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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Setting up the hive.
Reverse and block the bottom box, then add the cloake board with the slide removed. Give the hive a few days to adjust to the higher entrance.




 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The poplars are in full bloom. The syrup and pure honey in the open feeders haven't had a bee on them for a week.
 

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dang you must be much younger than myself Iddee. if it was me I would raise the entire thing on a bench and do a bit less stooping.

the fellow I know who uses this technique for the production of large quantity of queen cells simply has stands with two bottom boards pointed in different directions. he move it to one position for cell rearing and the other when the hive is not being used.

in most places pollen patties are not so important but a dribble of feed is certainly recommended.
 

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This is the original entrance on mine.


This is the reversed entrance. I made it to fit 8 or 10 frame boxes. Removing 2 screws takes the 2 panels out and makes it full width 10 frame. Excluder is 10 frame slid into dado cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tec, you know I'm a lot younger than you. I'm only 132. :p :lol:

A deep setting on cross ties, then the cloake board, then another deep, gets it up high enough to work fairly easily.

Rast, this is my first time trying, and likely my last. Doing it as simple as I can. Good to see how others do it, tho. I hope some of them will post their pics.
 

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Iddee said:
Rast, this is my first time trying, and likely my last.
I sure hope not. You know you don't have to put grafts in cups in. You can drop a frame of eggs in it too. The whole point (to me) is in getting the top box as full of nurse bees (therefore I feed) as you can without having to shake nurse bees from a few hives into a starter box and then moving them to another finishing hive. I am toying with making some spacers and using the Hopkins method just to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nope, didn't graft yet. Got my mini frames on another hive being drawn out. Hopefully graft this weekend.
 

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I am not certain Iddee if this is your first attempt at grafting??? I have found that a bit of royal jelley to prime the cells certainly makes your first attempts at grafting much more productive. Sometime when I begin at the first of the season I like to 'prime' cells just to add a bit of insurance. So quite often when I first make up a starter (of whatever form) I drop in one frame of very young larvae and harvest the royal jelly that is produced (typically two days later).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I moved all the brood to the top box yesterday. This morning I installed the slide in to separate the top bees from the queen, essentially making them queenless. Opened the bottom box at the back to allow the foragers to leave. They will return to the top box, thus overcrowding it.

Four of us did a mix of grafting, all for the first time. It'll be a miracle if we get a queencell between the four of us, but it was fun setting it up.




 

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Do let us know of your results... good or bad.

you would be absolutely amazed (I know I was) to see the ladies in the queen grafting shack grafting sticks of cells. they make it look so easy and almost effortless. they laugh at 'grandpa' when he proclaims 'WOW'.

it looks like your grafting set up could use a bit of work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I were going to be grafting regularly, It would receive that little bit of work. Since it is a one or two time deal, it probably won't get improved. Just trying one time for fun. Have no use for the queens if successful.
 

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I have gotten better over time but will never bee so fast. I have reasoned that since I have a limited number of cells to produce speed doesn't really accomplish much anyway.

ps... if I could tap into the large number of cells never used but stripped from bars and tossed into a fairly large cardboard box by my prior employee I would never need to graft anyway.
 

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Iddee, have you pulled the slide yet? Just curious if yours are as aggressive as mine when I pull it. Queenless ya know, therefore irritable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I pulled the slide yesterday and made it 8 feet to my truck with head butts only. Went back today and checked the cells. Looks like I might have a decent crop of cells being pulled. They were much friendlier today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Checked them again today. Five capped queen cells. Not great, but satisfactory for the first try. Plan to transfer them to mating boxes Tuesday and graft again later in the week.
 
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