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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    103

    Default Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    More a curiosity than anything else, but exploring methods of queen rearing for small (less than 5) apiary. In the process of making a cell builder, if I were to temporarily remove my queen from the most productive hive, how much of an impact would it have on honey yield? Other than the time that queen is absent and not laying, and therefore those brood would not be available when they would have become field bees. So is this noticeable? Thanks

    Chip
    Chip Harlow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,605

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    If done right as the flow starts it can have a pretty good increase in honey production. As the bees don't have much brood to care for there will be more foragers. You can do what is called a cut down split and remove the queen with a couple frames of bees and let the hive make a new queen. This will give you a brood break and free up some bees to be foragers. Just make sure you know your bee math and make sure you have a new laying queen at the right time. If not you will need to step in and get them one. (either a queen cell, or a mated queen)

    I don't normally like to give them another frame of open brood for them to try and make another queen the second time. That would put the hive queenless for almost 60days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    Chip, may I suggest looking into queenright cell builders, one known as the Ben Harden Method. It's the one I use and it allows the hive to continue on queenright and largely without disturbance other than what might normally be incurred during regular inspections.


    Check out the Queen Rearing Page on my website listed below.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Chip, may I suggest looking into queenright cell builders, one known as the Ben Harden Method. It's the one I use and it allows the hive to continue on queenright and largely without disturbance other than what might normally be incurred during regular inspections.


    Check out the Queen Rearing Page on my website listed below.
    I checked out this method and would like to try it:
    Can I substitute pollen and honey combs for those "dummy" frames that are shown in the box above the queen excluder?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    The purpose of the dummy frames is to concentrate travel, warmth, nurse bees, and conditioned space around your queen cells. If you look at a cross section of the hive, the occupied space will look in a sense like an hourglass. While it may work to use other frames, I cannot vouch for it.

    I just realized my link to the original document is not correct on my website. Here is where it should link to:

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/benhardenmethod.html

    This page provides more information than I have in my website. I should remedy that. I have fixed the link.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 03-16-2013 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Fixed the link.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    By the way, I made my dummy frames out of plywood. Six simple rectangular pieces, the dimensions of a standard frame, but wider. I accidentally made mine so that five frames fit in the middle rather than four, but it worked just fine.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    South Hero, Vermont
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    When I used to raise queens I would take the queen from the cell builder put her in a single story hive (a nuc), with comb and move her to another bee yard--she'd continue to lay and when the cells were built I returned her with the brood she had layed--In addition to ensure maximal numbers of nurse bees I would add frames of brood from another hive to the cell builder when I removed the queen---this often led to an incredibly strong hive when the cells were complete/removed and the queen was returned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    Getting back to the point of your question, if you time it during a flow, honey production can should increase as there is no brood to consume food. Its also a decent way to get mites in check......... when we go to sunflowers in late fall I make queenless super hives just for that purpose.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    Thanks everyone. I'm actually looking into using the Hopkins method, as I only need a couple of queens, and this method looks extremely simple, and yet produces decent queens. Thanks again.
    Chip Harlow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,278

    Default Re: Cell builder reduce honey yield?

    A queenless starter finisher tends to no make any honey. A queen right starter can be managed in such a way that it makes honey, and even, with intensive management to make more honey than a regular typical colony. I don't usually have the time to manage them that intensively.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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