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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    Posts
    133

    Default Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    I'm using a combination of the Cloake Board (CB) and Nicot Grid to raise some queens: the former because I have only one hive that I deemed strong enough to raise queens and the latter because my near vision is not great and I wanted a non-grafting method. I've used the CB once before and got a good number of nice queen cells, but found that many of them were difficult to remove without damage because they were too close together or right on top of the bottom bar. Out of about 30 cells, I had 10 hatched virgins queens, so I was hoping for a better success rate. Today was day 4 and I was thrilled to find over 30 young larvae in royal jelly, more than enough to fill the 24 cup fixtures on the cell bar.
    By the way, the CB worked beautifully to concentrate the bees in the cell starter.

    One interesting thing of note is that I think I found both an egg and a larvae in one of the cell cups. The photo doesn't show the larvae (if present) very well which raises a couple of questions.

    It has been/is my understanding that the nurse bees don't start feeding the larvae until after they hatch. I did an internet search but found little that specifically addresses this question. Most posts state that the nurse bees feed larvae, but don't specifically state that they do not feed before hatching. I did find one post on this forum in which the posters disagreed-one stated that bees don't feed eggs because they don't eat (makes sense), and the other had seen blobs of royal jelly next to eggs which is kind of what the photo looks like here. I also browsed through dozens of images of eggs and larvae but found none with eggs and royal jelly in the same cell. I did find many photos of two eggs in the bottom of the same cell, which I've heard is not rare.

    Grant Gillard in his book on the Nicot system advises only to transfer cups with blobs of royal jelly in the bottom because they contain an hatched larvae. He also states that bees will not build a cell from an egg, and have cannibalized them every time he's tried it. Quite frankly, I was unable to completely convince myself that I saw larvae in any of the cups, although for a couple I was pretty sure. I just went by the presence of royal jelly and I'm hoping that I didn't transfer 24 unhatched eggs guaranteeing a complete failure.
    I'd be happy to share additional details if anybody's interested, and would also appreciate knowing who else has tried this method.
    Thanks.

    Egg and Royal Jelly.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    I belong to that group who claim to have seen egg and royal jelly in the same Nicot cell cup (and no hatched larvae), and that happend when my eyesight was much better, even grasped through the royal jelly to look for a larvae.
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html, YouTube juhanilunden

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Hanover PA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    I have used the Nicot System successfully for years. I only leave my queens in the laying box for 24 hours....more than enough eggs are always laid in that amount of time. In order for you to have a hatched egg (larva) and another egg in the same cell, the queen had to have been in there too long. Do the math. Put her in, check for enough eggs in 24 hours....then let her out.
    I would also suggest you buy and read some books on honey bee biology instead of relying on the internet as your go to source of info.
    It is a known fact that bees only feed larva.....never eggs.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Henry County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    I was under the impression that you don't do any grafting anyhow when using the cloake board method. If this is not a correct assumption, please enlighten me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Stoke on trent,UK
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bru View Post
    I was under the impression that you don't do any grafting anyhow when using the cloake board method. If this is not a correct assumption, please enlighten me.
    http://theapiarist.org/cloake-board-queen-rearing/
    Your assumption is incorrect,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Henry County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    Bummer! I was hoping grafting wasn't part of the premise. I can't see well enough to even spot eggs so there's not much chance I could manage queen cell grafting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Stoke on trent,UK
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bru View Post
    Bummer! I was hoping grafting wasn't part of the premise. I can't see well enough to even spot eggs so there's not much chance I could manage queen cell grafting.

    Err.. You can use cloake board with either grafting or Nicot.

    The Nicot system avoids ALL grafting: it just persuades the Q to lay eggs into a plastic cell - when the eggs turn to larvae - a mist of royal jelly - then you put them into cups and place in a frame for bees to draw out QCs.


    The Cloake board enables you to switch an upper brood box to Q- by blanking off the lower box - where the queen is confined - for 24 hours. When QCs are started , then you can unblank it and switch to Q+ in the upper box and the bees finish drawing out the QCs.

    SO no need for a separate starter and finisher hive..

    I am using one just now with Nicot...If you have a floor with a closable rear entrance, you can do the whole think with no box moving at all... Ideal if you have a bad back like me..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Henry County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Nicot Plus Cloake Board-Egg and larva in the same cell?

    Thanks for the excellent explanation madasafish

    I also have back issues so I opted to standardize all my supers/hive bodies into 8 frame all medium woodenware.

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