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Discussion Starter #1
I'll skip details that you likely don't care about and simpy, get to the point. I'll be trying to increase my hive counts this year. I have not grafted before, but i am willing to do so. I only need a dozen or so queens, maybe a few more, to reach the numbers I want. I can easily reach this using Mel's OTS method and nucs. The OTS method appears so darn simple and easy (for small scale stuff like I'm doing) that it seems perfect for me. I just don't want to overlook something due to my ignorance or lack of experience.

Have any of you tried both of these methods? it would be nice to get some first hand knowledge of how they compare. I'll take thoughts conjectures and rumors too. Any information is appreciated.

Regards,

Kris
 

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I tried doing OTS a few times just for the fun of it. The bees never would make queen cells where I made the indentation.
Id say if you want just a few queen cells than take I hive that you like and make it real strong. Take the queen out and let them make there own cells. Then make splits, giving every split a frame with queen cells( you should get multiple frames with queen cell on them.
Basically the same as OTS but I wouldn't waste my time looking for Larva and making the indentation.
 

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OTS (or making them queenless without the OTS) requires wax foundation or foundationless so you can cut out the cells. Otherwise you'll have to take each frame that has cells and put it in a nuc and get only one queen from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I decide to go with the OTS method, my plan was to notch cells in a manner that would encourage the queenless hive to make 3 queen cells on 3 or 4 frames..assuming the larva had been laid in a manner that allows this. I would then use that entire frame, in the splits. This is where i see problems with the OTS method. I have little control over where the queen has laid her eggs. I might only have one or two frames that are the correct age.

I have a few frames floating around with plastic foundation, but I'm almost all foundationless. I have no experience cutting out a queen cell to use in another hive/nuc. I presume the actual removing of the cell is straigh forward, but what then? Is there some standard practice for attaching this cut out queen cell to another frame? If this isn't a noteworthy hurdle, then i don't see any reason to purchase/make more gear for queen rearing via grafting.
 

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>I have little control over where the queen has laid her eggs.

And if the bees will choose the ones you did... they might and you have stacked the deck by tearing down the wall, but there are no guarantees that the bees read the same article...
 

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I tried doing OTS a few times just for the fun of it. The bees never would make queen cells where I made the indentation.
Yeah me too. No different than no notch at all. New soft wax comb is much easier all around. Which ever method, getting them ready by feeding and concentrating bees before starting makes more of a difference.
 

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KPeacock, I'm going to try OTS notching this year also. I was looking at Michael Palmers web site and noticed that on a fresh frame of brood the queen seemed to start in the middle and lay in patches until she got to the honey band. I'm hoping that will help me with finding the newest eggs. That seems to be the catch. I'm to nervous to try grafting to start out with. I know that I'll lose some queens this way but I'm willing to risk that.

Good Luck on whatever method you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm sure I'll probably try both methods at some point. The OTS methods just seemed so gosh darn easy, and requires no additional equipment that i feel almost obligated to try it. After doing a bit more research on introducing queen cells into queenless nucs/queen castles, it seems like MB has the right idea with cutting out cells. I'll try nothing them to influence where they make queen cells, but if they make cells wherever they want, Il'l just cut and use them as I see fit.

Thanks for the input thus far!
 

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If you use the OTS method & do not cut the cells out you are going to find it something of a mission to get to your dozen queens, cos generally you'll have most of the cells on a few frames.

There is no reason you could not experiment with both methods. Grafting can be practised without any commitment just by taking a suitable frame from a hive and practising removing larvae from it. If you then think you could use this method go ahead and get or make some queen cell cups, set up a queenless cell starter hive and do the graft & put them in. This could be done and the OTS method as well.

Aim for more queen cells than you want cos you may get less than you planned on, if you are lucky and get more than you need just choose the best, and you can always put more than one queen cell into a nuc as an insurance if one failed to hatch.
 

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I am going to drive Mike's point once again. Use fresh combs with fresh wax cells on them. Bees will break down the wax and build you nice cells if the cells are not overused from brood rearing. No need to notch or do anything like that, they'll just choose the sisters they like best and raise them. When you cut out queen cells, sacrifice the cell around but make sure that queen's royal jelly in her cell is not exposed. Hungry workers will eat it and tear her cell down. They won't if the cell is intact. I think Mel's method is just fine. You get nice queens out of it if the hive is well populated.
 

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" , but there are no guarantees that the bees read the same article...

Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF "

is there any to get them to read the same article that's what we really need get the bees on the same page as us

but I have used OTS with fair results wax foundation but graft now
 
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