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Author Topic: first attempt at queen cups  (Read 411 times)
fshrgy99
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« on: April 22, 2013, 10:22:23 PM »

Made some queen cups for the first time. Some of them are a little rough/irregular. I know from reading on MB's site that ugly wax night lead to refusal. I used a sharpie pen as a blank. Am I wasting my time (even though it is fun)? Should I cull out all but the most perfect? Maybe I should just notch some cells?
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 10:43:28 PM »

I'll be interested in knowing if you're successful. Most videos I've seen for making queen cup, a wooden dowel is used. A sharpie? If it works...why not?
 Good luck with them
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 08:26:10 AM »

You want something about 5/16" in diameter and then tapered...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearingsimplified.htm#DippingCells

"Many beekeepers make a mistake in believing that the most important feature for successful cell acceptance is the grafting of the larvae into the cells cups; but a far more important feature is that of making cells of the proper shape and size. The ideal cell would be as the bees build them, large inside, with a small mouth; but it is not possible, or at least practical for the beekeeper to make cells of this shape. Upon several occasions, I have given cells that had been accepted and slightly built out in the swarm box to a colony for finishing, when by accident it contained a virgin queen. Of course, the larvae and jelly were both quickly cleaned out. I have given one bar of such cells to a swarm box and two bars of our dipped cells. The bees seemed to concentrate all their efforts on the cells already worked on by the bees and neglected my dipped cells. The bees prefer to make the mouth of the cell just large enough for a worker bee to crawl into, and it is frequently noticed that sometimes in the workers haste to back out of a queen-cell when smoke is blown into the hive, it is caught and has to do considerable scrambling and kicking before it can get out. I find the best cell for practical purposes is one whose size is between that of the inside of a natural queen-cell at it's largest place and the mouth of the cell, this being five-sixteenths of an inch as given above. In our early experience, many of us, enthusiastic in rearing larger queens, sought to accomplish this by making larger cells; but being large at the mouth, the bees were loath to accept them, and it took considerable work on their part to build them over to the size they should be. When the bees get to work on the cells they mold them into the shape they want, regardless of the size and shape the beekeeper has made them. The smaller cells will give better acceptance than the larger ones; but do not for a moment imagine this cramps the larva and produces an inferior queen, for the bees enlarge the cell to suit their own fancy. For experimental purposes I have dipped queen-cells the size of a worker-cell, and excellent results were obtained. Cells larger than five-sixteenths of an inch are not accepted so readily as those of this size or smaller. "--Jay Smith, Queen Rearing Simplified
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
fshrgy99
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 10:42:07 AM »

Thanks for responding Michael,

I had read that piece on your website before but have read a vast amount of information since. Also, there's a reassurance from receiving advice 'in person' that's missing when information is taken from an article.

I am kind of chomping at the bit with the subject of splits and queens as we are still getting nights below freezing and the 'warm' days are in the mid 50's.

I don't expect to see any mature drones for a couple of weeks. If I understand correctly, even though my hive seems to be booming I probably won't be in danger of swarm (replacement queen production) until after the last frost which usually occurs here the full moon of May (May 25).

Not sure if I will try to preraise queens (trying '1 or all of' 3 methods) during the first week of May or if I will default to buying queens from Tibor Szabo who is local. My bees are buckfast, raised from a split in june/12 and harvested 55 lbs of honey leaving them with lots for the winter. Gentle and thriving. I'd like to propogate them if possible (cuz I luvemso!)

I appreciate your sharing of experience and your own past research.

Dennis
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beeman2009
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 10:55:15 AM »

Go to FatBeeMan's website, dixiebeesupply.com. Find his youtube channel. He has 2 or 3 videos on making queen cups. Like Michael said, 5/16 seems to be the app size.  Hope this helps.
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Beeman2009
hardwood
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 02:38:18 PM »

I used to make all of my own cups using Laidlaws system which also uses 5/16" dowels fixed to a bar. I could dip 18 cells at a time and stick them to the bar of the grafting frame at the same time. All of my equipment burned in our house fire and I haven't been able to remake it yet but will be soon...I always got better acceptance with the wax cups than I do with the plastic. I showed the system at Bud3 during our grafting demo.

Scott
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fshrgy99
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 12:44:28 PM »

I used to make all of my own cups using Laidlaws system which also uses 5/16" dowels fixed to a bar. I could dip 18 cells at a time and stick them to the bar of the grafting frame at the same time. All of my equipment burned in our house fire and I haven't been able to remake it yet but will be soon...I always got better acceptance with the wax cups than I do with the plastic. I showed the system at Bud3 during our grafting demo.

Scott

Hmmmm .... what would 18 Sharpies in a row look like? ...
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