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Author Topic: How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?  (Read 1226 times)

Offline deejaycee

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How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?
« on: August 30, 2010, 07:05:26 PM »
Spring is near sprung down here, and the girls are off with a hiss and a roar.

Likely next week I'll be taking a day off to graft some queens.  I'm aiming for 68 queens total: - we have 30 hives that we will split in half and want a queen for each, and another 8 I will just requeen without splitting.

There are three hives in particular that I want to breed from.  I was thinking I'd like, if possible, to do my first round of queens from two of them, so the third is available as a backup if I need to kick in another round of queens for any failures in the first round, and to breed the final replacements for the original three hives.

The hives I want to use are two boxes high and fighting fit - ready for a third to go on anytime, though it's only the official start of spring tomorrow.

Question:  How many cells can/should you graft into hive for optimal success. 

The last two years I was working in ¾ depth hives and was grafting in just 15 cells on a single cell-bar frame.   With the full depth boxes this year I can put two bars in a cell bar frame, with 15-20 cells per bar… but does the capacity of the hive to rear good queens drop as the number of cells goes up?

Offline hardwood

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Re: How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 07:19:10 PM »
We graft 45 cell cups per hive (3 bars of 15 ea). a two story strong hive will have no problem with that many if you have a good flow of both nectar and pollen...if not you'll have to supplement. Acceptance and survival rates are around 80 percent here...much less during a dearth.

Scott
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Offline deejaycee

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Re: How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:26:34 PM »
Thanks Scott!  That's about just what I wanted to hear.

I have had a similar acceptance/success rate in the past, so at that rate I can cover the numbers I need in the first round with two hives, and have the third available just for any requeen failures.  :-D

Offline bugleman

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Re: How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 10:48:46 AM »
We graft 45 cell cups per hive (3 bars of 15 ea). a two story strong hive will have no problem with that many if you have a good flow of both nectar and pollen...if not you'll have to supplement. Acceptance and survival rates are around 80 percent here...much less during a dearth.


Scott et all,

I am having the same issue.  Cell acceptance is easiest with the flows during swarm season.  I have had the best success by taking double deep hives that are showing swarm ambition and removing the open brood (shaken) and queen then cramming them down into a single deep.  They will then draw huge cells readily and finish them too.  I have had them fill the cups overnight with royal jelly  :)  

I just don't seem to have much success at other times.  I have also had excellent results (for me that is 75% acceptance) by using a shaken swarm box.  I need to try the queen right finisher collony.  I have huge hives by then and they should take good care of the queens.  As I have leared even 5 lbs of bees can't finish the cells correctly.

Offline tecumseh

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Re: How many cells to graft into a hive at one time?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 09:00:15 AM »
as some have suggested (I think?) spring queen rearing with a flow allows more cells to make.  in the fall of the year less cells per unit should be expected.

the number of cells per hive for spring time cell rearing is somewhat to highly related to how many young worker bees you can stuff into the box.  removing the queen from a robust hive and removing brood as bungleman suggest is almost always a much more certain way of having lot of young bees in one box.  I also do swarm boxes in the spring, but making certain you have lot of young bees in a swarm box is always a bit touch and go and subject to error.

   
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