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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Just showing those beginners how I get started raising queens early in the spring in a northern climate, when resources are still somewhat limited. I'm taking advantage of an exceptionally strong hive to perform several tasks.

    Here is a photo of my bottom board I use with a cloake board system. First of all, I live in a wet climate-so you can see the 'front porch' or landing board is screened to allow rain to just pass through.( Shown without plywood insert to close it up for colder weather or mite monitering)

    This bottom board has an entrance on both ends. When I need to close the front and force the bees into the top box where the grafted larva will be installed, I don't try to turn the darn hive around-I just crack the back entrance and tape up the front. This hive ( shown below) almost didn't need that-it was already using the top entrance almost exclusively already.





    This hive had been very strong all winter, is gentle, thrifty, excellent honey producer-so it was a definite donor hive for graft larva.

    The two deep box's are packed full of brood and the queen was in the third box laying where she has lots of room-so queen excluder and insert went above third deep. Top deep has feed stores and two frames of inserted capped brood, larva, hatching eggs and eggs. Insert was left out for a few hours to allow more nurse bees to make their way tp to the frames of hatching eggs. Then insert board went in to force returning bees to only occupy top box.
    Tomorrow I will check the two frames for possible started queen cells, remove one of those frames of hatching eggs and take my grafts, returning the frame and queen cell grafts into the top box-which has been queenless overnight, is packed full of bees ready to produce a new queen. I usually make them queenless late afternoon and insert the grafts by noon the next day so say 18-20 hours queenless. I rairly find started cells with that timing. Queenless for more than 24 hours you have to check for sure.

    I'll let this hive start these grafts, then remove the insert after about 24 hours when the grafts have bees started well, to reunite the hive for the remainder of the graft finishing process. Momma queen still below excluder of course.
    My special recipe protein patty on top, even though they are bringing in lots of pollen. I'd feed them syrup too, but none of my hives will take it up yet. Ether they still have enough stores or there is a little nectar available.

    When these cells are ready to hatch, this hive will also be broken up into mating nucs-as it would surely swarm once the two bottom deeps hatch out. There is not enough of a flow to worry much about swarming yet...But it will be close timing for sure to control it. I have a swarm trap next to it..just in case I'll keep this queen in a semi strong, but controllable and better accessable hive for more grafts later.

    I usually use a queenless starter hive, but it is just a little early to build that. Some of this hive, in fact, may be used to make a starter hive.

    This is a daughter queen from a swarm I collected in 2011 near Mt. Rainier.

    I close up the large opening of the cloake board with aluminum tape and give them a moderate entrance. It's still cold at night here-near freezing, but 60+ during the daytime





    Back side of the hive-opened just a crack for bees below excluder escapement:

    Heres a video of this hive about 10 days ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD3M6...ature=youtu.be

    See the swarm trap on top the archery target with the maple tree branches overhanging it? What swarm could resist that set up?




    10 frame swarm trap is Full of drawn frames with OdFranks special recipe cologne-(LemonGrass oil-hee hee) Also the two end frames are filled with moistened sugar with vinegar and electrolytes..(My sugar brick recipe) There were some left over frames I made for feeding this winter. Might as well use them..might even be attractive to the swarms.
    Here is how I make that-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwC8aEA3FOw


    Then when the cells are capped they will have a roller cage installed over each one to keep the bees from building burr comb around them. Then near hatching time, they will go into my incubator to finish hatching. Virgins are marked, evaluated and directly released into queenless mating nucs.
    You can see I use the Mann Lake/Nicot type cells, but I don't usually use the grid. I graft directly into the brown cell cups so I can use the roller cages. I don't like confining an importaint queen and don't like waiting for and checking the grid. I still use it, but only because I bought it. And not with an importaint queen. Don't want the hive to think she is a slacker and want to replace the old girl.

    [/QUOTE]
    This is a new reptile incubator I bought off ebay. Amazon.com also has it.
    EkoTerra brand. It's a step up from what I was using, but not the commercial quality I'd like to get or build someday. But it will certainly do. Gets up to temp in a few minutes and is all digitally controlled.
    Last edited by Lauri; 04-25-2013 at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Lauri, thanks for all the great info. Questions re screened landing area: 1) Do the bees tend to lose incoming pollen through the screen? 2) Do you use #4 hw cloth for the landing? If so, SHB adults and ants would have free (unguarded) access. 3) Do you use an oil/lime filled tray under the screen for hive beetles, mites,etc?

    I do like the ideal of a screened landing area.
    Triangle Bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    We don't have hive beatles in Western Wa. Thank goodness! That's a big reason I am glad I don't have to buy bees anymore and risk bring in disease and pests.

    No loss of pollen. If I recall it is # 8 hardware cloth. Big enough for pollen to fall through, but they have easy access into the hive and nothing to make them lose it.

    I run the bottom screen open in the summer months. Any mites will fall through onto the ground. The bench is grated. Lime could be sprinkled under the bench if needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Just wanted to add these photos. This was the frame I took larva from yesterday. I Replaced it in the new queenless portion above the cloake board to sit overnight. I removed the frame to take more grafts today. You can see, although they rarley make queen cells at 18-20 hours queenless, they already has started some in the area I disrupted. That area was as bare as the new spot I cleared to get to the larva today.
    Shows how breaking open a few cells will stimulate the bees to draw out queen cells in that spot.
    After taking my second batch of grafts, I placed this frame with the Q cells in another hive that is finishing other queen cells above an excluder. When these are ready I can use this frame to make a split.




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
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    241

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Have any plans for building this you would share? Very nice job!
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Building what exactly?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,574

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post

    Then when the cells are capped they will have a roller cage installed over each one to keep the bees from building burr comb around them.
    Lauri,

    I've noticed that I get better queens, particularly in early queen rearing, if I don't cage the cells until later, like day 13 or 14. I like giving the nurse bees full access so that they can get real close to the cells to better regulate the temperature of the cells. This also eliminates an extra time that you need to get into the hive.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    I'd prefer not to cage them at all, but I got tired last year of seeing great capped cells, only to find them covered with comb/syrup a few days later. I tried everyting suggested on Beesource to avoid that before I got fed up and just started putting the roller over them. I was probably feeding them too much.
    Thanks for the tip! I'll keep it in mind. I'm still perfecting my methods

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,058

    Thumbs Up Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Lauri, can you show us a picture of the tool you use to make those circular areas bare? I assume some kind of knife....? I made some similar cuts this week but they were not as clean as those. I'd like to do better.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Lauri,

    Do you cut the cells down to graft or graft out of a full depth cell?

    If you cut the cells down, how do you do it without crushing in the cells?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    I look for a frame of hatched eggs on soft new comb without cocoons. The take my razor knife and cut or tear the wax comb right down to the rite cell foundation. The foundation cells are deep enough to hold the younger larva and you'll skim right over them. Such easy access for new grafters.
    Older comb that is tough is a bugger to retrieve larva. I just break down the right side of each cell separately so I can see and retrieve the larva.
    If I have a queen I am going to want to graft from and she is on all tough comb, I do insert a new, soft or partially drawn out frame into the brood nest for them to finish and for her to lay in. Or put her in the Nicot type grid to lay.




  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
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    527

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    How old would you say this larvae is? fifth row down in center being the youngest I can see.

    someone posted that if they're in the shape of a "C" they're too old.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Buderim, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: My cloake board set up + perfect hive for multi use

    Lauri, why do you scorch your boxes?

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