Mike saw you in Kamloops this past March really enjoyed you talks and plan to implement some of your methods into my operation. I bought 8 kona queens this spring and had 2 failures...... I'm even more sold on the wintering nucs now with my own locally raised queens.
1 questions when reversing the queen right hive is there any worry that the brood in this hive will be compromised once we shake nurse bees into the CB?
Reversing the queen right hive? It's not. The original colony is reversed early in the season, and supered. When the colony is setup for cell building, step one is adding a box of emerging brood above an excluder. 10 days later is grafting day. At that point, the box with added brood is removed and the queen right hive is placed on the ground behind original location and CB goes on original stand. The queen right hive is taken apart and the core of its broodnest is shaken through an excluder, and into the CB. The queen right hive is put back together, but not reversed. Enough bees remain in queen right hive to care for the brood.
How long can one spend grafting one frame? I saw videos of you with 30 cups on one frame. I limited to 15 cups per frame when I grafted last year because worried it would take me too long.
In dry climate, try to get one bar done in less than 5 minutes, then go put them in the CB. Of course, you have a spray bottle with warm water and a warm, damp towel to cover them as you go, and you will probably have to adjust the number of cell cups per bar until you get quick at grafting.
My success came up when I got below 5 minutes per bar and immediately reached out the tent and inserted them into the cell frame and carefully placed them in the CB.
I have the feeling that priming the cell cups helps in dry weather, and it probably hurts in damp weather, so if you do it, keep it minimal.
Michael, I was just watching your queen rearing video again and had one question. About 39 minutes in you are smearing pollen all over an empty comb. But what if you don't have any pollen to use? Would you recommend using a high quality pollen sub powder, or a sub patty on top?
If I had no pollen, or if I couldn't find a suitable pollen comb in a colony, I would use sub. This summer, I tried a comb of pollen on one side of the graft, and a comb of pollen/Ultrabee mix on the other. The pollen was half gone as is usual. The mix was gone. Not sure if they used the mix or threw it out the door.
Thank you so much for all the great advice you have give to all of us. If there is one thing my bees have taught me about pollen sub it is that they will only eat it if there is none of the real thing available. My bet is that they threw it away!
Ha Ha! I didn't look at who posted this before I started reading. As I read it I was saying to myself that this guy does it the same way Micheal Palmer does it. Mike I follow you as much as I can because I find you to be a very good teacher. We also Live in the same type of climate which is not the easiest to keep bees in. Not bad this time of year but when it hits -40 on both sides of the boarder it makes you worry a little more.