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Author Topic: MAYDAY MAYDAY advice needed.  (Read 5789 times)
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2008, 08:49:44 AM »

Those are supercedure cells not swarm cells. The high position on the frame is what makes the difference.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2008, 10:12:09 AM »

But if it is the only one capped then perhaps they might not get another one going without another frame of brood.
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2008, 10:34:56 AM »

Mick, this is good, the numbers in this weak colony have increased, they are raising a queen.  There is some wonderful hope for this colony, it will take time to build up, but yea!!!!  I am so happy for the advice that you received from your forum friends, and you listened......Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2008, 04:12:42 PM »

[...with my experience and luck, it is really beyond me.]

I don't think so, you should give yourself more credit.
Suck up a little courage and give it try, you will pleasantly surprise yourself with the outcome.
(and you will be doing right by your bees!)

[...small queen cells like that usually mean a small not well feed larva...]

I agree, the first capped queen cell does look rather small.
This is why I would cage over all and compare after all emerge.

[...if it is the only one...]

And this is also why I would cage over all of them.

-------
Some prefer to cutout the cell, I think it just increases the chances of knocking the queen off the royal jelly and killing the larvae. If you just make a wire screen box (#8 wire) to cover the cells, all that would emerge, will, but you will also have a choice. This could be done with window screen, but it must be securely pinned to the comb to prevent her escape.
-------
This is the physical evidence that creates the question 'does natural really know best?'

There has and likely will continue to be discussions if bees raise good queens under supercedure/emergency conditions.  And I know some will say that bees will not select larvae that are too young to be a queen.  And what that is probably true, it does not mean that they are not selecting the best larvae to be queen, but merely the oldest larvae that can still be a queen (regardless of quality).  I believe that natures thought is that ANY queen is better than none, and that even poor queens can be superceded later, its just more important to have some egg laying machine in the hive than not.

My experience is that queens that emerge later are always better quality (and probably feed royal jelly longer) than the first to emerge (provided incubation conditions are kept ideal (no drops in temperature or cell mis-handling)).  Royal jelly is the key in good ovarian development, and better ovaries make for better laying queens.

So while nature may cover her butt the soonest with an early queen, it does not mean that she does best by waiting for the best quality queen to emerge.

-Jeff
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2008, 04:26:46 PM »

In this case, on this frame, they may not have had a lot of choices. Perhaps they picked the best that was available. Then as you said, get a laying queen so that later you have more to choose from and more time to prepare. Perhaps supercedure queens are better quality than emergency queens.
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2008, 05:40:15 PM »

Thanks for the input everyone. Believe it or not, the enclosed queen cell is actually larger than the other two.

I kinda like JPs advice best, sitting back and having a cold one I can cope with!
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2008, 06:00:20 PM »

But if it is the only one capped then perhaps they might not get another one going without another frame of brood.

there are 2 more going on that frame already and that one on the right is a bigger cell already and its not capped yet, when that one is capped that will be a lot better queen.
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2008, 08:08:13 PM »

"I must confess that I like the appearance of large and handsome queens; but they do not as a rule prove to be the most prolific or profitable. Queens of medium size are generally the best. They have proven so with me. Good queens are those that keep their hives well filled with bees. The color or size has no effect on their fertility." -- Henry Alley, THE BEE-KEEPER'S HANDY BOOK I

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesalleymethod.htm#large_versus_small_queens

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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2008, 03:40:26 AM »

[The color or size has no effect on their fertility." -- Henry Alley, THE BEE-KEEPER'S HANDY BOOK I ]

Henry Alley was an authority on beekeeping some hundred years ago when less was understood about queen rearing and bee nutrition and biology. I would like to think that we have made some advices in our understanding that allows us to truly rear better queens, not merely guess at what we think observe.

Here is a bit more contemporary treatment of specifically the queen rearing subject:

"Queen rearing requires attention to detail. Queens vary greatly in size and weight; the greater the weight, the more ovarioles a queen has and the more eggs she will lay. The size of the queen is a direct result of how well she is fed and cared for during her growth and development, especially during the larval stage." - Rearing Queen Honey Bees by Dr. Roger Morse

Keep in mind, a queen will fatten as her ovarioles go into production and fill with eggs.  This fattening will directly correlate to quality and quantity of pollen and nectar flow at the time she is fed.   

This is also the reason that swarm queens can pass through queen excluders. In swarm condition, her egg production minimizes so that she will weigh less to fly further. That in turn minimizes her abdominal size, allowing her to pass through an excluder. 
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2008, 08:32:39 AM »

its just like I have learn when raising queens and using of cell protectors to protect the cell from being cleaned out after the the queen hatches, when a new queen hatches and has no royal jelly left in her cell she wasn't well fed (pinch her if she is smallish), when after the queen hatches and there is still royal jelly in the cell then you have a well fed queen, now this no way means you cant get a good queen if her cell is dry but doing it this way has produced better queens and has cut down on early superceding and queen failures, seems these queens that are well feed live longer and aren't replaced as nearly soon, but we all have different standards and this is the way I like to do it when raising queens and making sure I keep the queens that I think have a better chance of being a queen someone would want. in the last 2-4 years I have read on these forums of people talking about getting a new queen and the bee's replacing her the first year, you here people blaming it on drones and it could be but I think its also has a lot to do with the way queens are raised and selected now days, to a lot its all about the dollar and when you turn out more queens you make more money, not about selection that much any more, a few still check and make sure she is laying good patterns before selling and some if they see eggs then she is shipped out. it business, Dwight Porter (Redtractor) show me the above tip and it works.
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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2008, 10:26:34 AM »

This has been an interesting and informative topic. I spoke with Mick last night in ventrillo and he has just started keeping bees and likes the wait and see idea, at this point. He mentioned that the healthy hive is HOT! We talked about requeening, possibly even splitting the large hive and making two hives from one, but Mick says the hive albeit HOT, is producing honey at a pace he is comfortable with. For now he will work them with full protection and a good bit of smoke. John, aka our Beemaster was also on ventrillo and was concerned that the smaller, queenless nuc, making a queen, was getting aggressive genetics from the HOT hive, because the offsping they are rearing up to requeen from, came directly from the HOT hive. Mick had to run on after that. BTW, MIck's temps are like 90% humidity and hot, he is in mid summer.


Sincerely, JP
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 01:19:09 PM by JP » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2008, 11:05:12 AM »

And we continue to keep breeding for bigger queens.  If I were to assume health based on size, then a Pigmy is sick and a Masai is healthy... or in horse terms a pony is sick and a Clydesdale is healthy.  Of course, this is not necessarily true.
 
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« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2008, 01:55:53 PM »

[...John...was concerned that the ....queenless nuc...was getting aggressive genetics from the HOT hive...]

While this is a valid concern, because you know that half of the genetics (from the queen) have demonstrated the disposition, one still has to consider the workers get half their genetics from the drone too. The offspring's disposition still relies a great deal on the mating drone(s).

We addressed this concept in another thread, it is sort of the the glass is half-full, half-empty idea.
Having one 'hot' hive, makes folks look for more (even if it isn't relative to the conditions (dearth/flow/etc).
One should be cautious in evaluating environmental conditions when hives appear 'hot'.

I'm not considered hostile if I shoot someone breaking into my house robbing me.
But if I shoot my neighbor walking outside just because he is there - that's another issue altogether.

It doesn't necessarily mean I am 'wired' genetically to kill.
Nor does it mean that my kids will grow up killers either.

- You know those Aussies play a lot of football. And leather has a smell the bees don't much care for....
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2008, 02:32:14 PM »

[And we continue to keep breeding for bigger queens.]

I think the idea is that we are breeding for healthier and more productive queens.

[If I were to assume health based on size...]

Given the education I know you have, if you have any respect for the person that I quoted then you should.
 
[...assume health based on size, then a Pigmy is sick...]

OK, now you are just being over dramatic.  Lets try to stay within species we are talking about.
Everyone understands that horses/ponies have large variations in size for different pedigree races.
There isn't such a pronounced difference in our common honey bee races.
Certainly not a difference that warrants us measuring emerged queens to meet a standard of perfection.

There have been and will continue to be plenty of people that argue that they had this tiny queen that out laid everything they ever owned (probably for the first year, but it didn't likely sustain). 
A queen without longevity doesn't qualify as being healthy, as it breeds weak survivorship.

I am a beehaver, not a beekeeper, if I evaluate my queen as being just good enough to survive today without any regard for the survivorship of the hive tomorrow and beyond. Selecting undersized queens with an unpredictable future of fertility and productivity seems foolish and careless, especially when one has the opportunity to provide the hive with a quality queen.

I respect that there is the opportunity for mis-matings and other uncontrollable conditions. 
But what I am referring to here are the conditions that we can control by quality selection.

I agree that queens should also be judged by the residual royal jelly in the cell after emergence.
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« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2008, 05:25:47 PM »

Arnt you guys talking about some queen cells that where induced through EMERGENCY superseder ANYWAY-not like they are something you where trying to maintain as a clean line -pot luck is pot luck and remember he is having FUN with the whole experience- remember fun grin cool RDY-B
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« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2008, 05:54:18 PM »

Arnt you guys talking about some queen cells that where induced through EMERGENCY superseder ANYWAY-not like they are something you where trying to maintain as a clean line -pot luck is pot luck and remember he is having FUN with the whole experience- remember fun grin cool RDY-B

Yes, its low key beekeeping, he is having fun and learning. BTW, right now, Geoff, Mick, Ken, Josh, Cwbees ( Chris) and John and I are all on ventrillo now.

......JP
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2008, 06:48:16 AM »

>Given the education I know you have, if you have any respect for the person that I quoted then you should.

Certainly.  And if I were to pick (in any species) the largest ones, odds are the largest ones where well fed.  But if I continue to pick the largest ones then I'm also breeding for the largest ones.  They may be large because they are well fed or they may be large because they are genetically larger.  That's the point.  I probably will get a slight advantage of ovarioles in a larger queen in the long run.  But I will also be breeding for large queens.  Many a small queen is as good or better than a given large queen.
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2008, 09:48:12 AM »

They may be large because they are well fed or they may be large because they are genetically larger.  That's the point. 


now that is just crazy talk, a larva want be big if it doesn't have the food to eat to grow to that size, I wasnt saying every small queen or dry cell would be bad queens but odds are if you have a big healthy queen you will have a better queen , genetically large queens would be to feed all queens the same and pick the largest and beside they will only be big enough to lay in a cell, any bigger they cant fit or lay in a cell and the hive will die, odds are that almost all well fed queens will be large and a very very small % of queens would be small if well fed. we are talking about well fed and well cared for queens will be nice large queens almost every time, healthier and last longer before being replaced. if you dont agree with me thats ok, you have your own thing and I am happy for you if it works for you but the way I been talking is the way I want to raise queens and select what I think is the better queens, it aint the first time someone didn't agree with me Wink 
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2008, 10:21:56 AM »

Folks,

We aren't fighting, or have any beef with each other personally.
We're having an educated discussion and airing our beliefs and experiences.

I know on this side of the table I have a great deal of respect for MB experiences and education.
Respect, does not mean that I have to agree with everything that he puts forward, but I understand his line of thinking. In trying to be a better beekeeper, one must keep an open mind and consider points that we never thought we might accept as true. Sometimes this takes effort to re-hash an old topic and come to a new conclusion - an evolution in our thinking.

In many aspects of beekeeping, there are areas that are and will be out for debate for a long time.
Some things are bigger than man can reasonably wrap his mind around, other areas won't have the funding to research it.

With those undetermined areas, "...man will engage in reasonable debate until he is comfortable that he has established his belief and that it is root in a sound foundation of reasonable facts." [Charles S. Stubborn]
(OK, I just made that last quote up as a joke, its really my thinking.)

I realize that this exchange has probably risen beyond the scope of original thread. But the point of this board is for us to explore what comes next if we did something different (education). And our choice to do something is dependent upon building on our existing knowledge of the subject.

You will most likely hear from Mick what happens next in his story. But it helps if others with different experiences explain the road untraveled so that others may avoid the potholes and yet benefit from the diversity.

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MB,

I think we agree on almost all points about health.
There isn't much to be debated there.

You are concerned about eliminating the genetics of small queens that are normal, healthy, and well mated. Respectable, but I don't see that as an area that is threatened any time soon.

I think that healthy size is encoded in bee genetics pretty solidly.
And my experience has seen reasonable variation in worker/queen sizes between hives.
A natural blend or variation should maintain all viability of all sizes for a long time.

Man has screwed up some things pretty bad for this planet.
But I don't see us deliberately changing queen size for the long haul.
I don't the real benefit (or profits) to do such.

We might get crazy and splice in some fish genes to make them work in colder weather or rain.  rolleyes
Or maybe some sort of "Glow Worm" genetics to find the queen easier.  rolleyes
But I think natural queen size is pretty safe.

I'm just looking for the healthiest queen, and at this time, the only way that I can predict longevity is judge by size. Perhaps later man will devise a better way (maybe ultrasound/MRI prices will drop?).

Best to all in the up coming season.
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« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2008, 10:23:56 AM »

Many a small queen is as good or better than a given large queen.


now dont get me wrong, when I graft and put in cell builders I have feeders on even if there is a flow going on just to make sure she has every chance to be a well fed queen, now when in a cell builder I will give her the chance to prove herself unless the cell was dry and she is small, if she is small and still has royal jelly in her cell she has a chance to prove herself, but almost every time I end up with large queens because they was well fed, and not just from one hive but from every hive, even if I grafted from a swarm I just got they will be large queens unless not fed well.. thats the point I am talking about and I dont think genetics has no play in it....

I realize that this exchange has probably risen beyond the scope of original thread.

yup guest it kinda got off topic when I said to cut out the small cell and let the bigger cell take over the hive, I still say that.. Smiley
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