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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default Queen Raising Addiction

    I've often thought about raising queens, for myself, and others. This year I have actually begun to work at teaching myself how to do it. I am especially interested in producing, not just, good queens, but superb queens. It has so often been said that the fate of a colony depends on the quality of their queen. I want to experience having outstanding queens.

    My first success was when I removed the queen from the colony I had chosen to be the cell builder/finisher. After 2 days they began making their own queen cells. I removed all of them except those on one frame. On that frame I swapped their growing queen larvae with larvae from my chosen breeder queen. To my amazement, it was a complete success. I was able to produce 3 queens by larva substitution. They should be mated soon, when I will wait to see how they perform and how their offspring turn out.

    Next I was determined to succeed by grafting into artificial queen cell cups. My first two attempts did not achieve any live queen cells. My first try, I grafted dry. No takes. My second attempt was using stored royal jelly thinned with a little water. No takes. My first successful try (number three) was with fresh royal jelly transferred, on the spot, from spontaneous queen cells, built by the bees of my next cell builder, recently made queenless.

    Bottom line - queen raising is addictive. After interfering in my bees lives by directing their process of queen raising, I find that the appearance of queen cells that I have conspired to enjoin my bees to produce is one of the most beautiful sights, next to the sight of so many gorgeous queens. I may never get enough of this -- I am certainly glad that the season in my area is nearly, year-round.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome to the addiction!



    Jim

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Joseph,
    I find dumping lots of young nurse bees in the cell builder after every cell harvest helps make grafting more successful. Keep a feeder on them and let the mated queen lay for more then 30 days before you move or sell her helps allot. Grafting the smallest larva your eyes allow adds more visits from the nurse bees. Up to 1700 visits are optimal.
    Addicted,
    Danny Slabaugh
    Promoting Better Beekeepers by sharing what works for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default

    I seem to be able to transfer, mostly very small larvae, but my largest concern is turning them during transfer. Is this critical? Will they drown if they are turned over? Is this even possible, or will they turn themselves back over to the side they prefer?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    This doesn't help with the addiction any:


    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    joseph ask:
    but my largest concern is turning them during transfer. Is this critical?

    tecumeh replies:
    very.. this is called rolling the larvae and will result in a damage larvae and culled queen cells. if you prime the cell first then the larvae should slide off the grafting tool.

    if you are really interested in producing a small number of quality queen then perhaps you should look into the smith method. michael bush has a copy of one of his books on his web site. although my own efforts in queen rearing in the past has utilized grafting I am looking into a 'modified' smith method myself at this juncture of time.

    grafting is a good skill to hone however and the first time you see one of your own grafted queen laying is quite the pleasant experience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,297

    Default

    Curious, I too chose pink, pink canvas, as the top partitions/covers for my condo mating nucs. Yes, ripe queen cells look very nice. Presently I have just been using Kelley style top bars as my cell bars, with no secondary cell bars. I plan to build some cell bar frames and use grooved bottom bars as cell bars. The groove is good for JZBZ plastic cell cups (I chose the black colored ones too), and 100% beeswax cups fasten just as well. My present cell bars, two, with combinations of all wax cups and JZBZ cell cups to see which will work best for me (so far, both work about equally well).

    Nice looking queen cells in your photo. Fascinating how unique these are and how they produce the ultimate female honeybee.


    Quote Originally Posted by peggjam View Post
    This doesn't help with the addiction any:


    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 08-26-2007 at 01:25 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Joseph,
    You said:

    "...After interfering in my bees lives by directing their process of queen raising, I find that the appearance of queen cells that I have conspired to enjoin my bees to produce is one of the most beautiful sights..."

    You have it backward...you have not directed or trained them to do anything...
    They have YOU trained!
    ;-)
    It IS addictive.

    Roy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    "I like big butts and I cannot lie!"

    "Who let the DRONES out? Who who who who!!!"

    Rap seems to be speaking the language of queen raising


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    793

    Default

    I think I have been addicted. I have ordered my first breeder queen from Glenn Apriaries for April 2008.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

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