Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner - Page 3
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  1. #41

    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    They are queenless for the first 24-48hours and queen-right when you put them on top of the single.




    Yes OB is open brood. You don't want eggs, but a frame of open brood will have nurse bees attached ready to feed your grafts and help attract more nurse bees to the grafting frame. I made a mistake in my original frame order post as I missed a frame of foundation. The frame of foundation will help keep them from building comb on your grafting frame. It should have been something like:

    H-F-CB-CB-P-GF-OB-CB-CB-H/P



    There are free flying through this whole process.
    I think I will try this method. The Micheal Palmer/Brother Adams method intimidates me because you are setting up a swarm and looking for stray queens/queen cells in a huge hive does not sound fun in a community garden. I only want to make about 8 cells and it will be a one off. Adding a cloak board in will just confuse me completely.

    I did not realize they stayed open vs. the nuc box being closed with ventilation. I assume the setup is the same in regards to setting it up and walking away for a few hours, then grafting. Can I set them right next to the original hive with out them abandoning the cell starter? Will it work fine with medium boxes? Can I return it to the mother hive above an excluder and below supers (with some open brood added)? Is the cell building time frame still 48 hrs before you move it to the finisher? Thanks this is very helpful.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    jim, will it works if I only direct the foragers into the top
    box where the grafted cells are at? And at the same time closed
    the bottom entrance leaving a 2nd exit behind the bottom box.
    We leave a small entrance on the bottom box with a lid in front of it so the majority of the field bees return into the top box. If you don't start with either a really exceptional double (I feel it takes at least 10 frames of brood) or a combine of two good singles, it can be tough maintaining that bottom box through multiple cell raising operations because it often runs short on nurse bees and the queen can have trouble maintaining the egg laying needed to keep an adequate hive population.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    QUOTE=Margot1d;1239883] I only want to make about 8 cells and it will be a one off.

    Margot,
    If you only need eight cells, there are easier methods than grafting and cell staters and cell finishers. Just take a frame of fairly new comb, make sure it has very young larve and/or eggs, and put it in the middle of a nuc box with some honey and pollen frames, some capped brood, shake in some nurse bees (make sur you don't shake in a queen) and then leave it alone for 12 days or so. Just make sure there are plenty of bees in there. It should make at least eight cells if not more. Around day 12 or so cut out the cells you need. That is unless you just want to tackle grafting for the experience of it. I think M. Bush explains this better than I just did on his website.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt903 View Post
    Margot,
    If you only need eight cells, there are easier methods than grafting and cell staters and cell finishers.
    Matt is right. Even if you want to graft for eight cells I don't think you really need a full sized starter. The one I described was for a full grafting frame of 45+ cells.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    Can I set them right next to the original hive with out them abandoning the cell starter? Will it work fine with medium boxes? Can I return it to the mother hive above an excluder and below supers (with some open brood added)? Is the cell building time frame still 48 hrs before you move it to the finisher? Thanks this is very helpful.
    You can set them up next to the original hive - it is the nurse bees that are important. Medium boxes are fine. You can return it to any queen right hive. As suggested, newspaper can't hurt when combining. 24-48 hours is fine. You can also check the success or your grafts at that time.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    squareperg I grafted 45 larvae. I had my nine year old daughter help.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    nice! hope you get a good 'take'.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Whether it is 45 or 8 cells grafting, this will enable you to have some exceptional
    well fed queens. The more resources available the better for the queen cells. They may not
    feed on all the RJ (royal jelly) but these queens will bee well nourished and beautiful. If you can provide then why not.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt903 View Post
    Margot,
    If you only need eight cells, there are easier methods than grafting and cell staters and cell finishers. Just take a frame of fairly new comb, make sure it has very young larve and/or eggs, and put it in the middle of a nuc box with some honey and pollen frames, some capped brood, shake in some nurse bees (make sur you don't shake in a queen) and then leave it alone for 12 days or so. Just make sure there are plenty of bees in there. It should make at least eight cells if not more. Around day 12 or so cut out the cells you need. That is unless you just want to tackle grafting for the experience of it. I think M. Bush explains this better than I just did on his website.
    Are you using wax foundation or plastic?

    I tried using a clay pottery tool to remove queen cells from plastic foundation. Seemed hard not to damage queen cells when removing them from plastic foundation.

    Any tips out there for tools and techniques?
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  11. #50

    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Whether it is 45 or 8 cells grafting, this will enable you to have some exceptional
    well fed queens. The more resources available the better for the queen cells. They may not
    feed on all the RJ (royal jelly) but these queens will bee well nourished and beautiful. If you can provide then why not.
    I played around with lots of queen cells from swarm attempts last year and that was great but I want to try grafting and getting some fatty queens. I think the 10 frame is the way to go for my goals. A lot of it is about learning how to do it. I really don't know what I will do with all the queens I make. I only need to requeen maybe three hives. I will probably keep some around for fun. I love keeping a nuc on hand and I had good success over wintering two this year. @ zhiv9 Thanks for answering all my questions! The Michael Palmer method was really overkill for my needs.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Yes, it is very important to learn from doing. That is the only way to experience
    beekeeping. The extra queens you can pick the best one to head your hives. Or you
    can give them away on CL. Make some nucs to overwinter is good too. The purpose of
    having more nurse bees is to make sure all the qcs are well feed whether it is 8 or 50 at a time.
    Though it is nice to see what the 8 cells will look like. This is how the exceptional queens are different
    from the average queens are made.

    For removing the qcs from the foundation I would try using a sharp one sided razor blade. Use the tip of
    the blade to gently scrape away the wax at the bottom of the cell to loosen it after cutting all the sides out first.
    Have to bee extra careful on this process because the razor is sharp and the qcs are very soft at the bottom.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Grafting is easy. Not grafting is easier. A cloake board and any variation of the Hopkins method will usually work great. It can be as simple or complicated as you like. I've found that the bees usually do an amazing job with minimal effort on my part.

    Provide the right density of nurse bees with 3 day old eggs/just hatching larvae and just let it happen.
    Last edited by Colobee; 03-24-2015 at 10:53 PM.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    man i hope my 3 overwintered hives survive this last month or so of poopy weather so i can attempt this !
    so far they look good and have sugar on top yet and have been able to fly a couple days .

    my 3 nucs that were caught swarms all perished , even tho i fed them all they would take from august 15 until it got too cold and had 15 lb sugar blocks on top.

    Lee

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Lots of good ways to do it, but the question was Easiest - which is probably almost surely a strong queenless hive to both start and finish.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    The easiest way is the old fashion way using a 5 frame nucs that is queen less with
    lots of nurse bees from the other hives shaken into one. Then put the frame
    that you would like some queen cells from into this nuc. And feed them syrup and
    patty until the cells are capped. Preferably the new comb that the queen just laid in with
    lots of new eggs for the timing and the bees to choose. Which method is simpler than this one?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    One yard had 4 colonies. I combined the weaker two (removed the weakest queen), and gave them a frame of brood from the strongest. Now I have 3 strong colonies (each either 3 deeps or 5 mediums tall), each drawing out a comb on which to isolate the breeder queens. Just barely strong enough to raise queens in one with 2 support colonies for brood. Breeding from all 3 remaining queens. If the nectar flow holds out, they may tolerate 3 or 4 runs of 48 to 64 queen cells. Hoping for 1 more good rain soon!

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    You can also import other support frames from the other yards too if
    you have the bee resource to make these builders much more stronger.
    And can always break them down again into nucs when you are finished.
    There are so many variation with flexibility that one can do. That is why I like
    so much about beekeeping. So much fun!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    I only want to make about 8 cells and it will be a one off.
    8 queens and only once per season, yeah no point getting fancy.

    1) Give your breeder queen a frame with just a starter strip of foundation. Let them work on that for about 5 days. Make sure to feed if there is no flow.
    2) make up a queenless nuc lots of nurse bees, no open brood - sealed brood is good. Shake in extra nurse bees. leave a slot for 1 additional frame (see step 4)
    3) wait 24 hrs
    4) pull frame in step 1 and place in nuc. Make sure there are eggs present on this frame.
    5) place feeder on nuc.
    6) 10 days later cut out queen cells and break apart nuc to help in making up mating nucs.


    You should easily get 8 decent cells with this approach.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Astro, how come some keepers in step 2 when making up the nucs to put in
    a frame of open brood so to get the Royal Jelly flowing. Then on the day to put in the
    eggs frame, swap the eggs frame with the open brood frame. Will this process help with making
    the qcs bigger?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #60
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    Default Re: Easiest type of cell builder for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    8 queens and only once per season, yeah no point getting fancy.

    1) Give your breeder queen a frame with just a starter strip of foundation. Let them work on that for about 5 days. Make sure to feed if there is no flow.
    2) make up a queenless nuc lots of nurse bees, no open brood - sealed brood is good. Shake in extra nurse bees. leave a slot for 1 additional frame (see step 4)
    3) wait 24 hrs
    4) pull frame in step 1 and place in nuc. Make sure there are eggs present on this frame.
    5) place feeder on nuc.
    6) 10 days later cut out queen cells and break apart nuc to help in making up mating nucs.


    You should easily get 8 decent cells with this approach.
    I used to do it exactly like this and never could get those impressively large cells that everyone likes to show off - Until Ray Marler suggested putting a frame of open brood in the space where the cell bar will go. It gets them really primed to do their thing apparently. I've played with it some since then and now I put a good bit of open brood in when I make up the starter/finisher and just make sure there are lots of bees and lots of food.

    The thing is you don't really need those giant sized cells - great queens can come out of completely average cells. They do look good in pictures though.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

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