Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?
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  1. #1
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    Default Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Hi again everyone!

    Ok, I grafted approx. 100 queen cells. I was counting on my new bee yard to be ready to pull frames for nucs. Huge mistake on my part! Two weeks during summer was not enough time for my colonies to rebuild after pulling many frames a couple of weeks ago. My bad and I take full responsibility. Chalk it up to lack of experience and unrealistic expectations on my part.

    So, I will have roughly 100 sealed queen cells ready to hatch 8/10/18. I will only have 10-20 nucs ready at this time.

    Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Please help me out. I do not wanna just let em' die.

    I already posted on CL...sealed queen cells for $5 and virgin queens for $10. I really doubt if anyone will be interested...

    I thought I may pay it forward by simply advertising on CL: Free queen cells!

    Have I any other options that I am not seeing?

    Thanks!

    Soar

    1.jpg5.jpg

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Do you know anyone wanting to practice insemination?

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Let's say of those 100 you get 80 of them running the full distance ...

    If you can get 20 nucs ready, then put two cells in each. That leaves (say) 40. I'd suggest giving those away with a smile - preferably to your neighbours.

    If it were me, I wouldn't be concerned about making even a cent from those cells - as they've provided you with a valuable lesson for very little expense: it's the mating nucs - having enough boxes, and having enough bees with which to stock them - which are the limiting factors in queen-rearing operations - always. Next year you'll be better prepared ...

    I don't know if you prime cells with Royal Jelly when grafting - not everyone does - if you do, then you could harvest excess RJ from unwanted cells and freeze it for use next season.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Do you have any colonies that need requeening? Stick a cell up in the supers

  6. #5
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Are there local bee clubs in your area? Reach out to them to have them send an email to their members. be prepared to explain to them how to use them, as most beekeepers have no idea how to install a queen cell or virgin.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Do you know anyone wanting to practice insemination?
    No I don't, but that is a fantastic idea! Sure wish I knew how to do it and had the equipment!

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Let's say of those 100 you get 80 of them running the full distance ...

    If you can get 20 nucs ready, then put two cells in each. That leaves (say) 40. I'd suggest giving those away with a smile - preferably to your neighbours.

    If it were me, I wouldn't be concerned about making even a cent from those cells - as they've provided you with a valuable lesson for very little expense: it's the mating nucs - having enough boxes, and having enough bees with which to stock them - which are the limiting factors in queen-rearing operations - always. Next year you'll be better prepared ...

    I don't know if you prime cells with Royal Jelly when grafting - not everyone does - if you do, then you could harvest excess RJ from unwanted cells and freeze it for use next season.
    LJ
    Great ideas too. Thank you! I like the idea of harvesting royal jelly. It often appears as if some of our queen cells do not have enough RJ in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Do you have any colonies that need requeening? Stick a cell up in the supers
    Now that you mention it, we do have a number of colonies where it appears as if the queen is not laying as she should...thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    Are there local bee clubs in your area? Reach out to them to have them send an email to their members. be prepared to explain to them how to use them, as most beekeepers have no idea how to install a queen cell or virgin.
    Thank you Ruthie!

    I will call Sac Bee keepers club today!

  8. #7
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    Hampton Arkansas
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    By sticking a queen cell in a supper will this cause the old queen to swarm

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    By sticking a queen cell in a supper will this cause the old queen to swarm
    Really?
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    By sticking a queen cell in a supper will this cause the old queen to swarm
    Only if they have been triggered and started swarm prep... ie queen right finishers don't swarm when the cells are capped.

    to the OP have you thought about minny nucs started with a cup of bees? You can get 12 or so out a of a $13 sheet of OSB use bamboo skewers for top bars.
    The internet is instant, and the internet is often wrong-Kim Flottum

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Soar, I think msl is right. Instead of full five frame nucs, a bunch of mini mating nucs may be the answer. Very small number of bees to populate and once mated, you can build larger nucs well into the fall and transfer the queens to them.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Only if they have been triggered and started swarm prep... ie queen right finishers don't swarm when the cells are capped.

    to the OP have you thought about minny nucs started with a cup of bees? You can get 12 or so out a of a $13 sheet of OSB use bamboo skewers for top bars.
    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Soar, I think msl is right. Instead of full five frame nucs, a bunch of mini mating nucs may be the answer. Very small number of bees to populate and once mated, you can build larger nucs well into the fall and transfer the queens to them.
    Thank you for sharing. Could you please give me a link where I can follow some instructions?

    I just watched this video done in Georgia I think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3HRd1n53g

    We have a Mann Lake not too far from our ranch. Perhaps I could purchase the mini nucs there?

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/mini-mating-nucs

    Please help me out by giving me more info please.

    Thank you!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    if you have the cash, then by all means buy the nucs!, if thats the direction you want to go

    ok so here is my latest rendition D coates meets Sam Comfort mating nuc.
    all lumber 7/16s OSB
    Two 5.5x11.25 Sides
    Two 4.74X4.5 Ends
    One 11.25X4.5 Floor
    One 11.5X5.5 cover
    Six 5.5x1 legs/cover reinforcements
    nucosb.jpgphoto 2.jpgphoto 1.jpg

    set the feeder wall so you have a 3 1/8" gap on the hive side (1.375+1.375+.375)
    use a feed bag innner cover
    cut a one gal ziplock bag to fit in the feeder, hold about 3 cups
    whole saw a 1.5-2" or so hole in the bottom and add screen so you can shut them up to move them
    I like to the the end of a file and cut a grove for the skewers to sit in on the ends

    This is a "disposable nuc", its an expense to mate a few queens while you have nice weather, no so much an equipment investment.
    it should end up being 10-12 nus per sheet I haven't layed out a full sheet sense some tweaks
    The internet is instant, and the internet is often wrong-Kim Flottum

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Mann Lake #IN-150 double mating nuc. $25.99 You will need to buy frames and foundation too but could probably cut existing comb to fit the small frames. I may try these next year myself. Not having much luck with the two frame deeps I have been using.

    The best instructions I have seen for these is on the UofG website. You will need to google it.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Mann Lake #IN-150 double mating nuc. $25.99 You will need to buy frames and foundation too but could probably cut existing comb to fit the small frames. I may try these next year myself. Not having much luck with the two frame deeps I have been using.

    The best instructions I have seen for these is on the UofG website. You will need to google it.
    Thanks again JW!

    I will be at Mann Lake today to pick up a few of their double nucs, so thanks for sharing your insights! I was gonna pick up their single nucs simply because I did not know they had doubles.

    Good news on our queen bees!

    I found many, many colonies at our other bee yard that were over crowded [they grew much faster than I had anticipated]. So we made up many new nucs and also requeened several colonies as well.

    Next, I did receive several phone calls for queens. So we hope to graft this weekend again. Who knows, this may have just lead to a new branch of our new bee company/business: Quality Queens for sale!

    Grafting queen cells in the past appeared so difficult and challenging. Now it feels like a total piece of cake...and it appears to be getting easier and more successful every time!

    Thanks again for the help everyone!

    Cheers!

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Do you know anyone wanting to practice insemination?
    Uhhh, sign me up for that one!!!

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Thanks again for your encouragement to try the Mann Lake Double Nucs. We purchased and painted them. Will give them a try hopefully next week!

    Hope the bees like the colors!

    1.jpg

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Those look awesome! If I were a bee, I couldn't wait to move in to my new duplex.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Do the combs for those double nucs have to be drawn in advance or can a few cups of bees draw them like 1 1/2 cups can draw out the mini nuc combs?

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Grafted way too many queen cells than I can use. What are my options?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Do the combs for those double nucs have to be drawn in advance or can a few cups of bees draw them like 1 1/2 cups can draw out the mini nuc combs?
    Hi Frank! No need for the comb to be drawn out. A cup or two of bees will get the job done. Paul Kelly at UoG even suggests to remove all old comb at the beginning of spring each year!

    He has a great video here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3HRd1n53g

    What blew me away the most was his insistence on adding queen pheromone to each mini nuc to prevent absconding! I never would have thought of that!

    I really enjoyed his video. He made what appeared to me a somewhat challenging endeavor appear super easy for a rookie like me!

    Now I am trying to discover what to use for a bee ladder for the internal feeders....anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks!

  21. #20
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    Default

    Are you Sure? I think you said you bought double nucs. I think that video is for mini nucs. The doubles have a larger frame that ML sells a growing box for. Can 1.5 cups of bees draw that bigger set of combs?

    Quote Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Do the combs for those double nucs have to be drawn in advance or can a few cups of bees draw them like 1 1/2 cups can draw out the mini nuc combs?
    Hi Frank! No need for the comb to be drawn out. A cup or two of bees will get the job done. Paul Kelly at UoG even suggests to remove all old comb at the beginning of spring each year!

    He has a great video here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3HRd1n53g

    What blew me away the most was his insistence on adding queen pheromone to each mini nuc to prevent absconding! I never would have thought of that!

    I really enjoyed his video. He made what appeared to me a somewhat challenging endeavor appear super easy for a rookie like me!

    Now I am trying to discover what to use for a bee ladder for the internal feeders....anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks!
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

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