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Author Topic: Breeding queens to cage rather than put the cells in a nuc  (Read 1550 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: March 05, 2010, 04:04:50 AM »

Hey Everybody,

I'm kinda new to the world of beekeeping - i had three hives about fifteen years ago and they were successful but i was a young guy then and, well you know what teenagers attention spans are like. Needless to say my hives swarmed and died out... now i'm older and supposedly wiser and i want to get back in to it again with some Kangaroo Island Ligurians (just in case you're wondering i'm in Australia). So i have a question about queen breeding for cageing...

I undertsand the principle of breeding queens to make nuc hives or to re-queen... set up a nuc hive, graft some larvae in to queen cups, pu the grafted cups back in to the hive from which the brood came for a day or so, move them to the nuc that has no queen, put some workers, brood, honey etc in there. Then, close to hatching time, take the extra cells and put them in other queenless nucs and leave one in the original queenless nuc (if i have that wrong please let me know).

BUT, what about when you're breeding queens to cage? I mean if the timing is wrong one will come out and destroy the others - so how do they do it? Is it all about the timing? or is there some special technique?
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 07:22:04 AM »

Is it all about the timing? or is there some special technique?

Pretty much timing,  or you can put the cells in roller cages before they hatch.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 05:28:04 PM »

So much the same as removing to put them in a nuc but rather than a nuc you put the cells in a special chamber so that the queen can't escape to kill the other queens? or do you remove the cell from the hive all together close to hatching and then store it under controlled conditions till hatching? would artificial insemination be the only way to be able to sell a mated queen? or would you set up a small nuc and use it as a nursery to allow her to hatch, mate, then catch her and cage her? then start the process over again with the now queenless nuc
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 07:25:57 AM »

Ozbuzz,
Now your on the right track. I had hesitated when you first asked about "raising queens to cage".

Although some do purchase virgin queens, the vast majority of queens are raised, mated, and sold as previous verified laying queens. The way to do this, is have a nuc for every queen, get them mated, then cage, sell, ship, etc.

The haircage roller to me is for last minute emergencies. When time is short and I can not get all my cells into nucs before they possibly start hatching. If they do, and as you questioned earlier, they will kill each other off till you only have one left.  I think having the queen cells in contact with bees during the whole process, provides and develops the best queens. So the goal is to time everything out so each queen is raised, and placed in individual nucs, without such things as roller cages, and incubators. Of course incubators and such as needed if you were doing A/I-A/A. But for the open natural mating, it is best to have each queen cell in contact with bees, open in the nuc she will be laying, and let the bees do what they have been doing for a long time.

If you graft and produce 25 queen cells, then you should have that many nucs/hives for them to go in.

A/I is a possibility if you wanted to go that route. But it is usually used in situation of raising breeder queens, controls research and genetic isolation, etc. It comes with an increase in cost of production, and also increased risks and damage to queens. For what you sound you want to do, plan on having mating nucs for each queen.
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