OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all
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  1. #1
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    Default OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    I am beginner and I don't understand, why should I notch frames with young larvae when making quenless split/nuc. From my experience, they always started queen cells from any egg/larva frame I gave them. No notching, nothing. So what is so interesting about this OTS method? Why can't I just make the nucs by placing few frames of brood into them and leaving bees do the job as they like? Thank you.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    It's done on old comb to make it easier for the bees to make queen cells

  4. #3
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Because by notching the bees can make a much better fed queen than the can if you leave the comb as is. Bees can't chew the old cocoon filled comb. The larvae is fed extra royal jelly and on comb that's not notched it gets separated from the royal jelly when the cell turns down.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Hmm.. I have read and heard from many places, that when you have queenless hive, or if you are not sure, just stick them a frame with young brood. And I have good experience with queens from that. They are strong

    And also I was thinking, that they move the egg from the cell into the queen cup they make for that. Is it not like that?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    no, they don't move eggs

  7. #6
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    no, they don't move eggs
    I have heard both accounts -- Winston's "The Biology of the Honey Bee" ; p.182 says that workers can and do move small numbers of fertlized eggs and small larvae from worker cells to queen cups. Others have also written about this observation.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Thanks for the ideas. I am more surprised after this discussion, that notching is so needed Because many of us has perfect experience, how bees will create perfect mothers from any frame of young brood.

    Anyway.. I would like to ask second thing.

    What will happen, if you notch in a hive with queen?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    The workers can move eggs; actually they remove them from cells such as extra eggs laid or unviable eggs. I think they usually eat them though!

    Many things are written that are not supported by fact. Books and the internet are full of such examples. Even Beesource lets a few examples slip through the cracks!
    Frank

  10. #9
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Neon View Post
    Thanks for the ideas. I am more surprised after this discussion, that notching is so needed Because many of us has perfect experience, how bees will create perfect mothers from any frame of young brood.

    Anyway.. I would like to ask second thing.

    What will happen, if you notch in a hive with queen?
    Notching in a few different places can give you cells on a number of frames so you can start multiple nucs., whereas the bees may lump them all on one frame.

    I notched a frame with eggs and young larvae that I was putting in to test if the colony had a queen or not. The next day the notched area was repaired (black plastic foundation) and the eggs and larvae were still in the cells! That is just one experience though. If you raised a frame of brood above an excluder and several honey supers I would bet you would get cells started in a queenright colony.
    Frank

  11. #10
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    You chose the size larvae when you graft. OTS also allows you to chose the size larvae when you notch. It also allows the cell to be drawn in a downward position much like a swarm cell vs a supercedure etc. Also you notch where you want the cell to be built on wireless foundation which allows you to go back and cut multiple cells from the frame without destroying the cell. So you get more useful cells to transfer.
    sc-bee

  12. #11
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    I notched some of the splits I made this spring. They just repaired the notch and I finally bought queens to get them going.
    Last edited by GSkip; 05-01-2016 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Grammar

  13. #12
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    To the OP, and I think I wrote basically the same thing last night, OTS will give you superior queens to those that will be made in an emergency situation.

    I have used OTS for the past 3 years when wanting to make a few queens, up to maybe 6 at a time. I started grafting last year, and I think I learned something about OTS in the process. A week ago I wanted to make about 6 good cells. I chose some nice just hatched larvae on the comb and notched 6-8 different areas on the 2 frames. I went to split them into different hives yesterday and the bees had only used 2 locations that I notched and those 2 weren't centered up in the notch like I had become accustomed to. The bees had pulled emergency cells on the face of all 3 frames that I moved from the original hive, as well as some emergency cells on the frame of eggs I used for OTS.

    I think I figured out what happened. When grafting I've read and been told to choose the youngest larvae for grafting. Makes sense to me.

    When I made the OTS notches I chose the youngest larvae on the frames and notched them. They were the perfect size for grafting, but I think given the choice the bees will use the oldest larvae suited to make a queen from. It's their quickest path to a new queen and that's what they are after. If anyone has any input on this, I'd love to hear it.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Neon View Post
    I am beginner and I don't understand, why should I notch frames with young larvae when making quenless split/nuc. From my experience, they always started queen cells from any egg/larva frame I gave them. No notching, nothing. So what is so interesting about this OTS method? Why can't I just make the nucs by placing few frames of brood into them and leaving bees do the job as they like? Thank you.
    I don't know. I think this is a fad and this is the year. If you're a beginner or don't make your own queens, buy one and gain tons of brood without waiting for a queen to mate. If you graft, then you'll just never even consider this method.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    I've never tried it, but have read the info. The logic is sound, and seems applicable for emergencies and small to medium scale queen rearing. Many have reported good success and some swear by it. It's simple & quick. No special equipment or manipulations are required - just a hive tool and some basic knowledge. It's one "proven" technique that has been successfully used for at least a few years. IIRC, Enjambes is one of the advocates. At least a few others, I'm pretty sure...

    Basically, it revolves around the idea that bees build better queen cells with new comb, and prefer to build queen cells downward. The "notch" creates a point to start new wax. The new wax ( cell) can start off downward, right off the bat. This eliminates the "need" to float a larva out to the point where the queen cell can be built downwards, which speeds up the process a bit.

    It's one of many ways to rear queens - the simplicity seems to be a major selling point. Of course it's not bullet proof - certain conditions have to be right. Not unlike the many other methods.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunday Farmer View Post
    I don't know. I think this is a fad and this is the year. If you're a beginner or don't make your own queens, buy one and gain tons of brood without waiting for a queen to mate. If you graft, then you'll just never even consider this method.

    It's not a fad it's been used by many people for many years. It has its place in my apiary. Maybe not yours, but it is a great way to make a few high quality queens. We don't all need 24 queens at a time and I use the OTS method if I need 6 or fewer queen cells. No need for a cell starter hive. A strong nuc full of nurse bees can make 6 cells as well as a cell starter can.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Ya, I personally think it's the perfect example of KISS. I've had a few conversations with him about it. He's tried pretty much the whole gambit for queen rearing. He published a book in 1988 about his cell building technique with shell casings covering the selected larvae and flour sprinkled around the perimeter. Then one day he tried breaking the cell wall with a twig, when the hive raised a cell from it he knew he had something simpler.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    No, if you notch in a queen right hive they will
    not build out these cells. They will repair the notched cells back to
    the worker cells. Very typical in a strong queen hive situation.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #18
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    With the OTS method the queen is pulled and the cells notched.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Fad or not it works. I expanded from 5 to 12 hives last season using this method and I'm now working on spring splits with upwards of 20 hives. May be a fad but I'm sticking with it. Here is one of my OTS queens: michign OTS queen.jpg
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: OTS Queen rearing, why notch at all

    Nice looking queen there.
    Looks like the one I've grafted.
    It doesn't matter which method you use as long as you
    learn something from it and have good laying queens in the end.
    I don't use the OTS method anymore as my bees are more than happy
    to give me the queen cells every 2 weeks or so.
    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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