Setting up mating nucs

Discussion in 'Bees' started by Eddy Honey, May 6, 2013.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    My third try at grafting resulted in 9 out of 20 takes. It is yet to be seen if they all emerge but the bees sure are all over them.
     

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  2. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I have another yard on 50 acres of clover so I set up a few hives here as well. These are all Russian but the queens that emerge in these nucs will mate with the local drones from the area.


    IMG_7038.JPG IMG_7047.JPG IMG_7079.JPG IMG_7082.JPG IMG_7095.JPG IMG_7097.JPG
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    :coolphotos:.......great photos ed, i am interested in what you think of the russian stock.
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Thanks for posting those pics. I hope to dabble with queen rearing in the future.
     
  5. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    In picture #3 of my first post is a single queen-cell that was due to emerge Saturday. I gave it a couple more days just in case.
    Things looks promising today.

    IMG_7101.JPG
     
  6. Minz

    Minz Member

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    I was going to play with grafting this year but with the early warm weather I have been pulling frames with capped QC to mating nucs. If I would have had the correct gear along at one of my out yards early I would have another box out by now.
    Thanks for the pictures, I may still do it later in the year.
     
  7. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I got the tool, cups, frames for holding the cups and queen cages. and that is as far as I got with queen rearing this year. I had to make a total of 15 med boxes just for the hives I had back in April. then in the past ten days I have added 5 colonies to my yard. I do not have the boxes for them as they expand so will be focused on adding even more meds as soon as I can get the materials. This has also casued it to be necesary that I locate an out yard. I ahve a few people offering their land so I need to find time to go visit them and see what they lay out looks like. Water here is a huge issue.

    ALl was gong well until the weekend of April 5th and 6th when I took the weekend to go out of town. total control was lost over that weekend and I have never regained it. everything that has gotten done has been done late ever since.
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Grafting success? Is that a virgin queen from my Russian graft?

    russian virgin queen.jpg
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Very good pics on the grafts and looks as though things are progressing very well!!

    As for the virgin queen, only you would know how old she is.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    yep that looks like a virgin without a doubt.... do all the russians look that black? actually even thru the mating process they look a bit like that and do not show much abdomen growth until about the time they begin to lay. most true virgins you can tell by how they act on the frames in that they flitter about quite fast and always appear nervous... I would not want to try to catch one at that stage simply due to how quickly they move. if they move more gracefully and purposefully across the frame then you can bet they are already mated and fixing to lay.

    ps.. virgin queens can have some problems with directions no matter what their pedigree so most folks that set up mating yards tend to have some random looking distribution of the mating units. most specifically they do NOT have all entrance pointed in the same direction and all the units in a straight line.

    and thanks for the pictures.
     
  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    My only experience with virgin queens has been from queen cells that various hives have produced. I have been able this year to witness the emergence of several of them. over the weekend I actually had one emerge right into my hand as I carried the queen cell to my shop. In all of this I have been able to observe the appearance as well as the behavior of virgin fairly well. and to me they are obvious. They move and behave completely different. The physical apperance is not as obvious to me and I suspect that may be because my queens are not of the highest quality. I hope to be working on that soon. Finally doing some queen rearing is hopefully my next project.

    IN that regard I am interested in what you do specifically to increase the acceptance of your grafts? I have not seen what system of cups etc you are using. But I have heard that dipping the JZ-BZ cups in wax before grafting can help. preperation of the starter hive I have also read is helpful not only acceptance but in creating larger queen cells as well. One specific preparation I have read is to give the queenless starter colony open brood to feed 4 days prior to placing the grafts. This allows the nurse bees time to already be producing food. When the cells are added you want them to be the only open brood that neds to be attended. I read somewhere it is estimated that 400 nurse bees are required to tend a single queen cell.

    I am interested in any actual results from the various theories I have read.

    Bust of luck to you. I have had no trouble getting virgin queens in abundance this spring. they have been lost in mass to either being killed by the colony or during their mating flights. I am not sure which. But it has been so prevailent I am actually concerend there is something in the environment at this location that puts queens at almost 100% risk of being lost during mating.