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  1. #1
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    Okay Clayton, Where do you want to start?

    1. Basic splits.

    2. Various ways of making cells.

    3. Virgins.

    4. Various piggyback divides.

    Or if none of the above you tell me what you want and need.

    Dee

  2. #2
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    Hi Dee,

    Choice 2 and 4 are more along my needs. However I think we should start with basic splits and progress down the list. I may add a few things along the way. I have a different method that most breeders don't use. That can produce several queens at a clip using the swarming impulse. However they are forced into this condition not allowed naturally(don't like swarmy bees). I personally believe that the less man interferes the better the queens assuming all other conditions are good(food, ect.). OK how about them basic splits. I may know much of this info but it never hurts to learn more or go over it again.

  3. #3
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    This is in reply to Clayton's post of Jan 16, 2001, 11:07AM during which he wrote back to me:

    "Choice 2 and 4 are more along my needs. However I think we should start with basic splits and progress down the list. I may add a few things along the way."

    Okay Clayton, let's start with basic queen-rearing and breeding for the small beekeeper.From there we shall work our way up through various aspects of commercial production for same.

    BASIC FIELD MANAGEMENT FOR MAKING QUEENS OR INCREASE OF NUMBERS AND/OR CHANGING STOCK LINES:

    There are several methods a small beekeeper can use if he wishes to raise but a few queens,make for colonies, or change the type of bees he is keeping.

    1. Though you state you don't like swarmy bees Clayton, this is a basic method, and since others will be reading, I am listing it also and shall start with it. Cells saved from a colony that has just swarmed, may be placed into colonies to be requeened, whose queens have been removed.

    (The reason for this is because in this day and age, with so many colonies dying, any colony that can get strong and swarm, is not going to come from sickly prone stock normally.)

    In requeening by the swarming method, the cells are simply cut out using a good, sharp pocket knife, being careful not to injure the cell. A hole of corresponding size is made in the comb of the colony to be requeened, by either your finger pushing in the comb, indenting it, or cutting it back and the cut out cell is merely fitted into the space made.

    Where one cell is found on a comb (not several), the entire comb may be switched into the colony to be requeened.

    If the colony is of medium strength or strong, it makes no difference just where the cell is placed for there will be sufficient bees to give it proper incubation.(never shake the frame or frames being exchanged of bees, brush them off gently.You do not want to injure the unhatched queen still in the cell).

    If giving the cell to a weak colony or a nuc, it is important to place it near the center where the bees are for adequate warmth and care.

    2. Another very simple method of requeening is simply to remove the old frayed queen from a colony, and let the bees construct a number of cells by the emergency method. Here I would take care to save only the best and largest cells (2-3), knocking down the rest.

    3. Another way to raise queens you want now, from a good colony you like (getting picky here now Clayton,:> )), without too much trouble, is to use the colony like a breeding type in miniature.

    To do this, simply insert an empty drawnout comb into the center of the brood-nest (freshly extracted I find best if possible).
    Leave this there for 2 - 3 days or until the queen has laid a large number of eggs in the cells(queens like to lay in freshly cleaned extracted combs in center of broodnest).

    Now on the 3rd day, remove the eggs before they hatch, since the objective is to get the bees to use very small larvae from which to raise queens.

    Now go to a strong colony and remove the queen and all combs containing open brood and eggs with bees adhering to the brood frames,leaving nothing but sealed brood with the bees, along with all but 2 frames of honey and pollen stores.

    Place the newly layed up frame with eggs (maybe now with some emerging larvae) into the center of the broodnest with sealed brood frames on each side. Then place pollen and honey on each side of the newly made up broodnest to fill out the super, with the pollen frames next to the brood and the honey on the outside nearer the sides.

    Now for making increase option,put the queen and all combs containing open brood and eggs with bees adhering into an empty super, making sure the outside two frames on each side are pollen and then honey next to the outside wall. Move to the other side of the bee yard and face in opposite direction a minimum of 20 - 30 feet away.

    For brood combs still left over, the remainder of the brood is merely used to strengthen weaker colonies or to make strong colonies even stronger for the honey flow and gathering a good crop. Or if you do not wish to make increase, just use the brood to strengthen other colonies you have and merely, kill the old queen or queen you are changing out.

    For changing stock lines this is a good basic method to use, because you can take a layed up frame from a darker colony, or smaller celled colony and the hive you are giving it to, will have no other choice, but to use the eggs/young larvae to raise a new queen with, thus changing the bees away from what you don't want, to now something you do want.

    4. Now for the most basic for requeening and making increase field methodology. Merely take a colony with at least two supers of brood and seperate. Then go through the supers of brood and make sure that eggs, larvae, and sealed brood are in both supers about equally with honey and pollen in the outside two frames on each side of the supers.

    Now place back together for about 2-3 minutes and wait, making sure to stay out of the colonies flight path entrance(s).

    After 2 - 3 minutes your option, set one super of bees and brood off for increase on the opposite side of your beeyard, facing in the exact opposite direction,or seperate the two brood supers with a simple division board with a 3/8 hole entrance, facing exactly opposite of the bottom entrance.

    The super set down and moved to the other side of the yard in the opposite direction will give increase (Also try to make this the super with the old queen). While the super of brood seperated with a division board, can be reunited later, after the new queen has emerged and mated, back to the other brood super once the old queen has been killed off, or option, can still be set down for colony increase.(Note: where possible place the old queen in the upper super and give the bottom super of brood an extra super as the field force will stay with it, leaving the top divide a little weaker. The queen being on the top to encourage bees to stay better, especially if you are unsure whether you want to make increase or simply requeen. It therefore helps to keep your options open a little bit).

    Well Clayton, this is all for basic queening and increase and basic stock changing. Comments on your part now before we continue.

    Regards,

    Dee




    [This message has been edited by Dee A. Lusby (edited January 18, 2001).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Hi Dee,

    Thanks for info.I will explain a method that incorperates several of the methods you described. It is based on the Killon method of comb production. Select breeder queens in the manner one normally would (different beekeepers want different characteristics). Build up one or two colonies(what ever you need) as strong as possible as early as possible using unlimited brood nest. Using the colonies tendency to swarm cut down to one brood nest during swarm season to force them to start cells (congestion). Destroy cells in 3 days now add eggs from different breeders that have already been selected. In 24hrs place above queen excluder in finisher colonies. Then into mating nuclei. Requeen via nuc if you want or by cage if you want to use nuc again. Oh, by the way make sure their is one cell per frame(pick the best they should be good during swarm season which is when nature deems it a good time for reproduction). By forcing a swarm one doesn't produce swarmier stock(I mean excessively prone to swarming).

    You can follow queen lines by using colored push tacks if you want. Make sure there plenty of pollen and nector. And a word of warning don't use starter colony to long or you may deplete its population and rear poor queens! Hopefully I didn't forget anything. But I'm sure someone will let me know.

  5. #5
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    This is off topic Dee but do you produce comb honey or sections. How is it if you do using 4.9 foundation(to much wax???)? How do you produce it what method? Thanks .

    Clay

  6. #6
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    Hi Clayton

    To reply off subject, no right now we don't produce comb honey or cut comb honey for bulk resale, but we do sell limited in the immediate local area. I have been using honey from feral swarm cutouts in hills and putting into plastic square containers and placing into freezer until asked for. Will get back to other in future when numbers up more or order comes in wanting it organically, as foundation is too valuable for making new colonies right now during our changeover. But with this year now probably ending above 600 colonies, might consider it and then think we'll probably use 4.9 foundation and do it the old way making honey,honey and pollen, and pollen sections for three different types of cut comb for product line.

    However, think I will now start the next on the list, although I have already and you have too, talked a little about various ways of making queen cells and queens and introducing.

    Here's another simple one to start with we have had hobbysts use that couldn't graft when shown.

    Merely take a strong colony, Take away the queen and open brood and place a cut rim from a super 2" high inbetween the broodnest and the honey supers with a shelf rim positioned half way around the rim, big enough to hold a deep frame laying down without falling with space for 1" below for clearance. Then take a frame of eggs/hatching larvae and lay it down (eggs/larvae on one side if you can find one). Close up hive and wait3-4 days. When you come back you should find queen cells now hanging down in the space. Then wait another 3-4 days, then cut out and use.

    Regards,

    Dee


  7. #7
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    That's a good one Dee! I must admit I never heard of that one. Seems like the Doolittle or Miller methods without the hassle. This brings to mind a question. What would you say the difference between queens constructed by natural means(ones that the bees build that haven't been handled) and those that have been grafted? Or is it possible that there are subtle differences between such queens? Also what about producing to many queens from the same breeder queen by grafting isn't that unnatural and tend to lead to inbreeding. For example someone has two hundred colonies all colonies are requeened with cells from two breeders. This would never happen in nature! Wouldn't this be detrimental if repeated often. Although grafting has the advantage of quantity would you say it has the same quality? I realize that grafting can produce good queens however I "wonder" if these queens are beter than queens produced without grafting(not supercedure since I won't comment on these queens). What is your thoughts and opinions.

  8. #8
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    Aaah Clayton, I love your last comments! Now we start talking field mechanics of bee breeding and making queens, for acclimitizing to ones area. You will do swell!! for your mind is already thinking.

    Will start getting my thoughts together and get back with you shortly.

    Very Best Regards,

    Dee

  9. #9
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    Hi Clayton:

    Let's start by looking at you post of Jan 19,2001, 06:47 PM in which you wrote:

    What would you say the difference between queens constructed by natural means(ones that the bees build that haven't been handled) and those that have been grafted? Or is it possible that there are subtle differences between such queens?

    Reply:

    First of all Clayton, there are two major scenarios here to deal with.One is what happens on a natural system and the other is that which happens on an unnatural system. On the surface more would assume that the unnatural system is grafting and the bees making their own queen is natural. This however, is only partially true. You then to breed naturally, need to seperate a natural breeding system on enlarged brood combs by way of enlarged foundation bases, from that of a more natural breeding system on smaller, more naturally sized brood combs, because the bees with relate and behave quite differently over the short span of 3-5 years.

    Question: Would you be willing to talk about something like this?

    Clayton also wrote:

    Also what about producing to many queens from the same breeder queen by grafting isn't that unnatural and tend to lead to inbreeding. For example someone has two hundred colonies all colonies are requeened with cells from two breeders. This would never happen in nature! Wouldn't this be detrimental if repeated often.

    Reply:

    This too would depend Clayton. Also, words as written above are in actually not what apparently happens in the field.

    Question: How deep do you want to go on the subject?

    Clayton also wrote:

    Although grafting has the advantage of quantity would you say it has the same quality?

    Reply:

    Not necessarily. It depends on the person doing it and the methods used.

    I realize that grafting can produce good queens however I "wonder" if these queens are beter than queens produced without grafting.

    Reply:

    It depends upon what you are trying to accomplish here Clayton. Do you have any particular end objective in mind? Done right, the queens can be very much better.

    Sincerely,

    Dee

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Hi Dee,


    First of all Clayton, there are two major scenarios here to deal with.One is what happens on a natural system and the other is that which happens on an unnatural system.

    Reply:

    Please discuss these two scenarios. It will be necessary before we go to much farther. Try to be breif as possible then we can get more detailed later.



    because the bees with relate and behave quite differently over the short span of 3-5 years

    reply:

    How so? Tie that in with the above senerios.

    This too would depend Clayton. Also, words as written above are in actually not what apparently happens in the field.

    Question: How deep do you want to go on the subject?

    reply:

    I don't know yet. I'll ask later if I want discuss this.


    It depends what you are trying to accomplish here Clayton. Do you have any particular end objective in mind? Done right, the queens can be very much better.

    reply:

    Well this would require some info for you. Since I started keeping bees (and even my father)we used yellow bees. About 4-5 years ago when I started breeding my own queens. I noticed they were mating to black bees. There hasn't been anyone keeping bees in this area for 15-20 years much less those who kept black bees. I am positive that these are feral black/ grey type bees here and have even seen them. When I saw these bees the first thing I noticed was the size. Much smaller I must admit. I switched just about all colonies over to carniolans. Plan to breed from carniolan mothers (commercial queens from different sources) back to local stock selecting for black/ gray bees according to the characteristic we listed elsewhere. My end objective is to have bees:

    1. that are healthy
    2. able to survive without chemicals
    3. productive
    4. and in general able to thrive not just survive

    Clay


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