Queen rearing? An idea.
I have been doing some reading about queen rearing.
I liked the idea of the Hopkins method from beesource, just take a frame of new eggs/brood create a pattern around the cells you want the bees to turn into queen cells then put the frame face down on the top of the hive with room under it for the cells to grow downward and then insulate the backside.
Then I was reading about the plug method last night.
Use a Â½ copper pipe sharpened on one end dipped in boiling water, cut out the wax brood/egg and then connect them to the bar that it is going to hang from, then into the hive.
Once again I left out lots of steps, but I am just trying to summarize here.
I have read both and I am interested in trying both.
Then on the video you can watch on the web http://mkat.iwf.de/mms/metafiles/02000018960220000000_lo.asx
It shows cutting a strip of comb and then into pieces and then attached to corks, that then go into hair roller cages and then queens, I like this, no grafting and no cups.
My idea is this. Cut a strip of eggs out of a freshly laid frame, plastic core and plastic frames would not work for this. I think wired frames would be a problem, The best would be comb that the bees made themselves
Lay this strip in a cut out block of wood that has a groove cut out of it then round holes on the other side. A strip of wood goes on the back to hold it in place then you flip it over then use a rounded off dowel to enlarge one cell in each of the holes. Then tie it with the comb facing down on a top bar or between two frames.
Photoâ€™s of what I have come up with.http://www.geocities.com/clayincal/queen_block_1.jpghttp://www.geocities.com/clayincal/queen_block_2.jpg
I played around making these today, I do not have the measurement for the size of the hole, and how close I can put them together.
The idea came because I doubt most beekeepers do not need to produce up to a hundred queens with the Hopkins method or the setup of the plugging and attaching. But just to go to a frame of fresh brood and cut a strip out of it, the bees fix the hole right? Lay that strip in the grove, alter the cell and hang it in the hive between two frames or from a top bar. If you let the bees make their own comb you could cut out a slot on the comb for the block to fit.
This could be made out of plastic the holes having a ridge and hair roller cages snapping on after the cell is built.