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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of graphed cells that took. Trying to map out the plan. I have 5 hives that i want to replace queens on so some will be put in there and queens killed. For the rest should they go into the incubator until they hatch or into a mating nuc/ nuc? I thought i remembered something about better acceptance if they hatch in a hive/nuc? If i do hatch in incubator don't they have to go into a hive/nuc in a day or so or the chances of her mating drop drastically?
 

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I have never used an incubator so cannot answer that part of it. I would create a 3 frame mating nuc for each of the cells and place them in 2 days before they are scheduled to hatch. I consider it foolish to remove a queen from a full size hive and try to requeen with a cell. Things happen and while the chances of her going out and mating and returning well mated are generally good, they are not 100%. If she comes back poorly mated or does not return at all, you have risked an entire hive on that bet. It is a much better bet to risk 3 frames and then pick from the best queens to replace the current queens. Combining the 3 frame nucs back into the full size hives is easy enough if they have poor queens (you will dispatch these) or no queen at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have never used an incubator so cannot answer that part of it. I would create a 3 frame mating nuc for each of the cells and place them in 2 days before they are scheduled to hatch. I consider it foolish to remove a queen from a full size hive and try to requeen with a cell. Things happen and while the chances of her going out and mating and returning well mated are generally good, they are not 100%. If she comes back poorly mated or does not return at all, you have risked an entire hive on that bet. It is a much better bet to risk 3 frames and then pick from the best queens to replace the current queens. Combining the 3 frame nucs back into the full size hives is easy enough if they have poor queens (you will dispatch these) or no queen at all.
good point. these particular colonies have a few issues. 2 just never started laying this year after making it through the winter. very strange. two others were a swarm that swarmed again so no eggs or queen as it was only a few days in the box. I will have to make some of those 3 frames in the next week to use. I'm almost out of nucs and they seem very efficient for their size.
 

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Congratulations on grafting and cell building so that it WORKS!

I am of the opinion that the grafting is the easy part. The hard part is the planning. Both planning pre-grafting to get the cell builder to work out, and post-grafting so your resources are put to their best effect.

I use 3 frame mating nucs - a deep that I slotted, put 1/4 ply dividers in, made 3 plywood inner covers for each apartment. Betterbee sells them for $50, if that is of interest.

If you make your own 3-way mating nuc, be advised that you will benefit by having the entrances be hard to confuse when seen by a nearsighted person from a distance. ;) Bees actually have poor detail vision, a bit like a nearsighted person, and the queen is viewing the hive as she returns, from a distance. You can site each mating box facing all points of the compass, or alternate front-back, or put chairs or other large items next to some boxes - but if 3 identical entrances are side-by-side for each 3 way mating nuc, then she may have a problem.

I drilled holes for my entrances, so I could cheap out and attach a fixed bottom. The middle one is on top. The 2 side ones have different shapes painted above each, and they are near the bottom of the box. We went with a 3" dark circle for one, and a 4x1" yellow bar for the other. For one style. The other had a 4" strip of electrical tape upright, and a 3" strip of gray duct tape horizontal. I had 2 boxes (each style) with 3 of 3 queens come back mated.

Be very very careful that the 3 apartments are bee-tight.

And you can just pinch or chuck the queen cells you cannot home. A queen cell is a very different investment than a mated laying queen, from the beeks' point of view and the bees'!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congratulations on grafting and cell building so that it WORKS!

I am of the opinion that the grafting is the easy part. The hard part is the planning. Both planning pre-grafting to get the cell builder to work out, and post-grafting so your resources are put to their best effect.

I use 3 frame mating nucs - a deep that I slotted, put 1/4 ply dividers in, made 3 plywood inner covers for each apartment. Betterbee sells them for $50, if that is of interest.

If you make your own 3-way mating nuc, be advised that you will benefit by having the entrances be hard to confuse when seen by a nearsighted person from a distance. ;) Bees actually have poor detail vision, a bit like a nearsighted person, and the queen is viewing the hive as she returns, from a distance. You can site each mating box facing all points of the compass, or alternate front-back, or put chairs or other large items next to some boxes - but if 3 identical entrances are side-by-side for each 3 way mating nuc, then she may have a problem.

I drilled holes for my entrances, so I could cheap out and attach a fixed bottom. The middle one is on top. The 2 side ones have different shapes painted above each, and they are near the bottom of the box. We went with a 3" dark circle for one, and a 4x1" yellow bar for the other. For one style. The other had a 4" strip of electrical tape upright, and a 3" strip of gray duct tape horizontal. I had 2 boxes (each style) with 3 of 3 queens come back mated.

Be very very careful that the 3 apartments are bee-tight.

And you can just pinch or chuck the queen cells you cannot home. A queen cell is a very different investment than a mated laying queen, from the beeks' point of view and the bees'!
Thanks Trish. I made a quad out of a deep and hated it. I'm going to build some 2 or 3 frame singles this time. Barnyard bees really seems to make them work so i'll do that and use various colors and markings as you suggest.
This is the first year that the bees have built up so fast i have had to split and i'm sure some of the won't successfully queen so making some cells is a must this year. Ironically i caught a swarm of mine , boxed it, then it swarmed again but much smaller before laying any eggs. So i had a booming hive with zero eggs or larvae. Once i realized i had a starter i began making grafts and playing with the nicot. Still struggling to get acceptance. Shooting for more then i need so i can make up some nucs as well.
 
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