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Author Topic: My attempt at raising some queens  (Read 2379 times)
Greg Peck
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« on: July 06, 2008, 07:50:18 PM »

I decided to try to raise some queens and bought the cups and Chinese grafting pen thing. I mounted 10 cups on to each of 2 bars which I put into a frame and placed it into a hive for a day. The bees started building onto the cups so I figured they had taken to them. I had found a frame which I know had one and 2 day old larva on it and maybe some a few days older but I figured that I would just take the tiny ones. I grafted 20 larva into the cups and placed the frames back into the hive on July 4th.

The hive I grafted from is the same hive that I put the grafts into. It is queen right and is pretty packed with bees. I grafted 20 and it appears that they are using 10. 50% does not seem to bad for my first time?

My question is being that the hive is queen right and full of bees should I worry about them swarming once the grafts are capped? Is it a bad idea in general to put the grafts into a queen right? Should I pull the queen from the hive and put her into a nuc until the grafts are done?

Thanks
Greg


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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 08:26:47 PM »

It's a matter of timing. 
You want to remove the frame of queen cells to a finisher nuc as soon as the cells are drawn, preferrably before they are capped.  Once they are capped you can then move each cell to it's own nuc.  Those little queen nucs are great for that or convert a brood box into a 4 compartment queen rearing nuc.  You can make one quick out of 3 follower boards with 2 frames in each compartment (entrance for each compartment required) or quarter it and cut the frames in half making short queen nuc frames.  Either configuration will raise the queen from the cell up through mating and beginning laying.
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 09:35:26 PM »

The hive I grafted from is the same hive that I put the grafts into. It is queen right and is pretty packed with bees. I grafted 20 and it appears that they are using 10. 50% does not seem to bad for my first time?

That's real good for the first time, especially with a hive that is queen-right.

Quote

My question is being that the hive is queen right and full of bees should I worry about them swarming once the grafts are capped? Is it a bad idea in general to put the grafts into a queen right? Should I pull the queen from the hive and put her into a nuc until the grafts are done?

Since they were queen-right, it must have been a swarm impulse (or supercedure) instinct that caused them to build cells and not the normal queen-less instinct.   General queen rearing process is to have a queen-less cell starter followed by a queen-right cell finisher.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 10:22:00 PM »

Ok so I spoke to soon. I checked the queen cells yesterday and they were all dead/not there. There was several cups that looked like they had started building queen cells and two queen cells fully built but had a hole in the side of them with bees going in and out. I guess they died. I checked the hive for other queen cells before but maybe I missed one I only saw the one original queen in the hive.

I took the hive which was a 2 deep hive and took all the eggs and young larva out with the queen and put them in another box and moved them to a different bee yard. I left all the capped brood (so long as it did not have eggs or small larva on the frame also), some open honey, pollen and capped honey in the original hive. So now I have a queen less hive that should be pretty packed with bees. I am going to graft into it again tomorrow hopefully it will turn out better this time.

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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 10:44:57 PM »


I took the hive which was a 2 deep hive and took all the eggs and young larva out with the queen and put them in another box and moved them to a different bee yard. I left all the capped brood (so long as it did not have eggs or small larva on the frame also), some open honey, pollen and capped honey in the original hive. So now I have a queen less hive that should be pretty packed with bees. I am going to graft into it again tomorrow hopefully it will turn out better this time.



Did you reduce it to one deep?  Crowding them also helps increase the number of cells they will build.

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Greg Peck
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 12:24:37 AM »

Yes I reduced them to one deep. I also did the split in the afternoon, there was a lot of bees in there then but once all the foragers came back they are bearding outside. This hive was not the bearding type so they must be full.
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 12:56:42 AM »

Excellent!  You should have a good cell starter there grin
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 09:00:32 PM »

Ok I grafted again on the 14th. I cut the tops off of the queen cells that had been started as I did not think I would be able to get the grafts inside right. I checked them today and they are doing much better then last time, and had so many bees all over them I could hardly see them. I forgot my camera but it looks like something might work this time. These Queens are all feral bees from a swarm I caught last year they built up so fast this year that I split them and they swarmed once which I caught. So hopefully they will do good. Only problem is the queens are on the small side so they sneak through the excluder some times. Is there somewhere to send bees to see for sure if they are feral or just some ones bees that swarmed. These ones are very dark.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2008, 06:05:48 PM »

I checked the queens again today and found that they are capped. 18 of them out of 20. A few of them seemed kind of small so I dont know what is up with that. But I should get the 10 I need I hope.

Should I leave them in this queen less hive until i is time to put them in nucs?
Can I make this hive queen right again and leave the cells in it? I have extra queens in nucs now that I could put in or I could combine this hive with the split I took off of it to make it queen less.
When I set up my mating nucs should I put just one cell in each or is there a benefit to putting 2 in each?


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Greg Peck
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 07:12:02 PM »

I transfered the queen cells into nucs today and took the nucs to a larger yard where I figured there would be more drones. There ended up being 18 capped cells. I put 2 per nuc just because I did not have enough nucs.  The bees had started building comb on one of the cells and all of them seemed to have some comb built on them. At least more then I normally see on cells built naturally by the bees. Is it a good sign that they built some comb on them or bad or does it not mater?


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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2008, 08:34:05 PM »

Two days after giving the queen-less cell starter larvae,  you can make them queen-right.  You can reduce the comb building on the cells by giving them a frame of foundation when you give them the larvae.


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