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Author Topic: Queen Rearing vs. Emergency Queens  (Read 1736 times)

Offline homer

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Queen Rearing vs. Emergency Queens
« on: June 28, 2009, 11:33:04 PM »
I hope that I'm not opening up a can of worms here, but here goes anyway:

All the reading and understanding that I'm trying to do on queen rearing leaves me with lots of questions.  I know that there are lots of sources of information so I try to use up everything that I can find to get the most broad understanding of what's going on.  I hear over and over again that emergency queens aren't as good as swarm queens or queens reared properly, and I understand the concept.  The bees are forced to use larvae that weren't placed where they would normally build queen cells so it leaves more work for the bees to accomplish what they are trying to do.  I realize that bees will likely do a better job of this with new comb because they can tear down the walls of the opposing cells to properly make the queen cell.

Enter the Beekeeper.  I understand the need for queen rearing as that is why I am doing my best to learn the art of it right now.  But as far as timing and placement and everything go for raising up new queens, aren't we forcing them to do the same thing in rearing queens as they have to do in an emergency situation?  We make them queenless and they realize this at some point.  Then we introduce cells to them and the instinct to hurry and make queens kicks in.  Whether we graft or let the queen lay in cell cups, isn't there a matter of timing that we, the beekeepers, could get wrong, and force the bees to mess things up, just like they may be able to do with emergency queens?  It seems that is all that queen rearing is... Forcing a hive to raise emergency queens in abundance.

Now I also realize that when we rear queens we try to reduce the number of eggs and open brood that they bees have to worry about so they focus solely on the work of raising those queens.  I also realize that conditions may not be just right in emergency situations due to drone pool and nectar flow and size of the hive.  Maybe all these things are really the only differences.  And maybe that's all tat queen rearing is.. forcing hives to raise emergency queens in the most favorable circumstances that we can possibly give them. 

I'm not at all knocking the art of queen rearing here, just looking for more insight into it.   As a matter of fact I'm quite looking forward to learning how to do it and do it well.  And for those who have helped me in answering question already, I do appreciate it.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Queen Rearing vs. Emergency Queens
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 03:13:20 PM »
G.M. Doolittle (the first to document and write about grafting for queen production on any scale) was of the opinion (as were many other beekeepers) that swarm queens were the best.  Of course they are reared under the best of circumstances.  Well fed, because a hive preparing to swarm is doing well.  Planned, so we know the eggs were chosen and cared for from the beginning.  However, if we set up similar situations by making sure the hive is well fed, the larvae are the right age, the bees are motivated, we should be able to get as good quality queens as swarm queens.  G.M. Doolittle's book and Jay Smith's Better Queens go into a lot of depth on why their methods are just as good as swarm queens.

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Offline TwT

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Re: Queen Rearing vs. Emergency Queens
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 06:57:45 PM »
ok look at it this way, 4 years ago I went through about 7-8 hives, I found the queens and was pulling frames with young larva and eggs (plus bee's), I wanted to just raise from the eggs so they were drawn lines in the wax with my hive tool in semi-circles around the eggs so I could cut out any cells I didn't want, this was during the flow, I went in the hives 3 days later and destroyed and cells that wasn't from eggs (I only did this in one nuc, just experimenting) , out of the 10 nuc's I built taking 3 frames from each hive that hive had the best preforming queen, she was well fed and turned out the best of the rest, now a few other was good but a few nuc's kelp requeening themselves until I put a grafted queen cell in them, I tried this another time during the dearth, only 1 made it out of 7 and I didn't choose the egg section to raise from in any, you choose. reading from this site and another helped me come up with the plan because I read the same as you, really Robo and Finsky  and Dwight Porter (Redtractor1) was the one's that change my mine and thats why I tried this. I am hardheaded and had to see it for myself, always do  ;)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 07:35:02 PM by TwT »

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