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Lozza 

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I'm going to rearing some queens this year (properly, instead of making increases from artifical swarms).

What type of cell cups do people use?

I've seen the JZ / BZ cell cup (also on dave cushman's web site). Are these good? If so where can you get them from, I can't seem to find any for sale in the uk.


Thanks in advance
 

Poly Hive 

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buy some 10mm dowel, sand down to 9mm, round over the end and you have a cell former.

Wet and dip into wax, dip into water and dip into wax until it is reasonably thick, thick enough to with stand the force of twisting it off.

Repeat.

Cell bar, cut a length of ply to allow for a hole to take your cell holder... have to run more later.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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I will try and get some pics for you this afternoon but making your own cups is very easy and much easier to graft into than plastic ones as you can push the tool into the wax.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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With only 5 colonies, I would think that there are unlikely to be enough bees for you to go too heavily into queen rearing in bulk - unless you wish to concentrate on that, rather than collecting a decent honey crop.

I am sure you will have a go if you are decided on it and best of luck - everyone has to start somewhere, but think about how many spare bees you have, what you intend to do with them (sell later in the season, over-winter nucs, serious increase in colony number). Just beware that you may finish the season without achieving any worthwhile gains, depending on the unpredictable UK weather. Alternatively, it could be a fab year to go queen rearing.

I would prefer not to put all my eggs in the one basket. I need a honey crop this year.

Regards, RAB
 

gandalfwhitewizard 

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You can get JZBZ cups from the supplier listed in the thread, however, can be hard to get hold of. However, they are convienent and easy and re-useable!
We use them with no problems and have an overall success of between 60 -80% success rate with a bar of 20 cells which I am led to believe is not a bad rate at all.
You can do queen raising with the amount of colonies you have in fact all you need is the one if you intend to raise your own queens to re-queen etc. e.g. not commercial enterprise but then i suspect that's the reason you want to raise them.
We did run a couple of queen raising courses last here via the forum and we are again if you are interested PM me for further details, you aren't that far away from us.
 

Lozza 

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Thanks for all the replies.

I feel that grafting and being in control of the timeline would allow me to better plan the requeening of my hives. I also would like to spread my nice bees to others in the associations and maybe an increase or two. Not planning on any huge numbers. Probably 2 batches of 10. (If I get 40% that would be 8 queens).

Correct me if I am wrong but apart from the actually grafting I feel the biggest issues will be the size of the cell starter / finisher colony(ies) and then having enough bees for mating hives. I don't think there is much I can do on the drone front.

I was planning on selecting a hive that I didn't like the queen too much (temper), giving an early feed to build it up to a decent size (preferable double brood). That when I feel there are enought drones around, remove the queen. 7 days later, uses it for both cell starting and finishing using larva my best colony. I would leave one qcell in this hive to requeen it. (Second batch would need to use a different hive).

I had a play with an apidea late last year (unsuccessfully, darn wasps, it was a bit late in the season) and I'm in progress with building a box that can have 4 colonies taking 1/2 size national frames (thanks Mr Cushman great ideas on your site). This should resolve the mating hive problem.

I know there are other method (probably simpler) but it should be a fun thing to try out.
 

Poly Hive 

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Multiple nucs sharing a box are a great idea in theory. I found them pretty much a disaster in practice.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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I found that when I tried a three nuc box in a brood box, ie the box was compartmented, and done with inserted ply and foam on the crown board to seal them off, or in other words ever precaution I could think of taken that one queen always seemed more attractive and I ended up with one nuc.

Not the desired result.

PH
 

PaleoPerson 

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I found that when I tried a three nuc box in a brood box, ie the box was compartmented, and done with inserted ply and foam on the crown board to seal them off, or in other words ever precaution I could think of taken that one queen always seemed more attractive and I ended up with one nuc.

Not the desired result.

PH
Could this possibly be a method of rearing 'better' queens?

It would appear that the bees have a preference, is this preference beneficial or just a lottery? If the 'natural selection' results in a better quality of colony, could this then be a method of improving stock?

:confused:
 

Poly Hive 

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Or is that positive spin...LOL

Personally I found it very frustrating and annoying and moved on to mini nucs. Far more efficient and less risky and costly when they fail.

After a discussion last night in the chat I will (if I get the time) do a long post with pics on how I do my queen rearing and why I use the methods I do.

PH
 

mbc 

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I find queens often mate earlier in mininucs than conventional 5 frame nucs-if the weathers not been great this can mean not properly mated queens from mininucs.
I use cupkit cells to grafft into I find the cages handy
 

Poly Hive 

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I have to disagree mbc.

Yes queens will mate faster in Mini Nucs, one of the principle points of using them, but bad weather will create poor matings for all queens whether in Minis, or standard nucs or full blown colonies.

However AMM strains tend to mate successfully in far worse weather than the yellow strains.

PH
 

beebreeder 

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Hi Lozza
I have bought bits and pieces from the jz bz range late last year, if macros cannot help i will dig out her contact details and PM them to you as she is not on the internet
kev
 

bobandbec 

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You could always try Bee Equipped at Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
Just type Bee Equipped into Google.
I've used them and they are very good.

By the way I have a National BB split into three times three for queen rearing.
It has always worked OK for me as have the BB's I have split into two times five. But I still prefer the Mini's for getting the queen mated then I move onto the split BB's for room to lay and as a "holding area".

Peter
 

mbc 

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I have to disagree mbc.

Yes queens will mate faster in Mini Nucs, one of the principle points of using them, but bad weather will create poor matings for all queens whether in Minis, or standard nucs or full blown colonies.

However AMM strains tend to mate successfully in far worse weather than the yellow strains.

PH
I think the reason I get more duffers from mini nucs is that the lack of resources in mini nucs causes them to 'send' out the virgins earlier whatever the weather, whereas in a good sized nuc they can afford to hang on a bit longer for some decent weather. I'm way out west and havent had much consistently good mating weather since 06
I only do near natives so have nothing to compare the different strains
 

mbc 

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Hi bobandbec/Peter
By the way I have a National BB split into three times three for queen rearing.
It has always worked OK for me as have the BB's I have split into two times five. But I still prefer the Mini's for getting the queen mated then I move onto the split BB's for room to lay and as a "holding area".

3 x 3 = 9 . From one national bb?!! surely not . Please elaborate

All the best
mbc
 

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