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  1. #1
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    Default What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Are there any major negative effects in regards to rearing queens by the cell punch method. I am not referring to how quick you can produce each queen, I am referring to queen quality, cell starting non-acceptance, and so forth.

    Also, will the bees accept a punched cell fastened directly to a cell bar or do you need to place the punched cell in a cup of some sort? I have seen different pictures and such making me wonder what is the most ideal way to fasten punched cells. I have seen small brass or copper rings used in one method for each cell. I am wondering if you could simply use a 3/8 in copper tube cutting as many rings as you wish to what ever length you want then take your cell bar and drill holes into it for the rings/tubes to be pushed into. When the cells are finished you should be able to twist them out. Maybe they would not accept cells in copper or brass rings. Yet I have seen pics of cell cup plugs or whatever you want to call them in wood and bamboo strips which are not wax but at least natural. Here are a couple links to some of the pictures I speak of.
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/cellpunch.html
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/roger_punch_frame.html
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/cellprotectors.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    3/8 tube might be just a tad small. Copper likely is biocidal so might not be good for the permanent cup. I think I have seen pics of the cell plug waxed directly onto a bar and saw one system that squished the offside end of the plug down and waxed it into a cell cup adapter. Could be home dipped or the premade plastic ones. A ring of shell casing from a .45 ACP would make a nice thin cutter and I have eyeballed it to be just the right size. Rifle casings are a fair bit thicker but would do. It probably would make things easier for moving cells to have a base that could be easily removed from the cell holder frame.

    Next summers project for me too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Denison, Texas
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    518

    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Mine will be the cut-cell, waxed into Kelley's wooden cell plugs. My next summer project also.
    I run TBHs, so it's easy to get material to make cells from. I'll just take a small, freshly built
    little comb and stick it up into the broodnest. The queen will get on it pretty quick and lay
    it up. I did that this year when I thought a hive was queenless. I took a small empty comb,
    put it into the broodnest. Then I moved that comb over to the suspected queenless hive.
    This gave them eggs and small brood to make a queen from. It turns out that they had
    a queen that just hadn't come online yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
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    102

    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    I have tried the cell punch method a couple of times. The punch must be sharp to cut through the comb. If it doesn't cut, then the cell walls tend to get mangled.

    That being said, I still find it a lot easier to simply use a sharp knife/razor and cut the cells out in a square instead of using the punch. My cuts are cleaner and the number of surrounding cells that are destroyed is the same as the punch. It is easier for me.

    As far as attaching them directly to a bar or putting them in cups, the point of the cell punch was to elimiinate the cups. The bees don't care if they are in cups or sitting on a comb or attached to a bar - they just want to start Queen cells.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    So the only reason to put the cells in cups or something would be so you can remove the cell without damaging it when you pull it off and to have something to mash into come when you introduce the cell?

  6. #6
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    Jun 2011
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    Denison, Texas
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    So the only reason to put the cells in cups or something would be so you can remove the cell without damaging it when you pull it off and to have something to mash into come when you introduce the cell?
    That's what I was thinking with the wooden plugs. The "french bee farm" uses square cut pieces of wood to wax the cell to.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    interesting website. I like the square plugs and dont see any reason not to put cells directly on them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
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    102

    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    I like the Cushman site's adaptation to the plug method. It still means I have to make more equipment and then store it all year, and then remember where I stored it (LOL).

    I prefer using the OTS method of Mel Disselkoen. link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIYz65Vquxg
    It is very simple, takes no extra equipment, I don't have to build something.

    I just notch the cells, the bees make perfect queen cells. When they are ready to move (about 7 days after notching(same as grafting)), I simply cut out a square plug of comb around the queen cell, carry it to the frame I wish to insert it into, cut the same sized square plug out of the receiving frame, and stick the plug with the queen cell into it. After 2 days, the bees fix it so well that I can't see where the plug was inserted. So very simple.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2011
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    Denison, Texas
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    518

    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    I tried making some of the square plugs on my table saw. Had to go find some of them across the room.
    Need safety glasses or face shield when making them like that. LOL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,273

    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    WI-beek asks... "I am referring to queen quality, cell starting non-acceptance, and so forth."

    I think there will be no difference in queen quality compared to grafting or other methods. The queen quality will come from the conditions of the cell builder that is feeding and raising the cells.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    I think you are probably right Ray, I was hoping for some one with side by side experience to fill in on the subject. I read somewhere on the internet about a guy (maybe 60-100 years ago) who had the plug method down to doing hundreds an hour maybe thousands a day. He had a pipe that he pushed over the cell then blew it out with his mouth, dip in wax, stick to bar, punch, blow, and so forth. I have not been able to find it since. He stated he could produce so many so fast that he never had the need for grafting and used it for many years. Maybe my memory is foggy, I just wish I could find this info again. Seems like a perfect option to grafting larva, could be done right in the yard and so on. I just wonder why it has never gained much popularity. Normal grafting requires making cell cups or buying them among other things. If you can just punch a cell and fuse it to something you can just pop off a cell building strip then why has it not taken popularity? Not complicated enough?

    As far as making the blocks I would use a chop saw, not a table saw. I have tons of strips laying around to be chopped up.

    I question the queen quality with Mel's method. Maybe ok for making a few queens for personal use but not for production in any sense. If all you want is nice emergency cells or supercedure cells, take all your open brood and put it in a box on top of hive, queen in bottom with capped brood with an excluder, honey box between queen and open larva and you will get plenty beautiful queen cells to cut out. There is plenty of reading on this. I did it on mistake this season putting a medium between two brood boxes hoping for the bees to expand instead of continuing to crowd and the queen did not cross the medium. Top box was full of nice cells a week later. Thats simple queen rearing.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    .... It probably would make things easier for moving cells to have a base that could be easily removed from the cell holder frame.
    Crofter - Like, perhaps, a golf tee? You might really be onto a good system here.

    Ray - You are right about conditions and handling being important, but several veterans have said Cut-Cell (Henry Alley / Jay smith) and cell punch methods tend to produce larger average queens and better % mated. BTW, there is a great comparison of studies involving instrumentally inseminated queens vs naturally mated queens on Susan Cobey's website, www.honeybee.breeding.com Click on the second tab, "about I.I.", read the article, then click on the left side of the last line in the article to get a 21-page comparison of studies. Lots of good info regarding queen rearing conditions in there.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 09-02-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  13. #13
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    Horton,Alabama,USA
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    If you use new comb and slightly heat your punch you will not have any issues with getting perfect cells every time. I think you could take some hot wax and place them directly to cell bars. i use dowel pins cut into 1'' pieces that is just for my own purposes. The way I do it is I punch my cell out then I take a torch and just barely heat the back side of the punched out cell then I stick it on my dowel pin.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    WB....
    I read that article also about the cell punch "blow gun," but I think it was in one of the journals.....wasn't the guy selling it?

    Larry

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Steven O. - I suggest a smooth, parallel block mounted to your ripping gate that stops within a 1/32" before or after you saw blade starts. Stock to be chopped off indexes against the parallel block and is pushed with a push-block. Cut-off pieces come free of the end of the parallel block as they are being cut. Without side pressure from the ripping gate, the cut ends and the pieces just stay there or move a little bit. Its a much safer setup, perhaps safer than the chop saw.

    WI-beek - if you do find that site with the info from 60 - 100 years ago, please do post it. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Jun 2011
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    Denison, Texas
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Thanks, Kilocharlie.
    Don't really understand. Trying to form a mental picture. But thanks. That's why I build my hives with just
    alot of cross cuts and ripping. Also just thinking about going to Hobby Lobby(craft store) and get some little 3/4" wafers that they have in their wood bits section. Save the shipping from Kelley's for the wooden cell plugs.
    With the cut-cell method, I'll only need something to help when pressing them into the combs.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    OK - here's a "picture"...hold your hand palm down, fingers extended. Now bend your index finger at the knuckle. The lower part of the index finger that you see (from above, looking at the back of your hand) is the shorter parallel block. The longer middle finger (no sign language intended) represents the ripping fence.

    Put the workpiece stock to be cross-cut in the push-block, slide it against the "index finger" parallel block (at 90 degrees to the parallel block and ripping fence). Push the stock into the blade and chop off the small part. As the push-block moves the cross-cut stock off the "index finger", the blade cuts the part, but it doesn't go flying. It only moves a little bit because it doesn't parallelogram against the moving blade and the ripping fence. It is the thickness of the parallel block away from the fence, as it ran out of parallel block length about the time it entered the blade.

    I hope this helps...if not I'll try to get a pic posted.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 09-03-2012 at 08:25 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Thanks, I think I understand now.

  19. #19
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Bandsaw.

    Better yet, JZsBZs push-in queen cell cups and JZsBZs cell bars (they hold 15 cell cups), then you can put your punched cells into these cell cups, later, when they're nicely grown into queen cells, just snap the cells, cup and all, off of the cell bar and either hang them between top bars or push them gently into the surface of comb.

    =============
    Cons: all the many details listed in this thread. I just use the JZsBZs cups and cell bars. No punching or wood cutting, etc.

    * Snap a batch of cells into the bar(s), then quickly pluck larvae from their cells and drop into the cups, then put the cups/bars into the cell builder - done.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 09-04-2012 at 05:15 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What are the cons of cell punch queen rearing?

    Joeseph - Great suggestion, why risk fingers and eyeballs making little pieces? I'm using golf tees next try, myself. I've already made a QC frame for them.

    Come to think of it, I should go make a few more...2 for Cell Punch, 2 for grafting, 2 for Cut-Cell, ...etc.

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