in Herrick, and best of luck to you and to everyone else here, too. As beekeepers, we make most of our luck, but good old dumb luck doesn't hurt none, either!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    oswego, ny, usa
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    So today was nuc day. All 6 cells still there although they did start building some comb on a couple of them. I was happy. This time around I was on top of feeding them and I did not use any cell protectors. All is good, I just finished making my nucs and sticking the cells in. I also took a picture of one of the cells. They built comb around this one so I'm not sure if they started to destroy it themselves or if a queen hatched early. I'm using the queen rearing calendar to go by from beeyard.org ( http://www.thebeeyard.org/queen-rearing-calendar/ ). Based on the graft day they shouldn't even hatch until 9/3. I did not see a queen so I said the heck with it for this year. I pulled the excluder and returned the hive to a "normal" configuration. I guess if she did hatch early she will fight with my existing queen and see who wins. Either way my plan is to requeen that hive with one of the nucs anyway. It has been fun experimenting with my first grafting go-around. I thank you guys for all the insight you have given. Lemme know what you think of the picture....

    SDC13843.jpg
    Last edited by channel12001; 08-31-2012 at 02:05 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Jasper, Texas, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Cloake board question....all cells tore down

    Nice stuff here, I hope it goes well. Many beekeepers like to put in the cells closer to the hatch day. Many wait until the morning the cells hatch before planting them in nucs. Many others plant them the day before they hatch. But if this worked for you, no need to change.

    Don't push it too far. I'm not entirely sure the dates on that link work perfectly. If You graft on the first of the month you need to assume the cells will start hatching sometime on the 12. Weather, temps and humidity, will affect hatch times, hot=faster, cold=slower.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads