making queens
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Thread: making queens

  1. #1
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    Default making queens

    will bees make queen cells in a top deep hive with a queen excluder only between boxes, or does the queen need to be removed, or a solid divider between boxes such as a cloak board or solid partition. there would be a frame added in the top box of eggs and day old larvae. seems there are so many diff. ways to raise queens it becomes overwhelming. I do not want to do a graft method.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: making queens

    Sometimes they will. They'll do it more often if there's a honey super over the excluder then the box of eggs/younger larva over that. They also do it more often, with just two boxes, if the eggs/young larva are in the box under the excluder, with the queen and sealed brood on top of excluder.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: making queens

    your saying queen in deep box on top of excluder, and bees below ex. will raise a queen, i always thought the frame of eggs was in the top box ?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: making queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beefarmer View Post
    your saying queen in deep box on top of excluder, and bees below ex. will raise a queen, i always thought the frame of eggs was in the top box ?
    That was my understanding too...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: making queens

    G.M.Doolittle did it the way I said, with the eggs and younger larva under the excluder, the queen and sealed brood on top over excluder, it creates a few cells in the bottom box. Most of the time it does, sometimes it doesn't I would say, same as doing it the opposite way. I've done it with queen on bottom, but only with a box of foundation over the excluder, then the box of eggs on top of that, at the start of a flow, it worked great, lots of queen cells in the top box. I've done it the other way too, but I insured it would work, by moving the box with the queen to the side on it's own bottom board for 36 hours, then set it back on top of the box with eggs that was left in place. Works great. Just a few cells, easily cut out to make nucs with, in the bottom box. I'm sure that setting the queen aside for 36 hours and then setting her back on the bottom would also insure that way worked as well. Doolittle did not do that, he just set the queen and sealed brood on top over excluder. Read about it in Management of Out-Apiaries by G. M. Doolittle published in 1922 by A.I.Root.

    Here's how I think of it. If the queen is on the bottom, she is actively laying, foragers coming in bottom entrance, bees spreading queen pheromone through the bottom box, bees going up to feed brood above, taking queen's pheromones with them. The top box senses there's a queen near. If the queen is over the excluder on top, all the eggs/young larva on bottom, the activity is more focused on the bottom box, queen pheromone won't be carried down as much, the nurse bees in her box stay up there, no need to come down, so the bottom box is more likely to think they are queenless. With the open larva in the bottom box, that's where the nurse bees stay, except for those that attend the queen as she's laying above, not much travel up to her from the bottom box as the open brood is in the bottom.
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: making queens

    A Years Work in an Out-Apiary by G. M. Doolittle, reprinted by Larry Conner's WicWas press at wicwas.com is the same book reprinted as paperback... this was a 1905 edition...

    http://wicwas.com/A_Year%27s_Work_in_an_Out-Apiary



    Here is a 1915 publication that has been digitized...

    https://books.google.com/books?id=Kq...page&q&f=false
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: making queens

    Sorry, double post by accident
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: making queens

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Sometimes they will. They'll do it more often if there's a honey super over the excluder then the box of eggs/younger larva over that. They also do it more often, with just two boxes, if the eggs/young larva are in the box under the excluder, with the queen and sealed brood on top of excluder.
    What is the timing for this this, that is before or during main flow? Thanks.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: making queens

    Thank you Ray, clears it up better, sounds like the most sure way is setting the queen box off on a bottom board, have heard that way, didn't know how long to leave her off.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: making queens

    "I do not want to do a graft method."

    Oldtimer give a nice explanation of a "No-graft" system, with many nice pictures here: https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...thout-Grafting
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: making queens

    >will bees make queen cells in a top deep hive with a queen excluder only between boxes...

    Usually.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
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    Default Re: making queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Colobee View Post
    "I do not want to do a graft method."

    Oldtimer give a nice explanation of a "No-graft" system, with many nice pictures here: https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...thout-Grafting
    Thanks for the link!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: making queens

    Quote Originally Posted by B52EW View Post
    What is the timing for this this, that is before or during main flow? Thanks.
    I wait until the middle of March or into the first of April. It depends on the weather and the strength of the hive I'm doing it with. I can continue it here through the end of June. This is normally just after the start, and through the end of swarming season here. I can do it July and into middle August, but at that time I'll need feeders on in my area.

    The early to mid spring flows are good, just before the heavy main flow. It may work well during the heavy main flows if you have any as well, I don't get those here myself though. I've always done it in the spring flows during swarming season.
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  15. #14
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    Default Re: making queens

    Beefarmer - If you use a method to start queen cells that is not queenless, you will need to have lots of bees very crowded to get bees into swarming impulse mode. Most of us do this anyways (crowding the bees by importing capped brood from other hives 10 days before starting), but then make them queenless just to control the timing of the entire operation.

    I even isolate my breeder queens in a cage with queen excluder sides (a "Pritchard Box") that has only 1 to 3 combs for her to lay eggs in. That way I can know that no egg -oops! I mean larva - is older than 80 hours when I start.

    I'd highly recommend using the graftless method that Oldtimer posted for a first-timer. This is Henry Alley & Jay Smith's "Cut Cell" method. It produces good queens. Another easy way is the Jenter method - order that kit from Blue Sky Bee Supply.

    First thing to do is to make sure you have enough bee hive boxes and frames. Set a goal - if you think you have enough bees for 4 colonies, make 5 nuc's & 50 frames - just in case you catch a swarm that week as well. If you think you have enough bees to make 10 colonies, make 11 nuc's.

    You can make 4- or 5-frame nuc's to mate the baby queens in, but they will need full-size boxes soon afterwards, so get the boxes, tops, bottoms, robber screens, and feeders ready LONG BEFORE YOU START.

    Next, if your operation is small, you could make up a ventilated 6-frame nuc', just like Oldtimer shows in his photos. I'd be tempted to make an adapter board and Cloake Board so as to slap that 6-frame starter hive onto a deep with 10 frames of capped/hatching brood for finishing. This combines the benefits of Brother Adam's / Michael Palmer's method - 30,000 extra 5- to 10-day-old nurse bees does not hurt matters any! They can really increase the royal jelly output.

    As your operation gets bigger, you should read Michael Palmers' thread, "My Cell Building Methods" up in the "Sticky" note section. You'll probably need at least 6 strong hives to supply that Cell Builder method, but it really maximizes royal jelly production, which makes the best queens.

    I also recommend reading David Laferney's posts about Joseph Clemmens' method of building a few queen cells every 11 days (or longer as your bees can dictate). It adds many benefits, and you get lots of practice in one year (during which you will improve your method and results), and provides good queens whenever you need them throughout the season.

    Best of luck!

  16. #15
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    Default Re: making queens

    Here's another simple graftless system worth considering -
    "The Hopkins Method".

    https://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...queen-rearing/

    "you can raise more quality queens than you probably can use yourself with virtually no specialized equipment or manipulation."
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: making queens

    Great thread. Thanks for all the good explanations and links.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: making queens

    Didn't I see a thread here somewhere that was similar to the Hopkins method ? Basically similar , but they cut strips of eggs/fresh hatched larvae and affixed them to the undersides of bars added to a standard frame . They also left only every 3rd or 4th cell .
    Retired wannabee Hillbilly Farmer in backwoods Arkansas
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  19. #18
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    Default Re: making queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry C View Post
    Didn't I see a thread here somewhere that was similar to the Hopkins method ? Basically similar , but they cut strips of eggs/fresh hatched larvae and affixed them to the undersides of bars added to a standard frame . They also left only every 3rd or 4th cell .
    See the link in my post #10, or here it is again https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...thout-Grafting

    I really like all of OT's great pics & the very thorough explanation, based on somewhat recent personal experience.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: making queens

    I like to do a test graft first before using a queen excluder in a booming hive.
    Somehow my bees don't make the new cells even though they are made queen less
    in the early Spring time. And with only an average hive population these cells are
    always small unless they are in a booming nuc hive.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #20
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    Default Re: making queens

    I have witnessed this technique unintentionally a few years ago in attempting to get some foundation drawn and moving a deep of what I thought was all honey above a medium box of foundation. There were some isolated patches of eggs within some of the nectar and bees ended up making some nice cells up in that top box even without an excluder. I ended up finding them, pulling the frames and making nucs.

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