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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
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    713

    Default Will this cell finisher work?

    Next spring I'm planning to breed some queens to have on hand. It'll be my first attempt at grafting and I'll be using the starter/finisher system that Lawrence John Conner describes in his Queen Rearing Essentials book.

    Will a double five frame medium packed to the gills with bees work as a finisher? With the queen below an excluder? Or is this just too small to be effective? I hope to have 15-20 cells in there to be finished.
    Try it. What could happen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,819

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Yes it will work, although that might be a bit many cells for them to raise to a good standard. Depends if it's swarming season, nectar flow, etc..
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Yes it will work, although that might be a bit many cells for them to raise to a good standard. Depends if it's swarming season, nectar flow, etc..
    What is a reasonable amount of cells to raise with this kind of setup? Also, what is the max for a standard, strong, double deep cell finisher?
    Try it. What could happen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    I am not sure exactly how to give your question my best answer, since your description leaves out many details of your proposed setup. So, I will describe my setup, which regularly produces batches of 30-40 excellent cells, per unit.
    - - - - -
    Presently I'm creating my cell builder/finishers out of 1-1/4" thick styrofoam sheets. I build them with inner dimensions that will hold six frames, and a few inches deeper, to provide some clustering space for extra nurse bees. I either use foam that is surfaced with aluminum foil, or use foil tape to surface the interiors with foil. My first one, I built will the bottom pre-attached, this created drainage problems, so my subsequent ones are open supers, top and bottom, using a separate piece of foil surfaced foam for top and bottom, drainage can now occur where the bottom meets the sides of the super.

    My hypothesis is, that the foil lined foam boxes would provide an enclosure that would be easiest for the bees to control the environment in, either cooling it in Summer or warming it in Winter. Since adopting this design, about four years ago, anecdotally (not scientifically) the original hypothesis seems to be validated.

    When getting them ready to grow cells, I stock them with four frames. The two outside frames I choose are honey/nectar/pollen/empty cells, and the two inner frames are both capped/emerging worker brood. I also add a large contingent of nurse bees, collected by shaking bees from six or more frames of open brood from other colonies. It goes without saying that great care must be taken, to ensure that no queen (virgin or other) is unintentionally included when adding nurse bees.

    This configuration provides space for three single 15-cell, cell bars (45 cells, total), or one double-bar frame and one single cell bar -- same total number of cells, but different arrangement. I prefer the three single bars, one between each of the outer food frames and one of the capped/emerging brood frames, with the third cell bar, in the center, between the two capped/emerging brood frames.

    Inevitably a few grafts will fail, and often a few older capped cells will be aborted. As that space becomes available, I like to move the remaining cells, together, in the center of their respective cell bars and away from the outer ends.

    When a flow is in progress, I actually regularly remove the outer food frames and replace them with empty combs. Though, flow or not, I like to always provide pollen sub patties, and if no flow, I feed 1:1 sugar syrup in quart feeders that I never let run out.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Joseph, are you using this for the cell builder and finisher?

    My setup was going to be similar to Lawrence Conner's in that I would have a sealed cell starter but a separate finisher. The finisher would be an open double deep (or double something) with a QE between the boxes.

    I'm not quite following if you're using an open or a sealed hive for your finisher...or just using one for both. Could you elaborate?
    Try it. What could happen?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Why not use it as a starter and finisher, it will work just fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Yes, I use it as both a starter and finisher. It has always worked fine, for me. Also, I'm lazy and don't like to do more than is necessary for best results.

    It is a foil lined foam box, with a top and bottom rim of 1x2 lumber, for reinforcement, and I cut a frame rest rabbet in the top end pieces. The wood pieces are sealed to the foam with polyurethane glue. I use a one quart plastic ziploc storage cannister, inverted, with a few small holes in the blue lid, for feeding syrup. I place it at the back end. I use small wire stands made of 1/2" x 1/2" wire mesh, folded to create a "leg" on each end, so they hold the pollen sub patties a bee space above the frames (gives the bees feeding access to the entire bottom and top of the patties). Whatever space is not occupied by the syrup feeder, I cover entirely with pollen sub patties. Then I place a regular 5-frame wooden nuc super, to cover and protect the patties and feeder. I push this wooden super, back from the front about 1/4" to create a front middle entrance (the only entrance). I place another piece of foil surfaced foam atop the wooden super (as a cover), and hold it in place with a 10"x 10" flat ceramic tile (just because that is what I have available).
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 09-09-2013 at 12:44 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Will this cell finisher work?

    Appreciate your help!
    Try it. What could happen?

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