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2 day vs 10 day cells


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I haven't really used 2 day cells, reason being, they need humidity control.

Because my carricell doesn't do that I would have to cart them the old fashioned way, in a box of bees and I don't want to waste a box of bees.

But I know a lot of people do use them with good results.

10 days are just easier for me.. and sort of a little bit faster

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My cell raises consist of one frame of pollen, one frame of young brood and one frame of honey together with all the bees from at least one full box of brood. This all goes into a swarm box which is a full depth box with gauze ventilation on the bottom and a sack and lid over the top to keep them in. Ideally you make the cell raiser up the day before you want to graft and put the cell bars to be warmed and polished but at a pinch you can do the whole thing in one day. I normally graft at home so I bring the swarm boxes home and you just need to lift the lid and peel one corner of the sack back to provide an entrance. I use the cells two days after grafting or nine in 10 days after. The biggest advantage of two day cells as they don't get damaged travelling on rough roads they also give a longer brood break which helps with varoa control especially if you're using oxalic. I generally only use them in autumn when having the Queen laying is not so important and in spring if I have to do any grafting I normally use 10 day cells. Two day cells also have the advantage that if it is pissing down on the day you want to use them you can always leave them for a week. The same goes if I have any leftover. When moving them around I simply tip the corner of the sack back down and put the lid down. At the end of the day when all the cells are used you can leave the last cell in the box and you end up with another spare hive. I do have a carry cell which works well but I still prefer the naturally perfect conditions the bees maintain for the cells. I certainly would never put two day cells in a carry cell as they still require feeding.

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That very interesting John.

The two day cells would be Emergency cells if they were put into a Queenless split???

Im not totally convinced that it matters?

I was speaking last night with a breeder of significant depth and his focus is to ensure the cells arnt handled at all between 1.5 days and 10 days.

On this basis he didn't like the incubator system where cells were handled at day 5.

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That very interesting John.

The two day cells would be Emergency cells if they were put into a Queenless split???

Im not totally convinced that it matters?

I was speaking last night with a breeder of significant depth and his focus is to ensure the cells arnt handled at all between 1.5 days and 10 days.

On this basis he didn't like the incubator system where cells were handled at day 5.

Is the 2 day and 10 day cell referring to from the day it is grafted or something else?

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On a slightly different topic, how bad are bumpy roads for 10 day old cells, how many cell failures have people here seen?

 

 

My cell raises consist of one frame of pollen, one frame of young brood...

 

Interesting how you use open brood in your starter, any reason for this? I would of thought it's best to be avoided because ya end up with a heap of emergency cells and the worker larvae competes with queen larvae for food.

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Interesting how you use open brood in your starter, any reason for this? I would of thought it's best to be avoided because ya end up with a heap of emergency cells and the worker larvae competes with queen larvae for food.

 

Got to keep those nurse bees' royal jelly producing glands stimulated, beefree.

 

I've done it with brood that was too old (second time round for that rearer unit) and had much, much poorer results, despite there being even more nurse bees in the unit than in the previous round.

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Interesting how you use open brood in your starter, any reason for this? I would of thought it's best to be avoided because ya end up with a heap of emergency cells and the worker larvae competes with queen larvae for food.

I put open brood facing one side of the cell frame and stores facing the other. I figure the bees have to go past the cells to get to the open brood so the cells should get well serviced.

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On a slightly different topic, how bad are bumpy roads for 10 day old cells, how many cell failures have people here seen?

10 day cells are reasonably sturdy.

You wouldn't put them on the deck of a truck in a carrier and head off up a corrugated track at speed but on a passenger seat of a good 4x4 no problem.

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Queens inside 10 day cells may be reasonably sturdy but their wings are not and I have certainly seen many drone layers over the years that have not mated because their wings have been damaged in the cell. It is not that it happens to every one but it does happen. We had some sites that were three hours from home with more than one hour of that on unsealed roads and extremely rough farm tracks.

I leave a frame of young brood in the cell raiser because that is what works best. Way back in the dim distant my father used to remove the frame at the time of grafting, the theory being that the bees would put all their energy into raising the cells but experience has shown that you get far better results when you leave it there. When I leave the cells in longer than two days I do go through and chop out any wildling cells. I suspect that having no brood makes them feel hopelessly queenless and that point many of the bees in the hive will move to Queen right hives. Queenless cell raises generally do better when not positioned close to Queen right hives anyway.

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I breed in queenright hives with the queen in the bottom box under an excluder that's about 3/4 covered in the centre with a piece of aluminium, the bees can get up around the edges into the top boxes but it muffles the smell of the queen below so that the bees in the top part can't smell her as much.

 

I've found that they always do better when they only have one box on top, if you try and give them two they have to be very strong, all the boxes will need to have bees side to side.

If you take the bar out to graft, when you go to put it back the bees need to be 'holding hands' across the gap, if they aren't the hive is probably too weak to do the job properly.

 

I lift most of the brood into the top box and give the queen empty clean combs to lay into in the bottom.

I always have uncapped brood on both sides of the bar.

 

I can raise up to 50 good long cells per hive.

But the hives have to be strong and almost trying to swarm, hives that are already making swarm cells make the best raisers.

I don't feed any of my cell raisers and choose to use hives that already have all they need.

I have fed them as an experiment and I haven't noticed any difference.

 

I have used cells as soon as they have been capped with no problems, the reason it is day 10 is that the queen should be in the pupal stage so is more robust but once the cells are capped they don't need to be fed and the humidity is a little less crucial, the temperature however is very important.

 

I am careful and gentle with all cells reguardless of their age, usually I will drive with the carrier on my lap or with the passenger holding it, just so I know how much they are getting bumped around.

 

I usually open a few too just to see what they're like inside before I make a whole lot of splits.

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I have been wondering lately what the effects on the gene pool are from this whole Queen breeding process.

The reality is that the majority of my Queens are bred from just 3 breeders.

The ideal system in my mind would be to use a reliable walk away split system so that the diversity of my populations would be maintained.

I haven't had experience with wide spread walk away splits but suspect it would be 75% at best.

Maybe @john berry could shed some light on the history of using cells to Re Queen hives

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I have been wondering lately what the effects on the gene pool are from this whole Queen breeding process.

cue @Otto

nz genetics are really good, which is impressive with lack of imports and size of country.

i recall something from the conference about NZ having a line bee genetics not found overseas. tho i can't recall exact details.

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cue @Otto

nz genetics are really good, which is impressive with lack of imports and size of country.

i recall something from the conference about NZ having a line bee genetics not found overseas. tho i can't recall exact details.

I can see a difference between genetic diversity and "good genetics"

Its possible that a population of hives could all possess good genetics but lack diversity as a population in the context of the overall Beekeeping operation.

In this event the hives could all "tend" to be susceptible to similar Woes.

 

I never use the same breeder hives 2 years in a row.

 

I will select new breeders each year and try to get ones that are unrelated to last years queens.

This is one reason I have a hybrid Carni/Italian Breeder in my system. (5 legged Queen)

Im hoping the 5 legs arnt true breeding though:)

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This all goes into a swarm box which is a full depth box with gauze ventilation on the bottom

Im seeing here a hive mat with a square hole cut in the hardboard and a sheet of Propolis mat hot glued over the hole.

The mat could be screwed to the box as the floor.

The box could have a hole drilled in it for an entrance and some grass for a plug.

The top of the box may have a mat and closed corner tin lid

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@Daley I'm intrigued by your excluder plus ally plate queenright (almost) starter. I have a bunch of 3FD hives, 2 brood+excluder+super. If I wanted to make a few cells quickly, would the following work? I think it might.

  1. Find the queen, put her in the bottom box with some lay space
  2. Place excluder with plate then super then second brood box with cell bar frame.
  3. Wait 24hrs for queen scent in top box to abate.
  4. Graft as per normal.
  5. Two days later swap the top two boxes and remove the plate from the excluder. Now queenright finisher.
  6. And so on....

What would you change?

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I know you asked @Daley but I wouldn't have the super between the brood boxes.

You want a heap of young bees in the top brood box that holds the cells by putting a super inbetween it's too much space and the bees wont be drawn up so much.

By using aluminium plate or vinyl or what ever that is your pheromone buffer not your honey super.

Leave your honey super on top of your second broodbox

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Thanks @frazzledfozzle. I imagined the nurse bees staying with the upper brood box. I now realise that won't create the excess of nurses that are required. So you're saying that the plate on the excluder between two brood boxes is enough to make one box think it's queenless? If that's the case I could remove the super and feed them for a few days to congest the hive further

 

I could of course put my Cloake board on (it works) but that wouldn't satisfy my curiosity :D

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@Daley I'm intrigued by your excluder plus ally plate queenright (almost) starter. I have a bunch of 3FD hives, 2 brood+excluder+super. If I wanted to make a few cells quickly, would the following work? I think it might.

  1. Find the queen, put her in the bottom box with some lay space
  2. Place excluder with plate then super then second brood box with cell bar frame.
  3. Wait 24hrs for queen scent in top box to abate.
  4. Graft as per normal.
  5. Two days later swap the top two boxes and remove the plate from the excluder. Now queenright finisher.
  6. And so on....

What would you change?

Put the bar in the second box down, it gets more bees in it.

It means you have to keep lifting that box but I find the results are considerably better.

 

Why would you swap it to a normal excluder? Lol I don't do that, I leave my pheromone board(the excluder with the aluminium on) in for the entire duration the cells are on the hive.

It might be ok but it might not, I don't think I've ever tried swapping it back to a normal excluder.

 

Once I have grafted into a hive I like it to be left alone, unless I have to go in to see how many queens have taken.

I try to do this as gently and quickly as possible with as little smoke as I can so I don't disturb the bees too much when they're caring for the cells.

 

My breeders consist of grub hives, which are the actual breeders I have selected to take grubs from and raisers.

Once I've grafted into a hive the cells aren't moved and the hives aren't worked until the cells are out.

Some people will use finishers, I use the same hive the whole way through.

At a pinch I can do it all in one hive but I prefer a minimum of two as it's harder to find grubs when you don't have a dedicated grub hive.

The grub hive is basically 3 boxes for the queen to have freedom to lay everywhere so I should always have the right age grubs.

 

If I tell you all my secrets I'll have to kill you :rofl::rofl:

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