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Thread: Cell punching

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Wink Cell punching

    This is my second year of wintering bees. I have been giving some thought to raising queens and splitting my hives. I made up some queen cell cups from my own beeswax. I was wondering if I did cell punch method could I put those in the the queen cups or am I better to graft larvae. I have a punch that will allow the cell to fit perfectly into the cell cups. Just wondering if this would work or not. Be gentle here, I am pretty new to this and just thinking out loud right now. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Cell punching

    I was wondering if I did cell punch method could I put those in the the queen cups or am I better to graft
    larvae.
    I would say it would be better to graft the larvea... I would worry about the punched cells falling out of the cell cups...
    if you don't think the cells will fall out you could give it a try.

    My only question would be what do you intend to do with the queens? are you planning on selling queens? or just using
    them to make splits?

    If you plan on doing a lot of splits you do not need to go through the trouble of grafting(if you don't want to). here is
    a link to a very good thread oldtimer posted on raising queens without grafting. This would be a good alternative if you want
    a lot of queens without the hassle of grafting.

    I raise only a few queens to do splits. I don't actually rear queens, I let the bees do it. I take a strong 2-story hive,
    and remove the queen and a frame of brood and stores and put them in a new box(preferably a 5 frame nuc). I let the now
    strong queenless hive rear emergency queen cells then distribute them to nuc boxes. The number of splits that I get from
    the hive depends on the number of bees in the colony and the number of cells that I get. This way is very easy and works
    for what I am doing. There are many ways to rear queens. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Cell punching

    Steven,

    I am just interested in doing just a few queens to requeen some of my hives. I have only 6 hives but they are very strong hives and I just want to split them. To cheap to buy queens and I like the gentleness and production of mine. I am one of those that like to tinker with things and it just plain jane sounds interesting to raise my own queens. I made the cell cups using the fat bee man method and it was a lot of fun. I have played with the cups and they hold the cell punches very well. I just don't know if it will mess with the bees or not. just curious.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Cell punching

    I have played with the cups and they hold the cell punches very well. I just don't know if it will mess with the bees or not.
    The only thing that I could think of that may be a problem, is that when the bees hang from the cells to draw out the queen cells; they may pull the cell punches out of the queen cell cups.
    I don't think it will mess with the bees. They won't care. Its only the issue with the punches not staying in the cell long enough for the bees to attach them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Cell punching

    I would acutually put wax in the cell cups prior to placing the plugs into them I think that they will hold quite well. Just thinking. I am sure there is a much easier way to do it, but like I said, I like to tinker.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Cell punching

    I am sure there is a much easier way to do it
    It sounds to me like what you you have proposed will work... sometimes the easiest way to wrap your brain around an idea is to do it your own way. I am a fan or tinkering as well. Even if it may not be practical. Good luck on your queen rearing this year!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Cell punching

    In the videos and literature that I've seen, the idea of the cell punch is to punch out cells that have larvae in them. The idea was to eliminate the damage done to larvae during the grafting process. i.e. instead of lifting the larvae out of the cell, move the whole cell without disturbing the larvae. No grafting. No need to make queen cups. Just use a natural cell.

    Steven has a good point though. It is easier to let the bees raise queens naturally. All you do is select which genetic stock you want to raise the queens.

    Check out Mel Disselkoen of MDA apiaries. He has a developed a great method of selecting larvae while still letting the bees raise natural queen cells. And, it has the wonderful benefit of not needing any extra equipment - just your pocket knife.

    There are a lot of expensive and overly complicated queen rearing systems out there.
    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

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

    Default Re: Cell punching

    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Searcy, AR in the Ozark Foothills
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Cell punching

    When placing punched out cells in a wax cell cup heat the cell cup thus adhering it to the cell cup.
    If placing a punched cell in a plastic cell, melt a small amount of bees wax onto the plastic cell cup.
    Then when you place the punched cell in the plastic cell holder heat the wax thus adhering the punched cell to the holder.

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