Cloake Board Method

Morning: This morning Mary and I want separate directions. She took care of bank deposits and  customer follow-ups and I went to our glass supplier and picked up $1,300 worth of glassware and caps. Here is what our four-wheel drive looked liked when I got home.

Afternoon: This afternoon we began moving our summer mating Nuc hives over to winter Nucs so we can begin preparing them for the winter as four frame and ten frame winter Nucs. We hope to prepare (70) winter Nucs – Right now we are running 150 hives and we are aiming to up our total to 200 hives by Spring 2011. By the end of October we will be wrapping all our winter Nucs with 30 Felt roofing paper and adding custom foam inner covers and topping off each pair of hives with a winter cover.

Cloak Board Method Of Queen Rearing

I wanted to pass on to you the grafting schedule we developed after reading Sue Cobey’s article which was published in the American Bee Journal in April 2005. We have been using this schedule for the last 5 years.

Day 1 – Breeder Hive: Confine Queen in breeder hive

Day 2 – Breeder Hive: Take Queen out of confinement in breeder hive

Day 3- Cell Builder: Put in JzBz to be polished. Confine Q to the bottom. Add Cloak Board without the slide. Bring up open brood frames, nector, pollen, foundation and add empty feeder to the top brood super above the Cloak Board. Add pollen patties to the top. Pivot the entire cell builder 180 degrees and then close the the new back entrance in the lower brood super. Then add sugar syrup to the top feeder

Day 4- Cell Builder: Close the Cloak Board slide and then open the back entrance. Remove young brood from the top and add to the nursery colony. Add sugar syrup to the top feeder. The eggs hatch this day in the Breeder Hive.

Day 5- Graft and transfer to the Cell Builder

Day 6 – Remove the Cloak Board slide and close the rear entrance

Day 9 – The queen cells are sealed. You can leave then in the Cell Builder or you can move them to nursery incubator colony if you like- simply place them above a queen excluder surrounded by young brood.

Day 14- prepare colonies for the new virgin queens

Day 15 – Remove queen cells from the Cell Builder or the nursery incubator colony.

Day 15 to 18- Virgins emerge

Day 21 – Queens begin there mating flights

Day 28- Queens begin laying

End of Day

Around 7:00pm this evening I was finishing up the feeding of our Winter and Mating Nucs in our breeding yard when a young whitetale deer exploded from the woods 10 feet away from me and ran through the yard – like an Olympic runner – and then as fast as this began the deer reentered the woods at the far end of the yard.