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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    I did my third (forth?) graft attempt yesterday. I checked them today because I gave one bar to another queenless colony to finish. I grafted three bars. Two of the bars were recycled from this previous trial in which I had a good number accepted however I elected to ditch them and try again looking for larger cells.
    IMG_20140608_163817.jpg
    I froze and removed the larvae/ pupae and scraped out the cells a bit. I then placed these cups into a box that contained a queenless swarm I collected a day earlier. The queenless bees cleaned out the cells on these two bars and even built wax rings on the lips of the cell cups. Being that I wanted to graft three bars I added another bar that I put brand new JZBZ cups into. Upon checking the graft frame today I was surprised to see that the bees completely ignored the brand new cups. I placed this bar in the center position just in case I found there was a problem I couldn't blame it on the fact that the bar was "too high" or "too low" in the frame.
    What's the deal with new cups? I've read a lot of people here use them right out of the bag?
    On another related note, what about letting the bees season the cups AND what about using previously grafted cups? Seem to me the bees really got after the cups that I had already grafted into. I suppose reusing cups might be a bad idea if there was a lot of frass from previous occupants but maybe these cups become more desirable after being used? People talk about the cups being too cheap to try and reuse and this is certainly understandable. My theory is reusing them after giving them to a strong colony that is really hard up to raise a new queen is a good play and may get the acceptance rate up?
    I'll report back on this latest attempt. I am interested because I am using the technique found here where the starter is made with bees packed into it but no brood whatsoever. Then it is given a frame of open brood/eggs which, theoretically, gives them a lot of drive to make large cells. I placed one bar in the box that has the swarm bees and left the other two bars ,one of which has empty new cups, in this starter which I'll also use as a finisher for this go round. I'll see if the bees in the starter that were given the frame of open brood grow bigger cells than the bee from the captured swarm. Both bars seemed to be similar in accepted number of cells . Not true science but interesting to me non the less.
    BTW the frame of open brood was removed so there is nothing in either colony for the bees to feed other than my grafted cells. I am feeding the bees and they have plenty of honey and pollen frames right next to the grafts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    i use jzbz cups right out of the bag without issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    Interesting I need to try using old cells see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    Well I was wrong.....again. I checked the starter (which I planned on using as a finisher as well) and the two bars that I left in it were both ignored other than a single cell that had appreciable RJ and a large larvae.
    I had left three frames of brood in this triple deck starter and I had checked it for swarm cell over a period of three days during a prior, and rather successful, graft. I voluntarily ditched these thinking, in error once again, that they were too small. In dismantling this triple deck starter today I saw there were two frames with several capped queen cells. I took these frames and made nucs. I don't know if these capped queen cells were the reason the bees didn't start this most recent attempt but I was not going to leave them with the new starter I put together. I took this triple deck 5 frame per deck starter and, again, moved it about 20 feet away. I also took all the occupants and made this new starter a single 5 frame nuc that is jammed full of bees from the triple. I put the nucs with the queen cells in the spot that the triple was so the field bees will have their pick as to where to go. In other words I am trying yet again and starting from ground zero. I'm hoping this starter has the environment to cause them to start cells big time. I put 1/2 gallon of syrup on them and a frame with two bars of grafted cups. I know I cannot blame a lack of bees for a failure this time but I suppose I could be a little concerned about the age of these bees. I am hoping that moving the starter will force the field bees back to the original spot. This is a given I suppose but I'm hoping that the house bees that remain are inclined to start these grafts. I'll see tomorrow and if they don't start them I'll do it all again with a new batch of nurse bee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    It's my experience that given the option, bees will do everything except what you want... *grins*

    I try to make sure that my starter hive is hopelessly queenless. You can pretty much guarantee that they will work your cells.

    I can't tell you how big they will be, or how many they will accept..... But they will work your bar... I usually have 25+ out of 30 grafts by using hopelessly queen less starter..

    On a side note, quite a few of your cells are more than acceptable size... I'm not sure that size really matters in the grand scheme of things. It has more to do with how much food they have.

    I've had little cells that emerged into a smallish queen that had RJ left over... She out laid some of the lumbering giants...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    It's my experience that given the option, bees will do everything except what you want... *grins*

    I try to make sure that my starter hive is hopelessly queenless. You can pretty much guarantee that they will work your cells.

    I can't tell you how big they will be, or how many they will accept..... But they will work your bar... I usually have 25+ out of 30 grafts by using hopelessly queen less starter..

    On a side note, quite a few of your cells are more than acceptable size... I'm not sure that size really matters in the grand scheme of things. It has more to do with how much food they have.

    I've had little cells that emerged into a smallish queen that had RJ left over... She out laid some of the lumbering giants...
    Yes the cells that I had were indeed acceptable. I am now sorry I destroyed them thinking I could do better. I'll check the starter toward the afternoon and see what they have done. If no luck I'll try again. Unfortunately it started raining. This cools things off but getting out to the yard to work bees will wait until it stops.
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: My recent experience with new-vs"seasoned" JZBZ cups

    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    I did my third (forth?) graft attempt yesterday. I checked them today because I gave one bar to another queenless colony to finish. I grafted three bars. Two of the bars were recycled from this previous trial in which I had a good number accepted however I elected to ditch them and try again looking for larger cells.
    Next time just go ahead and try the queen cells you have made. They may prove out quite good.

    IMG_20140608_163817.jpg
    I froze and removed the larvae/ pupae and scraped out the cells a bit. I then placed these cups into a box that contained a queenless swarm I collected a day earlier. The queenless bees cleaned out the cells on these two bars and even built wax rings on the lips of the cell cups. Being that I wanted to graft three bars I added another bar that I put brand new JZBZ cups into. Upon checking the graft frame today I was surprised to see that the bees completely ignored the brand new cups. I placed this bar in the center position just in case I found there was a problem I couldn't blame it on the fact that the bar was "too high" or "too low" in the frame.
    What's the deal with new cups? I've read a lot of people here use them right out of the bag?
    The deal was that you gave them a choice, and they went with the ones that were likely prepared more to their liking.

    On another related note, what about letting the bees season the cups AND what about using previously grafted cups? Seem to me the bees really got after the cups that I had already grafted into. I suppose reusing cups might be a bad idea if there was a lot of frass from previous occupants but maybe these cups become more desirable after being used? People talk about the cups being too cheap to try and reuse and this is certainly understandable. My theory is reusing them after giving them to a strong colony that is really hard up to raise a new queen is a good play and may get the acceptance rate up?
    Go with what works.

    I'll report back on this latest attempt. I am interested because I am using the technique found here where the starter is made with bees packed into it but no brood whatsoever. Then it is given a frame of open brood/eggs which, theoretically, gives them a lot of drive to make large cells. I placed one bar in the box that has the swarm bees and left the other two bars ,one of which has empty new cups, in this starter which I'll also use as a finisher for this go round. I'll see if the bees in the starter that were given the frame of open brood grow bigger cells than the bee from the captured swarm. Both bars seemed to be similar in accepted number of cells . Not true science but interesting to me non the less.
    BTW the frame of open brood was removed so there is nothing in either colony for the bees to feed other than my grafted cells. I am feeding the bees and they have plenty of honey and pollen frames right next to the grafts.
    Starter/Finisher colony strength beyond belief, lots of feed -2-gallon feeder frame of thin syrup + HBH, plus a patty), NO OTHER QUEENS / QUEEN CELLS / OPEN BROOD, and a nectar flow are the keys.

    Several of my friends say wax cell cups work better than plastic cell cups. I don't know, I only use home-made beeswax cell cups. I now attach them to golf tees to ease cutting out, handling, and attaching to corks that seal up the hatching jars.

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