A Cloak board is a piece of beekeeping equipment use to aid in the rearing of queen bees.
The Cloak board invent by New Zealander Henry Cloak, and consists of a queen excluder mounted to a wooden frame. A slot in the wooden frame allows a “temporary” floor (solid divider) to be inserted.
Cloaking is a method of queen rearing.
The Cloak method of queen rearing consists of a series of stages that divide a colony into a queenright lower colony and a queenless upper colony in order to improve acceptance of grafted larvae or to facilitate the natural formation of queen cells.
The first stage
Insertion of the Cloak board: When the queen is known to be in the lower hive body, the Cloak board places between the two hive bodies. The lower entrance to the hive is then closes and reverse so that it faces the opposite direction. Without the slide on the floor, the Cloak Board serves as an upper entrance for workers, who re-orient themselves to enter the hive through the upper entrance.
The second stage
Insert the metal divider: By inserting the divider into the Cloak board, the single functioning colony is now divided into two sections – a queen-right lower colony and a queenless upper colony. The lower entrance has been reopened, allowing bees in the queenright section of the hive to leave. When those bees return, they will only be able to enter the upper colony through the upper entrance. As a result, the upper colony has a larger population of bees.
The third stage
Cell grafts Installed: The queenless upper colony is now ready to raise queens, and the beekeeper provides candidates for new queens by inserting queen rearing bars with grafted larvae. The beekeeper will remove any emergency queen cells at this time. Stage three lasts one to two days, allowing the cells to fully accept and build up.
Rejoin colonies as a “Finisher”: Remove the slide-in-divider from the Cloak board. The queen excluder keeps the laying queen in the lower colony while the grafted queens are incubated in the combined colony. Before they hatch, the queen cells will remove and transfer to mating nucs.
After the ripe queen cells has remove, the Cloak board remove to re-establish the single united colony.
Alternatively, no grafting is used.
A cloaking board use to create queen cells on existing frames without the need for grafting. The steps are essentially the same as described above, with the following exceptions:
Cloak board queen rearing
. The Cloak board method of queen rearing is popular among hobby beekeepers because it allows you to raise queens in a controlled environment.
queens with minimal equipment and minimal disruption to the hive
Using a single hive as a donor, cell starter, and cell finisher to produce high-quality queens.
The “removable floor” enables the beekeeper to completely separate the two halves of the hive. When the floor is clean
When the excluder is removed, the workers are free to move around the hive while the queen remains trapped beneath it.
What you’ll need to start raising your own queens
In a double brood box, there is a strong colony.
A cloaking device
A framework made of grafted cell cups
- Examine the colony and locate the queen. Place her at the bottom of the box. Rearrange some of the frames in such a way that
The upper box has a lot of open brood.
- Block the bottom box’s entrance and reverse it on the hive stand.
- Insert the Cloak board and the QE without the slide. The entrance to the Cloak board should be at the front of the
hive above the original, now-sealed entrance
- Fill the upper box with 2 to 4 frames of open brood and a frame with empty cell bars.
- Reassemble the hive, align the sloping ply sheet, and leave the colony alone for 24 hours.
- Carefully open the hive.
- Remove any queen cells that have begun to grow on uncapped frames in the upper box.
- Remove the cell cup holder frame, reintroduce the bees to the colony, and perform the grafting.
- Place your graft frame in the center of the brood, which should be teeming with bees by now.
Don’t force it; instead, let it slowly and gently sink into the swarm of bees.
- Fill the feeder with more syrup.
- Reinstall the crown board and the roof.
Queen cell development
If not, you can graft again right away (go back to day 3).
- Remove the slide from the Cloak board with care. We are putting the colony at risk by removing the floorboard.
- Fill the feeder with more syrup.
- Double-check 5 days after the graft. Examine the other frames in the
Check the upper box for queen cells and make sure to destroy any that have begun.
10 days after grafting, use the grafted cells.
Notes on the Care and Maintenance of Queen Cells…
Cup. After 24 hours, the wax rim will be about 3-4 mm deep.
You don’t need to shake or brush them off; simply move them aside with your fingers to inspect the cell cups.
Suppose a virgin queen appears early. Remember to look at the other frames in the top box as well. Destroy anything
Other than your grafts, any queen cells you find
Queen of the Cloak board rearing
Queen rearing entails introducing selected larvae to a colony, whether grafted or in the natural comb. Furthermore, efforts are usually made to ensure that the colony receives syrup (or that there is a steady flow of nectar) and has an abundance of pollen so that the developing queens are well fed.
Cloaking the board
A Cloak board is a straightforward method of utilizing a single large colony to provide both a queenless cell starter and a queenright cell-raising colony. To avoid confusion in the following description, I’ll refer to the entire thing as a ‘Cloak board’ or ‘board,’ and the removable sheet as a slide.’