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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    How about the Case Method/Hopkins Method, on this site, written by Jerry Hayes but developed by I. Hopkins oc New Zealand in 1911. Thatís what Iím going to try this year. If Iím trying it you can be sure itís easier.
    It works just like described. My son used it one year before he started grafting. It is a bit fiddly in that you have to provide a space above the frames to hold the frame horizontal and support the comb with space below for the queen cells to hang. I have used the Miller method and think it is easier to manage. All the methods needs the same foreplay to get the accepting hive bees fed and in the mood.
    Frank

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    What are those mini frames you reference used for? UofG, in the video, cuts out the comb, probably full of brood when their usefulness as mating resources is over, and of the house bees and foragers?
    Well all that was used was a cup of bees, 2 mite washes, many of us dump that all the time. If you just doing one run all that is wasted is some eggs, shake it out let them find a home...
    The most common way to deal with the brood is a hatch out box placed above an QE (picture from Ian)
    or many of the systems (especially if your building there own) alow you to stack them up and over winter

    and there are even people who shed/cellar winter the single foam minis, in norway no less
    the problem is the not the gear, its that people don'e know how to use it.

    Probably not such a bad thing as the quality of the qcell really does matter in long run.
    I am referring to high quality swarm cells.
    If you are concerned with risking resources at spring buildup either the queen rearing attempt is timed incorrectly or the donor colonies are too weak.
    or your a back yard beekeeper who just had a hive swarm on plastic foundation.. Sure maby you have done your reading and a have a 5 frame nuc to put a few frames with a cell in.. but what happens to all those other cells?
    you can buy/build more nucs and split up your whole hive 10 ways IF you have 10 frames of brood
    or for the same resources in 1 of those 10 2f splits you could stock 10 minis. put push in cages around the cells and end with a good suply of local queens to sell and trade


    Close to zero additional cost when one plans ahead and makes alterations before assembling boxes.
    false economy..
    the equipment isn't making you honey or bees and your locking up drawn comb that could be better used elce ware.

    while I don't dissagree that outhers ways may be better for you with your stock and your methods... in terms of efficiency, that's all numbers and minis win hand down. they have been with us for hundreds of years (Jansha 1771) and remain the most popular nuc. for good reason. Its a retilitivly easy thing to produce more queen cells then you can use, if you can use more cells with the same amount of resources, you can make more queens. more local queens is a good thing

    Your arugments against them sound like you haven't worked with them... they do have down sides for sure, just not what your bringing up, you should try some..

    in my stock pile... I have a 3 frame queen castle (3), a 2 frame queen castle (3), 6 2f stand alones (6), 12 of "mine" witch are 8 one half frame shallows that have a division board center so it can split in to two 3 frames with feeder they can be stacked on each outher or 2 on top of a 8f hive (24), and 10 foam minis (10) for a total of 46 holes for queens At peak last year I think I had 40 running.

    Aside from the resorce reasons. they are well dezinged and well insulated, and well ventilated with an internal feeder.
    you get an earlier jump on queen rearing the insulation square(ish) brood chamber and 3+ combs leads to a warm center.. you only need about a dozen bees to care for a queen till the eggs start hatching, the rest are for thermo regulation.... 2 frame standalons have very poor thermal properites
    can easly move them in and out of dark cool place, spray the frount vents with a bit of water while they are locked up and 3 days later set them back in the same yard... very handy if all you have is your back yard
    The tiny combs are fast to find queens on, making it a great way for beginners to learn how to find queens.
    Being so small the are quite docile, alowing one to quickly work them with out smoke or gear
    Do to the size and no brood they are readly excepting of virgins. A handy thing if you have cells on plastic foundation you want to save, cage them and move the virgins to minis at your leasure.

    This spring 1st out will be "mine" as I have 3 stacks overwintering and expect at least one to make it and be brood factory to stock the nucs, folowed by the foam minis... likey a bunch of foam minns I am making, the queen castles if need and last and only if I have to the 2 frame stand alones.

    I got the crap kicked out of me last year main yard took 85% losses... likly nosema after late season tetra to put down a efb out break wipe the gut microbse and then got mite bombed....
    I came threw the winter with 7, one went drone layer early spring, what I had alive didn't build up (cold spring with screwy pollen flow and they started weak as it was). I didn't get queens mated out and layeing till the 1st week in july...
    But I sold queens and got my numbers up (stitting on 20, 25% losses so far) this was mainly do to the 2 mini nuc systems.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Good luck finding the best practices for your purposes and long term goals, when you get close to being efficient you'll know it and so will the wallet.
    Piles of junk stacked up gets disposed of or sold off (like the minis I used for 3 seasons) and the effort is concentrated on doing more and getting more done and making more money with less. Let the bees do the work. Meet the goals you've set for your operation without killing yourself doing it.
    Dive in and get some propolis under your nails, I'm interested where the road leads you.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Dive in and get some propolis under your nails, I'm interested where the road leads you.
    I started rearing queens with cut strips in 09... this is were the road lead

    however you and I are not "backyard" beekepers.. The OG point was the Minis are a tool that could be leveraged by BYBK to "save" cells that would outher wize go to waist.. every one saved is one less imported so what "we" do is inmatirel to the point

    I like the minis form bolth a functional point of view but also an educational one... they are easy and un intimating to handle, and use so little bees even a new keeper starting with a package has the resources to stock a few by mid season.
    One of the bigest fears I find working with beginners is a fear of makeing a mistake and "wasting" resources, some times to the point of even being afraid to do a mite wash and "hurting" the hives population level.
    to that end I have cut the parts for 50 mini nuc kits and donated them to the local club for a build it yourself work shop
    Last edited by msl; 02-01-2020 at 04:35 PM.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I don't get the cost argument either... $10-12 a mini to buy, 1/4 of that or less to build($1.50 each in 1" house foam) vs 2 frame nucs that stand empty all winter as well ?
    I've never seen the little styro things for 12 bucks, cheapest I found in a quick search today is just over 20 bucks. Even then, it's still just a drop in the bucket. The little styro mini is probably a good choice if you only want to use it once in a season. A cup of bees, a shot of syrup, leave them in a cool dark place over night, drop in a cell the next morning then look again in 18 or so days, doesn't get any easier than that. when you have your queen, shake em out around other hives, cut the comb out of the plastic frame and throw it in the melter, then on the shelf till next year.

    OTOH if you plan to do multiple rounds in them, they can and do get very tedious. When dearth arrives you would be amazed how fast they starve out if you aren't tending them right away with feed. Then when you do put feed in them, we like to call the mini nucs, but if you have full size hives in the area, they call them 'feeders', and they get robbed out. I think there is a delicate balance between 'small enough to find a queen quickly' and 'large enough to become a viable colony that can defend itself', again, not an issue if you only plan on doing one a year and doing during the flow.

    In our case, we run the mating nucs year round, so I have no stocking considerations. Some of ours are just plain old 5 frame nucs, they get populated when we are doing swarm control splits. Aside from those I have a bunch of 4 way mating nucs made up of deep box split into 4 quadrants, each quad holds 5 half size frames that another local fella made for me. In the 4 ways we will harvest the wintered queens in April, then they get a fresh cell every 3 weeks until August. There is enough comb space in one of those that we can leave them for 3 weeks typically. The last queen to emerge in each of them is left over the winter. The size of the unit is about right to manage quite easily over the summer as they new queens lay them up then get harvested, they spend enough time without a laying queen that they dont get so full of bees they want to swarm and there is usually a nice compact brood nest waiting for the new queen after she has mated. When it gets colder, the cubical shape of the volume allows the bees to cluster far better than a 2 frame compartment would.

    When we were at Apimondia I saw a styro mating nuc configuration I really liked, so I ordered a few to try the out in the upcoming season. Lyson makes them, 6 frame box that has a frame roughly similar to a half size deep. It comes complete with a bottom that has two entrances, a follower board that allows you to run it as a single 6 frame or split into two 3 frame sections, then a top feeder set up to manage feeding it in both configurations as well. I got 5 of them complete, shipped to my place for 50 bucks apiece (canadian dollars). With 5 of those thru the summer I should be able to run 10 queens per round, then when fall approaches remove the follower and winter one colony in each. The real appeal for me with this setup, they arrive complete and I dont have to start building anything. I should be able to use them for 4 rounds of two, then merge the sides and winter the 5th. They stack, so re-populating a deadout means putting it on top of a live one and let that queen lay some brood into it. A year from now I'll know how well they worked. I'll have to populate them the first time by shaking bees.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Now up to $13 (shipped, USD) ,they climb in price as spring approaches, low price point seems to be Oct-Dec
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Harvest-Hon...UAAOSwodhc70Y8
    Last edited by msl; 02-02-2020 at 04:16 PM.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  8. #27

    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    The little styro mini is probably a good choice if you only want to use it once in a season. A cup of bees, a shot of syrup, leave them in a cool dark place over night, drop in a cell the next morning then look again in 18 or so days, doesn't get any easier than that.
    I run 500 of the Apidea mini foam nucs all year long. I don't winter them though. But I do use them to continually mate queens in them.

    I never start them queenless, means not with a cell, I start them with old laying queens that I extracted from production hives. This way the Apidea build up a small and sturdy broodnest with the right mixture of brood, old and young bees, enough nectar and pollen. Once those mini colonies are established the old queen is removed to start a new Apidea. The established Apidea receives a virgin queen. I let the queens emerge in the incubator. Because I visibly inspect them and also I weigh each queen at birth. Everything less than 220 mg (0.008 oz?) is discarded.

    The established mini foam nuc produces significant better mated queens than just a min swarm with a cell.

    0169.jpg

    0171.jpg

    0168.jpg

    I choose the mini foam nucs, because I sell a lot of queens and I find queens in Apideas dramatically faster than in any other mating nuc. Also the mini foam nucs can be moved around much easier, which is important for me, because I do move them to mating stations all over the country. Also the minis are easy to tend and I don't bother wintering them. Because wintering nucs is extra work nobody wants and needs.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Quite the operation you have; does that ladle hold 1 cup nurses? then put your older queens in? about how long one brood cycle?
    Proverbs 16:24

  10. #29

    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    This ladle is huge and yes, it is a bit more than a cup o bees. I introduce the old queen about three hours later. I wait until all combs are drawn and filled with capped brood. I do like to wait until the first batches of young bees hatch, so the queen has some young attendants.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    How do you introduce the virgins to the exstlbushed nuc? I started using them last year do to having cell viability issues (BQCV and some outher stuff) but the bees weren't reliably eating the candy plug in the JZBZ cage, meant a added trip witch was a bummer..

    What is you catch cycle?
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    The most common way to deal with the brood is a hatch out box placed above an QE (picture from Ian)
    The use of a hatch out box was a conceptual breakthrough for me. It looks like a good way to get brood combs for mininucs drawn by a strong colony, too. The combs shown in the picture (thank you, Ian) are obviously recycled through a season or more.

    Lots of good links in this thread, and all of the practical advice given by people who've worked through the issues with whichever approach they've taken to raising their own queens is gratefully noted.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Queen Rearing with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    Because wintering nucs is extra work nobody wants and needs.
    Guess it's a matter of perspective. From our perspective, shaking bees in the spring to re-populate mini's is just extra work nobody wants or needs. by wintering colonies in the mini's we can have first round of queens for sale a month earlier than folks starting from scratch to graft the first round. That is a big deal for folks wanting to split before heading into blueberry pollination.

    I started down this road after attending one of the British Columbia Honey Producers education day events a few years ago. Liz Huxter from Kettle Valley Queens was telling us about how they got into wintering queens in the 4 ways. They were using medium boxes with half size frames in each quadrant, essentially the same methodology as Michael Palmer for mating nucs. One year for an experiment they did an extra round of queens then put the 4 ways into a lean to for the winter. 250 4 way boxes so putting a thousand queens into storage for the winter. In the spring when they went thru the boxes, they got over 700 live queens in April. She looked around the room and asked 'Do you know how much 700 queens are worth in April?'. It became a mainstay for their business going forward. According to Liz, some number of years later in the fall it got real busy and they never got the boxes into the shed before winter hit on them, so the boxes sat out in the snow that year. Survival outside in the snow was no different than stacked up in the shed, so, they stopped moving them in because it was just more work that is apparently not required.

    But we are getting sidetracked here with discussions about doing many rounds of many queens. OP was about doing 30 in a season and asking about using the MP bee bomb cell builder method. I brought up the issue of mating nucs because I think many folks just starting, and I was guilty of this myself, read and ponder endlessly about how to make great cells, totally missing the detail that mating nucs require as much thought and pondering as the cell builder. And much like there are many ways to do cell building, there are just as many ways to accomplish the mating side of raising queens.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by Knisely View Post
    The use of a hatch out box was a conceptual breakthrough for me. It looks like a good way to get brood combs for mininucs drawn by a strong colony, too. The combs shown in the picture (thank you, Ian) are obviously recycled through a season or more.
    If you are paying attention to what Ian is doing these days you will also realize he's not using minis anymore. His queen rearing today is focussed around placing cells into 6 frame nucs.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Liz Huxter from Kettle Valley Queens was telling us about how they got into wintering queens in the 4 ways. They were using medium boxes with half size frames in each
    my 2 ways were defently inspired by the Huxtlers "duplex" system and Plamers
    I believe the Huxters use shallows not mediums... over wintering on 4-5 1/2 shallow frames... amazing indeed. I din't have the guts to push it that far and pulled the dividers and dubble stacked mine for a total of 16 1/2 extra shalow (5.25" box) combs
    l they stopped overwintering the nucs as the trend shift to fall re queening gave them a market for those queens. For those who want to see more about what we are talking about she has a good presentation https://vimeo.com/161651142

    weather you like the foamys or not, many people who do any sort of volume of queen rearing use one form or another of mini... be it 1/2 or 1/3 frames, deep or shalow. single, 2 way, 4way, or the occasional 6 way

    and as a demo of just what is possibly, they can get real, REAL tiny
    I have made them in sizes as small as the one shown in the cut, which used a single individual comb honey section about one inch square (2.5cm),
    - Jay Smith, Better queens 1949
    BQPg68a_small.jpg
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  16. #35

    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    How do you introduce the virgins to the exstlbushed nuc?

    I dequeen the Apideas and after 3 hours I introduce the virgin queen from the top. Or the next day. I simply drop them in and have 100 % success. I know, that some find that troublesome. If you dip the queen in honey-water mixture, before introducing them, you are more successful in the beginning.

    In fact, I introduce all my queens that way. I dequeen, wait a couple of hours, introduce the new queen. Bees are aware of the queenless situation after some hours, and are in panic at that stage. In this phase you can throw anything queen at them, they'll accept. Virgin, mated, young or old. Doesn't really matter.

    Once they overcome the panic phase, they start making their own queen. Drawing emergency queen cells. From then on you are in a constant battle against the bees, if you try to introduce your queen. They want their own queen. You want them to accept your queen. They do not want it. It is instinct, I guess.

    So the trick is, let them panic and come to the rescue in the right moment. Don't wait until they help themself.

    I catch queens every four or eight days, depends. Another thing that I learned from Michael Palmer (who learned it from Kirk, I reckon)...


    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Guess it's a matter of perspective. From our perspective, shaking bees in the spring to re-populate mini's is just extra work nobody wants or needs. by wintering colonies in the mini's we can have first round of queens for sale a month earlier than folks starting from scratch to graft the first round.
    My solution is by far not the solution for everyone in every place. It is just what I do. Didn't meant to down talk minis or overwintering. Instead I wanted to say, it is costly to winter mini mating hives. It costs time, work and a lot of sugar. And treatment against varroa. That is it, what I wanted to point out. I have very early queens, too. All a matter of applied bee knowledge, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    I brought up the issue of mating nucs because I think many folks just starting, and I was guilty of this myself, read and ponder endlessly about how to make great cells, totally missing the detail that mating nucs require as much thought and pondering as the cell builder. And much like there are many ways to do cell building, there are just as many ways to accomplish the mating side of raising queens.
    Well said.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Reading this opened my eyes, I believe it was posted in another thread. Super royal queen lines in Emergency queens, more than supersedure or swarm queens.

    https://theapiarist.org/whos-the-daddy/
    Proverbs 16:24

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    I simply drop them in and have 100 % success. I know, that some find that troublesome
    I was thinking that's what you did, but wanted to be sure, as you note literature suggests that would be troublesome..

    I catch queens every four or eight days, depends.
    I meant how many days is the queen left in the nuc.. and out of curiosity what age do you place the virgins?
    thanks in advance


    Reading this opened my eyes
    yep... if you do walk away spits 40% of you queens end up being from a drone line that has no impact on hive traits your selecting for... add in the fact if you break the walk away in to nucs to use the cells the bees don't chew down the poor ones, and you end up with a lot of poor performing queens...
    This fact we have known for a long time, but the "internet says"... lol

    "He next tried dequeening a colony during a flow of nectar and pollen and permited them to build cells. Some of the queens that were produced looked to be fully developed queens and they performed well. However, in the spring one-third of his queens died so suddenly that no effort was made to supersede them. Seemingly, these queens had failed to attain full development" Laidlaw(1979) Referring to Doolittle, Contemporary Queen Rearing P169..
    Only "some" of the queens looked good and performed well, but 1/3 of them still failed. Sam Comfort notes that in his experience only 20-30% of the queen made this way are any good

    There are a LOT of very good reason to learn to graft, or use a method that alows the beekeeper to select the larva used (cut strips, cell punch, etc).
    Last edited by msl; 02-03-2020 at 01:49 PM.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Reading this opened my eyes, I believe it was posted in another thread. Super royal queen lines in Emergency queens, more than supersedure or swarm queens.

    https://theapiarist.org/whos-the-daddy/
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199124 (Tarpy)
    Proverbs 16:24

  20. #39

    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I meant how many days is the queen left in the nuc.. and out of curiosity what age do you place the virgins?
    The young queen stays about two or three weeks in the Apidea. Shortly after being mated she is removed, before that she lays eggs and the broodnest in the Apidea continues to live on.

    The last queens of the year stay in the Apidea for about two months. Until they are used for late splits. This is in October.

    Queens are usually from 0-2 days old when I introduce them. Age is not much of a factor for success. Although older queens tend to run too fast. Bees dislike running queens.

  21. #40

    Default Re: Quaring with Michael Palmer method

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    The young queen stays about two or three weeks in the Apidea. Shortly after being mated she is removed, before that she lays eggs and the broodnest in the Apidea continues to live on.
    just to clarity

    before being removed she lays...

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