View Full Version : First Queen Rearing attempt (Failure then Plan B update)

Bee n There
Jul 6th 2011, 07:06 AM
Have several hives with 2nd year queens and one split that was looking to be queenless so thought it would be a good time to try to get some queens made.

Was thinking on Cloake board method and put in 2 frames in 2 stronger hives with 5 triangular starter strips hoping to get some vertical cells with eggs.

Waited a day and what I got was 2 deep frames mostly drawn out with drone comb being filled with honey as quick as they were being drawn out. Funny they drew out those frames so quick but are being slow in drawing out the honey super (no excluder) and are binding up the queen stuffing honey in every open cell in the lower boxes.

Would it be more successful to try to get it to work in a hive activly filling the supers, or do I need to try a different method as the honey flow looks to be in full swing? I imagine I could cut some cells with eggs and reposition them, but not sure about grafting eggs.

Looks like some new eggs showed up in the split, there must be a queen hiding in there somewhere. So, not an energency to get queens, but do want to replace some before winter.

Jul 6th 2011, 08:43 AM
Put a frame of eggs in the queenless hive, check back in three to four days for queen cells. If they are indeed queenless you should have several cells.

Here is a queen calender, you can change the date at the top to suit your needs.

http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalendar ... &year=2011 (http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalendar.pl?month=5&day=1&year=2011)

The day I add the eggs I figure as day three on the calender.

Bee n There
Jul 6th 2011, 10:54 AM
Yes, had been moving some brood and eggs over, but nothing was made as far as queeen cells. I've gone through the hive about 4 times now over the last couple weeks fairly close inspection twice and never saw a queen, but looked to be some new eggs last night. Either she has been hiding well or was out looking for boys when I was looking.

Jul 6th 2011, 11:41 AM
Some times a young queen will still be a little nervous on the comb, will run and hid from you. The eggs you are seeing, just one per cell and centered in the bottom? If so give her a couple of weeks and things should look much different in the hive, plenty of capped brood.

Bee n There
Jul 6th 2011, 01:43 PM
Yes, single eggs is the botom of the cell, so time will tell.

Hive has been very easy to deal with too which put some doubt about it beeing queenless.

Still need to work on queens before winter, will things go better as the honey flow passes as far as getting them the queen to lay where I want before the bees stuff everything full of honey?

Bee n There
Jul 7th 2011, 12:21 PM
Friend was over last night and we were checking some hives over so took one more look at the split hive and this time saw a busy new queen. With the lower box filling up and knowing a new queen is working away I put on a second deep and will leave that hive be for a couple weeks.

Still what do you guys think on getting some new queens before winter, after the main flow will there be a beter chance to get eggs into starter strips before they get filled with honey or will I need to get more involved?

Jul 7th 2011, 04:40 PM
First off. your first attempt wasn't a failure, the bees just did what they wanted instead of what you wanted em to.
From your first post may I assume you have a cloak board? If so, just get it set up on a hive and on "graft day", do as G3 suggested and drop a frame of eggs/larva in it from another hive. They will pick what they want and make you a few queen cells. They do better during a flow than afterwards.

Bee n There
Jul 8th 2011, 06:59 AM
I guess the hope with this is that the queen cells are located to make for easy reattachment to other frames, then build up queenless nucs for the queen cells to hatch into.

Couple questions:

Assuming the queen in in the bottom deep, would I want to reverse the lower opening to push more bees into the upper deep above the Cloake board?

How long would the upper deep need to be made queenless to have them make emergency queen cells? When is it best to move the queen cells onto new frames and into queenless nucs?

Given the couple hives I would like to get queens from are busy with honey and pretty much drawing out and filling a super in a week I am thinking I would set the Cloake board hive up Deep, Super, Cloake, Deep Super so to avoid overflowing either the bottom or upper brood with honey. This make sence or is it unnessicary?

Thanks, lots to learn. Looks like we will get our first extraction of honey this weekend, looking forward to that.

Bee n There
Jul 19th 2011, 06:52 AM

Put cloake boards in 2 hives and each hive produced 3-4 queen cells, also had a swarm capture hive go queenless and that hive had about 8-10 capped queen cells. So put together 4 nuc boxes with a couple frames of brood and honey plus a frame with queen cells. Not sure if I should feed too. 3 of the 4 are doing well and hopefuly should hatch queens in about a week, the one other is a bit low on bees so we may combine it with a split from a crowded hive that is almost filling 3 deeps... (tonights project)

Funny what started as a plan for a couple nucs this spring now looks like 14 hives. I thought I built the fenced enclosure plenty big but it is starting to fill up. Maybe make a second yard closer to the house for next year.

Took off about 60lb of honey last week and looks like we will take another 20-30 frames maybe more next week. So far a very nice super light honey.

Kind of feel we are messing with the bees too much but I guess that is just part of learning about them.

Jul 19th 2011, 08:24 AM
Sounds like you need to take the word failure out of the thread's heading and put success in. Congrats......

Bee n There
Jul 19th 2011, 09:50 AM
Sounds like you need to take the word failure out of the thread's heading and put success in. Congrats......

You are likely quite right, actually the word "failure" is pretty weak, simply finding out something fails to work is in an of it's self a sucess. The sooner a problem is identified with plan "A" the sooner you can get on with plan "B". :thumbsup:

Jul 19th 2011, 10:30 AM
Sounds like you are doing a fine job of things. Nothing better for a learning experience than figuring out what doesn't work and correcting it.

Bee n There
Jul 20th 2011, 06:40 AM
Thanks, had one of the local keepers who has hundreds of hives come over yesterday afternoon to take a look through things, he has been working bees for about 40 years so has pretty well seen it all. He gave us good feedback on how things were comming, couple tips were to bring foundation only frames into the center positions of the supers and move the frames that were getting capped to the outside. Also recommended a couple more supers as we should be into good flow for the next couple weeks. Looked like the nuc boxes were doing well, even the weeker one had what looked to be enough bees, so will just leave those be for 3-4 weeks and see what we get for queens.

Jul 20th 2011, 08:35 AM
Forums and books can be quite helpful, but a local beek who knows the area is pure gold.

Bee n There
Jul 20th 2011, 10:26 AM
You got that right! It is at times hard to dig through all the text info that is written about bees in totally different climates.

Local info, he has it down so many days after this flower or that blooms and you can expect a flow or when one might stop any you need to watch for robbing, one taste of our honey and he asks where the basswood trees are??? LOL, just out of sight over the ridge 250 yards from the hives. What date/temp conditions to uncover hives in the spring, when is it too late to split or start queens, when to go after the mites. Reading the bees, laying patterns, and just how they move about the hive.... I was all ears.

Jul 20th 2011, 11:13 AM
It all sounds terrific, what a great year you are having!