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Author Topic: sometimes things have to be explained like I am 2  (Read 3999 times)
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 10:53:29 AM »

Hey, Robo, send me all yours. I like emergency queens when selected by the beek. Good supplies, good flow, strong genetics, strong colony.
I'll tak'em all day.

I agree with this.   One reason emergency queens may be inferior is if there is no fresh comb around.  If the bees have a hard time reshaping the queen cell from an old stiff cell with reduced volume due to lots of old cocoons, then nutrition to the queen may suffer.

If there is ample fresh comb, plenty of pollen and honey around and a strong colony to take care of the larvae, it's not really that much of an emergency to start with.  grin
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 11:37:01 AM »

Kathy,

I am by no means promoting the purchase of commercial queens, quite the contrary.   All my stock now is from feral survivor which I produce queens from.  I am a strong proponent of using local acclimated stock and encourage folks to rear their own queens.

My issue is with the walk-away method of queen rearing.   Just because bees can produce a queen when forced to does not mean that it will be a quality queen, unless a bunch of other conditions are met.  If you are going to go through the trouble to make sure the condition are optimal,  why let them expend the energy and resources to produce and raise a handful or more cells only to let the first queen destroy the other cells,  or have queens fight to the death and perhaps cause injury to the survivor?  Also, is that first queen really the best one?  It most likely came from the oldest egg.  

A lot of my thoughts and methods are derived from studying ferals.  Supercedure does not happen in nature as much as we make it part of our "normal" beekeeping practices. I will also venture a guess that a large portion of the natural supercedures are not successful in the long term. Especially if you look at the survival rate of first year swarms where the majority of natural superceduring occurs.

Just my 2 cents....  Others have differing opinions, and some put more weight on the "free & easy" part of the walk-away.
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 02:14:38 PM »


Michael You always have great stuff on your site... when are you going to put up how the sundance bottom trap works when collectin g and not collecting   LOL   grin
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 02:51:05 PM »

Since we are talking queens and quality what opinions do we have here of swarm cell queens?  I had good success with them last summer.  I liked the results better than the ones I bought, thats for sure.  The main objection I read or hear is if you use swarm cells you are raising swarmy bees.  Is there such a thing as a colony that grows huge or gets crowded (other than maybe a first year queen) not wanting to swarm?  Why not use the swarm cells from the colonies that grow and produce so fast that they want to swarm?  I feel that a queens raised by choice (not an emergency by graft or otherwise) has to be as high quality as they come.  Since the movable frame hive has been invented we have not been able to select out swarming.  And even if reduced if there has been great progress made then why have we not been able to make carnies that are not swarmier than italians?  I dont see any reason not to make increase by simply taking advantage of the swarming inpulse, even crowding your best colonies to make increase.  If you make weekly inspections, you should be able to catch most swarming before it happens and get great queens.

I plan on making as many splits and spare/replacement queens as possible from colonies that want to swarm this season.  To heck with buying queens in summer that tend to get supercieded anyway.

Just my thoughts, how about yours?
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 03:51:39 PM »

bee-nuts, Swarm cells make the absolute best queens in my opinion! Always, always take advantage by moving the "mother" queen with some brood/bees/stores to a new hive to create a "false swarm". If you simply move just the swarm cells to a new hive you risk leaving the mother colony queenless if they swarm anyway.

Scott
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2011, 03:02:35 AM »

bee-nuts, Swarm cells make the absolute best queens in my opinion! Always, always take advantage by moving the "mother" queen with some brood/bees/stores to a new hive to create a "false swarm". If you simply move just the swarm cells to a new hive you risk leaving the mother colony queenless if they swarm anyway.

Scott

That is exactly what I did.  It also forced me to learn how to find the queen.  I got pretty good at finding them by mid season (usually the second to the last frame you pull, LOL).  I made five frame nucs with old queen, then one or two more with cells and moved them to another yard.  I also left about half the bees and cells on original stand.  My plan is to get some new blood here and there but make most of my increase from my own stock and whatever they mate with.
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2011, 09:19:34 AM »

and bent back the walls of 4 or 5 cells that had eggs and preferably royal jelly too, to enlarge the cells. 
Lone
That's a clever trick.  I don't think it's necessary if the comb is young and soft, but with old comb it could make a difference.


The idea behind this is that you can tell the bees which larvae to use (or at least hint!), and then they are more likely to use the ones you choose rather than raise emergency cells from too-old larvae.
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2011, 10:17:32 AM »

The idea behind this is that you can tell the bees which larvae to use (or at least hint!), and then they are more likely to use the ones you choose rather than raise emergency cells from too-old larvae.
Can this really work?  Can a beek know more about the age and condition of available queen-candidate larvae than the bees do?  Of course, the bees know if a larva has the same father as themselves and they probably know other facts that we don't.  What can I know that the bees would not?
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2011, 10:47:09 AM »

What can I know that the bees would not?

That a viable queen can not be raised from a drone egg is one thing.
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2011, 11:06:38 AM »

That a viable queen can not be raised from a drone egg is one thing.

Oh no.  Please tell me that is not true.   huh    Will they really try to use a drone egg when there are worker eggs available?  Not that it does any harm as long as they also use some worker eggs, but still......
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2011, 12:40:40 PM »

Oh no.  Please tell me that is not true.   huh    Will they really try to use a drone egg when there are worker eggs available?

I don't know about that,  but they will use eggs from a laying worker to try and rear a queen.

Quote
Not that it does any harm as long as they also use some worker eggs, but still......

Are you sure about that?  That is part of my concern with emergency queens.   So they decide to make a queen out of an old egg, but that is OK as long as they make some from 3.5 day eggs?   Guess what, that old egg queen, who may have been feed bee bread for a while or at least not copious amounts of royal jelly will be the first to hatch and rip open the younger (better) cells.

Everyone that is a proponent of emergency queens insist the bees will always pick the right age eggs.  And if they occasionally don't, then what?   I'm not convinced.   

And yes,  you can get a good emergency queen if you put a bunch of stipulations on your method,  but if your going through all that effort, why not spend the little extra time and manage the cells and not waste all the bee effort and resources to end up with one queen.  I believe it is fair to say that a lot of new beekeepers and hobbyist can't determine when there is a flow,  so how can they know when to do a walk-away split even if they understand the important factors of doing splits.
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2011, 12:57:52 PM »

I find that a little suspicious; trying to raise queens from drone eggs! Why would they do that if they're given frames of worker brood? Must be some dumber bees than mine! grin I've raised many, many queens from newly hatched larva by simply pulling down the bottom of the cell on a right-aged larva with a nail or ball point pen. It helps if using new yellow comb and pulling down cells around the perimeter, especially on the ends of the frame and across the bottom. I also make sure they have a good frame of pollen and a frame of  uncapped honey right next to the brood frame. This is no different than grafting cells from that same frame of brood. I'll usually pull down 6-8 cells on a frame and sometimes they'll build all of them. You can also graft a larva into a plastic cell cup and just push the cell cup into a frame of brood, pointed down, and get nice cells, as long as they have plentiful resources to work with and lots of young bees. Now, if you're going to try to requeen with a nuc or hive that's been sitting queenless for a time and don't provide good larva, young bees, and pollen/honey then you can expect them to raise a poor quality queen. It's not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination!
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2011, 01:31:39 PM »

I don't know about that,  but they will use eggs from a laying worker to try and rear a queen.
Robo, Seems like we have two different issues here.

 Issue 1: Laying worker eggs.  If there are laying workers, that means there has not been any open brood for quite a while.    So using a drone egg from a laying worker would not matter since there were no worker eggs available anyway. I don't see that this necessarily implies anything about the ability of bees to make good decisions about which eggs to use IF there are any worker eggs to use.  
 
Quote
Not that it does any harm as long as they also use some worker eggs, but still......

Quote
Are you sure about that?  That is part of my concern with emergency queens.   So they decide to make a queen out of an old egg, but that is OK as long as they make some from 3.5 day eggs?  

Issue 2:     Old eggs.  No I don't think old eggs are ok.  But I don't think using laying worker eggs when that's all they have means they will use old eggs.  
Quote

Everyone that is a proponent of emergency queens insist the bees will always pick the right age eggs.  And if they occasionally don't, then what?   I'm not convinced.  

 Yes, I could go to great effort to isolate newly laid eggs, but why do that if there is no evidence the bees are likely to make a bad decision?  Do you have some experiences that suggest the bees actually will use old eggs? This is probably just my ignorance showing.
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 I believe it is fair to say that a lot of new beekeepers and hobbyist can't determine when there is a flow,  so how can they know when to do a walk-away split even if they understand the important factors of doing splits.
If there is new white comb with eggs in it AND the bees have good stores of honey and pollen, that would be a pretty good guide to a new beekeeper.
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2011, 02:17:46 PM »

I find that a little suspicious; trying to raise queens from drone eggs! Why would they do that if they're given frames of worker brood?

Your mixing apples and oranges.   In a laying worker hive, there is no worker brood.

My point is in response to "The bees know which eggs to use".   Obviously in a laying worker hive they don't realize they are wasting their effort.   This raises the question in my mind if there are other instances where they might make not so good choices as well.   I'll reiterate,  emergency queens are not the norm in feral colonies despite many beekeepers efforts to make it a norm.


Issue 2:     Old eggs.  No I don't think old eggs are ok.  But I don't think using laying worker eggs when that's all they have means they will use old eggs.  


OK, that is your opinion and that is fine.  Mine opinion is that since in certain situations (laying worker) they will use bad eggs,  it is plausible they may use bad eggs in other situations as well.

Quote
Yes, I could go to great effort to isolate newly laid eggs, but why do that if there is no evidence the bees are likely to make a bad decision?  Do you have some experiences that suggest the bees actually will use old eggs? This is probably just my ignorance showing.


Isn't using laying worker eggs a bad decision?  Or do you consider that an exception and they make no other bad decisions? I have no experience that I can directly contribute to them using old eggs.  But I do have experience of less queen failures after not relying on emergency queens.  But I still go back to the fact that there are many variables to producing quality queens and unless conditions optimal you risk the chances of getting a queen with deficiencies.   Based upon my experience, the fall/winter separate the good from the bad.  Even a deficient queen can mimic a good queen when conditions are ideal (summer).    It is my opinion that is why we see a lot of fall queen failures and I believe a lot of winter losses are wrongly attributed to weather or moisture when it reality it was due to queen failure.

Quote
If there is new white comb with eggs in it AND the bees have good stores of honey and pollen, that would be a pretty good guide to a new beekeeper.


Unfortunately the general impression from a lot of folks is you just take the queen away and they will make a new one.

"It's not just good, it is good enough"

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/

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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2011, 02:23:36 PM »

i think you also have to define "emergency".  are we talking about yours, or the bees?  if you are trying to save a failing hive and you have missed the fact that there has not been a queen for long enough that the hive developed laying workers, that's your emergency and fixing it is hardly worth the effort.

if you are are talking about a queen being superseded because the bees have realized she's not doing her thing, they are probably going to do a pretty good job of replacing her.

in between those two scenarios, are lots of variables for them, and you, fixing a queen problem.
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2011, 02:33:58 PM »


Isn't using laying worker eggs a bad decision?  Or do you consider that an exception and they make no other bad decisions?

It's not really a decision at all.  They don't choose a laying worker egg over some other egg.  They are using what they have available.   

I read once about how pollen carrying bees act after they go though a pollen trap.  They have had the pollen stripped off but they still go to a pollen storage cell and move their legs as though scrapping off pollen and packing it in the cell.  Bee behavior is a bunch of programmed sequences strung together.  Bees are programmed to make queen cells when there is no queen.  So they evaluate the eggs and use the best.   Maybe they are using new drone eggs over old drone eggs?   grin 

 I'm just saying that they are not cognitive creatures who can say, "Oh, I would be wasting my time building a queen cell for a drone egg so I'll just go back to a nice honey frame and rest for awhile."   They follow their programming as closely as conditions allow.
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2011, 02:56:41 PM »

if you are are talking about a queen being superseded because the bees have realized she's not doing her thing, they are probably going to do a pretty good job of replacing her.

Kathy,

I bought up the laying working example in the context of bees don't always use good eggs to make queen cells.  You are correct,  a laying worker hive is in much worse shape, at least in the short term  evil

My concern with supercedure, is what is wrong with the queen they are getting rid of,  and are you certain that issue will not be passed to her offspring or effect the quality of the egg her offspring will be raised from.  Ever had a hive that went through supercedure after supercedure?
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2011, 03:38:48 PM »

Does anyone know how many workers out of a 30K member (for example) colony are actually in the business of queen cell making?

Gotta hand to you long-timers, especially when several of you are involved. The rest of us can learn lots if we're paying attention, so thanks Smiley

thomas
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2011, 03:43:26 PM »

Quote
Ever had a hive that went through supercedure after supercedure?
 
 


don't know about that, but i do have a hive that almost always has queen cells in it. not swarm cells.  used to freak me out, but it has been the donor hive a number of times for replacements.  from march though about July, i can count on it.  i also know that the queen that's in there is not the little black one from 5 years ago.  why do they do it?  i don't know.  it is a consistently strong hive so i'm not messing with it.
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2011, 04:02:15 PM »

don't know about that, but i do have a hive that almost always has queen cells in it. not swarm cells. 
We have a hive like that.  The queen is the product of a walk away split and does just fine.  The bees build and cap queen cells and then tear them down again.
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