First Graft of the Year - Page 4
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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Good luck! I really enjoy queen rearing.

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  3. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Not going to be in a 5 frame nuc for long...


  4. #63
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Charleston South Carolina
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    431

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Sweet. How did you set up the 5 over 5 cell builder

  5. #64
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlestonbee View Post
    Sweet. How did you set up the 5 over 5 cell builder
    Three frames of capped brood centered up top, two or three down below (can't recall if I took 5 or 6). The remaining frames in each box were mix of honey/pollen as best I could.
    Waited ten days, checked for cells (there were none as none of the frames had young larva, but make sure you check). Kept 1-2 quarts of feed on them while they were actively building cells in jars above surrounded by an empty box. I'd put a frame of eggs in about 24 or 48 hours before you plan to graft. Get those nurse bees revved up and ready to go plus get plenty of jelly for when you graft. I only put them in a few hours before on my first attempt and on the second pulled a frame right from the "breeder" and they were well fed so easy to graft. The ones the first time grafted well, but there wasn't very big pools of jelly for the larva yet. Of course they were really really fresh, so they hadn't had much of a chance to feed them yet. The second go I used slightly larger larva but still much less than a day old.

  6. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Here is my plan for next year to set up either a temporarily cell builder or finisher.
    Put 5 frames of bee bread in the lower nuc box along with the attached bees.
    Then 5 frames of about to emerge broods along with the attached bees. This nuc
    hive should be fairly strong coming from the donated strong production hive.
    And then choose a strong production hive with lots of foragers.
    Swap the position of the nuc hive with the position of the production hive a few hours
    before the sunset. Now all the foragers will go inside this nuc hive. Instantly the hive population
    will be beefed up. What is the difference is that rather than using the you tube vid of a closed circuit
    nuc hive, this nuc hive is alive because all the working foragers will be bringing in the extra resources.
    Finally add 2 pounds of patty subs and a syrup feeder on top. Make sure there is syrup available all the
    time.
    Use a small 3 x 2" push in wire cage to house the queen temporarily. This way they will turn all the remaining
    eggs/larvae into the worker broods. Two days before the first graft, put in an open frame of mature larvae in the center of the top box. This frame will be replaced with the graft cell frame on the day of the graft. Shake the remaining bees off the larvae frame. Check on the cell frame after one day. Any unaccepted cell should be removed. That is why it is so important to graft more than what you need just in case some cells got rejected. How's that for an improved cell nuc hive? Anything else that I might of missed?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #66
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Sounds fine to me, beepro. I wouldn't bother putting a queen in there though as I've pretty well always had colonies with queens under push-in cages start cells anyway. Next time I set one up I might seek out actively emerging brood, this time I just kind of grabbed what I could find.

    I do like the idea of swapping locations with a big colony. I really considered doing it but about that time the stand at that yard filled up and swapping positions was going to be too much monkeying around. Mine turned out satisfactory (for me). Got 12-14 queens out of it... their quality remains to be seen, but their egg patterns looked pretty good.

  8. #67
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    6,034

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year







    Most queens averaging 1.5 or two frames about like this. Drawing comb in their 5 framers... need to come up with plan for what I want to keep, sell, etc. And I think I need to assemble some more deep frames. It's about to get crazy.

    There is one dud... not sure what happened. She never really laid much, but there is some worker brood capped. They've got two supercedure cells built that will be capped here in a few days. Queen still wandering around. Will probably cut the cells and give those drawn frames to one of my colonies who could use some laying space to *hopefully* keep the queen grounded.

  9. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Driggs, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Those are some great looking frames. Looks like you have some real winners there.

  10. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Well these tiny 2-frame nucs have blow up into an average of 20 frames without feed or bee input. So from mid-May when I moved them from 2-frame to 5 they've grown that much. Did a couple more rounds mid-June and those queens are building up now. Not quite as successful in the mating department... but there's a lot more dragonflies and other predators around now than there is in early-May. All told I raised somewhere between 40 and 50 queens through to mating. Gave some away, sold some, culled some... used most for new colonies and shortly will use them to requeen some production colonies for next year. The remainder will overwinter in nucs and might sell them as overwintered nucs next spring.

    Some highlights... probably a repeat or two:


    Pretty typical brood frame:


    All grown up... before/after:




    All in-all, it's been a heck of a fun year. Nothing cooler than raising your own queens and watching them outperform your expectations tremendously. I had to buy more equipment and assemble extra boxes... but I won't complain.

    Now to keep them in their boxes the rest of the summer and next spring. Gotta put this new 18-frame extractor to work.

  11. #70
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Charleston South Carolina
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Yeah I'm a little worried ab keeping mine in boxes still too lol. Great pictures. Queens look great.

  12. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
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    1,531

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Very nice! Watch out Mike Palmer!

    Do you keep track of your various queens' lineage? I thought briefly about trying to keep records to see which 'line' of queens in our small operation were which and track performance etc, but then realized I didn't care enough to document it all. I will raise queens from the best performers regardless. Russian, Italian, Carni.... I don't care; show me the honey, don't swarm too much, and get through the winter strong. That's what I want. They'll all be mutts in a couple years anyhow.

    Anyway, nice work.

  13. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    1,407

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Yes those are very nice looking queens.

  14. #73
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    My queen must have got lost in the mail???

    You had a great year.

    What are you painting them with and how are you doing it? I think I'd have to lock them down in a vice to get that sort of paint job.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  15. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
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    1,080

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Those are some beauties. Good work!

  16. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    My communication with my seller is a really close one from
    the time I put in the order to the time that the queen package arrived at
    the transfer station. I usually go there to pick up the package because our
    summer heat is in the triple digits every year at this time. A study done on
    exposing the queen to prolong heat will destroyed the stored sperms. I don't want
    to risk that on my bought queens.
    So get in contact with the seller to track it. There is a tracking number that you can
    go online on the shipper's website to see the transit process. From this tracking # I can
    find my package to take home to hive the queen. Don't wait too long in this hot weather!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Very nice! Watch out Mike Palmer!

    Anyway, nice work.
    Hahahaha, and thank you.

    Re: lineages... In my brain. I'm not big enough to worry about it too much. I know the queen's mom and in some cases grandmother. Rudimentary picking "breeders" based on production, temperament, and how they deal with mites. I am by no means a "breeder".

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    My queen must have got lost in the mail???

    You had a great year.

    What are you painting them with and how are you doing it? I think I'd have to lock them down in a vice to get that sort of paint job.
    Re: queen, PM me.

    Re: paint, testors and grass stem. Michael Palmer's suggestions.

  18. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: First Graft of the Year

    Unless you don't want to go the tf route later on, requeening 50 hives is
    expensive. Maybe by then you've sold enough honey to make up the difference.
    I rather use the tf genetics to expand from a small scale into a bigger operation. That way
    the genetics are pretty much in uniform. Trying to keep the Cordovan genetics going is hard here
    when there are the local carnis dominating the DCAs.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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