Sunday, May 22, 2016

What Is Going On In Maria's Apiary: Starting Queen Cells With the Cut Cell Method

Putting together the cell starter
Queen cells candidates
Cell bar ready to go
The hives are building up nicely despite the chilly nights and constant rain. Most of the hives are filling out their first super. No signs of swarming so far except for one hive (there is always that one hive).

We're about 3 weeks from the flow here. I like to do a cut-down split right before the flow. That way, I can increase my hive count without sacrificing production. I like to do raise my own queens for going into winter, so now is a good time to start my queen cells.

Since I only need a small batch, I am using the cut cell method with a small variation - while doing my inspections, I noticed a freshly laid comb from the queen I want to propagate from. So, I just needed to set up the cell bar and the cell starter.

I was lucky and spotted the queen on the first frame I shook into the cell starter. With the queen located, setting up the cell finisher is going to be a breeze. And so it begins :D