Author Topic: Hopkins Method  (Read 3742 times)

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Offline Dunkel

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Hopkins Method
« on: March 05, 2014, 03:21:46 pm »
I may give this a shot this spring.  Maybe before the poplar flow.

What I was thinking was when I make up some Nucs at the first part of April with bought queens. Put in some fresh foundation in the hive to replace pulled frames so I'd have some fresh wax to work with.  Then either use this frame or cut into strips for the larva.  Then again the cell punch method looks good also.  I have done the OTS cell press down with pretty good results.  Does anyone use queen right colonies for starters?  Seems like I watched a video were someone separated it into two separating it by a super or two of honey and an excluder.

I don't know exactly what I will do. I just know I will be making queens this spring.  I found last summer that I like the making queens part the most of all. Only looking for a dozen or so.  I may have enough hives this spring to work with that I like and still make honey to pay for the operation for a change.  Please spring get here soon.

Offline tecumseh

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 07:15:52 am »
the name of the method you are looking for is called the Cloake method (spellin' likely ain't exactly correct).  Sue Colbey presented this method of queen rearing back in the 70's after she observed what I think was a New Zealand beekeeper rear queen in a queen right hive.  I myself use queenless swarm boxes and not queen right hives.... I do know folks that do use this method producing literally thousands of cells each season.  Some exact process in planning and setting up the hive and in maintaining the unit is REQUIRED.

beyond the scope of your question and very much imho.... queen cells or more exactly the capacity to produce queen cells SHOULD BE the first tool anyone who wants to do the no treatment path should consider as a require beekeeper skill. 

Offline Dunkel

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 11:28:39 am »
Thanks Tec,  I am still in the planning stages as you can tell.  I may try to make up a swarm box and either try the cell punch or full frame.  I guess I can then use those bees in making up the new nucs if finished?  Hard to give up those producers to make more bees if unsure of the success.  Always glad when I do see those queen cells though.  Then rushing to find bees to make up more nucs. :) OTC method, off the cuff.   Not a problem so much in June when I can tell what's lagging and not going to make a surplus.   They probably need requeening anyway.  Just trying to do it earlier when everything is so much easier.

 Hard to make up nucs in July here unless I have a surplus of pulled comb. They struggle to pull out comb even if well fed, they almost just as soon swarm.  Splits work ok but I sometimes have to give a pulled super and try to get by on a deep and medium configuration. I'm finding what I can't do, just need to fine tune what I can do :)

Queens are one of the biggest areas I need to improve on, using the genetics I have found that meets my management style would help.  Getting there but need to make the jump to making up several queens and finding out how to get nucs through the winter in my area. Took a while to figure out how to get thirty full size through the winter. At the same time make and sale enough honey to finally break even. 

Offline tecumseh

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 06:27:48 am »
queen rear (as a process) really doesn't require that much time.  for most folks starting out one or two batch when you think the maturity of drones in your area is maximized should involve little risk.  queen rearing always seem to be the easiest when it scheduled around a flow.

in making up nucs I would tend to find something that was a bit fresher.  old bees in a nuc just never seems to work out that well for me.  I would rather recombine and then divide later simply because I THINK????? there is a better demographic distribution of ages when you do make up the nuc.  old bees also have the reputation (meaning I really haven't notice this myself but reputable folks tell me this is true) of chewing and destroying new queen cells. 


Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 07:27:38 pm »
Just mentioned punching on Barbarians thread..
 
   The old fellow I used to aid caring for his bees did things all wrong, but they worked.. of course, I didn't know they were all wrong until I started reading about the methods being described today.
   Reading about queen rearing tends to confuse the heck out of me...   Unless your trying to make a LOT of queens it doesn't have to be hard.

   All we ever used was a strong Nuc, freshly made. Two or three frames of capped brood, no young larvae or eggs etc..  with the bees on them. A frame of honey and pollen, and an extra shake of nurse bees.  Any field bees will fly back to their own hive, so this needs to be fed.  I would make up the nuc in the evening and screen it before I left, put syrup on it and leave it be until morning.  Punch the cells, form the base, dip in melted wax and set into the cell cups.. He had wooden cups he made himself, I have JZBZ cups.   Carry the frame out to the nuc and slide it in. That evening unscreen it, and come back in eleven days. Make up Nuc's using the old queens in the morning, and that afternoon put the cells from the cell bar into the hives that were queenless, leaving the bees that made them up one of the cells..   If anything goes wrong the old queen could be reunited with the colony to wait and try another day.
    Everyone says this won't work, not enough bees, not enough royal jelly etc..   Having seen it work, and work very well, I can only assume them other folks are trying to make too many cells. Eight is good, ten will work, I wouldn't try more than that on the nuc. Make up a ten frame box filled with capped brood and nurse bees and I would bet you could easily make 20 cells, but have never tried it.
   No starter colony, no finisher colony, no worries about all that other stuff until you decide you want to go commercial.


   
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Offline mdunc

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 11:33:56 pm »
 :nice: I'm gonna give it a try this year LazyBkpr.

Offline blueblood

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Re: Hopkins Method
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 08:11:12 am »
I nearly started a new thread on Hopkins.  But, as a matter of habit, I always try to search before creating a repeat topic.  Here is a good article on this method.  And, I didn't realize it was also referred to as the Cloake Metod.

http://www.countryrubes.com/images/How_to_raise_a_queen_bee_by_the_Hopkins_method_8_17_10.pdf

*This thread should be combined with this one: http://www.worldwidebeekeeping.com/forum/index.php/topic,95.msg469.html#msg469