VSH Pol-Line Queen


Blog Using the Nicot

Things to think about

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 7:50 AM

If you have your nicot system take a good look at the cell size if you guage it to natural built combs you will notice the cell in the Nicot System are bit Bigger than natural built worker cells but smaller than a drone cells

During early spring and early fall this may cause you problems.


It is The bees nature for the Queen to lay in drone cells (Nicot cells are bigger than worker natural built cells ) so they will a lot of the time lay in your nicot cells drone eggs this will not work . They have done this to me in the spring and fall. Resulting in very nice built large long Queen cell ONLY to be 50% TOREN Down about the 7th or 8th day and the rest toren down a day or two before HATCHING.

How to fix this.....

Find a straw that will fit kind of snug place your cell cups in the back place on the back cover then insert the straw and get you a sharp pencil or a ink pen or a fine tip marker then mark around the straw then with something sharp, like a crate knife, scissors CUT BELOW your mark this way when you place the cut sleeve into the oversize cell it will be flush or a bit below the top edge of the cell opening. Do all 110 Cells.


 12-1-2011 Entry

Once you have placed your straw sleeve in the 110 cells you are ready to place it into a hive or Nuc to let them smooth the cut edges on the straw sleeve's ( Place on outer edge of last frame of brood to let them work it up 2-3 days before you will place queen into it ) so your breeder queen will not be hurt by the rought edges.

Now you will need to fix you a frame to place your nicot grid into ( I like to be able to remove it when I go to take out the cups that have the tiny larva in them.)

from just hatched to under 24 hrs old

So I would build a frame work, so the grid fits snugly into the space so it will come out with a little push.  ( I have found this makes working the grid eaiser )

 Deep Frame 9 1/8"

  Medium Frame 6 1/4"


1/2 Length Deep 9 1/8" Frame


It would be a good idea to paint the top bar of the Nicot Frame for easy Identification a color of it's own.

If you don't have the time or tools to build a frame work to place your Nicot system into just CUT out a spot in the center of a frame already with built comb.

Now after the Nicot has been in the Hive with the Breeder Queen  for 2-3 days it is time to place your Breeder Queen into the Grid and place the front excluder on.

( You need to have a breeder hive that is fairly crowded with bees )


Make sure when you place Queen in the grid, place frame with the Grid in it,between frames of brood, right across from grid front make sure there is a frame with some eggs and just hatching eggs ( very tiny larva ) this will insure there is nurse bees that can come in contact with the laying queen she needs to be fed Royal Jelly for the queens ovaries to produce Eggs.

After the Queen has been in the Grid For 12-24 Hours I check to see if she has laid into the cells ( if not laid in, recheck in 20-24 Hours ) keep rechecking until you find eggs in several cell's, enought for transfer, at the time of day you check and find eggs count this day as day 1 the flowing day at same time of day,(after eggs are found at the end of day 2 get your cell builder ready ) THEN on the 3rd day at same time see if there is any Small larva for transfer if no larva still just eggs,,,,, ReCheck in 12 Hours you want very young larva 12 hours is a very good age to transfer and place in a cell builder    ( LEAVE Queen in Grid )     if you take queen out a lot of the time the eggs will disappear or they will dry up and be no good but if the queen is left in the grid the worker bees usally always take care of the laid eggs.

Some Queens lay differently, some have eggs the next day after placeing the queen in grid others may be a day or two before laying in the cells of the grid.

The Queen now has laid in the grid and the eggs have hatched, you are now ready to harvest the cell cups with very young larva under 24 Hours old is ok, just hatched or under 12 hours would be best.

You have gotten your cell builder ready and have fed a little feed about a quart in a 24 hour period.

Take your cell grid out of the frame work, you have built.

Wet a towel and wring out extra water place on table place nicot face down on wet towel,take off back panel easy don't lift the side very high until you have both sides lose you might break the nubs that the panel fastens too.               Square Hole ( 3/4" x 1" ) Below Plug to keep queen from getting out use a piece of paper shop towel works good.                              

After pulling Cell cups with proper aged larva it will lot of the  time look like this

So REARRANGE place the cups with the Eggs to the inside edge so it will leave the center open for placeing in a batch of new cell cups in the center of GRID or close to it. If there is some extra larva than what you need for the days Transfer leave them, this will help keep the nurse bees in the grid    ( just don't let them spin there cocoon pull them out in a few days ) and replace with new cell cups

Now Place new Cell cups over the nubs then place back panel on and place into the frame.

At this time if you are going to need more Queen cells built, get you another CELL BUILDER READY then check 12 hours later for more hatch eggs    ( these will be on the outer edges of the new cell cups you put in the center )     if none recheck in 12 more hours. This is a lot of checkin but you want very young larva for transfer.

For Your Cell Builder For your First few time I would Recomend a deep 5 Frame Deep Nuc Box that Hold's the 9 1/8" Frame To Start and Finish the Queen Cell Cups

You Need a Nuc that is Crowded with lot of young nurse bees

Arrange Frames in nuc

#1 Mostly Empty frame with some Pollen in the frame

#2 Sealed Brood

#3 Eggs and very young Larva.  ( mark this frame and take out 12-24 hours before you pace your graft cell bar in, shake off nurse bees back into the nuc. ( Place Graft Cell Bar Frame in the #3 spot )

#4 Frame of Fresh Gathered Pollen ( As you are checking your hive's collect you a few frames of pollen and place them in a plastic bag and place them in freezer to use as you need them )

#5 Another Frame of Sealed Brood 





Feed    1 or 2 days before and after you place in your Grafts, Feed until they seal the Queen Cells, if the days are good and necter is coming in good feed every other day.

 I like using the Entrance Feeder ( you have control of how much they get so they don't fill every thing with feed and cover your pollen frames so they can't use the pollen out of them 


 Here is Grafting Chart   Sheet Pass is graft  for gray squares grafting