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Author Topic: Queen Rearing - Small Apiary  (Read 5154 times)
rail
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« on: December 28, 2011, 09:12:04 AM »

1: Is it worth the time to rear queens for a small apiary (3 to 7 hives)?

2: Will a hives traits in the first year be a sign of their future traits (hygiene, temper, etc.)?

3: What books would one recommend for queen rearing?

4: Can you use a Snelgrove Board (double screen board) for queen rearing?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 11:03:02 AM by rail » Logged

Sirach
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 11:06:31 AM »

1) Absolutely

2) You need to understand probability, and natures bell curve. In mating, most queens will be average. Not average in a rating, but average to what you are breeding. The further away from the bell curve top, the more extreme in traits you may desire or want to stay away from. But the more you vary away from the curve, the less likely you are to produce those queens.

With that said, if I could show this on a graph, sliding the bell curve in one direction or another can be accomplished in small increments. If the curve peaked on the graph at say a rating of 50 (of whatever you are measuring), then through selection, would you be happy with queens being produced on average at 60%, 70%, or more? I know I would. So selecting even from the 1 or 2 best queens in your operation, and not raising queens from your 1 or 2 worst queens, will allow a better overall standard queen to be produced.

It's kind of hard to write out. I have all this in a neat powerpoint, and when you see the graphs and bell curves, most get it.

I just looked at NSQBA's website since I know there is a page on small scale queen rearing. But it is inadequate to the points you seek.

http://www.nsqba.org/smallscalequeenrearing.html

I hope some of that made sense.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 07:30:06 PM »

Bjorn covered the first two, but I'll agree with him anyway...

>1: Is it worth the time to rear queens for a small apiary (3 to 7 hives)?

Yes.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#why

>2: Will a hives traits in the first year be a sign of their future traits (hygiene, temper, etc.)?

Sort of... bee reproduction is geared towards genetic diversity.  Odds are your queens will mate with drones from somewhere else and those genetics will contribute.

>3: What books would one recommend for queen rearing?

http://www.bushfarms.com/xstar.htm#Classic%20Queen%20Rearing%20Compendium
or read most of them for free:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoldbooks.htm

>4: Can you use a Snelgrove Board (double screen board) for queen rearing?

Certainly, if that's the method you want to follow.  Put it in the middle of the brood nest and come back in ten days, find the half that has queen cells and put each frame with queen cells in it's own nuc with a frame of honey...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesafewgoodqueens.htm
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:39:29 AM »

I am very intrigued by the idea of rearing my own queens once my hive(s) are up and running. However, the local beek group and the county extension agent are consistently against it. They even discourage, quite vocally, against capturing swarms. The reason that is always given is the danger of Africanized bee's.

My first thought is that they are overly cautious, but this isn't a small group of people the local branch of the group has well over 100 members and the extension office is connected throughout the Florida Panhandle.

So I guess I'm wondering if this is just a severe case of group think or if being in the part of the country I am in do I need to be concerned about this?


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 09:45:09 AM »

>do I need to be concerned about this?

You certainly need to be prepared for the possibility of ending up with some AHB.  However I know a lot of people in AHB areas who catch swarms all the time and seldom have any issues.  But seldom is much different from never...
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Michael Bush
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rail
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 09:59:29 AM »

I read Larry Connor's article in the August 2011 ABJ, pages 759-762, about "Small-Scale Queen Rearing". Has any one tried this method?

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Sirach
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 10:03:40 AM »

Are they suggesting beekeepers not buy queens from Florida operations in or near AHB known areas?

Are they going to shut down the exportation of bees outside of Florida in the future? Seems to me that if Florida beekeepers can't even raise their own queens, why are they still allowing some operations to sell and transport bees outside the state? Or are they micromanaging this to a county by county decision?

Just seems odd that beekeepers are discouraged from raising your own queens, yet millions of hives come in and out of Florida every year. Of course, one must always follow the money in such manners.

I wonder if the state will take restrictive measures in the future on migratory and queen production in the state?

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AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 11:25:45 AM »

If they do restrict bee movements in Fl, what about Texas and the West Coast?    Too many bees are moved in and out of these areas.   
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hardwood
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 11:48:27 AM »

As a queen breeder here in FL I have to have my breeder colonies DNA tested for AHB every year if selling out of state. Does this mean much when most queens are open mated? Not really, but we do strive to saturate our mating areas with proven drone colonies to shift the odds in our favor.

By all means raise your own queens! Depending on which system you choose it can be done on the cheap and you'll gain a great education for doing so.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2011, 10:57:30 AM »


2: Will a hives traits in the first year be a sign of their future traits (hygiene, temper, etc.)?
Open breeding with multiple drones will dilute any non-dominant genes.  For example, the VSH trait is recessive and will dilute out quickly in open mating unless you are saturating the DCAs.  But if your queen is homozygous for a dominant trait, you will probably  see that trait in the new queen in the first generation.  Maybe not in the second.   I think the best strategy is one already mentioned:  Make queens from your best hives and requeen the bad hives from the good ones.

Raising queens is not a big deal unless you are doing it on a large scale.  Just make a split with a frame of eggs and the bees will take care of the rest.  And if you have a really good hive, you can cut out queen cells from it and stick them into frames in other hives from which you have pinched the queen.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 12:23:43 PM »

You are probably already "queen rearing" everytime you make a split or pinch a queen for bad temperament.  If your apiary is like mine, you have other beekeepers around you or in my case, my area is inundated with hives from the commercial guys. 

I do try to increase the quality of my stock by bringing in a new queen or two each year to mix with what I have, but I know I'll never have total control of it.  Hopefully, the commercial guys are doing the same. 

For example, I helped inspect a new beek's hives last summer and the brood patterns were unlike anything I'd ever seen before.  Truly awesome!  I found out where he got his queens and ordered 2.  I was also very excited to receive a daughter from a Washington State University queen through my club last summer.  I'm excited about the traits these girls are adding to by apiary, but am expecting those traits to get watered down a bit this next season.

Pretty exciting stuff, though!
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adamant
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012, 10:38:03 PM »

As a queen breeder here in FL I have to have my breeder colonies DNA tested for AHB every year if selling out of state. Does this mean much when most queens are open mated? Not really, but we do strive to saturate our mating areas with proven drone colonies to shift the odds in our favor.

By all means raise your own queens! Depending on which system you choose it can be done on the cheap and you'll gain a great education for doing so.

Scott

hardwood,, what system do u recomend?
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hardwood
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2012, 08:19:36 AM »

I use Laidlaw's method and usually make my own wax cell cups. All you need is a grafting tool (I prefer making those too) and a grafting frame.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
larry tate
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 07:47:20 AM »

Got some used mini mating nucs here in Winston Salem. Would be glad to show you what we do. Tates Apiaries 336 788 4554
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Rich V
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 09:59:03 AM »

You could make your splits into nuc's or a queen castle and let them raise their own queens.
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fish_stix
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 07:22:29 PM »

I live in FL also and raise most of our queens, buy cells from other queen breeders for diversity. Never heard of the DNA testing requirement for out of state sales, but I'll confirm with our bee inspector. I'm in a AHB area and there's always a possibility of a queen mating with feral AHB, however, have never had a case of this. We have a few large queen breeders within an hour of our location and have talked to them extensively about the AHB problem. So far, it's almost a nonexistent problem, same as Texas. Our mating yard normally has over a hundred production hives nearby (within 1/2 mile) with most having drone comb or extensive drone brood areas on the frames, resulting in thousands of drones available. When you flood the area with good drones the possibilities of AHB matings are minimized.
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fish_stix
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 06:09:38 PM »

nietssemaj; sounds like your local group and county extension agent have gone to the Far Side on swarms and queen raising. I don't believe, but I could be wrong, that Tallahassee is even in a known AHB area yet. If you'll read the pamphlet printed by the Dept of Ag concerning Best Management Practices you'll find that it's recommended to requeen a caught swarm ASAP with a European queen. That does not say you can't catch swarms. 99% of swarms in my area are European bees, and since we have a large population of commercial beeks in the area the chances are that the swarm came from someones' managed hive. Texas has a much larger AHB problem than FL and I'm sure you've noted that they have a bunch of large, successful queen rearing operations in TX as well as in FL. Get bee info from your local bee inspector, not from an extension agent. And quit reading newspaper articles that sensationalize the AHB problem.  grin
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 08:13:21 AM »

I don't believe, but I could be wrong, that Tallahassee is even in a known AHB area yet.

No Africans up here in T-Town that I have ever heard of...  Smiley

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nietssemaj
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 12:44:02 PM »

No we aren't AHB. The whole panhandle has had little to no problems with them at all.  As for needing to stop reading articles I am trying to figure out what the truth is here. On one hand you have people saying catch a feral swarm and you're dead meat. On the other hand you have people saying AHB even in AHB area's isn't a big deal.

Seeing as how the local association which is quite large actually has little to no experience with AHB and they seem to be a bit on the overly cautious side I thoughts I'd throw the question out to a group that likely has far more experience with AHB.

In general my growing opinion is that AHB isn't as big a deal as it has been made out to be.
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Keeperwannabe
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 06:00:24 PM »

As with everything in life there is a risk, but to not catch a swarm because of the chance of it being AHB seems as ridiculous as not flying an airplane because it might crash.  If you need to get somewhere you are going to fly, and if you want bees catch a swarm or raise some queens.  You can always requeen later.
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