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.
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.
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.
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.
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From the land flowing with milk and HONEY
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 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.
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?
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.
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.