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Author Topic: Starter and finisher colonies?  (Read 1377 times)
bee-nuts
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« on: April 09, 2012, 11:14:23 AM »

What is the main reason for putting queen cells in finisher colonies and not finishing them in the queen-less starter?  Do queen-right colonies finish the cells better?
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Thomas Jefferson
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 01:47:05 PM »

You can start new cells in the starter while the finisher is finishing the first batch...saves time and resources.

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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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 05:38:16 PM »

The theory behind it is in your starter colony you put lots of nurse bees from several hives  into a single deep hive with water, pollen and honey.  This is when you choose the hive you want to raise queens from  and then put that frame of young eggs into it and all of the young nurse bees will produce the royal jelly to start the cells, but the population isnt enuff to finish them.  Once the cells are started you put the cells into a finisher hive after a day. The finisher hive should be full blown with a queen excluder with the queen below obviously, and being in a full blown hive  they  do the best by keeping the temperature of the cells right along with  feeding them continously for proper nurishment till their capped.This type of care seems to produce the largest queens with lots of ovaries. The larger the queen usually the more eggs she has to produce lots of brood.  Well feed queens equals healthy egg producing queens!!   I feel the best queens are raised in the spring when they are raising swarm cells, the population is full blown,lots of pollen, nectar  and the cells get tons of attention this is the perfect time to do a split Smiley or you could just let em swarm  grin.  These cells are treated as queens from the start not converted over after a few days.  The sooner they are treated as queen cells the better the queens are.  So if you are looking to raise just a few queens and you have a good hive that is ready to swarm with queen cells.  Remove all the cells except one and take the old queen out and split the hive.  The queen cell will hatch out and become the new queen be sure to choose a large healthy looking cell.  If you decide to let the hive choose its queen they could still swarm with virgin queens but if you have one cell they wont swarm being the only queen she will get mated and take over the hive.  Be sure to check on the queen after 30 days to check for eggs this is what i do anyway not everyone may do the same.  Chris
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 09:57:33 AM »

Everything about queen rearing other than the genetic side, is trying to get the most queens from the least resources.  If you are doing one small batch of queens there is probably no advantage.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 02:47:07 PM »

thank you for your opinions on the subject.

I love swarm cells queens.  When a colony decides to swarm because if has ran out of room, brood nest is back filled or whatever, you get wonderful big fat queen cups, with huge amounts of royal jelly, you can see those huge fat grubs growing in them before they are caped and you get really nice big queen cells and the queens are usually very large.

I have been raising queens from my best colonies from the previous seasons that wintered great, with large populations coming through bla bla.  I make nucs from them in spring with purchased queens and sell them but dont take to much brood and bees to deplete the colonies to much.  I then leave them crowd in three deeps till they start swarm preparations.  The queens I get have been better on average than any I have purchased to date for the most part.  I am going to sell some of these queens as well this summer.  I want to start playing around with grafting and non grafting methods of queen raising this season as well.  As you know with swarm cells there is no way on know when the colony will start preparations and not all cells are started at the same time so you cant have a set schedule of any kind.

I have read for countless hours about the different methods of raising queens and there are many, many, different opinions on what is best.  There is no set standard on what is best, or what will produce the highest quality cells, queens, ans so on.  It goes right down the line to mating.  There is not even agreement to how far a queen flys to mate only one opinion from one author to the next.  There are certain facts that cant be ignored but beyond these there is only theory.  At least thats my opinion!

Until I have enough equipment and clients I will not be able to continuously raise cells on a schedule.  Maybe next season I could start thinking about it.  For the time being I have lots of experimenting to do.  I intend to start wintering as many nucs as I can manage.  I also want to start wintering as many of my own self raised and mated queens so I dont have to go through this nerve racking stressful wait for queens I need each spring.  Folks are really turning toward local bees and queens adapted to local climates and I believe that's the way it should be.



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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 09:55:14 AM »

there ya go your on the right page Smiley Chris
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 12:23:58 PM »

Yeah, I just wish I could get some serious hands on with a master.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson
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