Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 53
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default 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!!

    Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,122

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Hi Jason, From people I've seen graft the red chinese tool seems to be the most popular. The JZ cups that go into a groove bar are nice to use. Some breeders choose different colors for different types of bees they are raising. Before, & After grafting cover the frame with a damp towel while carrying to & from the hive.

    The stronger you're starter colony the better luck you'll have. You can let that hive keep going all the way to finish unless you intend to use it several rounds in a row. I have a little extra stuff here if you just want to experiment.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Thanks Dan! I think I am going to place an order for some queen rearing stuff from ML, never have to much stuff in the old bee box can we!

    Take care bud and here's to the New Year!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,052

    Thumbs Up Subscribed

    My goals are much the same as yours for this Spring Beeghost.

    I've arranged to spend a couple days with a super experienced beekeeper near Navasota, TX. ML is sending (as we speak) the no frill basics for the cell frame (bases, rollers, feeders, etc.) I will need. I ordered Chinese & JZBZ grafting tools.

    With two Shamrock S queen rearing NUC boxes and a few boxes I made this past Fall, I should have a max capacity of a dozen or so laying queens. I want to make some splits this Spring using my own queens and eventually sell some five frame NUCs. Have to confess being strongly influenced most by Oldtimer's & Lauri's posts.

    I'd like to integrate a breeder hive like Oldtimer uses.
    26breederhivefromunderneath.jpg
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Subscribed

    Right on Lee! Good luck with your queen rearing and keep us posted! I'm about a month or so away from giving it a try!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Subscribed

    try checking these vids out for good queen rearing info there not great quality but the info in them sure is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1RQfwjzuOI , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd4dz4cc7WA , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GigCZsTTEQg

    copy and paste them into your url if they dont go live.

    Clay

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Subscribed

    Hi Jason, this spring will be my 4th year raising queens. I subscribe to the KISS method of queen rearing, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID, since I have a lot of other things to do besides bees. I use the JZBZ pin cell cups. The smokey is easiest to see in the bottom so makes grafting easier. As you get more comfortable get all colors so you can use different colors to designate different breeder queens.

    I tried a lot of different grafting tools and prefer the chinese tool. But you will need to get several to find one you like. Most are too stiff and it takes several to find one just right. No need to prime the cells since the chinese tool takes the bed of royal jelly the larva is laying in and moves it to the cell cup.

    Buy the JZBZ cell bars to go with the pin cups. They work so much better than the wooden ones. With the wooden ones the cups will be falling off when you turn the cell bars upside down to place it in the cell builder.

    I feel the starter finisher is too much trouble for anybody but the large queen producers. I used the Cloake Board a cpl years and it allows you to have a queenless starter and a queen right finisher.

    This year I used a queenless cell builder. I took a strong double deep and split the two boxes. In the original location I put 5 frames of honey and pollen, 4 frames of brood and shook most of the young bees off the other brood frames into it. That leaves 1 spot open for the cell bar frame. It always goes in the #4 slot working left to right. Honey goes in slot 1 and 2, pollen in 3, brood in 5 6 7 and 8, then honey in 9 and 10. Move the queen and whats left to a new location. Do this the day before you plan to graft.

    I graft one day per week every week, always on Friday. The next Friday I pull the frame of capped queen cells out and place them in an incubator. I check all fames and destroy any rogue queen cells. I pull a frame of capped brood out of another hive and place it in position 5 just to the right of the slot for the cell bar. Remove an empty fame where thebrood from the previous week has hatched. Do this every week and it gives you a contiuous supply of young nurse bees for cell building. If the hive is not booming with bees add two frames for a cpl weeks. When I find the frame with the right aged larva to graft from i brush these bees off in the cell builder also since they are mostly young nurse bees. After the first week you only have to check the new frames of brood you moved in the previous week for rouge queen cells.

    I ran 3 cell builders for 15 weeks this way this spring and they worked like a charm. Except for the week a rouge queen ended up in one and I had 0 cells in that one the next friday. Make sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    The cells that go in the incubator on Friday go in mating nucs on Monday afternoon or early Tuesday morning. They will start emerging Tuesday afternoon. I pull queens on Monday morning to make room for the cells going in that afternoon.

    As you can see once the schedule is set there is no turning back. If the weatherman is calling for rain on Monday morning you better be pulling queens on Sunday so you will have a place to put the cells that are in the incubator. They are going to emerge on Tuesday afternoon whether you are ready or not.Get a big beach umbrella and someone to hold it, At some point you will probably need it.

    I know I rambled on a bit, If you are totally confused now welcome to queen rearing.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,330

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Johny: Perhaps after your initial grafting (and check for rogue cells) you should wait and add your brood boost the day after inserting your grafts. This might lessen the possibility of rogue cells. We work on a 5 to 6 day rotation in queen right starter/finishers and find it works very well.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Hi Jim, it might help a little but that would be another day that you have to open up the hive and do something. I have other things to be doing.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,330

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    We always do a quick 24 or 48 hour assessment of our grafts just to be sure we know what's in the "pipeline". It is also the time we check for rogue cells and move brood as needed. At the very least it is a 5 10 second "quick check" on up to a 5 minute plus brood rotation and rogue cell check. We also might elect at that time to move grafts into finishers or do some redistribution of cells to make sure we are fully utilizing the bee power we have available. Nothing wrong with Johny's program at all sounds like he has developed a good system that is compatible with his time restraints.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    >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!!

    I prefer the Chinese grafting tools. I've tried pretty much all of them.

    >Cell cups: I am going to use the JZBZ cups as they seem very easy and practical. Does color really matter?

    Color does not matter.

    >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??

    If you let them free fly, it works fine but they burn out and the second batch of cells will be less and the third batch probably isn't worth the effort. If you combine them back you get their morale back up, but you also risk them tearing down the cells. It's a trade off.

    >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?

    An excluder and some distance is best. If you have the excluder over the bottom box which contains the queen and another box and then the box with the cells it is usually sufficient in a strong hive.

    > Also maybe the bees themselves from destroying the cells?

    The distance will keep queen pheromones from being too strong.

    > I have read to make sure your feeding 1:1 SS to your colony to make them think a flow is on and all.

    Everything works better in a flow...

    >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?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm

    >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?

    How sure do you want to be? I don't worry about it in a mating nuc, but if you need more certainty of the genetics, then check.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    I rarely graft so don't have a need to have a grafting needle on hand.... when I need it I would never be able to find it. So in looking for alternatives I have found that a fine tip artists paint brush works well.... One of quality in about 000 size.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,330

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    I would go out on a limb and say the Chinese grafting tool is the most popular in the industry. They are cheap and we have had them last for over 10,000 grafts. They are a bit finicky though. The next one you grab may just never seem to work right. Keeping them moist is important. Saliva works best particularly if you are sipping on some good ole down south Community coffee.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Jims right about the chinese grafting tool. Hard to find one you like but when you do they last a long time. It sounds kinda gross but I lick mine off between every cell.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,330

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    It's what makes everyone's queens unique.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Jims right about the chinese grafting tool. Hard to find one you like but when you do they last a long time. It sounds kinda gross but I lick mine off between every cell.

    Johnny
    chinese grafting tool...you can tune them up with 600 wet & dry sandpaper


    Jim

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    Johnny, Mr.Lyon, Mr.Bush, Flyer Jim, Bluegrass and Clay: Thank you guys very much for taking the time to respond to my questions, it is greatly appreciated!!

    Im going to order a couple chinese grafting tools since most of you agree upon them and they are cheap enough! I think this year will be an experimental year for queen grafting. I wont be going at it hard core or anything until I get a procedure down and feel confident in my ability to raise good queens.

    Queen rearing is just another aspect of beekeeping that I really want to learn in order to be more well rounded in raising bees. It just seems really interesting to me and also presents a challenge to see how many grafts I get get to take over time, and maybe even sell the queens someday, but not on a large scale at all............atleast not until I retire!!LOL

    Again thank you guys very much for the insight and I look forward to grafting my first set!!

    Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,914

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    By "open cells" in the starter you mean young unsealed larvae? For me, it works better without.

    Loved the thread so far, many varied ideas some of which I've never even tried.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,052

    Thumbs Up Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    I suppose its been said here many times, but Laidlaw's book pretty much spells it out for the reader when it comes to the many options a queen producer has. I looked over at my bookshelf and noticed a book I purchased over thirty years ago: "Contemporary Queen Rearing" by Harry laidlaw, Jr.... Reading it again this week has tied things together for me on some important issues that were over my head 30 years ago when I only used some of the information at the beginning of the book.

    Combining Laidlaw's print with instruction on Youtube, this forum, other forums, Michael Bush and others has made the next level possible for me. Thanks to all. I'm going to give it the old college try this summer.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Queen rearing: What are your methods for grafting, cell building/finishing coloni

    We prefer queen right starter/finisher arrangement with open brood near the grafts to attract nurse bees. Cells are incubated after capping until ripe enough to place in mating nucs. I also strongly prefer the stainless steel grafting tool, very easy to use and sanitize. We operate cell builders in this manner from March through August.




    They seem turn turn out abundant well provisioned cells.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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