No success with grafting

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WestyMcFinn
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No success with grafting

Postby WestyMcFinn » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:54 pm

I recently tried grafting and ha no success. They just weren't interested in building cells. I feel like I gave them resources as far as pollen and honey goes. My feeling is they were not just above the main cluster? The bees are in two deeps and consistently have 8-10 frames of brood, most in the bottom of two deeps. I definately struggled at first with the grafting but I felt I got better as I went. I tried twice one week apart.

I have since changed strategies to using a snelgrove board . I put 5 frames of brood and bees making sure to have eggs and young larvae on 2-3, 3 -4 frames uncapped honey in the box above the board on Friday. So from the bottom it is deep, queen excluder, med super(empty), snelgrove board, queenless deep.

I was roughly following the instructions found here - http://immenfreunde.de/docs/Snelgrove_engl.pdf

However, since I am not intending this technique for swarm control, I only moved about half the brood up. I also did not cut any cells to make building easier, I tried to add brood frames that were not completely built.

This was set up on Friday afternoon. I checked today and there are no queen cells being built. I added another frame of brood with young larvae and placed a second super in between, based on another google search which brought me to a forum conversation about this method.

If this doesn't work, I am inclined to try grafting again and smooth them down to one box? Reverse boxes? I would like to keep them in two so they still have room for honey and pollen.

Anyways,I hope I have included enough info. Is there something I am missing?

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Solomon
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Re: No success with grafting

Postby Solomon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:52 pm

I think you are missing some information, or something. Not sure. Let's find out.

When you grafted, what was your setup? It sounds like you used a Ben Harden method-like setup, but you didn't mention a queen excluder. In the best grafted cup, bees will build no cell if there is a queen present. The Ben Harden method absolutely requires a queen excluder. The queen can not touch the cell bar frame or cups or the bees will not be incline to make any queens.

Similarly, even if you separate a frame of larvae from the brood nest, the workers will not draw new queen cells on it unless the hive is queenless. The queen's pheromone is still present on the frame and in the hive. The only reason a queenright method like Ben Harden works, is because there is no queen pheromone on the cell bar frame and so the bees are free to treat the cups like supersedure cells.

Am I making sense?
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

WestyMcFinn
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:27 am
Location: Massachussetts

Re: No success with grafting

Postby WestyMcFinn » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:44 pm

Sorry, I did use a queen excluder in both cases. Yes I was attempting the Ben Harden method. Another BK had suggested that the main brood nest /bulk of bees were in the bottom box and just wouldn't travel through the second deep to get to the cell bar frame. Brand new so not touched by queen. If I try again I thought I would reverse the brood boxes.

I plan to check again tommorrow or the next day depending on weather. If no cells are started I will attempt to graft again.

I listened to the latest podcast and cutting cells out of the comb does sound wasteful. Especially since I only want 3-4 nucs.

Thanks for all you have done to gather the TF community together.

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Solomon
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Re: No success with grafting

Postby Solomon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:47 pm

It's important with the Ben Harden method (ask me why I know it's important) to have open brood, as well as hatching brood and pollen directly adjacent to the queen cups. Where there is open brood, there are nurse bees. It's very important to have the required stuff there or the workers just won't bother.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

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Solomon
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Re: No success with grafting

Postby Solomon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:49 pm

Oh, I see another problem.

You should only have one deep for a brood nest at the bottom. Any other brood should be in your cell builder box, or above it. With the frame spacers at the sides, this channels the traffic up and down past your queen cups, giving them more attention.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

WestyMcFinn
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:27 am
Location: Massachussetts

Re: No success with grafting

Postby WestyMcFinn » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:44 pm

Ok. If I don't see any cells tommorrow, I will give it another shot, using one brood box and some open brood.

Thank you!


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