Cell starting some tips and hints. Rules if you like?

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Poly Hive

Queen Bee
Dec 4, 2008
Reaction score
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
Number of Hives
12 and 18 Nucs
Have been helping a member to get these going and note this.

Confusion sets in when the word Nuc is used. I am using it here to describe a five or 6 frame box to contain the bees and frames. NOT a Nucleus colony which is another matter entirely.

Brood involved NONE AT ALL COSTS. You may consider yourself to be eagle eyed and think that that bonny frame of sealed brood will hatch and help and any other idea you can think of. Forget it. Any of it. NO BROOD is the cardinal rule. The bees have to realise they are in dire and desperate straits.

Put some open brood frames above an excluder in the 2nd brood box or use one for a day. You need to shake off some 7 or 8 frames of baby bees. I will repeat that, you NEED 7 or 8 frames of baby bees. If you canna muster that amount forget it: now.

Make up your BROODLESS nuc box with, a frame feeder, a pollen comb, a stores comb, and a frame of foundation if you want to space it all out. The grafts will go into the gap between the stores and pollen comb, and you will leave the gap over night.

Have the frames to hand. Go to donor colonies and taking out the frames of young brood spray the bees with tepid water and shake into nuc box. Be as fast as you can to avoid losing bees. Insert combs and feeder, half fill feeder and remember to PLUG securely the entrance. A ventilated floor box is best for this caper.

Next day, the box having spent the night in the cool and dark, insert grafts into the gap. When you lift off the crown board there should be a substantial beard of bees hanging in that gap, if not well guess? Not enough bees perhaps?

You can forget the 48 hour thing about acceptance. The cups will exhibit waxing on the lip with in pretty much 12 hours and certainly by next morning. If there are no bees clustered on the cups they are dead and the larvae dumped.

Lastly but most importantly. Weather. If the sun don't shine you have shot it.

I grafted for 10 days once upon a time getting one or two results each time. Then I made up a box as above, the sun shone and I had 32 accepted in the morning from 36.

Ok you may only want 6 or 10. The above method gives you them and also the start of two or three nucs to use them in.

Good luck and this simply works. But only as described and remember......

down......vital info




Amusing himself whilst waiting for the rain to go of so I can build my greenhouse. :)
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One man's amusement is another man's enlightenment. Thanks once more for the info.

Be amused. Contrary to popular belief, I wish you lots of sunshine; I'm sure it won't stunt your flow of facts and sound opinion.
Thanks PH :willy_nilly: And have taken it all on board - back to the drawing board.
United 2 Nucs today to increase numbers and sprayed with light syrup so no :boxing_smiley: They have much better chance now with the capped queen given-
Apidea Sunday!!
And I will start grafting again when all hives settled into good flow - maybe 1 week....following all instructions!!

But the one BIG hive I split as it had persistent q cells (I moved original q and frames to a new hive) - I have seen the hatched q in the original hive. :) Didn't mark as no eggs yet , but she has another week to kick start- so leaving undisturbed till then.

Thank you for all the detail - sorry about your rubbish weather - wont rub salt into the wound :coolgleamA:
Admin makes a note that PH gives lady beekeepers his telephone number :rolleyes::D
No point letting thel facts get in the way of a good story Heather. :)
keep going Heather my ego is enjoying this...


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