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Alastair

Grafting, when do you plan to start?

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For me it was the end of last March. Although I don't actually graft I cut the cells.

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Yes looks like late August for me too. Just started the spring round today and pleased to find a few hives already pumping that will be excellent cell raisers. Stuff all drones though but some sealed drone brood in a few hives. Will just have to wait till the time is right.

I checked a few of my queen raisers a couple of weeks ago and they had only just started laying, then I checked another one last friday and found three frames half to three quarter full and each frame on either side had started being laid in. absolutely no drones. will check again near the end of the week on some others. The bees around the house are gathering pollen any time they can but there are plenty of good plants for them here. But the staff are saying they are flying well on the sites that are warm.

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We are planning on starting grafting this week. The pussy willow is out, there are drones in the hives so it's looking good.

It's looking like it could be an early spring in Canterbury and the hives are full of bees so we are hoping to produce 1000 queens to sell.

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Just curious has anyone else started grafting? .

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Probably end of week or early next

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How many drones have you people got in your hives

I talked to the one I saw today he was so rare.

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We have alot but we also stimulate the hives to get them producing drones early.

 

If i was relying on natural drone production i wouldnt be grafting now

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We have alot but we also stimulate the hives to get them producing drones early.

 

If i was relying on natural drone production i wouldnt be grafting now

Thanks, found a few more in my queen rearing hives today

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First graft Today so well see in 10 days,

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Is it better to make sure there is a lot of drone produce first before grafting for queens. Out of 17 hives on one site only about 2 has significant drone brood. Should I encourage drone production by placing drone comb/foundation and sugar feed on other hives.

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They will need more drones than just yours, you use your own hives to gauge what everyone else's are doing also. If you just got a few hives, stimulating them may not much difference to the overall drone picture, considering the travelling distances involved.

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if you serious @P K Tan you could increase drone production ideally you want to start in advance of cells, we started grafting today but its only small amounts at the moment we will slowly build the grafting quantity over the next weeks.

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Chatted with a well known Wanganui Beek on the weekend...

He had his first grafted queens emerging 30th Aug and second graft 31st.

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With varroa we have less fertile drones so need many more for successful well mated queens than pre varroa days.

In my opinion the main reason we have early sprung queens failing so much is because we push them to early and they arent mated properly.

Most commercials up north want queens in September early october and they just arent the quality they should be.

We stimulate drone hives 6 weeks out from wanting queens mated which means they the drones need to be two weeks old before our first virgins fly.

Even by doing this I believe there still arent enough drones around that early to get the job dine properly

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I have drones in hives but I certainly haven't seen them coming and going. Just lazing around getting fat from what I can see

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Great weather now cell production well under way

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Great weather now cell production well under way

 

And you know that right on mating time the weather will turn to custard!

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Always get queens mated at end sep

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We are flat out putting cells out and have had the most beautiful weather , its about to go to custard on Friday right about when the first virgins are about to fly :(

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And you know that right on mating time the weather will turn to custard!

Just love your optimistic view of the world ;);););););)

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