Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 81
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I was curious how the big boys/girls do it.

    Do they have multiple mating yards or colored mating nucs, that they rotate through.

    I.e. Every Friday they graft X cells for Red Yard or Red Nucs, which is moved/captures per queen rearing schedule.

    Does each yard have a dedicated starter(s)/finisher(s), that are used every 21+ days?

    Or do they have one constantly restocked starter(s)/finisher(s) that is used for all yards/colored nucs?

    I'm trying to decide how I want to try my hand this year. I can see the perk of 20 queens a week vs 60 queens every 3 weeks. The load per week would be less, and the chance of bad weather ruining a entire batch would be minimized.

    Any information would be great. I grafted/mated around 100 queens last season. I'm getting my ducks in a row to do significantly more, but I'd like to learn from professionals.

    Thanks,
    -Kevin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Good question. Trying to organize the mating nucs was difficult, because although your first batch of virgins go in all at the same time. you get some nucs that were unsuccessful in a mated return or your remove some mated queens and not others Then they start getting on different schedules. I used different colored duct tape with notes written on them, just stuck on the outside of the nucs. Yellow for queenless with the date the queen was removed from the nuc. Gray for new virgins installed +the date, green for mated/laying and ready to be sold. Of course all marked with the breeder queens name. I could see at a glance the status of the mating nuc and none ever got overlooked. I'm pretty sure there is a better way. But it worked for me.

    I used this queen rearing calender.
    http://www.thebeeyard.org/cgi-bin/qu...ay=1&year=2012

    Every batch of queens got this calender printed up with the removal date of the queen cells highlighted. The calenders were all placed on a clip board with their detailed notes.
    Cell removal dates were also written on my larger calender and highlighted so I never forgot.
    It worked like a charm. I also made notes about the mating success of that batch, weather details if they were extreme, anything I might want to know down the road. The queens I kept still have their hatch dates on the hives and parentage-so I can evaluate them next year and refer to my notes for any insight.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-01-2012 at 08:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I did something similar to that last year. I used bricks with colored sides/letters. I'd rotate the brick on the hive based on my findings. Originally, I had used colored push pins and different locations, but I kept knocking them off.



    At the moment, I'm attempting to work out my schedule for the coming season. I "might" just plan on restocking the failed nucs, rather than get them off track. Not sure at this point, hoping that some of the local experts chime it.

    I'd like to get a better grasp. I.e. if I run 80 mating nucs, graft 40 cells, stock 20 a nucs week, then pull queen in 4 weeks. In "theory", I could run a 4 yard/nuc rotation. Of course, I'm probably missing something.

    Now, I just have to figured out how to get Lauri to mail me 80 of her designer nucs for testing purposes.

    **Side Note** I'm not worried about pulling the queen as soon as I see the first egg. I'd rather that she get an extra couple days of laying for evaluation, if it keeps my schedule on track.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Thinking something like this..... (Assuming that I'm using a starter/finisher)

    Thoughts? (Ignore the dates, they are for demo purposes)

    Is there an assumed average time for locating and capturing queen? Obviously this would depend on type of hive and skill of person, but I'd like to get a rough idea.

    Thanks,

    Fri Mar 1, 2013
    Graft Cells - Blue
    Fri Mar 8, 2013
    Graft Cells - Red
    Sun Mar 10, 2013
    Move Cells - Blue
    Fri Mar 15, 2013
    Graft Cells - Yellow
    Sun Mar 17, 2013
    Move Cells - Red
    Fri Mar 22, 2013
    Graft Cells - Green
    Sun Mar 24, 2013
    Move Cells - Yellow
    Fri Mar 29, 2013
    Graft Cells - Blue
    Sun Mar 31, 2013
    Move Cells - Green
    Fri Apr 5, 2013
    Graft Cells - Red
    Sun Apr 7, 2013
    Capture Queen - Blue
    Move Cells - Blue
    Fri Apr 12, 2013
    Graft Cells - Yellow
    Sun Apr 14, 2013
    Capture Queen - Red
    Move Cells - Red
    Fri Apr 19, 2013
    Graft Cells - Green
    Sun Apr 21, 2013
    Capture Queen - Yellow
    Move Cells - Yellow
    Fri Apr 26, 2013
    Graft Cells - Blue
    Sun Apr 28, 2013
    Capture Queen - Green
    Move Cells - Green
    Fri May 3, 2013
    Graft Cells - Red
    Sun May 5, 2013
    Capture Queen - Blue
    Move Cells - Blue

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,896

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    purvis had a articles in i think abj recently, i don't remember if this topic was included.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Kevin,

    From an efficiency standpoint, your schedule looks pretty good. Most commercial operations work in groups. Cells are constantly being produced, often in excess. If a batch fails or falls short, there is another group right behind it to fill in the gaps. Nucs are often worked in blocks as you describe. Set up yard and then come back to catch queens 18 or so days later, depending on the size of you nucs and weather conditions for mating. The nucs in a block are all worked together, meaning queens are caught, and cells replaced that day or the next. Any nucs with virgins or misses are restocked and ready to go again.

    You may alter the system any way you like to suite you needs.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I start my cell building in early May, and continue well into July, with the last queens ready in early August. We catch queens every 4 days through the season.

    I'm using a schedule designed by Webster, and published in the ABJ a number of years ago. It's an 8 day schedule, with one cell building chore completed each day. After 8 days, the cycle is repeated. It uses Brother Adam's cell building method.

    Basic schedule:

    Day 1 Set up cell builder
    2 Check cell builder for wild queen cells
    3 Grafting day
    4 Catch queens
    5 Cells ready
    6 Comb in breeder hive
    7 -
    8 Re-unite cell builder

    Parts of the schedule are running all the time. You set up the CB on day 1, but don't check it for 9 days...which would be day 2 in the second week of schedule. And so on.

    On week 1, day 1 you set up the cell builder by adding a body of queenless brood and bees above an excluder...to a strong colony. No more work until day 6, when you add grafting comb to breeder.
    Week 2, day 1, set up another CB
    day 2, check entire cell builder for cells...swarm below EX, emergency above.
    day 3, grafting day
    4, nothing...no queens ready yet
    5, nothing, no cells ready yet
    6, comb in CB
    7 -----
    8, Re-unite queen with cell builder

    Week 3, Day 1, set up a cell builder...the schedule repeats every 8 days.

    The first cells are ready 10 days after first graft. The first queens are ready 16 days after first cells are ready. The cell builder can be set up again the day the cells are removed.

    I run 2 schedules at once, 4 days apart. This double schedule meshes well, and gives me queens every 4 days.

    I run 500+ mating nucs...4 comb minis in 4 ways. They are divided into 4 groups. Each group is made up of 4 circles of 8-4 way mating nucs, 32 mn in each circle, or 128 in each group. We catch the queens from each group every 16 days, or one group every 4 days.

    The cell builders take 20 days from set-up to ripe cells, and the afternoon of cell harvest, the CB can be setup again.

    Bro Adam harvest the brood and bees from production colonies in out yards. I have a 60 nucs right in the CB yard for that.

    Does this answer your question? Make sense?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Joe,

    Thanks for the info/encouragement.

    Michael,

    Most of that makes sense, I'll need to draw it out on a calendar to see the big picture.

    I'm trying to align mine with weekend work, since I still have a day job.

    Thanks,
    -Kevin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,367

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Unfortunately the gestation of a virgin queen dosent coincide with the calendar that our society uses. Large queen operations have had to find creative ways of making this work and still allowing their workers to at least take Sundays off.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Unfortunately the gestation of a virgin queen dosent coincide with the calendar that our society uses. Large queen operations have had to find creative ways of making this work and still allowing their workers to at least take Sundays off.
    Fortunately, or unforutnately... I don't have to worry about letting anyone off. I just need to make sure that my queen rearing activities fall on Fri, Sat, or Sun with light work possible during the week after hours.

    Michael,

    Can you post the link to your mating nucs? I thought I remembered you running 2-way half frames with a sliding division feeder.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I tried to make my ripe queen cells coincide with the weekend so folks who wanted them could pick them up on their days off. I had No cell sales however. I was surprised, but people were scared to death to try them. They were quite cheap and would be a great way for someone to make a good queen stock or increases. I think I advertised them at $10.00 each with a successful hatch guarantee or free one time replacement.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-01-2012 at 05:35 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Michael, Can you list just one schedule for beginning to end from day 1 to day 20 without including any activities from overlapping schedules? It seems tome that you have described multiple schedules but most activities are not linked to what schedule.

    I think I can sort it our to abut day 6 but still am not sure just what day you graft. after that it becomes utter confusion.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Day 1. Set up cell builder
    Day 6 Grafting comb in breeder
    Day 10 Check CB for queen cells
    Day 11 Graft
    Day 16 Re-unite CB
    Day 21 Cells ready
    Set up CB for second round
    Day 37 Mated queens ready

    Day 38 Cells ready to re-cell mating nucs

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I think I advertised them at $10.00 each with a successful hatch guarantee or free replacement.

    Would that be successful hatch, or mated queen?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Just hatch-and you have to bring back the unhatched cell for one time replacement. No guarantees on mating.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    This year I was running one mating yard with all the mating nucs having colored push pins that corresponded to which week and which breeder queen was used. It worked out really well having 3 rounds of queens going at the same time. 21 days after cells get planted I harvest the queens with color "X" push pins. If I didn't have them all sold I would mark those nucs to be the first to be pulled on the next week. This year I plan to do things a little different just to be easier managed, spread out the queens for higher drone to queen saturation and better genetic diversity. I will have 3 mating yards with each having 40 to 60 mating nucs and each yard will be one batch of queens. So week one I plant cells in yard A, week two plant cells in Yard B, week 3 plant cells in yard C, week 4 harvest mated queens in yard A and replant cells, and so forth. The three mating yards are in the middle of a larger circle of all my apiaries.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Thank You Michael. that is much appreciated.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    931

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I like to use the wide base plastic q cell cups
    BLUE for vsh
    GREEN for Russian
    YELLOW for SunKist
    I will leave these under the lid after hatch this way i know what race they are

    100 Nuc's in yard= 80% turn out
    That leaves 20 that need recelled
    Time you learn they didn't turn out and recell,they are out of timing. Then only 20% of the 20 don't turn out that leaves another 4 out of time for catching.
    Then when you catch laying queens out of the first 80% and recell then they don't all turn out you got 16 more nuc out of timing.you can see how quickly things get hard to keep in time.

    This is why i like single units you move these to another queen yard these that are out of timing on catching or recelling and recell them at the same time.

    There is another way you could work this.
    If weather is good most will be laying in 11 to 12 days from placing in ripe queen cells.
    Check and recell one's that didn't turn out. Then give these time to mate and lay a few days
    Then catch your laying queens but then you will risk the chance of them wanting to swarm because the first 80% are getting strong.
    Last edited by Velbert; 12-01-2012 at 09:35 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    I've got too many mating nucs to catch, to re-cell every problem mating nuc that way Velbert. I would be running around with my head off just trying to keep up. I give the mating nucs their cells, and 16 days later catch what mated queens they have. If they don't have a laying queen, it could be the virgin never returned. Sometimes it's the bees have rejected my cell and raised their own. Sometimes the cell died and the virgin never emerged. I correct the problem...destroy emergency cells and/or virgins, and re-cell at that point. If they haven't any emerging brood left, they get a frame from a strong nuc. If they have laying workers, they get a frame of emerging and a ripe cell.

    There's always another batch of queens to catch in 4 days, and too much cell building work for me and apiary work for my help to mess around with problem mating nucs.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Curious on Commerical Queen Rearing Yard Rotation

    Velbert, When I ready your 20% my first reaction was that is an exaggeration. So I went to the only source of actual numbers I have for now. or at least know where it is.
    The following comes from a per on comparison of Instrumentally Inseminated queens to Naturally Mated queens. Arguably it applies due to the following statement.
    "Most studies report similar rates among IIQ's (Instrumentally Inseminated Queens) and NMQ"s (Naturally Mated Queens) So the percentages will reasonably apply regardless if they are reporting rates for II OR NM.
    1. 1480 total queens mated 1972,73 25.2% and 16.5% failure respectively average 21% This does clearly show that bad years can be very bad as well. A 25% plus failure rate means you have to graft nearly twice as many queens as you want to produce. I will show that in a bit. OUCH!
    2. From 1972 to 1983 3440 queens mated 10% failure. a longer time span give a better average loss rate but conceals yearly highs and lows.
    3. In 1989 a study reported 15% average failure for a 5 year period.


    Related factor. one study showed a 5% failure in queens mated 10 days after emergence. but a 20% failure of queens mated at 13 days after emergence. this alone could account in drastic differences in failure rates.

    I included that last line just to show that other factors need to be considered. but overall if your operation is running 20% losses it is what it is. I am just looking to see if such high rates are common.

    In the 3 reports above there are 18 years total with an average combined failure rate of 12.59%

    Although this protracted average does not support 20% losses. clearly the individual year numbers say that even your 20% claim could be low. Don't you just love numbers? They can pretty much just flat lie to you and you can't argue with them.

    What this does tell me is that if you are having higher than 15% losses consistently your time may be better spent not chasing around empty nucs and re queening. but taking a long hard look at how you are getting your queens mated. There very well may be just a detail here or their that can make a big difference. Like trying to make sure your queens are mated at as close to 10 days after emergence as possible. In reading the entire paper temperature and room the queen is kept at after mating also makes a big difference. So High failure rates may better be addressed by looking at the condition of the nuc rather than the queen. I don't consider the above includes losses to queens not returning during open mating. So 20% losses up to actual mating and returning does seem to be very realistic. 20% unsatisfactory layers is also likely but may be preventable.

    That is a total of 36% losses, at 50% losses you would have to graft 2 to 1 the number of queens you want to end up with. Clearly there is a lot of room to improve breeding methods.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

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