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Thread: Bee Nutrition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    I have been doing alot of reading these days, and my first year of queen rearing is coming to a close. I did manage to figure out grafting, and acceptance. I graft ok I guess. I will at least have an idea for next year. This forum has been dead for a while, so I thought I would get some opinions on supplement feeding. I have trapped pollen for next year, and tried this last batch of queens had some extra protein. I was wondering if anybody had any secrect diets to feed while the queens are still in the larvae stage? I tried the protien thing, not not from reading it anywhere, but for the heck of it. The one small hive was recovering from a mite attack, and the protien in the syrup seemed to really perk them up. Maybe coincidence, maybe not!
    Well does anybody feed anything special out there?



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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

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    What was the source of the protien additive in the feed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    The source of the protien? Believe it or not, it is a high protien "shake" mix, that my son uses for cross country running. I researched bee nutrition, to see what makes good bees, and I found, that pollen has all the protien and viatimns that bees need. I find that hard to belive, because I'm sure certain flowers, or weeds that they forage are have more or less of something. So I ran "bee nutrition" on google search, and one of the sites, don't remember which, gave a breakdown of what bees need. B viatamins were high on the list, but so were alot of different protiens. I looked at my sons package, and alot of the ones that were reccommended were in the mix. There were others that weren't, but alot were. That got the mind thinking, Supplement? without buying one? So I learned throughout the years to try different things, and like I said, I put a tablespoon of that mix in the sugar syrup, feed pollen that I trapped throughout the summer, and my queens emerged yesterday. They look like normal queens, with the SMR gene, so hopefully the may be a little stronger? Who knows. Can't hurt. I'll let you know once they start to lay eggs. I raised the six that I needed, for another experiment, but only time will tell!


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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  4. #4

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    Dale,
    I also raise quens here in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. This is my 5th year as a beekeeper and third year doing queens. I find that your results improve with each passing year...I only wish summer could be extended another six months so I can keep a good thing going. It seems like every year starts out a little "bumpy" but as rearing conditions improve it would be nice to extend them a little longer into the year. How many colonies are you running? How many mating nucs? I presently run around 25 colonies with another 25-30 mating nucs. I'd like to talk more on queens if you're interested. Would you also be interested in perhaps exchanging some queens yet this autumn to diversify potential breeder stock for next year? I'd like to diversify and limit excessive inbreeding if at all possible.
    Earlier this spring, I found an abandoned hive that was quite weak, and had foulbrood quite badly. The hive most likely started as a swarm and has had no human intervention for at least the past two years. They appear to have been mite resistant. The colony had little chance of survival so I took the queen only (no attendant bees) and placed her in a new colony. The results: absolutely no trace of foulbrood, and six shallow supers of honey, and one good looking queen. WOW!
    I have raised nearly twenty queens from her so far and have another twenty or so scheduled to emerge next week. I'd like to get in one more cycle, but I'm not sure how long the drones or the good weather will last.

    Regards,
    Jim Littley
    Mt. Pleasant, MI
    jlittley@edzone.net http://emeraldridgeapiary.net (still under construction!)

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    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    Actaully, this is my first year back, after several years of beekeeping. I am still small, but have most of the equipment. My operation is still small, but growing. I have seven hives, and about another seven nucs. But, we have alot of "wild bees", in this area. This area, was a beekeeping area for many years, and the mites drove most off, about 8-10 years ago. I have always loved bees, and decided to give it a shot. I am currently removing a swarm from an old barn. I took, at least 2 pounds of bees out yesterday, and will probably start taking some boards out today. The guy told me, that the swarm moved into the barn in the spring. I want that queen, because the buildup was great, and all seem very healthy. They must have some resistance to everything, and it would be a good breeder I think. They are Northeast PA bred Italians I think, because they are very yellow. The tails are banded, but the tips are solid. I removed another swarm earlier in the summer from a house, about 10 miles west, and they were the same thing. When I saw these, I thought, "a strain, that is wild, and look the same" maybe I have something here. If I can get the queen, I will try to graft from her, and let you know. If not this fall, maybe in the spring. And I will continue experimenting with different feeds when the queens are in larval stage.
    Yes I am definitely interested in working with you. It can never hurt!


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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  6. #6

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    I was busy in the apiary today...I'm in the process of temporarily banking all my mated queens to make room in the mating nucs for cells scheduled to hatch later this week. I have taken advantage of the heavy flow of goldenrod pollen to produce this last batch of queens. It has paid off. The cells are large and well formed and the queens were well fed also. I use the clear JZ's BZ's queen cups so I can see how well the nurse bees feed them. This last cell builder I used packed the cups FULL of royal jelly in only 24 hours! That's the best I've seen in a while. I grafted 40 cells and had a total of 24 totally completed. I seem to usually run around a 40 to 50% acceptance rate. I'm trying to improve this, but I don't know where to improve. I keep the larvae under wet paper towels as soon as they're grafted. This has helped a lot, and so has grafting larvae that's closer to 36 hours old. Let me know how you're doing.

    Jim


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    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    I grafted 40 cells and had a total of 24 totally completed. I seem to usually run around a 40 to 50% acceptance rate. I'm trying to improve this, but I don't know where to improve. I keep the larvae under wet paper towels as soon as they're grafted. This has helped a lot, and so has grafting larvae that's closer to 36 hours old. Let me know how you're doing.
    Jim


    Acceptance rate of 40? I can usually get about 40 - 50 as well. I E-mailed Dave Cushman, and he replied, "That the bees wanted to make more queens, but something prohibited them." The grafting tool that I used was too big, too small, finally I got one that fits. I sterilize mine in alcohol now, on Dave's suggestion. I never read that before. I usually graft, "The ones you can't see!" It is more difficult, but I'm told the queens develop more.
    I use a nuc box for a starter box too. I make sure the queen is not on any of the frames, take 4 frames from the hive I will graft from, usually when it is hot, to get mainly nurse bees, then brush another 4 frames in as well, along with the cell bar holder. This will get it to smell right. Then I confine them for a day, but feed them syrup and pollen. This is where I added the protien last time. I graft the next afternoon, and place the grafts on the frame and go from there. Somewhere, I read to spritz a little sugar water on the cell bar, to get the bees attention. I don't do that, but probably will try next year. The last batch I did, I got 11 of 20.


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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

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