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81
THE COFFEE HOUSE ((( SOCIAL - ROOM ))) / Re: Douglas Adams on Presidents
« Last post by Hops Brewster on March 27, 2017, 11:29:53 AM »
There is some of every US President in Beeblebrox.  Various Prime Ministers and Presidents of other nations, as well.
A well-designed character.
82
GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Very new to bee keeping....HELP
« Last post by little john on March 27, 2017, 10:46:22 AM »
There were to be no chemicals put in the hive.  The problem with LJ's advice is that if you go to another beekeeper to buy honey you will have no proof what was put in the hive.

What control does any beekeeper have over chemicals that foragers bring back with nectar, and which will end up in the honey ?
LJ
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Giving Honey to Toddlers
« Last post by bwallace23350 on March 27, 2017, 10:26:08 AM »
Honey is a raw food. Any raw food can contain botulism spores. Infants development an immunity to a certain amount of botulism during their first, and maybe longer, year. No raw food should be given to an infant before they develop this immunity.

When is this typically reached?
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Giving Honey to Toddlers
« Last post by iddee on March 27, 2017, 10:13:11 AM »
Honey is a raw food. Any raw food can contain botulism spores. Infants development an immunity to a certain amount of botulism during their first, and maybe longer, year. No raw food should be given to an infant before they develop this immunity.
85
REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS / Re: Cell Punch
« Last post by little john on March 27, 2017, 09:56:48 AM »

Follow-up.  You may have noticed in the photograph of the 'Nicot Cages', that these are unused - and there's a reason for this.
With the exception of the Laying Cage (which I've never been entirely happy using) the Nicot System is really good, but unfortunately is expensive. However, a Chinese clone can be purchased via Ebay, for very silly money.  It's quality is not quite as good as that from the Nicotplast Company, but it's perfectly acceptable.

But - potential problem - parts from the Chinese clone are NOT interchangeable with those of the Nicot System.  The cell-cups ARE - which arguably is the only really important thing - but the holders and cages can't be swapped around, as there is a small diameter difference.  Hence, I've been using ONLY the Chinese kit, and the Nicot stuff remains unused, just in case anybody should ever want to buy it ...  :smile:
LJ
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REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS / Re: Cell Punch
« Last post by little john on March 27, 2017, 09:54:31 AM »
Written before I realised a thread had been started ....

Received a PM earlier today asking me for any tips/advice about cell-punching - so I thought I'd post the info ...

Ok - so why cell-punch ?  A forum name like 'Little John' might give the clue that I wear XXXL clothes and have hands the size of shovels.  My eyesight, although once excellent, is now rubbish.  So - over-sized hands and crap eyesight together means I have great difficulty manipulating tiny sensitive objects like larvae.  Hence my need to find a suitable method for raising queens.

Ok - so let's say you've found yourself a suitable-sized larva sitting happily in the bottom of a cell in a brood-comb, and you proceed to remove that larva, wax cell and all.  Great - now what are you going to do with it ?  So this is where my story begins ...

The punched-cell needs to be attached to something, preferably some structure which can be used to move the queen-cell once it has been fully drawn and capped. This is a photo of the first method I devised - the 'Mushroom System'. 



The 'mushrooms' were made from gluing short lengths of dowel rod into the blanks which result from drilling holes in plywood with a hole saw.  A dab of molten wax is then dripped onto the end of the inverted 'mushroom stalk', with 8 such 'mushrooms' being held in a purpose-made rack.  Punched cells are then duly attached to those wax surfaces.

As a system it worked reasonably well, except that the bees glued the 'mushrooms' firmly to the bar which made their removal difficult, and there's no straightforward method of protecting the queen-cells from an early emerging virgin, as there is with the cages of the Nicot System. 

Then I hit upon the idea of modifying the Nicot cell-cups to replicate the 'mushroom stalks'.  This was done by slicing-up some suitable dowel rod into short lengths, and gluing them with epoxy into NEW, UNUSED cell cups.  Then, wax was dripped onto their ends as before, and having attached the punched cells, the resulting queen-cells - when fully drawn and capped - could be treated in exactly the same way as if they had been created by initially grafting a larva into a cell-cup.

Here are some modified cell-cups:



and here's one inserted into a rack, showing the cages which I consider one of the best features of the Nicot System.




Ok - so now that we've established a technique for handling punched-cells, we can now address a method for creating them in the first place ...

Cell-punching is very similar in principle to using a pastry-cutter, except that we need to heat the ring punch (typically with boiling water), in order for it to cleanly cut through the wax comb.  The comb itself should neither be old comb (for that is far too tough to cut), nor brand new comb (for that is too soft to handle).  Brood comb which has been used once or twice is ideal.

Punch tools can be made from a plumbing fitting which is known as an 'olive' in Britain, but maybe you call these 'ferrules' or perhaps something else.  It's the round copper or brass 'collar' which is slipped onto copper pipe before connecting it to a compression fitting.  Any hardware store supplying plumbing fittings will stock these.

I've made several punches by soldering a couple of short pieces of brazing rod to a brass olive, and then epoxying the brazing rod into the end of a dowel-rod handle.  Then bend the brazing rod to give a comfortable working angle - there are a couple in the next photograph, along with a Queen-Cell punch (more about that in another post).



A word about size.  The most common olives are 1/2" diameter in the US, and 15mm in Europe.  This size is really too large, and often a second cell is accidently included - so, be on the look-out for this, and simply spike the unwanted larva.
I suppose an olive could always be cut and squeezed to reduce it's diameter - but I've never done this.

You'll also see that I've cut a slot into an illuminated magnifying glass, so that the punch tool can be inserted through that.




Ok - so - procedure ...  place the illuminated magnifying glass on the comb surface, and find yourself a suitable larva.  Place the hot punch around the selected cell, and press gently downwards.  The punched cell will come away with the tool, and then be 'stuck' inside it.  So - if you go back to the 'Nicot Cages' photograph, you'll see a simple solution.  Push down onto that vertical dowel rod, and the punched cell lifts out.  Then hold that cell - ever so gently - in your left hand.  With your right hand, using the modified(*) soldering iron shown, melt the wax on top of a modified cell cup and, pulling the iron away to one side, gently place the punched cell onto the still molten wax.  Within seconds, it will be set in place.

And that's really all there is to it.
LJ

(*)  This iron has been modified in two ways: it has a diode fitted in the plug, so that it now runs on half power (a Dave Cushman idea), and it's round copper bit has been replaced by a copper tube, hammered flat to form a spatula tip (a Little John idea !).  A useful tool, but a 'hot knife' would do the same job.
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REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS / Re: Cell Punch
« Last post by Jim 134 on March 27, 2017, 09:49:44 AM »
        sc-bee
    It looks like the guy in the video has had some personal experience. Myself I find it to be very valuable as compared to theory. When I saw this demonstration at field day in Massachusetts. The instructed did the same thing as in the video. That was a couple years ago. No it was not the same person.

           BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :smile:
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I would make sure that your fiance and you were willing to do the work required to take care of the bees. You don't have to inspect them a lot but you probably will need to feed them when you first get them. Don't get bees though if you are not ready to take care of them. Many people, myself included almost come to think of them like a pet. I love my bees.
89
GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Giving Honey to Toddlers
« Last post by bwallace23350 on March 27, 2017, 09:45:24 AM »
My son is 18 months and a week old. I have read in places not to give raw honey to anyone under one and somewhere I also read not to give it to them under 2. When we eat food that calls for a syrup type stuff I have substituted in real maple syrup for honey. My question is does anyone have a definitive answer on this?
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Split Question
« Last post by Acebird on March 27, 2017, 09:29:55 AM »
Strength is not measured in number of frames but quantity of bees per space.

Are you trying to say that 6000 bees in a 5 frame box is a stronger colony then 50000 bees in 50 frame hive?  I don't think density means anything except the urge to swarm.
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