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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    just a small question oldsol... do you feed at all levels (hives from which starters are shaken, swarm box, breeder hive and finishers) of your queen rearing process?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    It depends on several variables. I keep protein on the cell builders at all times and feed if there is not a strong flow on. Lately the challenge has been to feed the other hives in the cell building yard to keep them busy so I have cover to work the cell builders without robbing. I usually feed honey frames by scratching open a couple of frames prior to a graft. If this is not an option I use a light syrup. I do not use a swarm box. We use either a queenless starter/finisher or a queenright starter/ finisher. At the very beginning of the year the cell builders are established with 20 lbs of bees each + brood. Cell builders are maintained by brood additions to keep the number of nurse bees high. If the cells are not large and well formed then there is a variable that is off, so population and feeding need to be adjusted, or there is a rogue queen somewhere you do not want. The breeder Queen hives that the grafts are taken from usually are so robust that feeding is overkill. It is all I can do to keep them a manageable size for selecting larvae. They usually need to be split three or four times throughout the season so you don't have to sort through too many boxes. If things slow down in the later part of the season I will stimulate them with protein, but they are such voracious pollen hoarders it is rarely necessary until we start our almond prep, which we are doing now.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  3. #23
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    thanks for the detail john.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Trumbull, CT
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    406

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    Sorry if this is dumb but can/do people graft eggs of is it just newly hatched larva?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEAD PIPE View Post
    Sorry if this is dumb but can/do people graft eggs of is it just newly hatched larva?
    Grafting eggs is a highly unlikely technique. The natural glue that attaches the delicate egg by one end to the bottom of the cell would need to be released and then somehow the egg would need to be reattached well enough so that suspended upside down in a queen cell cup, it would not fall out. All this without disrupting its development nor damaging its extremely fragile outer membrane. Good luck.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Of course it would be very difficult with the Doolittle method, but with the Alley, Better Queens, or Jenter method it's quite easy to transfer eggs. However, it does not work well. I've never gotten them to take an egg where they usually accept just hatched larvae.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    Steve Tabor was able to do this with limited success. He even developed a special tool for it. The challenge would be to know the exact age of each egg. It is very easy to differentiate the age of larvae, but the eggs all look the same even if laid 48 hours apart. It is relatively easy to pick up and transfer an egg.
    Last edited by JBJ; 09-08-2007 at 12:15 PM. Reason: spelling
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Steve Tabor was able to do this with limited success. He even developed a special tool for it. The challenge would be to know the exact age of each egg. It is very easy to differentiate the age of larvae, but the eggs all look the same even if laid 48 hours apart. It is relatively easy to pick up and transfer an egg.
    So the actual ability to graft/transfer an egg is doable and there are systems that make egg transfer easy without touching it, but having the egg accepted for growing into a queen by the bees is a real problem, as well as knowing the age of the egg in order to manage the developmental time-line.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    mr clemens sezs:
    So the actual ability to graft/transfer an egg is doable and there are systems that make egg transfer easy without touching it, but having the egg accepted for growing into a queen by the bees is a real problem, as well as knowing the age of the egg in order to manage the developmental time-line.

    tecumseh replies:
    jay smith developed a process for using eggs to produced queencells. there are any number of alternatives to this process but all that I am aware of purposefully skip the process of grafting. as an extension of smith work, other folks have developed process to supply the properly aged egg/larvae transition phase to maintain the time line required for growing out queen cells thru mated queen. the problem (if that is how you might wish to look at it) is that most 'non grafting processes' has some limitation which make it difficult to apply when you to desire to grow out commericial quantities of queen cells.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >jay smith developed a process for using eggs to produced queencells.

    Actually Joseph M. Brooks published the method of doing this with new comb (just like Smith did later) in Gleanings in Bee Culture, August, 1880. Alley Alley published the same basic method using old brood comb in 1883. Isaac Hopkins published Joseph Brooks' method in 1886. This "new comb" Alley method was published by Jay Smith in his "Better Queens" in 1949, 69 years after Brooks published it in Bee Culture. Smith, however, was using Larvae, not eggs. Alley and Hopkins seem a bit ambiguous on this point.

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

    All of these methods, in the author's original words, (except Brooks is in Hopkins words) are here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearingmethods.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

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    Hi Guys,

    I've experimented by grafting both eggs and different aged larva. I've also replicated Taber's tool.

    At the same time, I tried both rapping and water extraction for harvesting eggs en mass thinking it would facilitate a very fast commercial approach to queen rearing.

    But I got the same results as Taber when using eggs. The resulting production loss and extra culling efforts offset any possible gain in queen quality.

    My little tests, with different aged larva, indicate the largest queens and cells are obtained when the youngest larva are grafted. With a Chinese grafting tool, it's very easy to graft a larva just a few hours old. That's very hard, to impossible, with any other kind of tool without damaging the larva. See www.bwrangler.com/bee/qtoo.htm

    These larva are very easy to spot. They will look just like an egg that is drooping to one side surrounding by a wet looking spot, the first royal jelly feeding. These very young larva are also very fragile. So grafting/starting conditions must be optimum or the take will be reduced.

    Larva a half day older are much more robust. They aren't much bigger than an egg, will have a slight curl, and are surrounded by a small amount white royal jelly.

    On another note, I've also experimented with differing sugar levels in the royal jelly used to prime the cups. It resulted in lots of intermorphs, much like grafting with eggs does.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:33 PM.

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