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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,347

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    For myself, when using the wide base JZsBZs cell cups, like you show in your photo, I only accept cells where the entire plastic base is full of royal jelly, or very nearly so, when they are sealed. A very few of the cells in this photo have slightly less than full plastic cell bases -->



    Most batches of cells I raise are way more than I need, each round. So I use the very best looking cells first, and discard any cells that don't contain a large surplus of royal jelly once they're old enough to plant. I often have a few cells that probably would have produced some fairly nice queens -- but they weren't selected first, so they get discarded.

    Cells that look like these are usually those that are selected and planted, first -->



    The following cell bars were culled/discarded in their entirety, they just weren't grown well enough to meet my standards -->





    I hadn't thought of actually priming with large amounts of royal jelly -- I had sometimes sacrificed a cell to rob its royal jelly to mix with a little water and use that mixture to prime a bar of new cell grafts with a tiny drop in each.

    Now this has got me thinking to try doing a double graft, by aborting a bar of larvae once the cells are nearly full of royal jelly, but before they're sealed, then removing those larvae and re-grafting with new larvae grafted into the full bed of royal jelly. I know that "double grafting" is mentioned in many of the literature about queen rearing, and is often tried by the authors of those books, but it is usually discarded as a method to produce superior queens. I'm thinking that, even if something were tried before, that it couldn't hurt to try it for myself -- maybe I might discover a nuance that could imbue a positive benefit, not before seen.

    I'm definitely going to need to assemble a lot more four compartment, 3-frame mating nucs.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-10-2011 at 09:31 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    632

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    Joseph, I agree with you to a point. I have two cell builders and have seen what you are talking about.

    But as long as there is any leftover RJ didn't the larva get all it wanted?

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  3. #23
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    It may be true that the larvae have had all the royal jelly they wanted, and that is indicated by having even a little royal jelly remaining in the cell bottoms, but what if they just couldn't reach it? And again as the queens continue to develop I like to think that the moisture stored in the copious jelly helps to maintain a more optimum moisture level inside the cell to facilitate the young queen's development (relative humidity inside the queen cell is a vital factor). If the cell cup holds only a small quantity of surplus royal jelly, it quite often will dry up before the queen emerges, but with the entire JZsBZs cell cup filled with surplus royal jelly, that hasn't happened yet. This hypothesis may or may not be copacetic, or it may be germane in my region, with high Summer temperatures and very low relative humidity, and not so relevant in regions with other climates. It may not even be significant in either case, but it isn't that much more effort to only use cells that have copious quantities of surplus royal jelly -- just in case that might be a relevant factor in optimal queen development.

    For instance before these queens would emerge, the royal jelly in most, if not all of these cell cups will have dried up -->

    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-10-2011 at 02:28 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    J.C. Do you have any pics of your queens? I know that one of the reasons for making sure they have all the food they could possibly need is to make a huge queen that has more ovaries. I would like to see how big a perfect queen is, for comparison. Your cells are awesome! Hopefully my next batch will look better. Do you feed pollen patties while in the builder?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    I feed my cell builders, after the flow and before the flow with patties that are a combination of sucrose, trehalose, canola oil, brewers yeast, bee pro, hemp protein powder, and moistened with warm sugar water acidified with a little citric acid - sometimes I add some ascorbic acid, too.

    It has just started raining a little, I will take some fresh pics of some queens and post them here, as soon as the weather permits.

    Here are some pics of queens I've taken earlier:



    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    632

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    You could have a point with the humidity where you are in AZ. Here in MS its hot and very very very humid. Did I mention its humid. So not much of a problem here.

    Here are some cells I pulled last week.


    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    That's a fat adomen! You are fast at posting pics. Do you think that is about the maximum size obtainable? I would like to see some pics from others as well. How about Russell?

    I wonder if this should be started under another thread, perhaps "queen perfection"?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    Broke-T Were those from a starter finisher setup? 1oo% not bad!!! One frame on that batch?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    632

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    I use a Cloake board between two deeps. Close it to make a queenless starter for 24 to 36 hours then open for a queen right finisher.

    I have two cell builders set up. One frame of 30 or 45 cells each. I pull the capped cells and put in incubator. That way I can start new frame every 7 days. I have tried 2 frames in one builder but 90 cells is just too many to get quality cells without a lot of extra work.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    but 90 cells is just too many
    Yes 90 is what I planted in this last batch, only the one bar was acceptable. Perhaps they would have done better with some added pollen patties and half as many cells.

    Where do you keep your incubator? I'm guessing inside because I can't keep the temperature under control in this hot weather.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    632

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    Yes the incubator is inside house. It can increase heat but not lower it.

    I find I get more good cells starting 45 than I do 90. With 90 they start less and cull rate goes up.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    As promised, here are some recent pics of some queens, I attempted to photograph six queens, but only three of them would hold still long enough for me to get some good pics. Here they are:







    They were all raised from the same Cordovan mother queen, but obviously are only half-Cordovan (hence do not exhibit the Cordovan color). Many of their workers are Cordovan, so they must have mated with some Cordovan drones.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,245

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    JC
    Without using anything but the shape which do you think is the best looking queen of the 3?
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  14. #34
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    My choice would be the one in the middle. She's the largest one I've seen yet this season. She is one of the Mystery queens I mentioned in another thread. I just hope she doesn't turn out to be an AHB usurpation queen.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #35
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    Mar 2010
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    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    That would be my choice also, she has the longest abdomen, however the first pics abdomen looks like it has a really large diameter. I read in one of Larry Connors books that you can count how many segments of abdomen are behind the wings. One plus tip- too small, two plus tip-average, three plus tip- huge(tiger). I don't know how useful it is because how do you account for girth like Joseph's?
    Last edited by muskratcreekhoney; 07-12-2011 at 07:11 AM.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    I read that same book. So far I've never been able to produce cells that I would say were any better than "all right" - faint praise for sure, but most of the queens that I've produced have been fairly big and fat and lay good to excellent patterns. This one is pretty typical - not one of my biggest. Really just one segment + the tip past the wings. Maybe I should start clipping. I haven't even tried to select for size so far, just gentle, productive, and low swarming. Mostly I'm just trying to learn how to do it.



    BTW, I've never before purchased cordovan queens, but most of my queens look like this one (with a darker tip usually) but every once in a while I get one that I would call "peach" colored - very pretty. What would you call that? Sorry I don't have a picture.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    302

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    Is it my imagination or are the dark races longer and the lighter colored ones fatter? Is that Cordovan? She looks really fat as well!!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    632

    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    My dark queens tend to be long and skinny where the yellow queens seem to be shorter and fatter.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    I don't think so - her thorax is pretty much black like it looks like in the picture. I think it has to be reddish to be cordovan. But I've also notice that the carni queens that I've seen are much longer than the golden colored ones in general. But my experience is pretty limited.

  20. #40
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: royal jelly not removed

    This is what a Italian Cordovan queen looks like:

    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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