Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?
I went to a talk by Gunther Hauk in Charlottesville VA recently and was a bit surprised by some of the blanket statements that he made about modern beekeeping. One that really caught me off guard was that grafted queens are inferior and have lead to many of the problems that bees are facing. I have played around with lots of different styles of queen rearing from moving swarm cells, MDA splitter method, Alley Method, Miller method, Smith method, walk away splits, and grafting and not noticed any difference in the quality of the queens as long as the cell raising hive was strong and well fed. I prefer grafting overall. So I am perplexed how grafting could be so bad if done in the correct conditions. I can't say that I buy his explanation.
Here is a quote from his blog:
"In case of the honeybees: they have a weakened immune system due to all the poisons in nature, the reduced diversity of food supply and, of course, all the nasty things we have invented to get more honey. The most serious impact on the colony's health is the way queens are bred commercially from worker larvae. In Rudolf Steiner's bee lectures it becomes clear that the queen is closely connected to the sun-forces due to her short gestation time (16 days). The workers have fallen out of that sun-influence to some degree; the drones are fully earthly beings (hey, they are males!). By breeding queens from worker larvae over 100 years, we have reduced this pure 'sun-being' to have more and more earthly qualities. The manipulated queen has a lowered (spiritual) light-emittence which negatively influences the health and vitality of the entire colony. Therefore these parasitic forces of darkness have better access to the bees. Varroa mites, tracheal mites, small African hive beetle, and now flies!? "
----- Gunther Hauk
What do you all think?