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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Home made Cloake Board.
One plastic Queen excluder and three strips of scrap plywood:
QE-Cloake.jpg

Anything can serve as the slide here, thinner plywood than was used for the strips around the edges, cardboard covered in duct tape, whatever....Most folks only leave the slide in for a few days at the most from what I understand, so all it needs to do is cut off queen pheromone from the lower box and not get chewed through. I used a piece of thin rigid foam insulation board with some tape on it as a slide.

QE-Cloake-Hopkins.jpg

Here you can see the upper box on top of the QE/Cloake board and just for fun on top of that is a feeder ring/jig thing I rigged up so I could lay a frame down horizontally (Hopkins method) with the eggs/larvae on the underneath side, of course. I've been wanting to try the Hopkins thing for a while, because supposedly bees will more readily create queen cells when the larvae is already facing down to begin with, and they don't have to fight old tough comb to extend a queen cell downward.

I also used all black Pierco plastic frames for this, because I have read that queen cells can't be removed from plastic frames. I have done so in the past, but didn't take picture to prove it. I actually prefer the plastic, because if there are queen cells opposite each other on a wax frame, you might have to kill one to cut the other one out, but on plastic, you can harvest all of them on both sides. Of course on the Hopkins frame, there would only be queen cells on the under side.

I'll take pictures here in a day or two if we get queen cells, and if it's a bust I'll report back anyway and everyone can tell me what to do differently.
 

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Sounds interesting. I have read about the Hopkins method, but haven't known anyone who used it. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess to be honest I should admit that I've already failed twice. Two times I tried using just a horizontal frame of eggs/larvae, and neither time produced any queen cells. Someone told me I needed to have more than just one "bait" frame to make sufficient nurse bees come up.
 

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Two frames of brood does more than double your success rate.
I have never used the Cloake board, just a queen excluder with the food super between the brood supers. They need an abundance of food to raise healthy queens so a full super is barely enough, yet plenty of seperation for pheromone.
 
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