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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    107

    Default help picking best queen to make new queens from

    i have some good hives i want to make queens from. I have some queens that have been going strong for 4 seasons now. what i have been doing in the past is rearing queens from the hive that makes to most honey, fastest build up and lowest mite count. i dont treat my bees in any way. i have notices i have a few hives that the mite count gets so high i know they will die, but they make it. two queens have made it for 4 season like this. i notice the bees in these hives will get all rough looking in the fall. they will look like a wasp and get black tips on there abdomen. i know all this is from the mites then they winter in a super small cluster, they clear up in the spring and build up fast. i have some hives that keep low mite counts but build up slow and produce mediocre amounts of honey. i am trying to raise happy medium queens build up fast, good honey and low mite counts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Hwy Ashb82, others,

    Select from what you like the best.
    Make sure you do not use only one (1) queen as a mother--use three or more.
    Mate the daughters in different locations.
    Keep good records.

    Sounds like you have some good material to work with.

    Two important facts are: a well-made queen will outperform any other and the more you can
    choose from when selecting, the greater the chances are you'll find something worthy.

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,119

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    a well-made queen will outperform any other
    Nurture is as important as Nature

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    they will look like a wasp and get black tips on there abdomen. i know all this is from the mites
    I'm not familiar with this effect. I do see it in my bees at times. I really just thought it was a color variance. Any more info would be appreciated.(unless I misunderstood you ) BTW,,,I have had at least one of my hives do the same, high mites, very small winter cluster, and fast spring build up. Did not repeat it this last season though. It's encouraging
    Adam, when you say use 3 or more queen mothers, is that in the OPs case or in general for back yard guys reproducing their own stock? Thanks
    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Rick, the multiple queen thing is for queen production of any kind. inbreeding is devistating in bees. causes problems in any animal. but in bees it causes very fast decline due to the specifics of bee genetics. If all the queens in your apiary came from one mother. there is a tremendous bottle neck of genetics that can present it's ugly side in just a couple of generations. You suddenly have queens that lay 50% or more drones.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Thanks DY,
    I thought as much but when experts quantify, I start second guessing and wondering if there is something else I've missed I took a nuc with a swarm cell to different location last season. Will bring that hive back to my main yard this spring. Hope it helps
    Rick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Sometimes the bees loose the hair on their abdomens from robbing and the tips of their tails will be black and shiny from the hair being pulled out. So sometimes the hives that produce the most honey are not good honey producers just good robbers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Turning black is caused by a virus isn't it? One of the paralysis viruses.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    ashb82 - a few questions:
    1) How many colonies do you keep?
    2) How many queens do you need to make?
    3) Do you indeed mean your queens have lasted 4 seasons or did you mean 4 years?
    4) Are you breeding for a specific goal, or for several traits? If several, could you list your priorities?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    1) 30 hives of my own but over 100 hives on the property I also have guy half mile from me that has 600 hives he is a queen breeder he uses Glenn Apiaries vsh breeder queen for drone mothers and Russian as queen mothers he told me. so i should have good drone population that I can't control

    2) 30 queens

    3)4 years

    4)Fast build up, low mite count, and good honey production.
    Last edited by ashb82; 02-17-2013 at 05:19 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: help picking best queen to make new queens from

    Four years is good news.

    Your goals of low mite count and high honey production with fast buildup would lead you to desire Glenn Apiaries' Hygenic Italian line over, say Russians or other hygenics. Being in North Carolina, the early buildup is going to be a good bet most years for early pollination contracts and any early nectar flows, which Russians will be to slow for.

    Unfortunately, Tom Glenn is closed for the time being, but is still running his excellent website. I would contact him about from whom to obtain some of his Hygenic Italian stock.

    If I obtained this Glenn H.I. stock, I'd also breed from your best colony, especially if it displayed some hygenic traits. Even at only 30 colonies, more than one queen line is a good idea. I'd prefer to keep at least 3 lines, and would prefer 5 or 6, keeping good records.

    A goal of only 30 queens is quite modest, and lends to any queen rearing method you are confident at. I would choose one that excelled at producing high quality queens - perhaps Jay Smith's cut-cell method (read Oldtimer's fantastic thread), or Punch-Cell method over grafting, and keep the number of infant queens way down in the queenright finishers. You could consider trying transferring 48-hour QC's (24 hours after pulling out the Cloake Board) into all 30 of your hives - this closely approximates actual supercedure impulse, producing very high quality queens. Good luck to you, and keep us posted!

    Daniel Y - True about inbreeding, except when it is done to promote a highly desirable trait and is controlled very carefully, either as Brother Adam did with drone flooding his inbred drone lines, or using I.I. Producing a large number of queens and selecting from the best over several generations may have fantastic benefits. For the most part, though - inbreeding can be devastating. I.I really opens up the possibility of making inbreeding a beneficial technique, especially if successive generations are out-crossed.

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