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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Ray thanks for the help I appreciate you taking the time , I am looking forward to raising some queens this spring .I've been at it around 5 years now and thought this would keep things interesting !! Like i need more interesting but I like trying different things and have always wanted extra queens around when there needed so it seems like a good next step , thanks again Bruce

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    LakeTrout...
    There are many methods to raise queen cells, and I think it depends on your goals and location and management style to determine which one works best for you. Just be sure to have fun with it all, I think it's the most interesting part of all the parts of beekeeping to undertake.
    Ray's quite right: there are indeed many methods - so many in fact that's it's easy for somebody setting out on this path to become confused between them.

    I've always found it useful to bear in mind that 'larva presentation' and 'cell-raising conditions' are two completely separate issues, and so can be divided into two groups:

    Group A - Larva Presentation:
    (in no particular order)
    Grafting
    Cell-Punching
    Miller (trimmed-back comb)
    Alley (comb cut-strips)
    Nicot/Jenter
    Hopkins (Horizontal comb)
    Plain Comb (containing larva of right age)
    Notched Cells (selected larva of right age)
    ... and so on.


    Group B - Starting Conditions:
    (in no particular order)
    Queenless Colony/Nuc Starter-Finisher (Q-ve)
    Separate Queenless Starter with Queenright Finisher (Q-ve),(Q+ve)
    Ben Harden (Q+ve)
    Wilkinson and Brown (Q+ve)
    Laidlaw (Q-ve)
    Joseph Clemens (mini-Laidlaw) (Q-ve)
    Cloake Board (Q-ve & Q+ve)
    Morris Board (Q-ve & Q+ve)
    Steve Rose (semi- Q-ve & Q+ve)
    Swarm Box (Q-ve)
    ... and so on.

    I'm sure I've missed some out, but I hope you get the idea - which is - that ANY method from Group A can be employed with ANY of the methods in Group B. And so the possible permutations become very large indeed.

    I agree that Queen-rearing is great fun. It can be frustrating if all doesn't go according to plan - but just keep at it, and try to find a method (or combination of methods) which suits you - as it's not compulsory to follow other people's methods.
    'best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    This looks like a great option also , I might go this way !!! I'm liking the stand alone queenless nuc as the cell builder-finisher seems like they might accept the cells more readily in this queenless nuc rather than the queenright cell builder - and this article from David L. is layed out very nice and easy to understand and full of beautiful pics to help .

    http://doorgarden.com/2011/11/07/sim...for-beginners/

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    They mention the use of screened bottom board with this set up but i think there in California , Im in Pa. and dont use them on my production hives . I realize the nuc is going to be full of bees and maybe they do need more ventilation than a regular hive , at what temps would i need a screen bottom board

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    This is one of the original threads about the Joseph Clemens method:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...-larger-queens

    As you will read in it, JC didn't have much of a problem with ventilation. In contrast, David LaFerney did:
    Before long I realized that the entrance through the slatted rack was too small for such a populous hive, and that the ventilation was not adequate. [A nucleus hive overflowing with bees.]

    So, I changed to this setup – from the bottom – Screened bottom board, queen excluder, 5 frame medium hive body.
    I found the best solution was to provide bags of ventilation and simply blank it off - then open up each vent as required at the first sign of bearding. You may not need any at first, but when the colony builds up, I found that overheating can indeed become an issue - so it's handy to be prepared for this beforehand.
    After all, when bearding occurs it's a sign that bees have vacated their combs - and when you're queen-rearing, that's the very last thing in the world you want to happen.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I ran across the Ben Harden method of queen rearing with a queenright hive and it sounds easier than the cloake board and doesn't require any new equipment . Has anyone had any luck with this method . Here is a link https://theapiarist.org/ben-harden-method-setup/
    I have .

    Queenright cell raisers are easier to control in my view, so better for the beginner. They tend to work well for smaller numbers of cells, whereas the huge booming boxes that Michael P. uses are great for lots of cells, but are perhaps less controllable. With a queenright system, if it all goes 'Pete Tong' you can just take out the QE and rearrange the brood and it's just a regular hive again. I've used the Ben Harden system more than any other and - with the hive in the right state (strong, healthy, good nectar flow) - it's very dependable. If the grafts aren't accepted you can just try again. Feed them well if you're at all unsure about the flow. The only thing to watch out for is QC's being drawn out on the open brood adjacent to the cell bar frame. If you don't slaughter all these they'll emerge above the QE and do untold damage to your precious cells.



    Been there, done that.

    I'd say there's little to choose between the Ben Harden and Cloake board method. I usually manage to get a greater density of bees with the latter, but I'm not aware the resulting queens are any better.



    The Rose method gets a mention by little_john. More details are here: https://bibba.com/wp-content/uploads...-July-2015.pdf. Again, a very similar principal and needing just two nuc boxes to go above the brood box. I've meant to give it a try for the last few seasons but always end up using the Ben Harden or Cloake board methods instead. Which proves nothing more than I'm a bit lazy
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by fatshark; 02-16-2020 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Cloake board pic
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    fatshark thanks for all of the info I'm in the process of making mating nucs now.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Thanks to fatshark for supplying a link to the Steve Rose Method. I've often thought that this is one of those cases where a simple diagram could replace a long description, and a few years ago I made such a diagram:



    As can be seen, the method requires a minimal amount of equipment, none of which is specialised or unusual. A queen-right full-width brood box; a QX; a sheet of plastic; a pair of half-width nuc boxes; and either a box turned through 90 degrees or some kind of shim - the purpose of which is to provide a route for both nurse bees and queen pheromone over the top of the nuc boxes.

    The plastic sheet is inserted at the same time as a Cloake Board slide would be inserted, and the magenta arrow shows the extended-length pathway for both nurse bees and queen pheromone which exists during the time that the plastic sheet is in place. The length of that pathway can be extended if required by adding extra boxes.

    As the method never produces a state of 100% queenlessness, it would appear that the impulse to produce queen-cells leans more towards supersedure, rather than emergency.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    the one thing im not getting is the half width nucs ? my regular 5 frame nucs wont fit , two nucs are 18'' width and the regular brood box is 16 1/4 so it is a special box but it still shows 5 frames in each box ? I might end up trying both of these methods but the Clemens method sounds easier to me at this point . Fatshark i appreciate the drawing very nice

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    That description is based on the hive dimensions in Britain. Lang boxes would need two 4 frame nuc boxes to go on top of a standard 10 frame bottom box; Like this.

    I already have some of them made up. Looks like a handy way to make some queens or create a nuc every couple of weeks or let them make honey if you choose not to place the sheet of plastic.

    The stack in the picture is being run as a 2 queen hive.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by crofter; 02-17-2020 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Add a thought
    Frank

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Yes - Frank is spot on - our standard brood boxes are indeed 18" wide, 18 & 1/8" to be exact. If you count the number of frames in the bottom box of that diagram, you'll find there's 12 - which is how many can be inserted (just) when the woodenware's new. Add a bit of propolis and only 11 will then fit.

    Frank - with a 2-Queen double-nuc stack in mind - that's how I'm planning to trial the Rose Method this coming season: set up a Michael Palmer double-nuc stack - set it up primarily as a brood factory and as a means of drawing-out worker comb - then slot-in one or two rounds of queen-rearing before returning it to it's former function.
    'best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    It was little_john who produced the fancy diagram ...

    I'd add one final thing about mating nucs. I think managing mini mating nucs is the most difficult aspect of queen rearing. They can starve, abscond, get robbed - though only sometimes all at the same time. I always encourage people to start getting queens mated using 2-3 full-sized frames in a dummied-down 5-frame nuc box. Much, much easier ... and you can leave the queen to expand to fill the box and have a very good idea of her quality.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    the one thing im not getting is the half width nucs ? my regular 5 frame nucs wont fit , two nucs are 18'' width and the regular brood box is 16 1/4 so it is a special box but it still shows 5 frames in each box ? I might end up trying both of these methods but the Clemens method sounds easier to me at this point . Fatshark i appreciate the drawing very nice
    A piece of 3/4 scrap screwed onto each side of the bottom fixes the mismatch. Not much effort to try the method which has resource and stability appeal. Basically a vertical split with more than an excluder separation and less than an empty frame body. I can see the potential of finding the right amount of separation to fall between an emergency and a superceder queen. Logic does not always mean true with bees.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    A piece of 3/4 scrap screwed onto each side of the bottom fixes the mismatch.
    I was writing the same thing, but then I erased it as I thought about the "top" that would also be mis-matched and the need for the bees to be able to go up and over the top frames as shown I the diagram. I typically use the silver reflectex (bubblewrap) for my tops, but that doesn't allow for the bees to move across boxes (they move across frames very well with it)

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Ruth,
    I'm way less fancy than to worry about that. An inner cover, a board and a sheet of ply on top of it all.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    I've always found it useful to bear in mind that 'larva presentation' and 'cell-raising conditions' are two completely separate issues, and so can be divided into two groups:

    Group A - Larva Presentation:
    ...
    ... and so on.


    Group B - Starting Conditions:
    ...
    ... and so on.
    Then comes

    Group C - Mating conditions:

    full size colonies (requeening)
    5 frame nuc (need lots of bees to make a bunch)
    2 frame nuc (Dont need as many, but still a lot of bees)
    mini nucs (just a cup of bees per each, much more intensive management required)
    ... and so on

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    I'd add one final thing about mating nucs. I think managing mini mating nucs is the most difficult aspect of queen rearing.
    I think a lot of folks tend to gloss over the issue of mating nucs for the same reason. they watch presentations on youtube about 'queen rearing', but in fact those presentations are about 'raising cells', and at the end of a long winded talk about creating correct conditions for great cells, they kind of gloss over the final stages of going from cell to queen by simply saying 'now place the cells into mating nucs'. If you are doing 3 bars in a cell bar frame, that's 40+ grafts. Managing 40 mating nucs is far more work than managing a cell builder.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I can see the potential of finding the right amount of separation to fall between an emergency and a superceder queen.
    That's one of the things which appeals to me too.

    If 5-frame nuc boxes are already available, then one alternative to modifying a 10-frame brood box would be to build the whole stack using 5-frame nuc boxes, thusly:


    This format would of course require the bees from two separate queens to co-exist - apparently that's not a problem, although I defer to the experience of others with regard to this.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    That is the first time I have seen the Rose cell starter / builder. After the first round of a few cells it can be a nuc producer if you wish or continue as honey producer.

    I think having it as 2 queen would perhaps not be an asset to the cell builder mode but would be a plus if you were just going to draw frames or pull resources.

    I wondered if the centre of the unsupported separated queen excluders might sag and create a leak. Perhaps drop a vertical strut down to the bottom board for support.

    Anyways thanks for that idea; its a definite to do in the spring.
    Frank

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Hi Frank - well spotted ! That's one of the details I forgot to mention.

    As you say, a central batten would solve that problem. This is an example of someone else having done just that:



    My own solution is to use a pair of half-width QX's - which does mean "something else to make" - but then, I'm using these more and more with individual 5-frame nuc stacks.



    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Easy cell builder help

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    That's one of the things which appeals to me too.

    If 5-frame nuc boxes are already available, then one alternative to modifying a 10-frame brood box would be to build the whole stack using 5-frame nuc boxes, thusly:


    This format would of course require the bees from two separate queens to co-exist - apparently that's not a problem, although I defer to the experience of others with regard to this.
    LJ
    You can have the dbl nuc set up, use a QE and super with regular supers on that. Bees do fine.
    Proverbs 16:24

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