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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ...Do you have any problems with the bees attaching the cells to the combs on the side?
    I'm not sure I follow you. Are you talking about bridging comb from the queen cells to the comb on the frame either side of the cell bar frame? If so, no it hasn't happened. This frame was actually sent to me by mistake several years ago with an order and they told me to keep it. It is painted purple on the top and is quite narrow. I used to use the Jenter system which used a normal width top bar. Many of my cells bars looked like the attached picture above. Yeah, I cut and tore comb away from the cells as best I could. After I started grafting I started using the narrow bar and I have much less comb attached to the cells.
    Bruce

  2. #62
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    Feb 2014
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    Ottawa, ON
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I have been following this thread closely as I also decided to raise a few queens for the first time. I am a hobbyist with 6 hives. I followed Randy Oliver's technique. Scraping a space on a pollen frame and pressing the grafted cups into the space. The grafting went better then I expected. I had 9 of 10 accepted. I lost one more during the maturing period, however, the bees also started a rogue q Cell with a larvae I didn't know was on the pollen frame. Tomorrow I move them into nucs for mating.

    I have discovered it takes a lot of bees to raise 10 queens. I reduced two of my 6 hives severely to load up the starter finisher (4 frame nuc). I am using 8 four frame nucs (plus the starter/finisher) for mating and these are using a lot of bees as well. Once I get them mated, I will be happy with 5 mated queens, I will double queen my hives to get them back to production levels and then think about doing it again. I would like to end the season with 6 production hives and 4 nucs going into the winter.

    I get three honey flows/crops each year and may miss out on the first flow because the hives will not have recovered in time. Raspberry, star thistle, goldenrod. In the summer 8 queen cells are worth about $80. My raspberry honey flow is worth $300-$400.

    If I was able to start over I would wait until latter in the season to start. The hives I rob for bees would be stronger and less concern about cold weather. Next year I am planning on using the over wintered nucs to maintain my production hives and raising the queens latter in the year.

    Regards PeterP
    Last edited by PeterP; 05-19-2014 at 07:01 PM. Reason: update
    Ottawa. ON

  3. #63
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I followed Randy Oliver's technique. Scraping a space on a pollen frame and pressing the grafted cups into the space.
    I read Randy's site a lot but I don't really understand this technique. What's the advantage over the standard cell bar? Cells closer to the pollen? I guees it's related to making pollen more available... and plastic cups are a must in this case. In my opinion it's not any easier to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    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.
    Thanks so much Oldtimer. I need to find a mating yard for the future.

    Do you think that Jay Smith solution on keeping the nucs closed for 3 days would work better? Did you try it?

    I also started to use narrow frames with spacers. It was simpler for me to build and you can fit 11 frames in a box - will see what comes out of it.
    Last edited by cristianNiculae; 05-19-2014 at 09:31 PM.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  4. #64
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Been a while since I read Jay Smith, cannot remember why he locked nucs up for 3 days. Commercial breeders often lock nucs up for 3 days so the bees are not released until after the queen cell has hatched. If the nuc is close to the parent colony, locking the bees in for 3 days will not help much with drifting once the bees are released, even though some books tell you it does.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #65
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    Mar 2014
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    ceredigion (yes, its a county in West Wales UK)
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    33

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If the nuc is close to the parent colony, locking the bees in for 3 days will not help much with drifting once the bees are released, even though some books tell you it does.
    One trick to stop bees drifting back to a parent hive on the same site is to make them queenless a while (ideally, about a week or more) before splitting them, when they are then split up and put into different boxes in slightly different positions they seem to have much less inclination to drift back than if they'd been split while queenright.

  6. #66
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    Feb 2014
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    Ottawa, ON
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    19

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    What's the advantage over the standard cell bar? Cells closer to the pollen?
    Cristian, I think Randy sees scraping out a frame as eliminating one piece of special equipment. He has provided a very simplified description of the minimum needed to raise a few good queens. He is trying to encourage people to raise their own local queens. Not needing a bar means not having one more excuse for not giving it a try.

    Regards Peter
    Ottawa. ON

  7. #67
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    One trick to stop bees drifting back to a parent hive on the same site is to make them queenless a while (ideally, about a week or more) before splitting them, when they are then split up and put into different boxes in slightly different positions they seem to have much less inclination to drift back than if they'd been split while queenright.
    I just left 3 hives queenless as I've made 3 nucs with the old queens. I did that because they started QC's. I looked yesterday and they had not so many cells started so I started a new batch of grafts in order to have proper queens raised in a powerfull colony. I will tear down all cells and when the new cells are riped I will make some more nucs out of these queenless colonies.
    So thanks for the tip.

    A very clear description regarding the care for the mating nucs:
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/twoframenuc.html

    ...
    If you are leaving the nuc in the same apiary, or moving it within flying distance, then some of the bees will fly home. I don't trust the methods of blocking up the entrance or putting straw or branches in front of the hive. I either shake a couple of frames of bees from unsealed brood into the box, or put a sloping board up in front of the box as if you were hiving a swarm and shake several combs of bees onto the bottom of the board. The flyers will go home and the young bees will crawl up the board and go into the box. These bees can be from several colonies if you wish as it is only young bees that will enter the nuc box and they won't fight. This is a good way of weakening other colonies that can afford losing a few bees.
    ...
    ...and on requeening using QC:
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/queencelluse.html

    The safest way of introducing a queen cell is to make the colony queenless for 8-9 days, then remove all emergency cells and introduce your Q/C. This might appear excessive, but I have found that colonies can sometimes "hold back" a few larvae and still make viable emergency cells.
    Last edited by cristianNiculae; 05-21-2014 at 04:56 AM. Reason: found some answers elsewhere
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  8. #68
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Hehe... 16 acceptances on new grafts out of 20 I think. The hives that remained queenless dissapointed me.
    In conclusion queen starter + finisher + grafting rules. At least in my experience.

    The nucs are a failure. I've only seen 3 virgins in them. The other seems queenless. All of them had QC's started. I think the cells might have been not so well fed as OT suggested. The weather was a nightmare and they only had sugar syrup and some pollen in the combs. What's odd is that all QC's given to the nucs looked like they hatched normally and not torn by the bees. Maybe the robber killed them or who knows... maybe I haven't been able to see them all.

    I'm optimistic right now as the weather turned fine and we finally have a flow.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  9. #69
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    So my leassons learned as a newbie:

    1. Don't raise queens untill bees do, or at least when there is a flow
    2. Carefull with feeding the nucs(it's very easy to just pour sugar syrup into the frames and on the bees when it's the case)
    3. I found that grafting itself is very easy
    4. The breeder frame inside the starter really helped in grafting afterwards
    5. Put all the frames to be shaken in the starter at hand so you only put the lid on, once, when you're done shaking
    6. I think putting the nuc nearby the donor colony before moving further away helped in preventing the robbing though here I'm not that sure as in my case the robbing was caused by rude feeding
    7. Make nucs 7-8 days before giving them the cells (tear all their cells before introducing yours)

    Best regards,
    Cristian
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  10. #70
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    Feb 2014
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    Ottawa, ON
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    19

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Cristian, hope you don't mind if I add my lessons learned as well.

    1. Don't raise queens untill bees do, or at least when there is a flow
    Agree, plus wait until you have enough bees. Raising 10 queens with a free flying queenless nuc uses a lot of bees. Plus the mating nucs.
    2. Carefull with feeding the nucs(it's very easy to just pour sugar syrup into the frames and on the bees when it's the case)
    I didn't feed
    3. I found that grafting itself is very easy
    agree
    4. The breeder frame inside the starter really helped in grafting afterwards
    I plan to try this next time. The "wetter" larvae the easier to graft.
    5. Put all the frames to be shaken in the starter at hand so you only put the lid on, once, when you're done shaking
    I just shook frames of bees into my 5 frame starter box and let the foragers fly home. The nurse bees stay. I did it during the afternoon with a flow on so had no robbing issues.
    6. I think putting the nuc nearby the donor colony before moving further away helped in preventing the robbing though here I'm not that sure as in my case the robbing was caused by rude feeding
    I had no robbing issues, no feeding and a flow.
    7. Make nucs 7-8 days before giving them the cells (tear all their cells before introducing yours)
    I made up mating nucs 24 hours before transfer and didn't check for cells. My mating nucs were a frame of honey, open feed, small patch of open brood, emerging brood. No issues yet.

    The eye opener for me was not anticipating impact on donor hives. The starter nuc took all the nurse bees from 2 of my six hives. The 8 nucs took a frame with open brood and a frame of emerging brood each = 16 frames. The honey and open feed came from dead outs. I plan to look at 4x2 mating nuc for next time. Plus not so early in season to avoid cool weather which is why I couldn't make 2 frame nucs in 5 frame boxes.

    Best regards,
    Peter
    Ottawa. ON

  11. #71
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    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    2,049

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Read up on the Cloake board......use one hive as starter and finisher........
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for Oxalic Acid Vaporizers

  12. #72
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    on the use of a lot of bees issue. I used Walts checker boarding and nectar management methods since February to build up 12 production colonies. If nothing else it makes a whole lot of bees. one 5 frame nuc building up to 40 fraems of bees. All 12 of the colonies building up to 50 to 60 frames of bees. In addition I built a cell builder in the midst of this. On a side not I noticed an interesting side effect of taking brood from any queen to supply a cell builder. It takes a frame from that queen but supplies her with new space to lay. the burden of rearing that first frame of brood off the colony and places it on the cell builder. The result is 10 frames removed from the apiary as a whole is also 10 new empty fraems of brood produced. In effect out get 20 frames of brood produced where you otherwise woudl only have had 10.

    Sorry if that last bit is confusing. I tend to see through the obvious and easily see the intricate and complex. I suspect few people would make this observation of 10 additional fraems produced. it is obvious to me.

    Anyway I started my grafting and queen rearing with no where near anything like a shortage of bees. We then proceeded to split p these bees into 2 frame compartments. 192 frames of bees to queen castles alone. More to 5 frame nucs. and quite a few went with the parent colonies to an outyard. in total we had produced nearly 500 frames of bees from 12 colonies and 10 overwintered nucs.

    By now you must be wondering, Where is this loss of bees thing he started to talk about"? So here it is. Of the 192 frames of bees we placed in queen castles. we have only retrieved 50. A significant number of those have converted to laying workers. And we have not been getting the mated queens expected to help restore this loss of bees. Our original hives are fine. they are queenright and in an outyard working on making honey. Our queen rearing yard has been decimated. At least temporarily. we are starting to see signs we will make the turn around. get the queens needed and start restoring this loss of bees.

    My overall imprecision is I don't see how anyone does it with average populations. We currently have 35 confirmed mated queens in all. with an additional 13 yet to be confirmed. I have no idea how many are still in mating compartments but we took tremendous losses of virgin queens. 100% there for a while. That has dropped to about 75% or so in the past few days which is better than nothing.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #73
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Guess I have always been a minority here on Beesource in that I am an advocate of simplicity for those starting out raising queens. My preference is to use, for queen raising, what you primarily use for your outfit as a whole. A deep with a divider down the middle and 2 frames of brood and bees on each side may not be the most efficient use of bees and brood per queen raised but give you a very high probability of success, lots of room for feed (you can even use an in hive feeder in a pinch) and brood and the option of either caging and re-celling or letting it grow into a full 4 comb nuc for later use or sale. We often do hundreds of these when we run long on brood and have always had extremely high success rates.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Jim, I may have to agree with you on the success issue. It is still to soon and I have not had time to let the fog clear.

    What I do see an issue with is this. and I will apply it to myself. If I where to take your advice and practice rearing queens in divided ten frame boxes. what have I accomplished? I have learned how to rear queens in a manner that has no value to me next year. I may have produced increase but am no better suited to manage it than when I started.

    For me it is clear that if my goal is to produce massive numbers of queens then I am restricted to methods that achieve that goal. difficult as it may be. It is not nor has it ever been my goal to achieve easy beekeeping. I fully intend to achieve exceptional beekeeping. you do not reach exceptional by taking easy roads. It may be that I fail but when I do I will fail big. that is because you only loose big when you lay it all on the line. and I keep it all on the line every day. I would consider 2 queens reared in divided super a failure. Simply because I know that that same equipment is capable of producing 4 queens in the same period of time. And if it is at all possible I will figure out how to make it 10.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Jim, I may have to agree with you on the success issue. It is still to soon and I have not had time to let the fog clear.

    What I do see an issue with is this. and I will apply it to myself. If I where to take your advice and practice rearing queens in divided ten frame boxes. what have I accomplished? I have learned how to rear queens in a manner that has no value to me next year. I may have produced increase but am no better suited to manage it than when I started.

    For me it is clear that if my goal is to produce massive numbers of queens then I am restricted to methods that achieve that goal. difficult as it may be. It is not nor has it ever been my goal to achieve easy beekeeping. I fully intend to achieve exceptional beekeeping. you do not reach exceptional bys taking easy roads. It may be that I fail but when I do I will fail big. that is because you only loose big when you lay it all on the line. and I keep it all on the line every day. I would consider 2 queens reared in divided super a failure. Simply because I know that that same equipment is capable of producing 4 queens in the same period of time. And if it is at all possible I will figure out how to make it 10.
    Then do it in a divided medium. My point is the smaller the unit, the greater the difficulty in maintaining a sustainable size because of the lack of brood rearing area for the newly raised queen. I also believe a case can be made that the longer a queen is allowed to lay before caging, the higher probability that she will become an exceptional queen. Personally I don't want to ever cage them, just keep them going in a nuc and transfer them when they grow out of their space. Such nucs are quite valuable in their own right. Certainly queens can be raised in very small units, and typically are, by large commercial queen producers but they also have to have extra hives in reserve for bulk bee boosting of the units that dwindle in size. My point is just that beginners may be better served by keeping things simple until they become more familiar with the whole process of queen rearing.
    This isn't a criticism, Daniel, I admire your ambition, it's just my point of view based on my experiences and requirements.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It is not nor has it ever been my goal to achieve easy beekeeping.
    Essentially I disagree with that concept. Me, I do everything the easiest way possible, and doing things the hard way will lead to failure.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    274

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    I was wondering whether to put this or not on the not to do list for the future and you guys have added it.

    I don't like divided small boxes especially 2 by 2 in 5 frame nuc... covers bending in the sun creating bee space above dividers(on 3 x 2 in standard box), not enough space for maneuvering the frames etc. I'm sure it fits the needs on larger queen operations but I won't use them again.

    At first I thought I would not have enough boxes for the bees that's why I divided them. Another reason was that I really had no idea how bees really multiply in the Spring. So in conclusion I could have used standard boxes from the beginning, placing them on their final stands.

    ...
    I'm thinking on using Michael Palmer/Kirk Webster/Peter Edwards/Cloake board/and who knows who else method of combined starter/finisher. I had some dramatic experiences forming the starter. As I don't have a bee suit and can't stand heat I've been stung a lot and I would better not do it again .
    I read Joseph Clemens method also.
    ...

    My personal conclusion after reading all the above: I still stick with the classical method. The only problems I need to solve to make it work more smoothly is better protection for myself + queen marking.

    I will try to make some pictures with my new bee yard with lots of queenless nucs and hives ... and not to mention the chickens standing upon the more inactive ones

    Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by cristianNiculae; 05-23-2014 at 01:40 AM. Reason: nevermind
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  18. #78
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    Nov 2004
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    Camas, WA
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    1,933

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    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.
    Well, I just went out to transfer my queen cells into mating nucs from the narrow bar and found it full of comb. So, I guess it depends on the hive. For the past couple of years I haven't noticed as much comb between the queen cells with the narrow bar. But this bunch of bees didn't mind it at all. The burr comb was easy to cut out although they were starting to fill it with honey. Our flow is starting and I had forced a large hive into a single deep for a queenless starter/finisher. I think they ran out of places to put honey.
    Bruce

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    274

    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Some pics with my nuc yard, started out, probably, in the cheapest posible way:

    DSCN3086.jpg DSCN3090.jpg DSCN3094.jpg

    I want to try some minis(with cells) also when the cells are ripped. I already prepared them and they sit on the circular saw table. I know my bee yard and everything are messy but I can live with it. I simply don't have the time to put things in order and I concentrate on the essence - the bees.

    Have a nice Sunday,
    Cristian at 7 AM EEST


    Forgot to say that I'm going to paint all white after noticing the difference in temperature btw. the white boxes and the green darker ones, wich can be also measured by the numbers of fanners at the entrance.
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  20. #80
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    Jul 2013
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    Romania, Sibiu
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    Default Re: Stressful grafting and queen rearing attempt

    Hello again,

    I've got at least 6 mated queens from the first round(out of 12 nucs). I'll make some pictures when the weather will be better. They all have alternating black and orange on their abdomen.

    On the second round (most of the cells just hatched yesterday) I got some problem - two or three of the nucs have uncovered capped brood.

    The weather didn't permit any operation as it rained starting from Friday and still cold and rainy today. I guess I have to accept some losses.

    Q: At what temperature uncovered capped brood dies?
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

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