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can i take a 2 deep hive and place a excluder between the to seperate the queen - then take the queenless side for my starter and then once 18hrs has past just put the starter back on top of the excluder to make a finisher hive - or do i need different hives for this???
 

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What you describe doing is the makings of they way I raise cells.

The key is large numbers of nurse bees in the starter. But the starter can not have a bit of open brood. Having the starter above the excluder without brood does not bode well to have nurse bees present in the quantity desired. If you are not going to hunt the old queen I would put a couple frames of open brood in the starter with queen isolated below excluder. You could then shake the bees off to get your nurse bees. Then place this open brood back with the parent or another colony and have a slot or 2 for your cell frames.

I put the starter unit on the bottom and isolate the queen right colony on top with double screen and entrance out the back (very important not to have any cracks, etc on front side for bees to find their way home to momma). This creates a open flying starter with the field force of the parent colony. A slick way to 'create' a double screen is a piece of window screen or hardware cloth (5 squares/inch or less) on both sides of the queen excluder (wood bound is best and not fastened). It also provides warmth for the somewhat bee depleted queenright parent (to be used in the process 2 days later). Besides the nurse bees abundant feed (pollen and open nectar/syrup) should be adjacent to grafted cells. Given a box full of bees, 100 cells can be grafted into a unit like this but 50 would be best.

In 2 days the unit is reversed with queen right unit going back on bottom. Shake or brush bees off a frame or two of open brood frames and place in started beside the started cells. Replace double screen with a queen excluder and place on top. You now have good access to the cells when ready to be removed. This system fosters frame manipulations minimized to selecting the broodless starter combs and 2 open frames of brood on setup and shaking/brushing and moving 2 frames of brood 2 other times without searching for the queen.

Eight days later you will have ripe queen cells which will hatch in 1-2 days.
 

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i did like you said - dolittle - an forgot the calender an only one queen was left. some fokes use a piece of galvinized tin an make a cloak board.
 

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I stated the wrong size on hardware cloth to keep bees from passing. 5 mesh is actually the size to make pollen traps for bees to pass through and knock off the pollen pellets. It should be smaller, usually 8 mesh. Sorry about that.

Given attention to detail this system works. If it does not ask questions to find out why not. Good luck, Bob
 

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about 24hrs. in advance and place the queen below an excluder then in the second Hive body frome the outside on both sides I put ... honey, pollen, capped brood, then in the middle I put eggs and larvae with pollen on one side and larvae on the other. I then take a bunch of nurse bees from other colonies and put them in with the eggs and larvae. The next day I graft, I pull the middle frame out with the eggs and larvae , wait about an hour and put my graft in the empty space. The nurse bees are waiting to jump on them. This has always worked great for me. The is from Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding by Harry H. Laidlaw and Robert E. Page Jr. They list a number of ways to set up cell builders and finishers. A GREAT book. Like they say, 1 question and 10 different answers from beekeepers. Do what works for you. LOL
 
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