Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator
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  1. #1
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    Default Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    I have a Cloake board set up that I'd like to throw another fresh cell bar into in a few days. For that hive to draw cells and believe they're queenless, cell bar #1 must move, correct? Can I just move it to another hive over an excluder? Or, use a queenless nuc for a couple of days until I'm ready to place cells? I don't want to move these drawn cells and have them torn down.

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  3. #2
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    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    I think I am following you.

    First question: Will they draw new cells with the queen cells of graft 1 in the same hive body? Bees will do some weird things, but I do not think they will do that. I believe the introduction of 1 day old larva into a hive with capped queen cells will probably not work for you.

    Second question: Can you move them to another hive over an excluder? You can move the drawn frame to any queenright or queenless colony, so long as (a) no queen is allowed access to the cells (i.e. queen excluder) and (b) no cell is allowed to emerge unless all cells are protected and emerging virgins confined (i.e. hair roller cages).

  4. #3
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    If your grafts are in JZBZ cups, you might have a bit of a problem come emergence time as the hair rollers only work with Nicot cups and holders. But sure, stick them in a hive over a qe for a few days next to a brood frame. You still need to get them into mating nucs by day 14, or 10 days after grafting, or you risk ending up with only one queen. I am using a queenless nuc as a starter finisher. I move the cells out next Wed. and will put the next grafts in on Thursday. I am using my incubator to dehydrate honey right now.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    If I am following you, you have a bar of cells in a finisher and you want to add a new bar of grafts to that finisher.

    The guys at the Honeybee Research Center at University of Guelph have a video showing how to do just that with a Cloake board, inserting a new bar with grafts while a bar of capped cells is present and still finishing.

    Zone 5B

  6. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Laureldale, NJ, USA
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    Default

    Yes, the video covers my situation! Thank you for the link. Never saw this part II of the series.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    I am struggling with this a little bit. The video shows two graft frames in the colony in the upper box. The upper box, at this point in the process, is serving as the finisher hive. But he states that one of the graft frames holds queen cells and the other grafting frame has been "put in to be polished." He then states that there will be a 2 or 3 day overlap with both grafting frames in the top box (finisher hive).

    So if I insert grafted 1 day-old larva into the finisher hive and then close then insert the cloake board to revert it to a "starter cell," will the nurse bees remaining in the top box pull queen cells from those grafts with multiple queen cells already present in the top box? I would think this would only work if you put the new grafting frame into a separate "starter cell" colony (queenless) and then you could move it over to the existing finisher (Cloake) with the other frame of capped QCs for a couple of days before you have to remove the first grafting frame.

    I guess the question is, will nurse bees make queen cells from new grafts in the presence of fully capped queen cells? If the answer is no, then this does not work.
    Last edited by psm1212; 06-20-2019 at 10:13 AM.

  8. #7
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    Jun 2011
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    Default

    I followed the example as in the video with the second grafting frame on Saturday, no issues. The nurse bees drew cells on the fresh grafts. I pulled the capped cells Monday on day 10 & placed them out. Just a lot of timing and management until you have a system that works.
    Thanks again to all that replied.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Central CA.
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post

    I guess the question is, will nurse bees make queen cells from new grafts in the presence of fully capped queen cells? If the answer is no, then this does not work.
    The answer is yes, it's done all the time, works great. Queenless starter add 1 frame of grafted cells (45) 4 days later add another frame of grafted cells, 4 days later take out fist frame and add another frame of grafted cells.

  10. #9
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    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer Jim View Post
    The answer is yes, it's done all the time, works great.
    A good example (employing a 3-day cycle) is given in: Queen Rearing, Laidlaw & Eckert, p.79, where the author is describing a system where a guy uses queenless 16-frame long hives inside a bee-house to raise q/cells:

    The makeup of one of his cell builders after a new frame of cells has been given could be something like this: at the side of the hive next to the entrance through the wall is the feeder, then (1) a comb of honey and pollen, (2) honey and emerging brood, (3) brood (sealed), (4) pollen, (5) new graft, (6) hatching brood, (7) queen cells three days old, (8) older unsealed brood, (9) queen cells six days old, (10) sealed brood, (11) queen cells nine days old, the remaining frames are filled with brood and honey.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Finishing capped cells after day 5 without a mechanical incubator

    Thank you. I have never attempted to place fresh grafts into the same starter/finisher as capped queen cells. Virgin queens do emit a small amount of QMP (drones target this on her mating flights). I had assumed that the presence of capped virgins, especially several dozen of them, would potentially emit enough QMP to inhibit new cell starts. However, it clearly doesn't. I don't know if that is because virgins that are still in their capped cells do not yet produce QMP or the QMP does not permeate the cell walls or any QMP present in the hive is simply not strong enough to inhibit cell production.

    Always something to learn.

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