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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE, USA
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    15

    Default What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    I was reviewing the Ben Harden method of queen rearing ( http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/benhardenmethod.html ).

    If the colony is not made queenless, what stimulates the desire for the nurse bees to make my grafts into queens?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,835

    Default Re: What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    I was told the other day that any brood that is separated form the nest is at risk of having queen cells drawn on it. This would be at least one factor I think might contribute to the motivation.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I was told the other day that any brood that is separated form the nest is at risk of having queen cells drawn on it. This would be at least one factor I think might contribute to the motivation.
    The brood in the example is directly above the laying queen, I wouldn't consider that to be "separated from the nest"...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,240

    Default Re: What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeHiveGuy View Post
    If the colony is not made queenless, what stimulates the desire for the nurse bees to make my grafts into queens?
    I don't know, I must be missing something. There are lots of triggers for bees to begin cell raising but I wouldn't consider any of them reliable without isolating the queen and her pheromone away from the grafts for a period of time. As a side note we just recently ran an experiment driven by necessity and had great success with it. Knowing we would be gone for a few days after grafting, we replaced a cloake board with a couple of layers of newspaper under our excluder in our builder/finisher. It worked perfectly, we had over 90% acceptance and the bees had removed all the paper when we checked them 3 days later.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,910

    Default Re: What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    Both the supercedure and swarm impulses. It has to be a very populous hive - which causes the swarm impulse. The queen and the pheremones she tracks around with her feet is not in direct contact with the grafts - causes the supercedure impulse. When you introduce grafts which are pointed down instead of to the side they build queen cells.

    A friend of mine who is a queen sidelined uses a variation. He doesn't use the dummy boards to neck down the path of the nurse bees, instead he puts his grafts and all open brood above an excluder and a honey super. It has to be a strong hive, but it results in very good cells.

    A very strong hive is key.

    Btw, any time you produce cells in a queen less colony you are utilizing the emergency impulse which some people look down their nose at.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,910

    Default Re: What Stimulates Queen Cells in Ben Harden Method

    A problem that amateurs - like me - often have with queen right finishers is that after they build these beautiful cells they tear them all down right before they are ready to use, or they completely embed them in burr comb. Putting cell protectors on them once they are capped, or moving them to a chick incubator are often used to mitigate.

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