Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing colonies..
Im going to try my hand at grafting this spring just to broaden my beekeeping horizons!! I have been thumbing through lots of queenrearing ideas and concepts on here and youtube, but need some more input from those who are in the know!!
Grafting: I have a good grasp at the size of the larvae to graft after seeing it for my own eyes over the last couple years of watching larva growth.
Grafting tool: Lots of different opinions and just as many tools to choose from. I am thinking of trying the 000 paintbrush method first to see how that works!!
Cell cups: I am going to use the JZBZ cups as they seem very easy and practical. Does color really matter?
Ok, now here are the questions!!
Starter Hive: I will make up a 5 deep frame nuc of young nurse bees and emerging/open brood, a packed nuc at that! After two days your suppose to move it to a queenrite hive, possibly above and excluder or cloak board? My question is why would it not work to let the starter finish the cells??
Finisher colony: When using a queenrite colony to finish the cells, what is the best way to make sure the queen doesnt get up into the QC frame and destroy cells? Also maybe the bees themselves from destroying the cells? I have read to make sure your feeding 1:1 SS to your colony to make them think a flow is on and all.
Ive seen Lauri's incubator with cells hatching and would also like to experiment with this as I love listening to the piping!! But that will come after I do some successful grafts and have time to mess with that!
So, if you could, please explain what you queen rearers with HANDS ON EXPERIENCE do from day 1, start to finish!! Perhaps describe in detail the amount of bees in the starter, how and what to do to transfer to a finisher, and then i believe its day 12 that they get put into a 24 hour queenless nuc or hive?
Oh ya, when a cell is put into a QL nuc and a virgin hatches, will her or the house bees tear down any cells they start? Or is that up to the beekeeper to check and make sure that a rogue cell doesnt go the distance?
Thank you for all and any help!! And if you have pictures of what you do, that would be awesome also!!
Coyote Creek Bees