View Full Version : Grafts

May 26th 2012, 01:38 PM
Did some grafts today and put together another cell builder, thought I would share some of todays work.
(mods let me know if the pics are to big I will try to re-size them)

First - Made a cell builder; it was a 10 frame deep ready to swarm I made it queenless 4 days ago and today removed all started queen cells. Took 2 frames of brood and 2 frames of honey and packed it all into a 5 frame nuc box. Today I did one graft of 45, tommorrow I will add another cell bar frame of 45, totaling 90 grafts for this nuc. I would estimate 8-10 lbs. of bees in this nuc.


Next - I dry-grafted 45 young larva, (they are in there!, pitcture was with the phone so it's not the best) 15 per bar, 3 bars per deep frame.


May 26th 2012, 01:44 PM
Very nice pictures! Someday.....................:roll:

Please keep us posted on your results. :thumbsup:

May 26th 2012, 07:39 PM
One question??

2 frames brood, 2 frames honey, 2 frames cells, in a 5 frame nuc. Please explain. :???:

May 26th 2012, 08:30 PM
The cell bar frames are only about 3/4 inch wide.. so 2 of them are only 1/8 inch bigger than one standard frame (1 3/8).

May 26th 2012, 11:04 PM

Jun 5th 2012, 07:59 PM

Here are a few mating nucs, about 8-16oz of bees are put into each compartment (2 compartments for each box) along with a queen cell. These are new foundation so I will keep these clsoed up in the garage like shown in the picture so that they can draw some foundation, forget where "home" is (this mating nucs are going into the same yard as the bees came from), and let the queen cell hatch. This should get them to stay once I open up the entrances and place them outside.

(Yes, the one jar leaked and you can see a little puddle coming out of the one mating nucs lol, I put WAY to big of a hole on the lid in that one.)

Photo's in order: Stack of mating nucs before bees and feed added
Quart jars of syrup ready for the mating nucs
Mating nucs with bees, queen cell, and feed gettin used to their new home
A single mini mating nuc that is already in the use, aka where the rest of the cells where go.


Jun 5th 2012, 09:26 PM
When you keep them in the garage (yes I just have to ask the dumb question), do you close the doors and windows to keep them in or do you screen the entrance of the hive?

How long do you keep the closed up?

Got any plans on the nucs?

Can I ask anymore questions?

Jun 5th 2012, 11:11 PM
I screen the entrance to the hive, the concept is to get the acclimated to the new box and get some comb drawing started. You want to keep them in a cool, dark place ideally.. but I figure the garage will do it stays cool and isn't supposed to get that hot this week. If you let the entrances open I would fear a mass of dead bees that buzzed against the windows trying to get out untill they died.

I will keep them closed up 2-3 days.

The double hold 3 half length deep size frames per compartment, small vent hole, and a small entrance each compartment has its only tiny lid (just a peice of wood) with a hole drilled and screened for a feeder jar.. the exact dimensions don't matter to much I guess... more of a conceptual thing to me... I like the deeps vs the mediums and shallow size that a lot of people use because it gives them (what I feel anyways) is a large difference in space. I am going to try and overwinter these this year as well.... it may or may not work but I'm determined to find a way I don't feel like stocking them every spring, plus it would give me a very efficient way to overwinter extra queens.

Ask all the questions you want... but remember these are my opinions mainly and subject to frequently being wrong.

Jun 5th 2012, 11:42 PM
If I counted corrrectly, that makes for a potential 135 queens. How many of them do you expect to complete development into queens? Will you be selling queen cells or just making do with those you mate in the mini-mating-nucs?
The pictures are great.:thumbsup:

Jun 6th 2012, 02:28 AM
Very good pics there. Neat mating nucs too.:thumbsup:

Jun 6th 2012, 07:41 AM
Man I like pictures! :thumbsup: Keep'em coming!
All that new woodenware. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Last picture, is that your farm? Looks nice.

Jun 6th 2012, 03:45 PM
efmesch: There is a potential for 90 queens, I think you may have counted the 90 (that was the total I would have) along with the one day of grafting at 45. I grafted two days in a row, day 1 being the photo's shown which was 45 grafts, and 45 grafts the next day totaling up 90 for this roud. I do sell queen cells from time to time I preffer to sell virgins because shipping can be rough on cells, however this batch I'll just be making due with all the mating nucs.

PerryBee: The road and to the left is our property, the building straight in front and on the other side is other family members property; about 4 of us own right next to each other it's more "community" property than anything, we share the land alot for huning, fishing (we have a river that runs through it) and of course beekping, all of us have at least a couple hives. Thanks for the compliment :smile: I'll try to get some more pictures here in the next couple weeks once the queens are mating and the mini nucs fill out a bit.

Jun 8th 2012, 05:17 AM
thanks for sharing the pictures..

a snip..
Made a cell builder; it was a 10 frame deep ready to swarm I made it queenless 4 days ago and today removed all started queen cells.

sometimes call a 'cell starter'. if the box in the picture has a two inch addition to the bottom of the box it could also be referred to as a 'swarm box'. with all these somewhat similar terms is it any wonder the new bee keepers are confused?

another snip..
I would estimate 8-10 lbs. of bees in this nuc.

just guessing based somewhat on how many bees I have dumped or seen dumped into queen cell starter hive... but I would guess the one you show is more like 5 to 6 pounds. at 8 to 10 pounds of bees in that size of box would likely be covered with a solid mass of bees.

are you planning on finishing the cells in the same box or a different box? <this may somewhat define WHEN you use the cells.

Jun 19th 2012, 10:42 PM
tecumseh: There was deffinetely more than 5-6 lbs of bees in that nuc, the picture was taken immediately after being made... they didnt have anytime to adjust, the bees do indeed beard heavily over it still. The picture was taken at teh time I dumped in the bees put 4 frames in so most of the bees were flying (or foraging it was middle of the day), confused ball inside, and the mass under the pallet on the front which eventually moved in to.

I did indeed start and finish 3 batches, over 150 cells in this same nuc and on the last batch I checked several cells ready to emerge cells and they still had royal jelly in the bottom so they were well feed. I leave them in the nuc for 10 days then transfer them out.

Here's the next update: The mini nucs took good, queens are laying very well and look fine. Here is one of the mini nuc frame's with brood jsut starting to be capped.


Jun 20th 2012, 09:04 PM
nice pattern.

and a snip..
I will keep them closed up 2-3 days.

with cells this may be one of the more important details often overlooked.

and thanks again for sharing the pictures.

Aug 7th 2012, 03:27 PM
The last few pics of the year, took a few while I was caging the last batch of queens.

ps. Someone please tell me how to size down the pictures? I reduce them in photobucket (where I host them) but never notice a difference on here?


Aug 7th 2012, 03:52 PM
You can well be proud of those succcessful queens--good lookerss and beautiul brood pattern.
As to uploading pics, don't go through photobucket. Click on the add picture icon (third from right on the formatting selection items in the Quick Reply box). Select the apropriate tab, give the url or address on your computer where the photo is stored, upload it and you're in business-- :mrgreen:-hopefully. I still have problems when I do it, but little by little I'm getting the hang of it.

May 23rd 2013, 11:29 AM
Update for 2013.

First 4 pictures - The type of brood pattern I look for in a breeder hive. All four frames are frame the same hive in which the queen has brood in 3 deeps. Very solid pattern throughout the entire hive and these are some of the best frames, almost entirely covered with brood of all the same age this now triple deep hive was only a 5 frame overwintered nuc this spring.



This is a cell building group, from right to left, the double deep is a breeder queen that is used for nothing but grafting, the single deep looking hive is actually a 4-way mating nuc, the two 5 frame nucs are cell starters, and the white double deep is a cell finisher.

My new toy for the year, most of my stock is dark to very dark just to add a little variety I'm adding some color cordovan italians that I will open mate with the local drones. We will see how these fair in Ohio, I know alot of people love the light somtimes almost redish color.

May 23rd 2013, 03:04 PM
Print out those pictures and send them along with the queens you sell. Let your customers know what kind of parentage they come from. Those frames of brood could make any beekeeper's chest swell with pride

May 23rd 2013, 06:57 PM
nice pictures cheezer, and i still have you saved to contact in the future for queens, when i can get back into the bees, thank you for your post!

May 24th 2013, 10:15 AM
Nice looking bees and comb! Some of the frames I have seen in nucs I bought, are enough to put a goat off its feed! Nice work.

May 24th 2013, 11:58 AM
Very serious job you have done.

May 25th 2013, 09:36 AM
I think your going to enjoy working with the cordovans.Keep a check on yellow jackets, my cordovans didn't defend well against them.Who did you get your cor. queen from?And thx for sharing ,great pics.:thumbsup:

May 25th 2013, 11:33 AM
Thanks everyone, I'm always trying to improve the stock and the two characteristics that I'm currently selecting for is a heavy laying ability and overwintering ability. Set up another almost 30 mating nucs today, most of which are 5 frame nucs. I'm hoping swarm season will ramp up here soon so I can get some nearly free bees! Everything is behind here this year.

jb63: I've had cordovans from several sources over the years, the actual queen that I selected to finally graft from I'm not sure where she came from my only dilemma is how to keep the cordovan color with queens and stop needing to bring in outside stock for it seeing as how I don't yet anyways have an isolated yard for cordovans that I can flood with the genetics. The cross now has cordovan looking to very dark bees in it which has a nice look to it but something more "pure" would be nice to. The result of a cordovan queen mating with my local drones.

May 25th 2013, 11:51 AM
Hi Cheezer:
Swarm season is starting, I just got one night before last.
I'm just north of you and just sent you a pm.