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Author Topic: What is your favorite way to make cell builder hive queenless?  (Read 2742 times)
House Bee
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« on: January 22, 2009, 04:02:32 PM »

I plan to dabble in queen rearing this season. In the past I have removed the queen and then cut queen cells a few days later making a hive hopelessly queenless in preparation for a frame with eggs from a desirable queen. That's a full suit job if the hive tends to be defensive already shocked.  This year I hope to make a whole cell bar's worth of queens at once.  Do some of you like a better(less disruptive) way of making your cell building colony queenless?

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 06:33:43 PM »

I remove the queen (and that frame of brood and another of honey and put them in a two frame nuc) and put the cells in 12 hours later and don't cut out any cells unless I'm reusing the cell builder a second time.  Then I cut out all the cells.  But sometimes they were already building queen cells to swarm or supersede, in which case, of course, this will fail.

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Greg Peck
House Bee
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 06:53:51 PM »

Last year I raised some queens this is what I did and it worked fine. I took a hive that was 2 deeps high. I split the hive in to 2 one deep HB hives. In one hive I put the queen and all the frames of eggs and open brood, and some stores. The other hive had capped brood pollen and honey. I waited till the next day and put in 20 cells with grafted eggs into the hive with only capped brood. They made the queen cells out of all the cells and could not make of their own because they had not eggs to do it with. I had planed on combining the to hives back together after the queens were raised but as it ended up I used both of the hives to make up mating nucs for the new queens. Then combined them all back together after I had my queens mated and in the hives I wanted them in. All 20 cells had queens in them but some of them were deformed but I think it was do to moving the cells to soon or taking the frame out to look at them a few times. That is what I did if anyone can see a problem with it please let me know in case I just got lucky last time.

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Galactic Bee
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 09:48:39 PM »

this year my cell builders will be queen right hives, going to learned this from a Russian Queen Breeder Member. he has already told me how but I want to see it done first, they say it is the best way they have found.


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House Bee
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 04:30:09 PM »

In my very limited experience, I believe I prefer the Cloake Board method.  This method to me is the simplest. 
Dan Williamson
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 04:39:01 PM »

I also use the Cloake Board.  I think its the least disruptive on the day of graft and becomes a queenright cell finisher colony with the simple removal of the board.  This has been my primary method.

Galactic Bee
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 05:05:06 PM »

My best cell builders are from two sources.

1) If you are fortunate to catch a large swarm, and I'm talking 4 or 5 pounds, they make great cell builders. After hiving the swarm, and I like to cram them in a 5 frame nuc or a 5 over 5 nuc, wait 24 hours and start feeding. Go in, and remove the queen. the best part of this is that no egg in the hive from the swarm is over 24 hours old. So no early or missed queens to kill of the graft. This technique is good for a smaller amount of queens up to 15, although I have had grafts much higher.

2) My second favorite way, it to remove the queen from a strong hive, but net necessarily a large hive. Wait 24 to 48 hours (48 being better), and go in and remove all started queen cells. This allows you to harvest the royal jelly from the queen cells. You then graft back into the hive with their own produced royal jelly. The acceptance rate is much higher, and for times late in the season when traditional grafting and rate decline, this usually puts the numbers back up to 90% take.  The only down fall, is that you better not miss ANY queens cells. I will go back in about 8 days after grafting and look again in case I missed any queen cells started by the bees prior to the graft. Using a queen excluder or just placing the cells in a made up nuc with no queen, ensures the cells will not be killed by a rogue queen.
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Galactic Bee
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 06:45:40 PM »

I'm a Cloake boarder too.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

Field Bee
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 05:39:13 PM »

I run 8 frame deeps only.

I get a 2 story strong hive. I put queen and sealed brood in bottom box with queen excluder on top of it. Put the second box on top of queen excluder, containing all the frames of eggs and youngest larva, and a frame or 2 each of pollen and nectar.

Wait one week (Eggs hatch on third day, larvas too old to make queen from by the 6th day, so 7 days is perfect). Move the bottom box with queen away to a new location. I just slide it to the side on my stand rails.

The next day, you now have a hopelessly queenless hive of older larva and sealed brood with frames of nectar and pollen. There will be young bees and field force bees both, they will be making royal jelly as they been queenless for a day. They will be desperate! Add your cell bar to this cell builder hive. The bees will build you out beautiful queen cells to be placed into mating nucs 10 days later.

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