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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default What do you think about the Nicot system?

    I plan on honing some queen rearing skills next year. I have been learning from someone in my area for the last few months. After the initial "lessons", he pretty much convinced me the Nicot is the way to go. We were grafting with minimal success, and often no success. Granted, we could have done things a bit differently, but it is not my apiary therefore not my place to do much about that. Our first run of the picot system worked very well.

    So basically, I'm curious as to the general consensus on how well the nicot seems to be working, on a larger scale (the internet!)

    Any experiences good and bad, alternative methods, hybrid methods, etc is pretty much what I'm looking for.


    Much obliged!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    I sometimes use a Jenter, but it's the same thing. Here are some things to think about.

    1. You have to find the queen and then put her in the box. With grafting you don't.
    2. The next day you have to open the hive and release the queen. With grafting you don't.
    3. In 3 more days you have to open the hive to get the box out. This is about the same as grafting.

    My issues with it were that I had to try to find several days in a row that were nice weather wise although you can, and I did, do them in the rain. I our area in the spring when raising queens the weather can turn on you. With grafting you just find a nice afternoon and walk out and find a frame with eggs and larva.

    I have used both and honestly they both work find for me. Now I tend to graft more since I just need to have my cell builder in shape and I'm ready and I don't have to go into the queen donor hive so much. Also I need to store the Jenter frame somewhere. If I keep it in a hive they put honey it making it hard to use the next time. If I store it in a building, wax moths try to get at it. If I put it in the sun, it melts (don't ask how I know that).

    But I learned with one and it worked great.
    Bruce

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Palmer, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    I just bought one and a dvd explaining it. Watched it 4 times. I love gadgets so hook line and sinker. Biggest downside i can see is it looks fairly time intensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    Go to my web site got a blog on my experience with it.

    WWW.vlwbeequeens.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    I think it's a great place to start queen rearing. I tried Velberts blog but didn't get in.. But he's the master with the Nicot!! Using the Nicot teaches you allll the details of the sizes of eggs and larva, bees cleaning bits and pieces, queenie, broodnest etc.... But it will also teach you lots of ways to fail as when the bees remove the eggs and replace with nectar etc... When it works, it's great. The best thing about it is all the bits and pieces that no doubt you will use no matter if you continue with it or go with grafting.

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    The downsides of trips to the hive are listed above already. I have used the Jenter with a lot of success. To that I will add that you can avoid the expense by using some other graftless method:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshopkinsmethod.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshopkins1886.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmillermethod.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesalleymethod.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    Thanks everyone for sharing resources and experiences. These are all good things I'll need to take into consideration. I was trying to weigh the benefits of going graft less opposed to grafting, success rates, time consumption, critical timing, etc. I will further review these options and links and post if and when I inevitably have more questions. Thank you Mr. Bush for all those different methods! I'm sure with those and the other advice given I will figure out where to start with what might work best with/for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    One other downside that I thought of. I have had problems not knowing exactly when the queen laid the eggs. So at times I pulled the box at 3 days and found mostly eggs. Other times I waited 4 days and found queen cells started in the cells. Other times I got larva exactly the right age. It seemed like 3.5 days would be best, but that usually put me in the middle of the night since I normally put the box in when I got home from work.
    Bruce

  9. #9

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    One other downside that I thought of. I have had problems not knowing exactly when the queen laid the eggs. So at times I pulled the box at 3 days and found mostly eggs. Other times I waited 4 days and found queen cells started in the cells. Other times I got larva exactly the right age. It seemed like 3.5 days would be best, but that usually put me in the middle of the night since I normally put the box in when I got home from work.
    Check this video by Fat Bee Man:

    http://youtu.be/1RDmhMqMIW8
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: What do you think about the Nicot system?

    I think I have my blog on the NICOT where you can open it and read it

    www.vlwbeequeens.com

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