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Author Topic: OTS queen rearing?  (Read 545 times)

Offline herbhome

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OTS queen rearing?
« on: December 04, 2015, 11:19:27 PM »
I've been reading up on Mel Disselkoen's method of OTS queen rearing and splitting to disrupt the varroa mite life cycle while building up a strong colony. Anyone have experience and/or opinions about this?

Offline Maggiesdad

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 03:11:39 PM »
Works great with topbars, and you don't have to do any chopping. I followed Ruthies' and Michael Bush's lead and did just fine.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 09:52:07 AM »
There is nothing wrong with it.  It is intended to provide insurance that the bees use the correct age larvae (which I believe they will do anyway) and that they can feed the queen well because they can build the cell down instead of floating the larvae out and then down.  I usually just do walkaway splits and leave the rest up to the bees, but if you want some insurance on these two issues, OTS is a good method.
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Offline John Schwartz

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 08:22:05 PM »
...but if you want some insurance on these two issues, OTS is a good method.

Great to hear you give it a thumbs up, Michael. I've come to really appreciate Mel's ideas the past three years ― especially as it relates to managing mites and increasing colonies in the large cell world without treatment. (I've devoured your books the last few years as well and may look at adding an outyard and start regression.)
―John Schwartz, theBee.Farm

Offline John Schwartz

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 08:25:42 PM »
I've been reading up on Mel Disselkoen's method of OTS queen rearing and splitting to disrupt the varroa mite life cycle while building up a strong colony. Anyone have experience and/or opinions about this?

I'm in my third winter using Mel's system here in NE Ohio. Works as described if followed carefully. Mel does still treat over the Fall with Fumagil but I've ceased that and seeing good success with my small apiary (10-20 hives depending on time of year and plans).
―John Schwartz, theBee.Farm

Offline herbhome

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 10:44:45 PM »
Thanks Everyone for weighing in. :smile:

Offline John Schwartz

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 10:14:22 AM »
Thanks Everyone for weighing in. :smile:

Happy to discuss this management system anytime. :)
―John Schwartz, theBee.Farm

Offline Troutdog

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 01:39:52 PM »
My small experience with it is thumbs up. Did it with 20 or so hives year.
Here's what I learned
The bees will make emergency cells as well as on your notches, I do not think those from emergency cells that were in the main part of the frame were as good as t he notched qs.
The outer and bottom cells did fine. The notched ones ad per Mel's ots did fine.
I will eliminate the cells they start after  3 days
I will only do 2 notches per frame remove emergency cells.
Absolutely must feed bees and follow all basic principles of q rearing.
Where I live I wait till I see 8-10 frames of brood then ots. We have named may 1 st Melvins day lol.
Other tip is to not use a nuc but put old queen above in a deep using a snell rove board and run a 2 q hive for the rest of the early summer flow. This way you can make up population quickly and salvage lack of brood for foragers.
Of course this cancels out the varroa benefit. So your call there.
All late season july 1 new need to be fed.
All hives had to be treated in Aug so that's why I have decided to run the 2 q system this year.
Honey production was lower than the expected 50 lbs but that is our location more than ots.
If you grasp his method, the one thing I would suggest is making enough nucs to requeened all your hives next spring so you get a young queen in the big hives, and use your old queens for breeding. There is a really cool method used by Laidlaw using a division board in a 10 frame box and having 3 and 6 frames with a queen exclude built into lower part of division board.
Laidlaw did  this to have a queen in a small area and perfect larvae a f e to make cups with but I think you can see how to do it with ots.
Other factoid cull all q cells that look like bees added wax to the bottom of the cell, they do not want those queens and are waiting for their choice queen to hatch and dispatch the ones they added wax to.

it is easy to consider yourself superior to others, what matters is are you superior to your former self.


Online gww

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Re: OTS queen rearing?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 04:18:35 PM »
Troutdog
You should put your location under your user name so we know where you are talking about.  You mention some dates in your post but I don't know the where of it so I know what the dates mean.  Welcome and you posted a nice post.
Thanks
gww