Results 1 to 20 of 21

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portage County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    99

    Question "myth" of hives making their own queen

    I am new, and I have 2 hives on my property that a friend is housing here. I am doing some of the beekeeping tasks, and its been a great way to learn and get addicted!

    Of course, now I want my very own hive of bees.

    As a newbie, there's something that puzzles me. The puzzler paraphrased well in this paragraph which I gleaned from http://www.beeworks.com/informationc...cs_splits.html :
    "Do not be tempted by older beekeepers that give 'advice' on making up queenless nucs, the advice that states "the bees will make their own queen", we refer to these as poor man's splits. This omits the addition of a queen and forces the bees into making their own emergency queen, not recommended. The end product, because of feeding restrictions, will result in an intercaste queen of little long-term value."

    I'd like to build a nuc, and have it make its own queen - I guess that's a "walk-away hive"? Anyway, per the paragraph above, this won't work or if it does it will produce an inferior queen. Now, why is that? Were there no bees before man began to intervene by specially breeding, introducing and replacing queens? Why would I always have to replace a homegrown queen with an externally acquired one? I just picked the above quote out of dozens of very similar things that I've read on queen breeders sites, in books, and on this forum.

    Anyway, it won't discourage me from trying - but I just don't get why the bees wouldn't figure most things out by themselves. Perhaps someone can explain it to me?

    Thanks!
    CHris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Notch a short row of cells with eggs in them (that is, use your hive tool to cut down the bottom wall of the cell) and the bees will make you a very nice queen.

    There is a general "rule" that emergency queens are inferior to grafted ones, but I don't know if that's true or not. Just make sure you have queen cells within a week of making up the split.

    Or, you can take the queen and let the donor hive make a new queen, that works equally well, probably better since the nuc won't go a month with no new brood that way, and the donor hive has lots more resources.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portage County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Thanks Peter - I've been reading about the notching technique, and would like to give it a try. I like your idea about taking the queen from a thriving hive... except the one such hive I know and love is my friend's hive and I don't think he'd appreciate that since they're doing so well at present.

    If its the "emergency queen" scenario (bees in a lather because they need a new queen desperately) that produces inferior queens ... don't all queens in theory come from an emergency situation where a hive is lacking a good queen and needs another one soon? Or is the problem the emergency that is well underway by the time the queen pops out that weakens them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,958

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    You would need to replace a queen with an externally purchased one because this advice is coming from a company that makes money selling you that queen.
    Or
    You can search up read and follow the advice of dozens of beekeepers that say you can make a walk away split that have not one cent to gain from it.

    As for the quality factor. Here is what I understand about it.

    Naturally a hive seldom experiences the sudden disappearance of their queen. The entire queen replacement system is not optimized for a sudden replacement of the queen. In both supercedure and swarming the bees had adequate time in which to rear a queen under optimum conditions. Emergency replacement of a queen does not necessarily reach that optimum condition.

    Bees need a few days to gear up for making a queen. Or so that is what I have read about it. So rather than just splitting a hive and making the bees do the best they can. split them wait two days give them a fresh frame of eggs and they will do just as good a job rearing a queen as the supplier bought high tech super premium queen woudl be. SO is the supplier lying in how they are presenting the information? Not lying but not telling the whole story. I consider that deceptive at best. I would look for a new supplier and make my own queen as well.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portage County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    You would need to replace a queen with an externally purchased one because this advice is coming from a company that makes money selling you that queen.
    Or
    You can search up read and follow the advice of dozens of beekeepers that say you can make a walk away split that have not one cent to gain from it.
    Daniel - thanks - and as a newbie to the beekeeping world, its confusing trying to understand what's real and what's not. So I'm glad you made the above quote.

    Before I read your post about "emerency" scenarios (and that is good info) I was wondering if a queen raised perhaps more patiently while another weaker one was still alive would be stronger than one that HAD to be ready to go. If a person notched a frame of brood, as psfred noted earlier, in a strong hive, would it cause the bees to build some queen cells? If so, could they be cut out at some point and grafted into a nuc and hope to be already stronger than those raised in an emergency? Does the notch get the bees going?

    I've read and read and thought and thought, and its not quite clicked for me yet, about these queens!

    Thanks for your patience
    Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    SHHHHHHH . . . Don't let my girls hear that. Especially the ones I started without a queen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    If that were to be true there would be no bees. bees are not dependent upon beekeepers as they know beekeeping better than us reguardless of what some beekeepers think. In the spring a walk away split works well. dont believe everything on the computer. lol good luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,623

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    I've had good luck with walk.away splits. Remember that the biggest drawback is time.....6 weeks before you will have new bees.emerging....at least 4 before you can be sure if she made it or not. Like everything, if you have a number of hives.you can use as resources, it is all easier. On any scale, however, the timing factor makes raising queens in a cell builder more attractive.
    deknow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Daniel has it right. Queens in nature are planned on by the bees. The eggs are laid in pre-made cell cups and are planned and prepared for in advance by the bees.

    A walk away split is totally UNnatural. No planning, eggs not laid in cell cups but are in regular worker cells, which prevents the developing queens from getting the full nourishment they would get if it was raised in a true queen cell from a pre-made cup.

    Walk away splits will produce queens, but they will be not as well nourished when raised, so are inferior. Some say it does fine and gets good queens, but how long do those queens last? I've found, myself, that walkaway splits are only 50% successful if you follow the performance of the queens over time.

    Make up a nuc to use as a cell builder, with a frame of eggs in it. Make it overly crowded with young nurse bees. 3 to 4 days later, remove all started queen cells and remove the frame of eggs, which are now larva, and insert another frame of eggs. This primes the bees to build cells as they are now in full production of royal jelly. Also, that last frame of eggs added, should be eggs laid in a virgin wax frame. This makes it much easier for the bees to remake the wax around the cells they choose to build into queen cells. Get this frame by inserting a frame of wax foundation into the center of the broodnest of your strong hive that you want daughters of the queen from. Check it daily, and as they start drawing out the wax, then make up your cell builder nuc. This will give you eggs in virgin wax to give the cell builder nuc.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portage County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Make up a nuc to use as a cell builder, with a frame of eggs in it. Make it overly crowded with young nurse bees. 3 to 4 days later, remove all started queen cells and remove the frame of eggs, which are now larva, and insert another frame of eggs. This primes the bees to build cells as they are now in full production of royal jelly. Also, that last frame of eggs added, should be eggs laid in a virgin wax frame. This makes it much easier for the bees to remake the wax around the cells they choose to build into queen cells. Get this frame by inserting a frame of wax foundation into the center of the broodnest of your strong hive that you want daughters of the queen from. Check it daily, and as they start drawing out the wax, then make up your cell builder nuc. This will give you eggs in virgin wax to give the cell builder nuc.

    Okay, its starting come into focus for me. I can see why an emergency queen may be inferior because of lack of feeding. Ray - your technique above sounds very viable.

    Okay, I'm now armed with broader and more logical knowledge!!! Thanks everyone!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,036

    Default Re: "myth" of hives making their own queen

    Quote Originally Posted by BSAChris View Post

    Anyway, it won't discourage me from trying - but I just don't get why the bees wouldn't figure most things out by themselves. Perhaps someone can explain it to me?

    Thanks!
    CHris
    I think it is a matter of percentages. The last time I made up nucs to make their own queen, some 75 or 80% of them did so successfully. Seventyfive or 80 out of 100 isn't bad, in my opinion. But, if one nuc was 75% successful, it wouldn't be successful. So, you are taking your chances.

    This by no means means you should not go ahead and try. You might be successful. If not, you may learn something. So, don't listen to the "experts". Do what you want to. What do you have to loose?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads