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crackerbee
Feb 4th 2012, 02:20 PM
I saw what's called a queen castle used for queen rearing on Brushy Mountain's site http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Qu ... tinfo/687/ (http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Queen-Castle/productinfo/687/) ,and decided to build one.It can be sectioned off to make four two frame sections,or two five frame nucs.

I had a deep hive body laying around that hadn't been assembled and and just needed to cut grooves in it for the dividers,seen here in the pic.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1328.jpg

The next pic shows the other two dividers in place.Notice the entrance at the bottom that serves the third section,there are 4 entrances for all sections to have it's own(click to enlarge)

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1323.jpg

I decided to make the bottom board screened(I'm not sure if that matters or not),and supported the screen with blocks to ensure are no gaps under the dividers for the bees to cross,and the pic below that shows one of the individual entrances.I also had to cut grooves so the dividers went all the way down to the bottom board

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1332.jpg

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1333.jpg

The next pic shows the four separate covers to access one section at a time.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1329.jpg


Pic showing side entrance(four total)

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1324.jpg

Here is the queen castle fully assembled with the telescoping cover.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1330.jpg



Now all it needs is a couple of coats of paint,and me to learn how to use the dang thing :lol: .

PerryBee
Feb 4th 2012, 03:06 PM
:thumbsup: :coolphotos:
Very nice Cracker, thanks for the pics!
Anyone wanting to try building one of these now has a clearer idea how to do it.

Robo
Feb 4th 2012, 04:19 PM
Very nice.

Here is my take on the 4-way mating nuc.

Robbing around here can be pretty terrible, so I have found a 1/2" entrance hole at the bottom is easy for a small nuc to defend and a 7/8" screened vent hole at the top helps lure robbers away from the entrance


http://photos.beevac.com/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_1252.JPGhttp://photos.beevac.com/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_1254.JPG
http://photos.beevac.com/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_1253.JPGhttp://photos.beevac.com/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_1255.JPG

Complete plans can be found here -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/downloads/

Tyro
Feb 4th 2012, 04:49 PM
This is mine - built it last year. Haven't used it yet though:

crackerbee
Feb 4th 2012, 05:20 PM
Thanks Robo for the tips regarding the entrance size and vent holes,I can add the vents and block off part of the entrances,and thanks for the great pics too :goodpost: :coolphotos:

Do you have anything on your site how to use the 4-way or where I might find some info about it?

I wasn't kidding that I need to learn how to use them,I'm still real green trying to learn all this. :mrgreen:

Robo
Feb 4th 2012, 06:18 PM
You use them almost like any other type of mating nuc. Since you have entrances on all four sides, it is best to just scatter them in random directions in your mating yard. Though I can tell you I have run them 4 to a pallet and did not notice any higher rate of queen loss. I hate feeding them, so I try to make sure each section has at least a 1/2 frame of honey/nectar, pollen, and space for the queen to start laying. When I first populate them I make sure they have capped brood as well.

I recently did a small scale queen rearing podcast for Wildlife Pro Network which can be listened to here -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeepin ... -podcasts/ (http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/beekeeping-podcasts/)
Although it is based on using a graftless system, it does discuss mating nucs.

crackerbee
Feb 5th 2012, 05:00 AM
I'll check out the podcast,thanks again for the help and advice Robo. :thumbsup:

I also found this while searching,and it is as simplified as it gets http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-sta ... frame-nuc/ (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-start-a-queen-in-a-two-frame-nuc/)

tecumseh
Feb 5th 2012, 06:25 AM
multiple chamber mating boxes like this often sounds good but are somewhat difficult to manage. I myself often take almost worn out equipment and created multiple queen rearing units (most are simple two chamber spaces).

I myself would suggest everyone notice Robo contribution. the entrance size is important but in a lot of places ventilation is of equal if not greater importance.

lastly in most multiple chambered boxes I use here a bit of canvas or heavy cotton material draped over the top (under any hard covers) will greatly limit access (by workers and queen) from one chamber to the next.

crackerbee
Feb 5th 2012, 01:20 PM
Here is the queen castle completed,and per Robo and Tecumseh's suggestions,I plugged the larger entrances then redrilled at 1/2",and added 2" screened vent holes.Robo's were 7/8" so I made mine 2" because it gets pretty darn hot down here in Florida,and figured the extra ventilation couldn't hurt.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1334.jpg

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1335.jpg

Iddee
Feb 5th 2012, 04:30 PM
With 2 inch, the bees can reduce. With smaller, they cannot increase. They will allow what is needed.

Robo
Feb 5th 2012, 06:49 PM
Robo's were 7/8" so I made mine 2"

Sure, got to outdo me ;)

Bigger is always better, right :lol:

2kooldad
Feb 5th 2012, 08:25 PM
You guys make me wanna go to lowes alot.

crackerbee
Feb 5th 2012, 10:16 PM
With 2 inch, the bees can reduce. With smaller, they cannot increase. They will allow what is needed.

So you're saying the larger vents are better Iddee?

tecumseh
Feb 6th 2012, 06:28 AM
I would suggest that vent size should be somewhat to largely determined by your location and more exactly variation in temperature. with lower (generally night time) temperatures a smaller vent might be advisable and with high temperatures and/or limited night time lows a larger vent would be desirable.

Iddee
Feb 6th 2012, 07:10 AM
With a smaller vent, it is what it is and that's it.

With a larger, screened vent, the bees will propolize it down to the size they want, and open it back when needed.

Robo
Feb 6th 2012, 07:13 AM
What tecumseh said. :goodpost:


I use 7/8" vent holes because they can easily be blocked off with wine corks. Where I am, we get some pretty cool nights in the spring and fall. Your weather and mileage will differ. :mrgreen: ........

Don't forget, a two frame nuc doesn't have a large amount of bees and in a lot of cases have all they can do to take care of the brood when it is cold, let alone block of vent openings.

2kooldad
Feb 6th 2012, 08:06 AM
how quickly will the bees outgrow this box an be well off enuff to put into a nuc box ??

Robo
Feb 6th 2012, 08:50 AM
Highly dependent on the resources on the frames when they start, number of bees, the weather, how fast the queen mates and starts laying, and the flow.

To keep them going as queen mating nucs, sometimes you need to swap out full frames for empty ones. Two frame mating nucs you need to keep an eye on, they can blister in a matter of days. If you are looking just to raise queens for a nuc, and not use it to continue to mate queens, you are much better off to start with the bigger nuc from the beginning.

2kooldad
Feb 6th 2012, 11:16 AM
what do you mean by blister ?? Is there a reason they are 2 frames an not 3 ?? Could you put holes in the top an feed with a bottle feeder....the reason im asking is because i read once about a guy who took a few 10 frame hives an divided them up into 2 frame nucs an grew them into full hives...seems like it would take alot of work, resorses an a close eye on them to be able to do that but if i remember what he wrote he turned 10 hives into a 100 or something...an i think it read he took a whole year to do it....i wouldnt try that i dont think...but if i had a spare hive i would try for 5 just to see if i could do it....but not now.

Robo
Feb 6th 2012, 12:26 PM
what do you mean by blister ??
Become over crowed, honey bound, get the swarm instinct.


Is there a reason they are 2 frames an not 3 ??
It is all about resource management. When raising queens, mating nucs seem to be the limiting resource. I can get 20 mating nucs out of 4 10-frame deeps if I go 2 frames. If you go 3 you only get 13 queens. You can go with how ever many frames you want. If you go 5, your down to 8 queens from the same amount of resource.



Could you put holes in the top an feed with a bottle feeder....
The plans I posted below have provisions for pint mason jar feeders. I try to avoid it. Not only is it a lot more work, but anytime your feeding syrup there is the chance you are encouraging robbing.



the reason im asking is because i read once about a guy who took a few 10 frame hives an divided them up into 2 frame nucs an grew them into full hives...seems like it would take alot of work, resorses an a close eye on them to be able to do that but if i remember what he wrote he turned 10 hives into a 100 or something...an i think it read he took a whole year to do it....i wouldnt try that i dont think...but if i had a spare hive i would try for 5 just to see if i could do it....but not now.
Ya, I have heard similar tales...... Not saying it is impossible, but you need to have everything lined up perfectly and plenty of luck to pull that off. If it where that easy, the market would be flooded with nucs.

At the end of the season, I take 1/2 the last batch of queens and combine the mating nucs into 5 frame nucs and winter them over.

2kooldad
Feb 6th 2012, 01:23 PM
sounds kinda touchy....i learned from saltwater aquariums that the smaller it is the faster things can go from just fine to horribly wrong.

tecumseh
Feb 7th 2012, 04:47 AM
a snip..
I use 7/8" vent holes because they can easily be blocked off with wine corks.

tecumseh:
on occasions you will find that the entry may also need to be blocked or plugged. first this is generally done when the unit is stocked. a few years back during the prime mating time we experienced a constant gail which really effected mating success. being able to block the entrance and still maintain ventilation in this kind of circumstance is critical.

tommyt
Feb 7th 2012, 06:47 AM
How would this box work if you used Q'excluder's on top and bottom then place the box
on top of a strong hive,just like you do when grafting?


Tommyt

tecumseh
Feb 7th 2012, 05:23 PM
Tommyt... what are you trying to accomplish by doing this?

the canvas laid over the top was originally described (in my very dated abc-xyz) as oil cloth. it likely doesn't last as long but I have found that any heavy cottom fabric works fine (gets chewed up after a while).

tommyt
Feb 7th 2012, 06:06 PM
What I was attempting to say is
When you have a Q castle like the one in the very first post
you need two frames Plus bees in each compartment to care for
the queen that needs to mate, If I understand it??
If you placed that Queen castle with an excluder on the bottom of it
on top of a strong hive would
not the house bees feed and care for the would be mating Queens
this should help you in not having to worry if there is enough bees
Maybe I missed something

tecumseh
Feb 8th 2012, 04:51 AM
you would of course be subject to other risk and concerns. typically you don't want to have unmated queens and full hives too close together. as much as anything else queens are know for being a bit ditzy and have issues sometimes with finding their way back to the box they originated from. let just say that quite often 'are having a blond day'.

set up like you suggest would be one way of stocking these units. set whatever frame and feed resources into each slot add one frame of green brood/slot, set on top of a very populated hive and 24 hours later each slot should be adequately stocked.

for most nucs or queen rearing units getting just the right number of bees in each box is really the primary concern. this will change quite a bit depending on the time of year <generally you stock strong in the cool of the spring and much lighter in the summer months.

Robo
Feb 8th 2012, 06:50 AM
Biggest issue I see in your suggestion, besides all the added manipulations and effort, is you have overlooked the fact that virgin queens are quite small and spend the first few days wandering around the hive. I'd bet a large portion will end up on the other side of the excluder which would lead the the death of your original queen or them or one of the other 3 that may make it through the excluder.

As tecumseh said, maybe a way to fill the four compartments, but seems like a lot of work for that.

crackerbee
Feb 8th 2012, 06:52 AM
Tecumseh when you say"you don't want to have unmated queens and full hives too close together" what's the minimum distance you'd suggest?

When you say"for most nucs or queen rearing units getting just the right number of bees in each box is really the primary concern" what's the right number of bees(roughly) for the Spring and for the warmer months?

And also what is "green brood"?

tommyt
Feb 8th 2012, 07:50 AM
Thanks for clearing up my Brain storm

Tommyt

crackerbee
Feb 8th 2012, 12:22 PM
Time to try my luck with my queen castle,I used these instructions to start four two frame nucs..http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-sta ... frame-nuc/ (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-start-a-queen-in-a-two-frame-nuc/) .Using a frame of honey and pollen and a frame with plenty of capped brood with eggs and larvae.

I'll know soon if I have any luck my first go around.

Here's the castle out about 10 ft. from my hives

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1336.jpg

Robo
Feb 8th 2012, 12:31 PM
Boy, you wasted no time putting it to use. I'm envious, I have at least another 3 months to go....


Your set-up looks and sounds good.....

tecumseh
Feb 9th 2012, 05:48 AM
a Crackerbee question:
what's the minimum distance you'd suggest.

tecumseh:
in queen rearing yards (lot of baby nucs and lots of drone rearing hives) maybe 300 to 600 feet would be good. this of course is likely not so doable for small scale operations so if you have physical objects (like trees or houses) between the two objects that should work also. in setting down any kind of queen rearing nuc 'think' some kind of random placement that doesn't look like a line of active bee hives (that is don't just place the queenless unit nest to (in line with) regular hives). for one thing prior to the new queen emerging the queen rearing unit will be losing bees constantly to the queen right hive next door (yep their olfactory mechanism work that well) <this is also why some folks will leave queen rearing nucs plugged up until the queen cell has hatched.

crackerbee ask:
"for most nucs or queen rearing units getting just the right number of bees in each box is really the primary concern" what's the right number of bees(roughly) for the Spring and for the warmer months?

tecumseh:
the hardest question ever asked... likely one of those things you will need to do to get a feel for the process. just remember if you have cooler weather still on the horizon then you need to stock units a bit heaver and if hotter weather a bit lighter. for a lot of folks in the spring time process shaking or brushing one extra frame of bees into the slot is just about right. <and always remember that the equipment used for queen rearing just has to be very tight or they will loose whatever small population they have one bee at a time.

another crackerbee question:
"green brood"

tecumseh:
unsealed brood... these should have younger 'brood bees attached.

crackerbee
Feb 12th 2012, 11:22 AM
I took a quick peek(not too warm today) today in the queen castle to see how things were going,and was pleased to see all sections were active and all had plenty of bees.I only removed the section covers for a few seconds,I didn't remove any frames because of the cold,it went down to 30*F last night and only to 52*F for a high today.

It's going down near the mid 20's tonight and was wondering if I should cover the Q. castle overnight?

I've been plugging the 2" vent holes the past few nights because it was getting down in the 40's,and removing the plugs in the mornings,but I'm not sure if that's going to be enough protection from the cold.

Any and all advice is appreciated. :thumbsup:

Robo
Feb 12th 2012, 11:31 AM
I don't know your situation, but can you bring them into a garage or basement for the night? Since you only have one to deal with, you can do some things that wouldn't be practical for someone with large quantities.

crackerbee
Feb 12th 2012, 11:45 AM
I don't know your situation, but can you bring them into a garage or basement for the night? Since you only have one to deal with, you can do some things that wouldn't be practical for someone with large quantities.

What other info do you need regarding my situation Robo?

And yes I can put them in the garage(we don't have basements in Fla. the water table is about 5 to 10 ft.) for the night easily enough,it will still get in the 40's in the garage tonight,should I still plug the vent holes overnight?

Robo
Feb 12th 2012, 11:50 AM
I just didn't know if you had access to a garage or basement. I would keep the vents plugged until the temps get into at least the 80s or you see them clustering on the outside if it where me. Since there is brood, they are trying to keep it warm with not a lot of bee mass.

crackerbee
Feb 12th 2012, 11:59 AM
Thanks again for your help and advice Robo :bow: :thumbsup:

PerryBee
Feb 12th 2012, 02:35 PM
Crackerbee said "We don't have basements in Florida, the water table is 5 to 10ft."

Perrybee says "Honey, cancel the movers, we ain't moving to Florida after all. Apparently they don't have places to store all the cr@p folks collect!" :lol:

crackerbee
Feb 12th 2012, 04:11 PM
Crackerbee said "We don't have basements in Florida, the water table is 5 to 10ft."

Perrybee says "Honey, cancel the movers, we ain't moving to Florida after all. Apparently they don't have places to store all the cr@p folks collect!" :lol:
We got attics and sheds instead

tecumseh
Feb 12th 2012, 04:17 PM
Crackerbee writes:
I didn't remove any frames because of the cold,it went down to 30*F last night and only to 52*F for a high today.

tecumseh:
once the cells are set into the units and then set into the field if you have a good cluster around the cell there is really not so much to worry about. covering the vent holes was likely a good idea. taking these units inside or even covering is unnecessary... may even represent more risk since cells are fragile and don't do so well when the unit is jostled around or set down too hard. the cool snap may even represent some advantage since it makes the worker bees in these small units cluster tightly.

mind you under similar situation starting cells (to the stage of capping) in swarm boxes (lots of bees in a small box) works for me only when I have some control over low temperatures.

crackerbee
Feb 12th 2012, 05:14 PM
Thanks Tecumseh,

I was still debating whether or not to bring them in the garage.There was a good cluster around all 4 cells when I looked today,and the frames I used had a lot of nurse bees and capped brood on them,also with a good amount of young larvae and eggs.After tonight that should be about it for the cold snaps below freezing,by Wed. we'll be back in the 80's during the day,and for at least the next 10 days.

crackerbee
Feb 14th 2012, 03:01 PM
The weather warmed up enough for me to inspect the frames I placed in the castle 7 days ago,and was pleased to find that two out of four sections had queen cells :yahoo: :Dancing:

I'm pleased with 50% success rate for my first attempt,maybe when the weather warms up I'll have better luck at it.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic,I guess my camera doesn't do well on closeups.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr307/hydrogen2/100_1337.jpg

Robo
Feb 14th 2012, 03:42 PM
Oh, you are using it for splits and not mating nucs........ Two frames aren't a lot of resources to make cells in my opinion.

crackerbee
Feb 14th 2012, 04:34 PM
Oh, you are using it for splits and not mating nucs........ Two frames aren't a lot of resources to make cells in my opinion.


What I thought I was doing is this:

http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-sta ... frame-nuc/ (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-start-a-queen-in-a-two-frame-nuc/)

I'm a bit confused now,did I miss something?

Robo
Feb 14th 2012, 05:25 PM
Oh, I guess I missed that in your earlier post and just assumed you where using it for queen mating as it was intended for.

I'm not a believer in emergency queens, just because the bees CAN make a queen doesn't mean they do it well. I'll argue that emergency queens are rare in feral colonies. Although young emergency or supercedure queens can appear to be great, I have been burned too many times in the fall when it starts to get cold and they start failing. Maybe they are a viable option in the south with mild winters.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-a ... cy-queens/ (http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/)

crackerbee
Feb 14th 2012, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the link Robo. :goodpost:

And the explanation :thumbsup:

Marbees
Feb 14th 2012, 10:54 PM
Robo:
I'm not a believer in emergency queens, just because the bees CAN make a queen doesn't mean they do it well. :thumbsup:

In my limited experience I found that $25-$30 queen is much cheaper and safer way to go.

tecumseh
Feb 15th 2012, 05:50 AM
it appears that Robo and Marbees and myself are on the same page here. two frames may make a nice queen rearing unit when utilizing 9 to 10 day old cells but is not so great when trying to raised cells from scratch. I myself suspect that the extra time required (in which case 'the hive' is queenless and has a low population) is just too much to expect much success.

like many things related to the bees... sounds good but works poorly.

guessing here.. if you get 1 good queen from that four way box I would be very pleasantly surprised. then you will perhaps ask yourself what was gained by not simple splitting off one full box and going with that?

crackerbee
Feb 15th 2012, 09:05 AM
guessing here.. if you get 1 good queen from that four way box I would be very pleasantly surprised. then you will perhaps ask yourself what was gained by not simple splitting off one full box and going with that?


Well as they say "nothing ventured nothing gained",I've never read where emergency queens weren't desirable.I only had a little of my time and less than $20 invested building the 4-way,in exchange for valuable information that will help me(and others with limited knowledge regarding this)in future attempts to raise queens.



Thanks all for your advice and input. :thumbsup:

Marbees
Feb 15th 2012, 10:24 AM
[quote="Crackerbee"
...I only had a little of my time and less than $20 invested building the 4-way,in exchange for valuable information that will help me(and others with limited knowledge regarding this)in future attempts to raise queens.[/quote]

Excellent point Crackerbee, education has always been the best investment. :thumbsup:

tecumseh
Feb 15th 2012, 05:40 PM
a snip..
I've never read where emergency queens weren't desirable.

tecumseh:
you can get all kinds of arguments as to whether this kind of cell or that kind of cell is more or less desirable. I think all that is pretty much nonsense in that you can get an excellent queen (in some fairly random fashion) from any kind of cell <mind you it is MAN that puts the description on these and not the bees themselves.

really the question is number of bees and resources enough to give you the time required to get a queen hatch, mated and laying (give or take about 30 days). there is just a smaller time window for fully formed and ready to hatch cells <side benefit you have actively participated in a selection process here.

my two cents... no charge > don't know if you consider this or not (the details man!) but you could possible have had some slight improvement by making certain of one of the following three consideration 1) the slot that lost bees are likely leaking bees very slowly one bee at a time 2) do this process when you can identify a flow 3) feed all... but just a bit, a trickle.

experimentation for some of us is at least a good part of the JOY of beekeeping... and pretty inexpensive education no matter what you compare it to. keeping it fun should be at least part of why all of us do this thing... don't ya' think?

Gypsi
Jul 30th 2012, 02:01 PM
hmm. Going to have to start at the beginning today. I actually need 2 queens.

mdunc
Aug 18th 2012, 04:43 PM
You guys say that you think queens raised from emergency cells are inferior??? I'm lost here....lets say you graft 15 cells on a cell bar & place them in a starter hive...isn't this starter hive in a queenless state? doesn't this make your 15 grafted cells all emergency cells now as far as the hive is concerned?? Not trying to start a debate just trying to learn from you guys thats been at a lot longer than me.

Daniel Y
Aug 18th 2012, 06:00 PM
mdunc, Not as I understand it.
Here is what I understand about Queen rearing and quality. Feel free to agree or disagree at will. This is not my opinion but a collection of information I have gathered.

Every single fertile egg is capable of becoming a queen. The deciding factor if an egg becomes a Queen or a worker is the length of time the Larva is fed royal Jelly. A worker is fed for only three of the 5 days of the larval stage. A queen is fed the entire 5 days.

For sake of explanation lets say that the perfect worker bee is fed Royal Jelly for exactly 3 days not one second more or one second less. THis then means any larva fed any more or less than 3 days is an imperfect worker.

Then there is also the issue of quality and quantity of the Royal Jelly. Only a larva that is fed an ample amount of the highest quality jelly can be perfect as well.

The same can be said about a queen. she may in fact be fed for the entire 5 day period. But was it in enough quantity or quality to produce the best possible queen?

If for three days every female bee is developing into a queen. Then it is true that every bee is some degree a queen. The development was just halted at some point. So what about the larva that Royal Jelly was halted at exactly 3 days compared to the one that Royal Jelly was halted at 3 days and 5 hours? Is the second be more queen than the first? There is actually much evidence that it is. IN fact there is evidence that a LArva can develop so much towatrd being a Queen it will behave in every way as a queen but not be able to lay. So there is very much a varying degree of quality in the development of a queen.

In the emergency rearing situation there are those that question if the bees feeding the larva have had adequate time to prepare enough food of the correct quality to rear queens properly.

Keep in mind that the sudden loss of a queen is not naturally common to a colony. Supercedure, and swarming are both situations in which teh bees are able to prepare for rearing a queen. The question is. Just how long do bees need to be adequately prepaired? Since many of the criteria in which the quality of a queen can be measured are subjective. It may never really be known if a swarm queen is better than an supercedure queen or if an emergency queen is inferior at all.

In nearly all cases pro or con I find that it is a matter of either satisfactory or unsatisfactory results from very few attempts. IN same cases only one attempt that did nto go well and a beekeeper will claim emergency queens are no good. IN truth no conclusion can possibly be made from such a minuscule sample. Try producing several thousand queens and then accurately measure their performance based upon pre selected measurement. How many days until laying, how many eggs layed in a 24, 48 hour or 5 day period for example. how long lived. how many eggs layed over her lifetime. etc.

In the end bees produce queens under emergency conditions and those queens are capable of laying eggs that produce worker bees. As for her quality. I personally don't see it any more of a crap shoot than buying any queen from anyone, anywhere.

mdunc
Aug 19th 2012, 02:02 PM
Daniel Y, I understand most of what your saying. I guess I don't really know how to ask the question I want to ask. Here it goes again.... Is'nt your starter hive made queenless??? If so doesn't this put them in a emergency sitiuation??? Doesn't all the grafted larva you put in this hive become emergency cells as far as the bees are concerned? I understand under natural circumstances that a swarm cell would make a better queen because the bees have time to prepare for it. Just looks like any grafted cells would be emergency cells to me.

Iddee
Aug 19th 2012, 07:10 PM
I have read the same things you have, but in my opinion, emergency cells make just as good queens as swarm cells, if the larva are the correct age.

Robo
Jan 10th 2013, 02:09 PM
Daniel Y, I understand most of what your saying. I guess I don't really know how to ask the question I want to ask. Here it goes again.... Is'nt your starter hive made queenless??? If so doesn't this put them in a emergency sitiuation??? Doesn't all the grafted larva you put in this hive become emergency cells as far as the bees are concerned? I understand under natural circumstances that a swarm cell would make a better queen because the bees have time to prepare for it. Just looks like any grafted cells would be emergency cells to me.

Emergency queens require them to thin out the royal jelly and float the egg from a horizontal position to a vertical position grafted eggs do not. http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/

Minz
Jan 11th 2013, 03:05 PM
I love your queen castle, built 3 out of plywood and all 3 are in the yard as I type. I did one without a solid bottom and used it after catching a small swarm (about a cup of bees). I kept the space small and just let them do their thing removing the dividers as they grew.
As for the queen discussion see Bush Farms . com and take a read of Better Queens by Jay Smith. Basically looks at the emergency queens and how to do it better. A couple of quick things like using fresh wax frames so they can make good QC. I did a Castle in half, stuffed it full of bees, and followed the steps. I have the two Castles split in half and only one dye out (first queen did not mate and I had to do a redo).
I love building and trying new things.