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Discussion Starter #1
I have a queen who I released from the jenter box yesterday after 24 hours confined in the box.
This is my plan from this point and I am open to any suggestions or advice anyone has on the subject.

I will be setting up at least one cell starter hive Monday(day 3) and transfering the larve Tuesday (Day 4)to the cell starter. In setting up the cell starter I will find the queen and confine her to the upper brood chamber with an excluder above the bottom box. I will put the cloak board on above the excluder with the slide closed and facing the back of the hive to allow the bees to leave the top box and crowd the bottom box.

Questions I have now;

1. Last year I tried to do some grafts and when I put the frame bars in my cell starter the bees filled it with comb VERY fast. What can I do to discourage this?

2. What is the ideal frames to be next to the cell bars with the larve I will be putting in the lower chamber(Queenless box)? I have heard different opinions, but it would seem I would want capped brrod, but no larve that the bees would want to make into queens. Is this right?

3. When do you slide the cloak board open to make the hive queen right again?

4. How many batches of Queens is it considered productive to try with one hive.

5 In this instruction page from honey run aparies they say to put wax in the cell cups prior to having the queen lay eggs in them in the jenter box. Is this how most people do it?
I didn't. When I pull the jenter box I can put some larve in wax cups that I have to see if that helps the situation if I missed that step.

6. In last years attempt to makes queens, I think the bees may have moved my eggs to regular comb, as I found queen cells there after I failed to get any good queen cells. How do you discourage them from moving the eggs(if that is what happened)?
 

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-I use a narrow grafting frame (3/4" wide) this MAY (I am not sure) help as far as not so much comb being drawn...

I would highly recommend a narrow grafting frame for other reasons (bees being able to work/ get to cells easily)

Many / most people use a half or 1/4 sheet of foundation in their grafting frame, or a frame of foundation in the same box.

-capped brood, pollen frame, or dump real pollen into empty cells on frame right next to cell bar if you can't find a good pollen frame.


-one of the advantages of a cloak board setup is you should be able to use it for multiple rounds. Just keep moving capped brood to queenless side and keep it full of young bees.

-I don't have much experience with the systems you are using, but I do not wax jzbz plastic cell cups, I wouldn't see why you would need to with jenter. I do put the cell cups in the hive a day or 2 early to have the bees "clean" them to their liking, I have found this does help acceptance and I am sure would help with getting queen to lay in the plastic jenter cups, but once she does, you should be good to go...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much for your reply bfriendly, that makes alot of sense.
I did have the jenter box and cups in for a couple of days for the bees to clean, so that is one less worry. Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Questions I have now;

1. Last year I tried to do some grafts and when I put the frame bars in my cell starter the bees filled it with comb VERY fast. What can I do to discourage this?

2. What is the ideal frames to be next to the cell bars with the larve I will be putting in the lower chamber(Queenless box)? I have heard different opinions, but it would seem I would want capped brrod, but no larve that the bees would want to make into queens. Is this right?

3. When do you slide the cloak board open to make the hive queen right again?

4. How many batches of Queens is it considered productive to try with one hive.

5 In this instruction page from honey run aparies they say to put wax in the cell cups prior to having the queen lay eggs in them in the jenter box. Is this how most people do it?
I didn't. When I pull the jenter box I can put some larve in wax cups that I have to see if that helps the situation if I missed that step.

6. In last years attempt to makes queens, I think the bees may have moved my eggs to regular comb, as I found queen cells there after I failed to get any good queen cells. How do you discourage them from moving the eggs(if that is what happened)?
1. after they start drawing the queen cells out I put in a frame with foundation

2. i put pollen next to the queen cells, also after the slide is removed I put the open lava back that I removed the day I closed the slide next to the queen cells to attract the correct age bees to feed the queens, yes they will also start some queen cells on the frames, either remove or use. I remove.

3. I have done one or two days and both have worked.

4. I have done 4 or 5 batches in a year, just watch for extra queen cells

5. I used to put the wax on the plugs but after a while the box get old and when you pull the plugs the wax stays in the hole, I noticed that they queen layed eggs just as well in the holes that didn't have plugs, having better luck not putting the wax in.

6. never had them move them, I move the queen up above the excluder 7 days before I start and mark the frames that I move down below the excluder with a red x that have the open brood to attract the feeder bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you very much for the tips Mike. I will be making the cell starter later this afternoon and your advice gives me some more confidence that this try will be a success.
 

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I might be misunderstanding your setup; are you using the bottom brood box for your cell starter? Mine are setup as follows: 2 deeps for original hive with queen; Cloake Board with excluder on top of the 2 deeps; another deep on top as my cell builder. We max out bees by transferring capped brood to the top box for 2-3 weeks before starting grafting; we want young nurse bees boiling out the top when we pull the lid. Couple days prior to graft we place a couple frames of young open brood to pull more nurse bees up. Day before graft: place the slide in; remove open brood; top box is now "queenless" and ready to accept graft. Graft day: place graft frame in with a frame of pollen on each side and honey next to the pollen. Day after placing graft frame: check cells; remove slide; bees are now in swarm mode and go to work real fast on cell building. Day 11-12 after grafting; remove cells.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks fish stix. I was originally going to use the bottom box as the cell starter, but realized it would be easier and smarter to use the top box as the cell starter. My concern was that if they were used to the bottom entrance they might have trouble if they had to switch to using and upper entrance, but they adjusted to using the upper entrace of the cloak board ok.

I set up two different hives yesterday and discovered that both were MUCH hotter(mean) than I realized.
The second hive I just took off the top super(where I hope the queen is) and put that on a hive stand in the other part of the yard. The bees leaving there are mostly going back to the original location. Yeah I know this is Effed up, but I was under fire at the time and this was all I could think of to do.

I was not able to find the queen in either, so I had to give it my best educated guess as to which supers the queens were in. I have to go back this morning take out some frames that had just a few open brood in the corner of the frames. I just had to get out of there yesterday due to the hostile environment. I will be putting in the doner larva this afternoon.

One lesson I have learned that seems to be reinforced here is that it is a very good idea to find the queen and seperate her with the excluder far ahead of time.

It probably was not a good idea to use my 2 hottest hives as cell starters, but I didn't want to stress my good hives by manipulating them as cell starters. After I am through cell building I will be splitting the 2 hot hives into nuc boxes, finding the queens and hopefully replacing them with new queens (If I get any after all this)

Thanks again for the advice everyone.
 

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Fish Stix,

I plan to do this next year. You say the day before graft you remove open brood from cell starter. Why? And do you brush off the nurse bees from it?

Also, why remove slide on the day after placing grafting frame in upper?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
From what I have learned so far I can give you my unqualified answers to your questions.
Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

You need to remove the open brood so the nurse bees do not turn the open brood(if it is young enough) into queen cells and also if there is open brood the nurse bees will have something else to focus on other than making your grafts into queen cells.

You can remove the slide after they have begun the queen cell building on your cell bars.
Once they have started making the queen cells if you pull the slide it combines the two boxes and they have more Bees and resources(pollen and honey) to work with. I think when you pull the slide out the hive goes from cell starter to cell finisher.

One idea that I think makes things easier is to get your cell builder set up way ahead of time, finding your queen and confining her when you are not on a deadline and can take your time. I already had my queen laying eggs in the Jenter box before I set up the cell starter, so there was no room for error if I could not find the queen. Next batch I will have the cell starter ready. Now I just have to make sure there are no stray qeen cells in there after all this.
 

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heaflaw; we remove the open brood the day before so that no queen cells are started with the young brood; the open brood has done its job and when you replace the slide, no more nurse bees can come up anyway. We just shake the bees off the brood frame. We remove the slide the day after grafting because we want the bees to believe they are in swarm mode. They see that they're now queenright and they have about 45 started cells so what else are they to think? They then build the cells like madmen to get ready for an impending swarm! You can find an excellent article by Susan Cobey on the Cloake Board method at the following web address: http://www.leedsbeekeepers.org.uk/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=225
 

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So, they build queen cells better if they think they are in swarm mode than they do if they think they are queenless? I am not doubting you, but my reasoning would have concluded the other way around.
 

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If you'll think about it, they only build a couple of emergency cells when they become queenless. But, they build dozens of swarm cells when it's approaching the time to leave. So, if you want lots of high quality cells it makes sense to fool them into thinking it's swarm time. :D
 

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>1. Last year I tried to do some grafts and when I put the frame bars in my cell starter the bees filled it with comb VERY fast. What can I do to discourage this?

I don't worry about it. That's a good sign that there is a good flow and the queens will be well fed. A sharp knive will resolve this when you're ready to put them in the nucs (day 13 or 14 from when the egg is layed).

>2. What is the ideal frames to be next to the cell bars with the larve I will be putting in the lower chamber(Queenless box)? I have heard different opinions, but it would seem I would want capped brrod, but no larve that the bees would want to make into queens. Is this right?

I put it next to open brood so there will be nurse bees handy.

>3. When do you slide the cloak board open to make the hive queen right again?

I do it after the cells are capped... if I use a cloake board at all.


>4. How many batches of Queens is it considered productive to try with one hive.

Two is max as a queenless finisher. But with a queenright finisher you should be able to continue throughout the year.

>5 In this instruction page from honey run aparies they say to put wax in the cell cups prior to having the queen lay eggs in them in the jenter box. Is this how most people do it?

I don't bother. I'm sure it won't hurt. But I think it makes more sense to put the whole thing in the hive for a few days before you confine the queen, so it can get cleaned and polished.

>I didn't. When I pull the jenter box I can put some larve in wax cups that I have to see if that helps the situation if I missed that step.

It won't matter.

>6. In last years attempt to makes queens, I think the bees may have moved my eggs to regular comb, as I found queen cells there after I failed to get any good queen cells.

IMO bees do not move eggs or larvae. If they had queen cells elsewhere they had eggs elsewhere.

> How do you discourage them from moving the eggs(if that is what happened)?

Bees do not move eggs. Huber spend many hours trying to observe this and cocluded it does not happen. He had a lot more patience than me...
 

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>3. When do you slide the cloak board open to make the hive queen right again?

I do it after the cells are capped... if I use a cloake board at all.
The point of the cloake board is to have high acceptance in queen less condition and then without interference go to a queen right condition where the cells are well fed. After moving the cells to incubator and open brood is lifted (1) above the excluder the cycle can be repeated again, A five day cycle is possible all through the season. If you are doing one or two batches then the cloake board is not needed, it is a special gear that makes the continuous production of many cells easier. Simply lifting off the top box and putting it on the bb for two days will do the same, put the queen right bottom box beside facing backwards meanwhile.

(1) I use a support colony for this
 
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