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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Some of my bottom boards are flippable - one side is an IPM screened bottom board for powdered sugar shake testing for varroa mites, the other is a divider-friendly bottom board with moldings into which the hive partitions fit. Each has it's own 1" entry pointing a different direction - the middle compartment points East, the right compartment exits and enters South, the left compartment exits and enters North.

    I make 3 narrow inner covers that slip in between the dividers. A standard telescoping top goes over the whole thing.

    Now for the kicker...there is also a slot down the middle of the short ends, allowing me to use only one hive partition, and making a 2 x 5-frame double-nuc arrangement. Of course, that means another bottom board, and half-inner covers. Obviously, I love woodwork.

    Almost all of my boxes are made like this - 10-frame medium Langstroths with 3 vertical, 17/64" wide (so the 1/4" ply slips easily) x 3/16" deep (half the width of the frame shelf) slots running down the inside of the short ends. So the cool feature is that any box can be used for a standard 10-framer, a 2 x 5-frame double nuc, a 3 x 3-frame mating nuc, or a 7-3 frame queen isolation egg laying box for queen rearing. A 2-gallon Mann Lake feeder and some hive dummies allow me to make very close to ideal volume for bees to live in from 1 to 10 frames (11 frames if I'm using 1.25" wide frames instead of 1.375" wide - closer to original beespace). Additionally all boxes will soon be 6 5/8" mediums, so any frame in any box, and never more that 51 lbs! I love this setup!

    I'm in the process of cutting down my deeps into 6 5/8" medium boxes - it goes slow, as I'm building the medium 6 1/4" x 1.25" wide frames and getting them drawn out, phasing out my deep frames. My goal is all medium boxes and all 11-frame medium broods, about half small-cell foundation and half foundationless frames, and 10-frame honey boxes (I'd use 9, but the frames are 1.25" wide - not very good support for heavier honey frames if you're spinning them).

    A lot of my boxes now have 6 cork holes in them, for when they are in 3x3 arrangement and mating season gets hot. I do keep a good supply of corks! But I still have to brand my boxes to keep them mine! Go figure.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-13-2013 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,576

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Isn't the 6 5/8 mediums are for the honey supers? That means
    you have to use the shorter frame instead of the standard medium frames
    for your set up? But I like the lighter weight for sure.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,570

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    More photos to answer questions:
    Divided nuc with five half sized deep frames each side. Each has top cover for easyseperation when opening one side or the other. I ran the ledge of the frame shelf on the router 1/4" deeper before assembling to have room for a pollen patty on top. Fired out and stapled the bottom for additional room and attached floor:

    Small opening to avoid robbing. I never have trouble with a nuc this size though. The really tiny ones are more at risk. This is equal to 2 1/2 deep full sized frames, but is a better configuration with a warmer center of the colony-due to five frames instead of 2 or 3.


    Heres how the bottom looks before stapling on bottom board.




    Brackets to hang on fence. Use machine screws and large washers to hold the eventual heavy weight.


    You can see I set the top inner covers on before screwing on the hindges. I really like this positive closure better than the migratory covers I also show in the OP. I just ran out of cedar 3/4x12 planks and had a bunch of migratory covers I wasn't using-so I cut them down.

    Screened hole in inner cover for mason jar inverted feeding or ventilation.



    Here is a pic of one of the bag targets. It is shade cloth sewn into a bag stuffed with shrink wrap scraps. Works amazingly well and won't rot like those made out of burlap. This has been hung outside for years and shot hundreds of times-80 yards. You miss the target and hit a hive YOU go pull your arrow!

    Last edited by Lauri; 05-13-2013 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Lauri - Thank you for the photo answers! I like your setup, a very viable, elegant, practical, and convenient system. Well thought-out. I love the tops. I would name it Lauri's Double-Quarter Nuc system, and I would name that queen Lauri's Mt. Rainier Root Beer Queen You might sell some of your nucs.


    Beepro - Yes, I use 3 medium Lang's to equal the honeycomb real estate of 2 deeps. The frames are regular 6 1/4" mediums to go in 6 5/8" Illinois medium boxes - I'm going to black plastic small-cell foundation so I can see eggs and it helps fight mites. Better volume control during "Spring buildup" (November - February increase down here in SoCal, and I use the term "Winter Increase", but it pi$$es off beeks from colder states except Floridians who smile and wink), especially when combined with the use of Miller-type hive dummies and frame-type feeders. They never have more than one frame of foundation dead space to heat. The weight is also easier on my shoulders - which aren't the greatest.

    'Gotta stay on top of them, though, this system is for beekeepers who inspect at least every 3 weeks, if not more often, like weekly to every 10 days in the spring. Don't want them swarming on me. Done correctly, I get a LOT more increase WAY faster on less honey consumption. Volume control is the "art" part of hive management, and this system is designed to allow maximum control. My best efforts in good years see a 6-way split of the previous year's swarm traps. Some could have gone 8-way split, but I used them for queen rearing support and nuc-making because they were mean AMM's. That queen is still cranking out eggs like an Africanized Honey Bee - she's hit 4,000 eggs per day in the spring for 3 years now. Mean, but sure makes honey!

    I do have to explain this to my almond pollination customers - 1 1/2 of my medium frames = 1 deep frame for pricing, and that this is not all that uncommon of a practice among beekeepers (Michael Palmer uses all medium 8-frame boxes and double 4-frame medium nucs, Michael Bush highly recommends using all one size frame, and prefers mediums). The almond folks usually like that my actual counts usually far exceed my estimates, I bring 12 to 14 frames of brood, and they understand that this is just one reason for it.

    I consider this system (with the addition of Laidlaw queen intro cages and I.I.) a multiple competitive advantage over most other queen breeder/pollinators. Of course, there are some here on Beesource that have their system down pretty tight, too. Mine is just one of the most versatile, equipment-wise, and goes well with my intensive style of beekeeping. My mentor's system is way more kick-back, but he likes my productivity, and ribs me when I goof up. If I want to kick back, I just add two frames of foundation instead of one foundation and one hive dummy - instant vacation - but not if it could still get cold.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-13-2013 at 05:14 PM.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    1,570

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Mt. Rainier Root Beer! I love it

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Now there will be a black market for Mt. Rainier Root Beer Queens...psst! wanna buy some hot queens? I got RRBQ's!

    A cool name IS part of marketing. A buddy of mine took some Nabal avocados to the farmers' market in Malibu, putting up a sign advertising "Malibu Blue Avocados". He sold out in minutes at sky-high prices. People were asking for them for weeks afterwards. Look out, Robert Russell, heeeere come Lauri!

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,570

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    My horse shoer use to call me Martha Stewart. I told him...Uh, no thanks-I'm not a fan.
    So now he says "Martha Stewart aint got S*** on you'
    I told him that was OK, LOL

    So... I am not exactly a fan of RR, but certainly he did have a great dangle the carrot advertising web site that was hard to resist. That has not gone unnoticed.
    Unfortunately I'm not at the point to sell many queens yet-only locals. And no one pays in advance. I hand you your queens, you pay me. No complications.

    I've been very lucky to stumble onto some really impressive genetics early on. Give me a few years to see what I can accomplish and get into production.

    After 35 years of breeding livestock..always trying to improve, improve, improve, I realize that if all those years ago I had paid a little more money and started out with better stock I would be so much farther ahead.
    That's why I bought five Glenn II breeder queens my first year of beekeeping. Bold? You bet. Stupid move? Well, now that they are no longer available and those daughters are some of the shining stars in my yard, I am thankful I got them when I did. Although I was not able to get full use out of them, due to my clumsy beginnings, but I had enough to give me a great base for my queen rearing and plenty of overwintered stock to continue.
    And don't forget those swarm queens, especially if they were captured in remote areas away from apiaries.
    Bottom line is, genetics matter. You just have to be observant enough to choose those with promise, vigor and all the traits beekeepers want.
    Having a few unique specimens to work with is amazing. I am grateful.
    Last edited by Lauri; 05-13-2013 at 06:04 PM.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Post #46 was entirely tongue-in-cheek, but now that you mention Glenn I.I., please stick with it. I'll seriously keep you in mind as a possible supplier. Were they Hygenic Italians? I hope to get that stock.

    Actually, I hope Robert is still feeling OK about himself. What he did was wrong, but the man still has a lot to offer. I'd love to sit down with him and pick his brain for about a week. I'd love to do the same with most of the doctors at UC Davis, Ohio State, Marla Spivak and company, North Carolina State, the USDA Bee Labs (all of them) and a lot of the beeks here on Beesource, especially Barry! Maybe I better get me a ticket to Apimondia...gawd, how many great beeks I'm leaving out???

    Kind of makes me wish I could raise Harry Laidlaw, Brother Adam, G.M. Doolittle, Jay Smith, C.C.Miller, Charles Dadant, Amos Root, Lorenzo Langstroth, and others and bring them back for just a few days each in the apiary - could you imagine how good one could get it short order? Just like 35 years of a jump with good stock in the beginning of a breeding program!

    While we're in a jovial mood, I wonder if RR could laugh at naming his latest line of Ponzi Queens? I hope so. No offense Robert, you still have some respect out here, no doubt you really know your stuff! I need a good name for my queenies - Malibu Blue Queens? HA!

    BTW, it's OK to use the word "ferrier" - we ARE aggies here in the bee biz! Lots of New Yawk City beekeepers would love to learn that a ferrier shoes horses.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-13-2013 at 06:47 PM.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Kilo, Dude you eat coffee right out of the can don't you? ;-p
    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!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    ROFLMAO, Lakebilly.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    my cane sugar syrup recipe, besides the water and sugar is about a cup of cider vinegar per 5 gallon bucket and a sprinkle of electrolytes.

    My patty recipe is about 6# mann lakes bee pro, 6# brewers yeast, 25#sugar, 1 quart cider vinegar,2- 3 quarts cold water, electrolytes with vitamins and some essential oils or pro health when I have them.
    I have to say, the bees are not interested in syrup or patties with natural sources coming in, but some my queen cells so far are not quite the quality I had last year when they took up my protein patty mix. Thank goodness for the incubator. So easy to cull as soon as they hatch and not waste a mating nuc-then evaluate.
    Lauri. I'm trying to raise a few queens for myself. What do you use for electrolytes, and vitamins when feeding? Also when do you put the cells in the incubator, and what do you look for when culling the new queens after they hatch? How long after they hatch do you put them in a mating nuc, and how do you introduce a virgin to her mating hive? Thanks in advance.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    And what a difference feeding makes. My first few grafts this year have not been the quality I had last year. They wouldn't take up syrup or my patties yet. Now they are taking it up and the cells are fabulous.
    Here's the electrolyte mix I use is from Valley vet online:

    This package makes 120 gallons of livestock strength liquid, so I was very careful at first to just use a tiny bit. Gradually increasing to about 1/4" tsp per five gallon bucket. You can smell the vitamins.
    I started using electrolytes after seeing the bees crave the liquid coming out of my fruit tree pots all summer. They will actually eat the soil around the drain holes. They can't seem to get enough, although of course I have plenty of water sources available. They also love the elk hide I have soaking in a water trough with salt and clorox.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq3gd9JvWx4
    I usually put the cells in the incubator about day 13 starting from the egg being laid-9 days after grafting. I have also put them in the day after they are capped with just about the same hatch rate. Depends on the weather forecast and if the finisher hive is prone to building comb over the cells.
    The queens have to be large and gorgeous when hatched. No shrimps or any abnormalities. I've only had one with a smaller front leg.
    And this will be the topic of another thread, but these queens have an obvious disposition right when hatched. Some are relaxed, some area little more active, some are obviously agressive right from the start. Runny, wings taunt, even giving me a nip when I mark them. stands to reason hives headed by those queens will likley be a bit hot..but could be great producers too. I just keep notes and observe at this point. No culling yet for personality traits.

    I direct release them into the nucs as soon as possible..within an hour or so. I've never had one not accepted. They appear to have no scent when newly hatched. I put them on the top of the frames and the bees totally ignore them, except one or two that will feed them. You'll see the queen with her tongue out begging to be fed. The longer you wait, the older they are the more risk you have of non acceptance. After 12+ hours the bees will almost get their hackles up a bit with a direct release.
    Of course some hatch over night..they are fine too-but get them in first thing in the morning. But they need to eat pretty much right away. you have to feed them or they'll die quickly.

    Also with my protein patty recipe, Ed at Mann lake said changed their supplier for the brewers yeast and it is NOT the quality of the old supplier, It dosn't even smell or taste like brewers yeast and the patties have a poor texture when mixed. It is yellow and bitter. I am eliminating it in my recipe.
    Last edited by Lauri; 05-14-2013 at 08:08 AM.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Do you build all the boxes with the dove tail type joins (not certain that is the correct term)? or do you buy them precut and modify from there? Is it a disaster waiting to happen to have boxes glues and screwed together without the dove tail joins or just convention?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    The joint is called a "Finger Box Joint" and is preferred because it remains fairly strong even after being left out in the weather, while being easier to make than a dovetail joint. Use the search box to find several old threads about how to make FBJ's - there are a lot of great photos and discussions, as that question pops up fairly often. Some great youtube videos, too - lots of different machines have been invented.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    So here's an example of a better fed cell. As I said, until just a few days ago there was just enough of a flow the bees wouldn't take up any of my syrup or pattys. My queens cells grafted 2 weeks prior were substandard compared to what I am use to producing. Now they are taking up my feed and the cells are a LOT better. Wax is light, cells full of jelly, cell size is still smallish, but better:


    You can see the wax on these cells below are a darker yellow. This graft was finished in a different hive and fed differently. They took up a protein patty while finishing these cells, but I didn't give them my syrup recipe because they had lots of honey and nectar and were doing some spotty backfilling in the brood nest. The size of the cells are better-you can see my fingers behind the frame for size reference.



    Both these frames were grafted from the queen in the original Post.
    Last edited by Lauri; 05-16-2013 at 04:15 PM.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,576

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Thanks you, Lauri for the updates.
    Are these the standard size cells to get the bigger
    queens from?

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Shenandoah County VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: favorite queen for grafting so far

    Lauri, are your mating nucs on hanging brackets or do you attach the boxes directly to your fence board? Great idea!
    Anne

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