Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner
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  1. #1

    Default Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    I have bee studying up on Michael Palmer/Brother Adams cell builder and I am trying to visualize myself doing all of the steps. I want to try grafting when my eyes are still good. I am wondering if I should consider making cell starter box, if this method might be easier. I like the idea of keeping the large hive together but I am wondering if I have the skills to find the queen cells and do all the manipulations I need to do. I guess I am wondering if I am biting of more then I can chew with taking on grafting and making the monster hive. Any thoughts from those more experienced would be helpful. Thanks!
    6 years-8 hives-T
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    The easiest way is to just use a 5 frame nuc box, 1frame honey 1frame pollen, cell bar and two empty frames, put as many bess as you can fit into the nuc box. Keep the bees closed up in a cool place with a feeder on top. Once the cells are started in about 48hrs you can move the cells above a queen excluder in a queen rite hive to get them finished off. Or if you want real easy you can just leave them in the five frame box until they are ready.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    I like a 10 frame starter - after 48 hours you move the whole thing on top of a queen excluder on a queen right single.
    Adam - Zone 5A
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    I like a 10 frame starter - after 48 hours you move the whole thing on top of a queen excluder on a queen right single.
    Now this method makes good sense to me. No fuss, worries or anything. The colony that gets the starter gets a needed boost (if the bees didn't come from it to begin with) and all is well in the end.
    Thomas Bartram

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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    I like a 10 frame starter - after 48 hours you move the whole thing on top of a queen excluder on a queen right single.
    Could you explain how you do the excluder, I have read some people use one, and others use two excluders with a spacer in-between. The explanation being if a queen cell hatches she doesn't meet the old queen thru the excluder.
    I hope to use the 10 frame finisher and then move the capped cells to a queen castle till they are mated.
    thanks

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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    I like a 10 frame starter - after 48 hours you move the whole thing on top of a queen excluder on a queen right single.
    Do you also put newspaper between?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Do you also put newspaper between?
    The addition of a newspaper would be defeating the purpose of putting them atop a queenright hive. You do so in order to allow the bees to mingle and get more help from the nurse bees that are in the hive already to feed your QC starts. Putting in a newspaper between two queen excluders would cause the bees not to be able to mingle freely.

    The idea is to remove the QC's a day or two before they emerge, otherwise a virgin will kill out the other cells, then go through the excluder in some cases if she's smaller, and find your good mated queen and kill her too.
    Thomas Bartram

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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Do you also put newspaper between?
    I have actually done this (in effect using newspaper as a cloake board) when I wanted to start some cells and walk away from them for a week or so. A couple layers of newspaper will effectively block the queen pheromone to get the cells started and within a couple days the newspaper is pretty well cleaned out and you have a pretty normal hive albeit one with cells above an excluder.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #9

    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    I like a 10 frame starter - after 48 hours you move the whole thing on top of a queen excluder on a queen right single.
    I have seen info about the nuc box with ventilation below and the Michael Palmer's method but not much about the 10 frame starter. Do you have any links to more info? Do they need ventilate like with the nuc style box? What would be the set-up? Same as the Michael Palmer starter but with bees nurse bees from other hives shaken in? Move them after 48 hours? Why so soon? What is the benefit of the 10 frame over the 5 frame?
    6 years-8 hives-T
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    I have seen info about the nuc box with ventilation below and the Michael Palmer's method but not much about the 10 frame starter. Do you have any links to more info? Do they need ventilate like with the nuc style box? What would be the set-up? Same as the Michael Palmer starter but with bees nurse bees from other hives shaken in? Move them after 48 hours? Why so soon? What is the benefit of the 10 frame over the 5 frame?

    the benifit is you just lift the box and set it on top of a colony..... no digging through frames moving them over. If you run 8 frame equipment you could use an 8 frame starter with the same concept

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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by ABruce View Post
    Could you explain how you do the excluder, I have read some people use one, and others use two excluders with a spacer in-between. The explanation being if a queen cell hatches she doesn't meet the old queen thru the excluder.
    I use just one excluder and remove the cells before they hatch.
    Adam - Zone 5A
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Do you also put newspaper between?
    No the starter really on consists of nurse bees, so newspaper isn't required.
    Adam - Zone 5A
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    The theory behind putting the starter above a queen right colony is that it switches the bees from "Emergency Cell Building" to "Supercedure Cell building". In the former, the bees are rushing to produce a queen as soon as possible, but it's a great way to get them start lots of cells. In the latter they are producing better quality queens as there is no need to rush with them already having a queen.

    The starter is setup in a new box on its own stand the day of or the day before grafting. Frames are arranged something like this:

    H-CB-CB-P-GF-OB-CB-CB-P-H

    H=Honey, CB=Capped brood, P=pollen, GF=grafting frame.

    A high density of bees is really important, you will need to shake a lot more nurse bees than were already on the frames.

    The queen right finisher should be a fairly weak colony so it doesn't swarm.

    This mostly comes from Ontario Beekeepers Association queen rearing course.
    Adam - Zone 5A
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Out of curiosity, once you've produced and removed the queen cells what do you do with the bees? Do you keep the double deep together or do you split them into mating nucs and give them a queen cell?

    Also, I assume every batch of queen cells will require a new queen starter to have young nurse bees?

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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    So...I do understand why no newpaper but unless combining with the original..which would make sense..would you not get fighting? Ahhh...if mainly nurse bees acceptance is good
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I have actually done this (in effect using newspaper as a cloake board) when I wanted to start some cells and walk away from them for a week or so. A couple layers of newspaper will effectively block the queen pheromone to get the cells started and within a couple days the newspaper is pretty well cleaned out and you have a pretty normal hive albeit one with cells above an excluder.
    That sounds to me like a great idea Jim, that would reduce the cell builder hive checking and manipulations needed.
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  18. #17
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    I usually leave it as a double, but if you were running all singles you could easily break it up.
    Adam - Zone 5A
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  19. #18

    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    This is very helpful, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    In the latter they are producing better quality queens as there is no need to rush with them already having a queen.
    Interesting, I thought they thought they weren't queen right but your saying they know that they have a queen and will continue building the cells anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    H-CB-CB-P-GF-OB-CB-CB-P-H
    Is OB open brood? If so, why? I thought you wanted no other brood or eggs.

    So they are okay without extra ventilation?
    6 years-8 hives-T
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  20. #19
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    You will also want an open frame up top otherwise all of your queen cells will be joined together with wax. They need a place to build.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Where does one put the open frame in relation to the graft frame?
    Do others rub pollen in open cells as Michael Bush does?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

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