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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    66

    Default Cloake board capacity

    What is the thinking on the maximum, or proper number of queens to attempt to start using the cloake board method. I've heard 5 but I'd like others experience with this method.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    my first and only attempt using a cloake board yielded 12 queens.

    it was late in the season after the main flow, and the builder/finisher colony could have been stronger.

    i will be trying for 20 per batch next year.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Nacogdoches,TX,USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    Same as any other method
    I usually put in one frame (medium ) with two rows of cells (2 x 20 = 40) and if hive is strong and well fed they will usually pull about 30 or more but that is probably from my poor grafting

    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    I used to start 48 queens at a time using the Cloake board. It worked fine, but my best count was 40 good queens. Now I'm cutting all my Langstroth hive bodies down to 6 5/8" medium Illinois depth (and making new frames), so my new queen frames will have only 2 bars, or 32 queen cell cups. I expect that they will do just fine as well.

    Your score comes up with timing - right before the thick of the nectar flow, right before swarming is a concern, wait for the drones to show up. Also with having good feed all winter, and good preparation...setting up so there are lots of hatching baby bees, pollen and honey in the cell starter/finisher, and minimal interference of feeding of the queen cells. Pull that Cloake board out after 24 hours of queenlessness. AND MAKE STINKIN' CERTAIN THERE ARE NO OTHER QUEEN CELLS PRESENT BEFORE YOU START!!!

    12 to 20 is a good idea for late season. Use even MORE nurse bees, more food, and fewer queen cell cups.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    This was my first year using a cloake board. I ran 2 batches of queens. Round 1 grafted 30 and ended up with 24 nice big queen cells. Round 2 I grafted 45 and ended up 38 nice queen cells.
    I like using the cloake board. I use full size 10 frame double deeps. About 2 weeks before adding the cloake board I add about 3-4 full frames of capped brood to the already booming hive. This will add a lot of young nurse bees and really pack the bees into the hive. I feed both syrup and patties. When the cloake board is installed they bearded up heavily because of so many bees. I also raised my queens during a good nectar flow which I think helps alot. Everything with beekeeping gos better during a good flow.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,150

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    Brother Adam felt the maximum number of queen cells that should be started/finished by a queenright starter/finisher colony was 12. He was very particular about queens and believed if you attempted to raise more than 12 the feeding would not be sufficient.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Cloake board capacity

    There are many things to consider about Brother Adam's methods - He was not in a teriffic area for breeding, his bees were out-crossed from around the world, he was breeding on a 3 generation cycle, etc. You'd really want to read and understand his methods carefully before you applied his system to your situation. With a brood-boosted & well-fed starter/finisher 4 boxes tall in a nectar flow like Brother Adam never saw, you can raise 48 mighty fine queens without much to worry about. Try that late in the summer, and 12 is an excellent batch!

    I'm not calling Brother Adam out to the wood shed...He'd agree that South Devon is no picnic ground for bees - only the most intensive form of beekeeping makes for bees that survive there. His methods were understandably conservative.

    Know YOUR bees and YOUR area, and your bees' limits will become obvious to you. Yes, breed for quality, not just for quantity. If you think feeding is being pushed, feed more & add more bees or separate your starter and 2 or 3 finishers (use 3 QC frames in the starter - make sure your finishers are queenright, have NO queen cells, and the queen is not in the finisher box).

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