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Philbee

Single box Starter/ Finisher/Grub Castle

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Has anyone used this Horizontal Cloake method

This season Im trying some single box starter/ finishers.

They have a vertical QE partition with 5 frames per side.

The QE partition is slotted into the box ends but protrudes 40mm above the top of the box and the box has two, 5 frame mats, both with feeder holes.

It has a vertical solid Cloaking type partition as well that can slide down beside the QE partition.

The box has one entrance per side and both entrances have doors  

I figure this can be used as a grub castle as well.

Any comments on the idea, it isnt my design but very similar to one described by a substantial breeder

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I'm guessing the queen is one side of the partition and the queen cells are on the other?

 

If so, some years ago I experiemented with a somewhat similar setup, except the hive was a sort of long hive, of 21 frames, the queen was confined one side of an excluder to 1/2 dozen or so frames although I would move brood over to the other side to keep her busy.

 

I used these hives as cell raisers and tried several management methods including moving young brood from the queen compartment to place around the queen cell frames. That method got the best results, but all up, the hive set up did not raise as many, or as good cells, as a standard multi box vertical cell finisher. After one season I abandoned the method, and have only just succeeded last week in giving away all but one of those long hives. Anyone wants the last one drop me a line. (no bees in them)

 

If you want to go single brood box cell raisers, here's what I'm doing this season. Problem has been I had to remove the bees from my nearby cell raising site and have to raise cells at a site around 1/2 hour drive from home. So am trying a method that only involves one trip a week. The breeder hives are at home and I'm using jenter. Each sunday arvo I "graft", which for jenter is really plug transfer. The cell bars are put in the mobile incubator for the 1/2 hour trip to the cell raising yard and because they are jenter not grafted have plenty royal jelly and make the trip fine.

 

At the cell raising yard I select strong 3 deckers with 2 brood boxes, find the queen, and move her in one brood box onto a new bottom board and lid a few meters away. The other brood box is put on the bottom, one frame pulled, and a cell frame with one bar of 16 cells put in. The honey box is put on top. The next sunday the capped cells are removed and put in the mobile incubator for the trip home, and once home go into the main incubator. I go through the cell raiser and kill any queen cells on the brood frames and put a new bar of cells in the hive. The next sunday the capped cells are removed and the hive re combine with it's queen to "rest" for a few weeks before getting used again.

 

I don't normally like finishing cells in queenless hives, but so far the cells produced have been excellent quality, and this has been before swarming time, which is very pleasing.

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6 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I'm guessing the queen is one side of the partition and the queen cells are on the other?

 

If so, some years ago I experiemented with a somewhat similar setup, except the hive was a sort of long hive, of 21 frames, the queen was confined one side of an excluder to 1/2 dozen or so frames although I would move brood over to the other side to keep her busy.

 

I used these hives as cell raisers and tried several management methods including moving young brood from the queen compartment to place around the queen cell frames. That method got the best results, but all up, the hive set up did not raise as many, or as good cells, as a standard multi box vertical cell finisher. After one season I abandoned the method, and have only just succeeded last week in giving away all but one of those long hives. Anyone wants the last one drop me a line. (no bees in them)

 

If you want to go single brood box cell raisers, here's what I'm doing this season. Problem has been I had to remove the bees from my nearby cell raising site and have to raise cells at a site around 1/2 hour drive from home. So am trying a method that only involves one trip a week. The breeder hives are at home and I'm using jenter. Each sunday arvo I "graft", which for jenter is really plug transfer. The cell bars are put in the mobile incubator for the 1/2 hour trip to the cell raising yard and because they are jenter not grafted have plenty royal jelly and make the trip fine.

 

At the cell raising yard I select strong 3 deckers with 2 brood boxes, find the queen, and move her in one brood box onto a new bottom board and lid a few meters away. The other brood box is put on the bottom, one frame pulled, and a cell frame with one bar of 16 cells put in. The honey box is put on top. The next sunday the capped cells are removed and put in the mobile incubator for the trip home, and once home go into the main incubator. I go through the cell raiser and kill any queen cells on the brood frames and put a new bar of cells in the hive. The next sunday the capped cells are removed and the hive re combine with it's queen to "rest" for a few weeks before getting used again.

 

I don't normally like finishing cells in queenless hives, but so far the cells produced have been excellent quality, and this has been before swarming time, which is very pleasing.

Queenless hives will finish well for a limited number of rounds, maybe two.

Then they need to be refreshed.

It was a real eye opener when I first did that, the cells were as good as any.

When you used the original single box system that didn't do well did you manipulate the entrances so that the bees can only use the cell side of the box to enter and  exit the hive, in a way similar to the standard Cloake method?

Also Im thinking that 10 cells would be the max

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Yes I tried various entrance configurations, brood distributions, and any other tweaks i could think of, I think I gave the basic concept a pretty fair trial. I was raising 16 cells a time, if you only want to raise 10, may get better results. I found that having the cells further away from the queen got better results long as there was brood there, however in a 10 frame box it won't be possible to get them too far from the queen.

 

I'm not saying results were horrible, I did get some good cells, just, i think more and better can be made using other configurations.

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17 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Yes I tried various entrance configurations, brood distributions, and any other tweaks i could think of, I think I gave the basic concept a pretty fair trial. I was raising 16 cells a time, if you only want to raise 10, may get better results. I found that having the cells further away from the queen got better results long as there was brood there, however in a 10 frame box it won't be possible to get them too far from the queen.

 

I'm not saying results were horrible, I did get some good cells, just, i think more and better can be made using other configurations.

Ah yes,

the guy that described it to me used a solid division board with a QE window which may in effect put the Queen further from the cells.

If 20 suits a good double finisher I would say that 10 would be the absolute max for a single box finisher which isnt really even 10 frames, only 5

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Sounds quite complicated ...Us simpletons just take the queen out of a strong double and use that as a starter.  Six bars of 18 cells grafted in the evening, then transferred to a queen right finisher .... queen in the bottom, QE, cells in the top with several frames of brood. Three bars per finisher.Seems to pump the cells out.

Edited by jamesc
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I would've thought a single wouldn't have enough bees to make good cells.

 

I only use really strong doubles, or really strong triples.

 

I can get 50 good cells out of a queen right hive with a cloake board.

I just lift a couple of frames of brood up and put down some empty combs each round of cells so that the queen has some space to lay.

You can use them like that for ages with very little manipulation.

 

I would find it annoying having only ten cells per hive, it must be far more time

consuming.

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33 minutes ago, Daley said:

I would've thought a single wouldn't have enough bees to make good cells.

 

I only use really strong doubles, or really strong triples.

 

I can get 50 good cells out of a queen right hive with a cloake board.

I just lift a couple of frames of brood up and put down some empty combs each round of cells so that the queen has some space to lay.

You can use them like that for ages with very little manipulation.

 

I would find it annoying having only ten cells per hive, it must be far more time

consuming.

The way the guy described it he swapped the queen from side to side with each round of cells.

Ive got 5 of these setups currently powering up and will see if I can make them work.

The thing about it is that this guy is at the top of his game, I wont say who he is but his family are NZ foundation Beeks so the system deserves a crack 

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58 minutes ago, jamesc said:

 Three bars per finisher.Seems to pump the cells out.

 

44 minutes ago, Daley said:

I can get 50 good cells out of a queen right hive with a cloake board.

 

Crikey :o !  If using a queenright finisher I'll only have one bar of 18 max, probably 16, to a finisher. And that will be a strong 3 decker.

 

Mid swarming season can get away with more for the first cycle or maybe two, but rest of the time I'm a one bar man. I'll do 3 bars in the starter though.

Edited by Alastair
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51 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Sounds quite complicated ...Us simpletons just take the queen out of a strong double and use that as a starter.  Six bars of 18 cells grafted in the evening, then transferred to a queen right finisher .... queen in the bottom, QE, cells in the top with several frames of brood. Three bars per finisher.Seems to pump the cells out.

If you run Queenless starters for more than 2 rounds they decline in vigor so you need a string of them if the yard is to pump out Queens all season

Whats more it is better if all the support hives are within walking distance of the grafting room etc.

This season Ive put all the starter/ finishers within 20m of the grafting room and incubator and all the Mating nucs within a 200m radius also.

 

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I graft in the truck on the steering wheel with the heater on.

I get pretty good results most of the time.

And it means I can breed anywhere ?

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8 minutes ago, Daley said:

I graft in the truck on the steering wheel with the heater on.

I get pretty good results most of the time.

And it means I can breed anywhere ?

Trucks are great places to graft because they are small spaces with highly developed climate controls

however I did get tired of scraping wax off everything in the cab.

This will be my first season with a dedicated grafting room and its good to have everything handy like cups, cages and all the rest of the paraphernalia.

Storage for cell bars, kettle for coffee and maybe a fridge for....... milk .

Even a place to hang clip boards on the walls for record keeping.

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Yes a dedicated grafting room, with plenty hives just outside, is awesome. I really miss that.

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10 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Trucks are great places to graft because they are small spaces with highly developed climate controls

however I did get tired of scraping wax off everything in the cab.

This will be my first season with a dedicated grafting room and its good to have everything handy like cups, cages and all the rest of the paraphernalia.

Storage for cell bars, kettle for coffee and maybe a fridge for....... milk .

Even a place to hang clip boards on the walls for record keeping.

I aleays found the truck a little bit cramped for breeding, so built a luv shack.:ph34r:

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2 minutes ago, jamesc said:

I aleays found the truck a little bit cramped for breeding, so built a luv shack.:ph34r:

Easy enough when your young and flexible

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3 hours ago, Daley said:

I graft in the truck on the steering wheel with the heater on.

I get pretty good results most of the time.

And it means I can breed anywhere ?

Jeepers, the mind boggles. Back seat yes, but steering wheel ?

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See comment above yours yesbut answers all your questions 

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I don't think @yesbut has been introduced to Mr Google. If it's on the interweb, it must be true. 

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2 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

I don't think @yesbut has been introduced to Mr Google. If it's on the interweb, it must be true. 

Nearly true ! "Breed Technologies" make steering wheels.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Nearly true ! "Breed Technologies" make steering wheels.

Do I dare Google "breed technologies"? I've been set up before #notmyfirstrodeo

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10 hours ago, Philbee said:

Trucks are great places to graft because they are small spaces with highly developed climate controls

however I did get tired of scraping wax off everything in the cab.

This will be my first season with a dedicated grafting room and its good to have everything handy like cups, cages and all the rest of the paraphernalia.

Storage for cell bars, kettle for coffee and maybe a fridge for....... milk .

Even a place to hang clip boards on the walls for record keeping.

I now get minimal wax in the cab.  A clean div board on my knees with the frame of queen cells closest to me and the frame of brood resting on the top of the board, I do 46 to 50 cells at a time from one frame of brood. when i have grafted my first frame I cover it with a damp hand towel then do the next one.  I have my bottle of water to spray around the cab and up the humidity, and take my sweet time. 

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31 minutes ago, fieldbee said:

I now get minimal wax in the cab.  A clean div board on my knees with the frame of queen cells closest to me and the frame of brood resting on the top of the board, I do 46 to 50 cells at a time from one frame of brood. when i have grafted my first frame I cover it with a damp hand towel then do the next one.  I have my bottle of water to spray around the cab and up the humidity, and take my sweet time. 

The truck works well I know but my truck ended up with all the gear stashed in every compartment.

Glasses, grafting tools, head torch, sheet to cover windscreen, cup for water to cool grafting tools, rack for cell frames. and more.

then id drop a grafting tool between the seats, spill the water and sit on my glasses.

Ive moved on.

The shearers Quarters were under utilized, now they are a hub surrounded by hives.

There is running hot water, cupboards, table, incubator etc.

Its a step up for me for sure 

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I've tried a bunch of different methods over the year's (cellraising and breeding:10_wink:) and the method I've settled on for the last ten yrs is based on the cloak method.

However i have a friend who uses a system similar to what you describe. He has a single brood box split in half with a solid divider queen on one side and cells on the other. He moves brood from side to side as required. Has a queen excluder above the brood box with one or more honey supers on top. The vertical division acts as a pheromone blocker and the bee's move from side to side via the honey supers. He doesnt need to make the side with cells queenless the pheramone block is enough, i think he has an entrance each side. One of the advantages of this system is the bee's have somewhere to put the honey during the honeyflow months, also once setup they can be used week after week with minimal manipulation and virtually no support (brood or bees). 

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My first round of cell in these have worked well.

The only mod was to put an entrance in all 4 corners of the box so that the Cloake system of manipulating the entrances can be mimicked but in the horizontal rather than verticle.

That is the bees that leave the Queenright side do so through a rear facing entrance and return via the front of the hive which only has an open entrance on the cell side.

I just use grass to close the 25mm entrances as required.

Im starting/ finishing 10 cells per round per box.

It will be interesting to see if the single box can maintain the output.

I am also using doubles with the Cloake method which are hard to fault. (With incubator)

 

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I use the term "Cloake" as the description of the separation of the two halves of a hive for emergency response.

I know its not the reason for the name of the system but it fits IMO because the act of dividing the Queen away from the hive could be described as "Cloaking"

 

 

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