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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Midland, Michigan, USA
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    592

    Default OTS queen rearing...

    never really learned what it was, but now that i do, BOY, I gotta try it! (next spring of course)

    what i get out of it, is you take this good colony, remove the queen (make a split), notch these cells, (AT THE CORRECT AGE), and 1 week later, voila! queen cells... sounds easy???
    well, I'm going to find out!

    kind of embarrassed I didn't read Mel's research sooner...
    Trying new things, learning always, and keeping bees!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Loudoun, VA, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I tried it this summer and split two hives four ways each. Worked like a charm. It works well for my objectives.
    While I have been told many times that bees can't overwinter in a top bar hive - mine do a darn good imitation of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    The only real difference between On The Spot (OTS) queen rearing and a conventional split is the notching of the comb. The correct age is when they contain eggs. The reason it is referred to as OTS is because one usually utilizes it On The Spot rather than taking frames to the grafting shed. The problem is this technique makes moving cells to grower colony and caging cells a bit more difficult. Moving the entire frame to a colony is the most practical way when they near emergence. Although it seems an easy way to rear queen (and it IS) however it is not a practical method to rear any great numbers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Beestudent, I use the emergency queen rearing method all the time in my topbar hives. I don't have to notch the comb, since I make sure there are some freshly drawn soft combs in the brood nest. They will easily re-work these without the hassle of the beekeeper notching them.

    So during a strong flow, you add 2 frames between drawn comb in the brood nest so the bees draw it out. Wait about 5 days so the queen has a chance to lay them up with eggs and then pull her over to a nuc with the appropriate amount of resources. Once the queen cells are capped and just about ready to hatch, you can gently carve them out with a serrated knife and stick them in queenless nucs. I usually let the main colony requeen from one as well because there is a high chance you will miss one anyway. So when I pull the original queen, I make up a full size nuc. This also gives the main colony a brood break so most of the mites not in capped brood and will let you deal with them how you please.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,904

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I'm in full agreement with Tenbears. I'll add that Mel Disselkoen's OTS method uses up a full frame of brood per breeder queen, where as grafting uses up 48 larvae only. Works OK for small operations, and combines well for David LaFerney's / Joseph Clemens' queen rearing plan.

    BTW, Mel fails to mention that it is the .257 caliber (I believe that is approximately 6.5 mm) slug he uses to block the flour, not the shell. Yeah, I felt pretty stupid when I found out that!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    4,456

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    ....The correct age is when they contain eggs......
    2 correction:

    Nope, the correct larvae age is when they are 2 days old or 48 hours after hatching from the eggs. This is what the bees prefer to use.
    In the eggs stage the bees simply rebuild the cells after you notched them. They will built cells out of the young larvae but not when
    they are still in the eggs stage. You have to wait until the eggs turn into the larvae form in order for the OTS method to work.
    For some unknown reasons they will not build cells out of the unhatched eggs. Try it and see for yourself.

    For KC:
    "Bullets
    I use .257 cal. bullets placed in the cell to protect the larvae when flour is shaken over the comb to gum up and kill the other larvae (See Fig. 5)"
    I found it between page 16 and 17. So he did mentioned it. How can you have miss interpreted that?
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/IMN%20BOOKLET.pdf
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I was under the impression that he no longer used the flour and bullets
    Last edited by orthoman; 12-06-2015 at 08:31 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,904

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I probably read that before it got to 17 pages long...oops! showing my age. Hahaha

    OK - I just checked your link - it is different than the one I read several years ago. Funny - it looks like he uses rimfire .22 shells in the photo. I thought of machining hexagon cell covers instead of bullets. I also thought about vacuuming the other larvae out and leaving only the few, well-spaced larvae for queen rearing. A small tube attachment to a low-power vacuum should work. His point that he calls Farrar's Law seems to postulate that a breeder can locate and place bullets and dust with flour in less time than one can graft. This is not necessarily true.

    I find my best queens come from larvae newly hatched, but with royal jelly, 80 to 86 hours after isolating the breeder queen onto a fresh comb inside a Pritchard Box, transferred to a queenless Starter colony over-stuffed full of 5- to 10-day old nurse bees and waaaaay over-fed. Nothing to do but eat and feed queen cells.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 12-06-2015 at 11:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    2,147

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    His first method would be a variation on this "Hopkins Method aka Case Method, Isaac Hopkins from the Australasian Bee Manual, 1911
    Turning a comb of worker brood horizontal with larvae destroyed to make gaps between the queen cells"

    Plugging the selected cells then destroying the viability of adjoining larvae by flour or salt, talcum powder whatever is only an alternative to jabbing with a nail or match head to allow selected queen cells to develop with room to cut them out without permanently destroying the whole comb. 22 caliber cartridges would probably work as long as they can be pushed in far enough to round out and seal the corners of the cell hex so no flour leaks past. projectiles for reloading of anything from 6mm(.243) .257, or 6.5mm(.264) would have tapered points that would seal without being too large to shade the flour from adjoining cells. My son has used this method but now grafts. It destroys less brood.

    I dont think Mel uses this method now as it requires the frame to be placed horizontal above other frames. The notching is quick and needs no equipment other than your hive tool.
    Frank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,665

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    2 correction: Nope, the correct larvae age is when they are 2 days old or 48 hours after hatching from the eggs. This is what the bees prefer to use.
    I question this. I believe larvae as close in age to the egg as possible, make the best queens.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    2,410

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Listen to Michael Palmer

    I don't even use 24 hour old larva. 6-12 hours old is my preferred window. Just hatched and almost too small to graft probably isn't necessary, but I don't let it go much older than that.
    If they are eggs in the evening and hatch out sometime over night, I am good with that with a morning check.

    Below you can see larva just hatched actually smaller than the eggs, larva above them, progressively slightly older.





    This was about a 48 hour draw, if I remember right:





    Just capped:



    Placing in the mating nucs:

    Last edited by Lauri; 12-07-2015 at 07:42 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I know nothing about grafting, but here we are talking about notching. So if all larvae are fed royal jelly for three days it would seem to me that up to three days would be fine. As someone infamously said, "what difference does it now make" or words to that effect.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    You can do what you want, but you won't find jelly like this in any ordinary cell

    Here's a larva reared as a queen:


    Below, Here's larva about the same age, reared as workers:

    Last edited by Lauri; 12-06-2015 at 04:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    2,147

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    According to Roger Morse in his book on Rearing Queen Honeybees, the diet fed to selected queen cells is starting to change some time during the second day. Queens will be produced from older cells but it is felt that their laying potential is somewhat compromised.

    At some point 3 days and after, a so called "caste queen" results that can lay some viable worker eggs but very definitely is not desirable.
    Frank

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    OTS a good way for a new beekeeper or one new to queen rearing get the hang of making queens without being overwhelmed while learning.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,410

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    When I started, I book marked all the methods for queen rearing during my months of research. Then when it was time to start, I planned to refer back to each method to refresh my memory. I tackled grafting first since most seemed to try anything to avoid it. Did the grid system next and never pursued other methods, except for a couple walk away nucs.







    Once you experience some success, you'll want to learn methods that allow a larger harvest. There's always a market for good local queens if you have extra.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-06-2015 at 05:34 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Thanks Crofter. That certainly answered my question. Now I have to fine tune my eyes to get under the 3rd day as Beepro does. I also like Ruthiesbees method.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Midland, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    I'm in full agreement with Tenbears. I'll add that Mel Disselkoen's OTS method uses up a full frame of brood per breeder queen, where as grafting uses up 48 larvae only. Works OK for small operations, and combines well for David LaFerney's / Joseph Clemens' queen rearing plan.
    I thought about this, and came up with this:


    If you position black plastic foundation in place of the paper, let the bees draw that out, and OTS the squares, you can easy cut the finished sections out... Maybe not as simple, but increases the number of Queens.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    4,595

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I would suggest trying it before trying to tweak it Beestudent. I only tried it once. The bees made a queen elsewhere, and when i went back in I couldn't even tell where I had notched.
    The Bees are the Beekeepers

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    4,456

    Default Re: OTS queen rearing...

    I agree with Mike and Lauri to use the youngest larvae when possible. After 4 years of making queens, this is true. I'm simply
    quoting Mel's findings that his bees prefer the 48 hours larvae when he use the OTS method. Even he doesn't know the answer either.
    When I graft or use the OTS method, I find the youngest larvae to make the queen cells. Reading that the young larvae will turn into better queens when they are well fed starting from the hatch out phase. So it makes sense to take the youngest larvae for this task. If you time it right on the 4th day then all the young larvae are there for you to choose from. OTS is just another method out of the many if you don't want to do a graft. i.e. For some reason, I have a handicap queen on the right hind leg that the bees are trying to supersede her since the beginning of Autumn. Each time I intervened to take out the emergency cells and put them into a crowded queen less nuc hive. And each time the cells turn out to be largest and well fed ones you can find. Since it is close to the beginning of the winter now, they stop making the emergency cells and decided to keep this clumsy queen just so that she can keep the hive going. She still lays but a bit slower than a normal queen. I'm sure comes Spring time they will replace her. But I will not let that happen by taking these queen cells out each weak early on. I have some of the healthiest queens made and no grafting involved.

    If you don't want to use the bullets to plug the cells then try a cotton swab. Though I think it is a waste of bee resource killing all those innocent larvae.
    You can also use the rubber silicone cell plugs that I made just for this purpose. I'm trying to turn those cell plugs into an international non-graft cells frame. The plug and take out version without any grafting involve.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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