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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Windham,CT USA
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    17

    Default How to Track Queens?

    Every year I buy queens from two or three different sources, as well as rearing my own. I am looking for a system, to track queens and their offspring. What type of system do you use.

    Do you number the queen and the colony or do you use the original producers name and call the colony the same name with a number after…

    Is your tracking method a series of numbers and letters and how do you arrive at them.

    Two generations out, how does the system work?

    Is the information kept in the colony or do you use a number and then correspond that number with a queen identification system held in notebooks or computers..

    Exactly how does your system work. Please be “pacific”!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
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    11

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Check here www.hivetracks.com a free service

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,126

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Make a list of the 5 or 6 most important factors that you think point to colony success.

    Things like honey production, feed required, temper, brood patterns, strength of colony in early spring, diseases present, propensity to swarm, etc. Follow each queen, or her daughter on your yard sheet for a couple years or more. It should be obvious which stocks are best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windham,CT USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Thanks Mike!

    I guess my question wasn't as clear as it should have been. I was interested in the mechanics of tracking. For instance: queen 10, in yard one, in hive six ... may be followed by giving her the designation of 10A06. This would be queen ten, the yard, A, is number one yard and hive six..

    The next generation would be what? 10A06-B?... But then maybe the yard would change. How do you desginate your queens? What are the mechanics you employ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,126

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Okay, I get it.

    My yard sheet...spreadsheet... has those selection criteria I want along the left column. Then, each column is one colony in that apiary. At the top of each column is the colony number. Each colony has a number. 1-24 if there are 24 colonies in the yard. I used to number each colony in my entire operation starting at 1 and continuing to 800+. Well, after moving bees into and out of apple orchards for a few years, my numbers/yard were no longer in any order. So I changed to numbering hives by yard. 1-24 in each yard. You should be comparing colonies within each yard to each other...not to colonies in the whole operation. Apiaries perform differently from each other.

    So, you could number each colony with a number and an abbreviation to designate the apiary name. For instance, colony 16 in the Thibodeau yard would be named: 16-thi.

    Individual queens are given either an abbreviation of breeder's name, and the year she was mated. Colony 16 having a 2011 queen raised by Wilbanks, would be wil-11. Since I raise all my own queens, from breeder queens, I number the breeder queens. So, a colony might have a queen from breeder queen # 7, and that queen was mated in 2011. The queen number would be 37-11

    If that queen was superseded in 2012, the new queen's number would be 12v/37-11. Meaning a virgin raised in 2012 from #37-11

    I don't move colonies any more. No pollinating for me. If you do move your bees, write the colony number on the back of the hive and include the queen number.

    Here's a little youtube I came across the other night. I talk a little bit about keeping track of queens. Surprising what's out there that one doesn't know about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_AcGcQFc9w

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Salty, I have not had to do this for bees but I have done it for many other things.
    Look a bit into pedigree because that is what you are talking about.

    I am going to use some real names here simply because it's to early for me to be imaginative.

    I intend to start queen breeding some day. when I do I will get breeder stock from as many breeders as I can. for right now I will say.

    Glenn Apiaries (no longer possible they no longer exist)
    Joe Latshwa
    Susan Cobey
    Michael Palmer

    Now in order to control who is who in all these queens and their daughters I need a way to track the offspring of all these queens.

    I would first start by naming an apiary. So lets say I have apiaries in Lemmon Valley, Stead, Red Rock and Cold Springs.

    My tracking would start with Apiary name LV for Lemmon valley St for Stead, RR for Red Rock and CS for Cold Springs

    Next it would be the name of the original breeder. TG for Tom Glenn etc

    So a Tom Glenn Queen in Cold Springs would be CSTG

    Next woudl be the hive identification which most likely would be a number so lets say she is in hive 18 The ID now becomes CSTG18 Finally the queen may or may not have a numbered tag depending on how you mark your queens if so just add the tag number or color if you just tag them with colors. So I would end up with CSTG1801 for a Cold Springs Tom Glenn hive 16 queen tagged with a number one button. Color of button tracks year queen was produced so you can add another letter for that.

    So how does this work for the next generation? A direct descendant is simply listed as F1, F2 etc. but a cross produces a new line.

    So any daughter of that CST1801 Queen is a CST1801(F1)
    and I can tell you I can sell you a second generation Tom Glenn open mated queen.

    In the case of a cross. Lets say I also have a LVMP2314 for a Lemmon Valley Michael Palmer Hive 23 tag 14 queen and I cross her drones through II with the Cold Springs Queen offspring

    I know for my record I want to track this as a CSTG1801 X LVMP2314 (DYline) But it will become a RRDY0101 Queen. New line moved to a new location. And that line is mine.

    I can shorten this to just breeders if I do not need to track individual queens TGXMP-DY01 which means I cross Toms with Michaels to come up with my first (01) cross.

    So lets say I make 100 of these TGXMP queens. I simply give each a number form 1 to 100. I can list them as TGXMP or as DY01 either way I want my records to tell me how I came up with the DY01 line. I would tend to stick with the TGXMP method as the listing in my records gives me more complete info. Now the daughters of that cross could be sold to you as a TGXMP(F1) Open mated queen.

    I can make the info to me in how they are tracked even more complete if I list this new line TGXMP-DY01. This tells me that a Tom and Michael cross resulted in my first cross.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    This tells me that a Tom and Michael cross resulted in my first cross.
    Would that be a Teal, or a Mom?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,611

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Michael, It's SAD. Cause Toms bees are now gone. I know a lot of people has the product of his work. But it is just not the same. I hope his stock made it into good hands. Given the results of his effort. I think Mom fits.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Michael, It's SAD. Cause Toms bees are now gone.
    Nah, his bees are all over North America.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    I came up with a system that I hope will work over time. Only in year two, but already I can see how easily I will l see trends. I have not thought it through over a multi. year process yet, so open to any suggestions.

    Hives are numbered and yards identified.

    Queens are tracked using a breeder ID, year obtained- so for example queen from VP Queen Bees is
    VP 2010 (year obtained)
    If she is superceded she becomes
    VP 2010 d

    Or if she is a 2011 queen that was superceded in the next year 2012 she is
    VP 2011 D b2012

    Now starting to graft and raise my own, so I am trying out this- Mother was a VP 2009 and I grafted from her and produced a queen in 2012-
    VP 2009 (gft) b2012
    But I fear this is going to lead to some pretty long naming conventions over time.
    So for now I have a colum by year and I update the queen source every year.
    karla

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by saltyoldman View Post
    Exactly how does your system work. Please be “pacific”!
    Personally I don't have a requirement to track queen lineages -all of mine are open mated so with no control over the drones I content myself with selecting for certain traits with no historical regard for their ancestry. At any rate, after a couple of generations of open mating I don't think it matters too much.... [edit: so plainly, I'm not offering any kind of tested advice]....

    But, in the hope that this may help you, there's a book by Eigil Holm, 'Queen Breeding and Genetics' ISBN 978-1-904846-62-8 which has a chapter on the way that Brother Adam (and now the modern Buckfast breeders in Europe) built his pedigrees. Whether it's of enough interest for you to buy a copy of the book is another matter!
    Last edited by Rolande; 01-06-2013 at 08:41 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: How to Track Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Okay, I get it.
    Here's a little youtube I came across the other night. I talk a little bit about keeping track of queens. Surprising what's out there that one doesn't know about.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_AcGcQFc9w
    I just caught this. Nice little lesson of yours they caught on tape, but it sure would be nice to ask you before posting on you tube!
    karla

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