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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,017

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    If your nights are that cold you will need quite a few bees in there to keep the brood covered. Because you are making up the nucs from hives and the brood, at first at least, may not be the best shape for the design of the nuc, you'll need the bees that are on the combs when you make them, plus maybe a shake from another comb. Later in the season when things are warmer you need not be quite so fussy.

    What I do is gauge it by the brood comb, a comb with only a small circular patch of brood will not need as many bees as one with a full comb of brood.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    So I should aim for brood coverage. I have different boxes configurations: 3x3, 2x5 and 2x2.

    Let's take the 2x2 configuration:

    1 frame brood + bees
    1 frame stores + bees
    1 shaken frame of bees

    Is it correct?

    I could also make them more strong(that would mean dissolving some colonies - which I'm going to do anyway later in the season) and then later in the season further divide them. Do you think this would be a better strategy?(I would still like to have 3 strong colonies in order to take advantage on the black locust flow)

    http://www.meteoblue.com/en/romania/...-27585/14-days

    I'm so unsure on how to do it having so few resources
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  3. #43

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    First timers are always stressful to me...
    What do you guys do if it rains on day 10? Use umbrellas? Leave the queen cells in God's hands?
    Queen rearing you do, no matter if rain, sun of snow. It is on a tight schedule.
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,017

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    1 frame brood + bees
    1 frame stores + bees
    1 shaken frame of bees(
    That should be right for your situation. However it's also a judgement call, things I factor in are how far the brood is away from hatching & what the weather forecast is for the next few days, if the nucs will be near enough to the parent colony for any drift to happen, and after that I just eyeball how many bees seem right in that nuc.

    I never make them too strong either that has it's own set of problems. But initially and in your current weather pattern go with what looks like a good solid amount of bees if clustered tightly on the brood and still cover all of it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    OK. Thanks Oldtimer. We all need some education.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I just transfered the QC's to mating nucs. The pupae are still white on day 10 after grafting. Could it be because of the bad weather we had? (I opened one of them)
    DSCN2974.jpg
    How do they look? I have no idea if they are good or not

    A couple of them were completely engulfed in wax including the head. Are these still good?

    They are suppose to hatch on Tuesday.

    Thanks
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,017

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Nice work Cristian.

    Yes some can still be white on day 10, should at least have purple eyes though, my theory is if they were not immediately well fed after grafting they can be delayed but not totally sure if that is really why someone else may know. The lack of any nectar in the comb shows the bees had nothing much coming in & the cells usually are a bit slower when that happens.

    looking forward to seeing the pics of some mated queens!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    The weather was definetely not in favour but the next week looks promising in the weather forecast. I kept feeding sugar syrup 2 days before starter til the queen cells were capped. The finisher took about a gallon.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Benton, KY
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    I just transfered the QC's to mating nucs. The pupae are still white on day 10 after grafting. Could it be because of the bad weather we had? (I opened one of them)
    DSCN2974.jpg
    How do they look? I have no idea if they are good or not

    A couple of them were completely engulfed in wax including the head. Are these still good?

    They are suppose to hatch on Tuesday.

    Thanks
    Were the cells engulfed in the wax comb good or did the bees just draw it?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Were the cells engulfed in the wax comb good or did the bees just draw it?
    The bees draw it. Weird to me... how would those queens get out of all that wax?


    I think I have robbing on some of the nucs. It's hard to tell as there is no fighting... too much activity though and the syrup is sucked too soon(200 ml in less than 12 hours and all nucs are 2 deep frames). I closed entrances today on the suspect ones.

    About the nucs population: I also noticed 2 of them (I opened some with less activity on the entrance) having few bees left.

    These things are so delicate and I really feel helpless . I know I don't have to disturb them in this phase. The cells should emerge starting from tomorow. Should I shake some more bees into some of them when I get back home or should I leave them alone until the cells hatch?

    I don't know wether this stuff is suitable for people that don't have the time to be in the apiary during the day also. I'm curious to see what I get in the end. So far the odds doesn't look favourable.
    Last edited by cristianNiculae; 05-18-2014 at 11:15 PM.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,017

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Feeding syrup to brand new nucs can be a mistake unless the beekeeper is experienced how to do it.

    What happens is you make the nucs, they do not have a queen you give them a queen cell. So all the older bees who know their way home return to the original hive. But they will often return to the nuc to rob it. The nuc only has young bees left of not flying age, which means they are not guard duty age. They do not defend the nuc. Also, the robber bees smell the same cos they are from the same hive, they just walk right in. With all this happening, if you also feed syrup, the situation can be hopeless.

    So, what to do about it. If you make nucs and have them in the same yard as the parent colony, they should be started with about twice as many bees as you want to end up with because a lot of them will return to the parent hive. the entrance should be tiny, just one or two bees wide. After a week some of the bees will be older and can do guard duty so the entrance can be opened wider at that time. Do not feed syrup this is very important, give them enough honey in the comb to last a couple of weeks, after that they can be fed syrup provided there is no robbing.

    Cristian for your nucs at the moment, not a good plan to add more bees it can just cause more robbing. Best to remove any syrup you are feeding, make the entrances really small, and wait to see if they can get the robbing under control. If they have been completely robbed out and have nothing, late evening pour 1/2 a cup of sugar syrup over the bees so they can consume it, they should eat it all and leave none to attract robbers the next day, if they cannot eat it give them less. Do this every evening till robbing subsides & the bees take control of their own hive, should take a week or two. After that you can carefully feed them some syrup in the normal way, but carefully.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
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    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Thank you so much.
    This are really useful advices. Feeding nucs is very dangerous stuff indeed.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Henan, Sweden
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    You can also try to move the nucs to another location within the bee yard. Do this in the evening then no robber bees are flying. 50 meters may be enough.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Henan, Sweden
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    One way to prevent robbing of nucs is to place the nuc close to the mother beehive then you set it up. In the evening or next day then all the field bees has flown back to the origin hive its safe to move it to any location.
    My experience is that field bees never start robbing nucs that stand close to the mother beehive.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I've made a quick inspection in some of the nucs and united 4 of them into 2; found some hatched queens

    About grafting in general: I think it's more suitable for queen rearing operations and doesn't worth the effort if you don't need so many queens. I think M. Bush has made this very clear on his site.

    I'm glad that I did it but now bees have made it easier for me as they started swarm preparations in 3 of my hives. I've made 2 nucs with the old queens and I'm planning some more splits using the new queen cells.
    Since the best time for rearing queens is when they start naturally, I will just take advantage of their work.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
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    312

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Orje View Post
    One way to prevent robbing of nucs is to place the nuc close to the mother beehive then you set it up. In the evening or next day then all the field bees has flown back to the origin hive its safe to move it to any location.
    My experience is that field bees never start robbing nucs that stand close to the mother beehive.
    Thanks for the tip. Now I really don't know wich nuc came from what hive mixing up frames from 5 hives. I don't know if I ever will be more organized.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    doesn't worth the effort if you don't need so many queens.
    Cristian, you have made all the rookie mistakes and found the going tough, and have sounded frustrated at times. But you have learned a lot, next time you graft you will likely get good results, and next time you set up nucs you may do a better job.

    Trust me, once a person knows what they are doing, all this is pretty simple. Going through the initial mistakes and losses is hard, in terms of work, time spent, resources and emotional involvement. But once a person gets to the point od experience where they can go into this pretty much knowing what results to expect and not making mistakes, it gets fairly simple and quite rewarding. I think you are at the stage now where you know most of the things that can go wrong and will find it easier next time.

    Making nucs and putting them in the same site is always a gamble, me, I always move them somewhere else, makes life a lot easier.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I have had bees entomb queen cells before. They always left the tip of the queen cell uncovered so she could get out. It wasn't easy for me (I cut between the cells with a knife and attached the comb in the mating nucs), but I could see that the queens would not be stuck in the comb.

    Now I use frames with narrower top bars. The bees draw much less comb than with the normal width top bars that I started with.
    Bruce

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    Now I use frames with narrower top bars. The bees draw much less comb than with the normal width top bars that I started with.
    That's something I've wondered about Beedeetee and may try. Do you have any problems with the bees attaching the cells to the combs on the side?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,679

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I usually pick the comb away with my fingers if I'm going to put it in an incubator, cutting between them first.

    Kirk Webster uses narrow frames (basically frames without the Hoffman style spacers in the end bars), and says this is the reason. I keep telling myself I'm going to try it, but haven't gotten around to it.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

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