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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    I think one of the reasons that there probably is no scientific study on the subject is that there are too many variables that contribute to the quality of a queen. I do not believe that any of those are the angle at which the egg was laid, nor do I believe that there are eggs that were destined from the beginning to be queens by some difference in the egg (the idea that the egg in a queen cell was any different than an egg in a worker cell was purported by Schirach and proven by Huber in the late 1700s.)

    I think of all the factors involved, feeding is the biggest. It is related to the age of the larvae in that feeding of a worker or a queen is identical for some time, but changes somewhere in the first 36 hours or so and many suspect that some of those changes are less than 36 hours, if not in quantity, perhaps in quality. I try to graft when they are just a speck on a drop of royal jelly. Feeding has a lot to do with flows, how crowded the hive is with bees etc.

    The next issue is how well they are mated. A queen that is poorly mated never does as well. The main issue here is plenty of mature drones flying and good flying weather.

    The next issue, which is important, but I would put it after those other two, is genetics. You do need good genetics of bees that do well in your environment.

    It is the combination of these issues that makes a good or poor queen.

    Back to Jay Smith's observation. I think he is basing it on that time lag of when the larvae is not being fed because of the time to pull the frame, graft the larvae and get it back in the colony. With any graftless method the larvae is still in a pool of royal jelly while all this takes place which helps some. But the Chinese grafting tool tends to pick up that pool pretty well. Even doing the Better Queens method there is a time delay of cutting the combs and waxing them on and destroying the in between larvae to make room to separate the cells. All of this takes time. So I think we are back to them staying in that pool of jelly being the difference he is counting on.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    My understanding is that the Larve is feeding from that pool? do you guys think that the bees are actually feeding that super tiny larve by mouth???
    I thought that was part of the point of double grafting?

    Maybe i am missing something.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Michael - In your work have you done comparisons between queens raised, having used a grafting tool vs queens raised with Jenter which are not mechanically detached using a grafting tool from a cell for movement into a cell cup. I'd be interested to hear about any results as well as your reasons for going to Jenter.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    It is virtually impossible, at least in my mind, to directly tie the quality of a queen directly with how it was fed because the quality of the mating itself is at least as important as any other factor. I am not convinced that there is any actual evidence that a larger cell is real proof that the virgin was any better fed than a somewhat smaller one. It could be that they only have a capacity to consume a finite amount of jelly and the resulting cell size relates more to a seperate dynamic within the builder. Personally I look for uniformity of cell size as the benchmark of a well fed virgin. A somewhat longer cell can often bee a sign that the larvae has fallen away from contact with the royal jelly.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    .... (the idea that the egg in a queen cell was any different than an egg in a worker cell was purported by Schirach and proven by Huber in the late 1700s.)
    Would you please clarify this statement? Are you saying that Huber proved that an egg in a queen cell is different than that in a worker?
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    It could be that they only have a capacity to consume a finite amount of jelly and the resulting cell size relates more to a seperate dynamic within the builder.
    I agree. Quite often when cells are well fed, the remaining cell will still have residual royal jelly in it after the queen has emerged.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    >My understanding is that the Larve is feeding from that pool? do you guys think that the bees are actually feeding that super tiny larve by mouth???

    No but they constantly (as every few minutes at most) renewing that pool, not just adding to it, but removing and adding to it.

    >I thought that was part of the point of double grafting?

    Yes. It is the point of double grafting. Yet I've never seen any noticeable difference with that.

    >Michael - In your work have you done comparisons between queens raised, having used a grafting tool vs queens raised with Jenter which are not mechanically detached using a grafting tool from a cell for movement into a cell cup. I'd be interested to hear about any results as well as your reasons for going to Jenter.

    I haven't done any scientific measurements, but I see no difference by simple observation. Both make good queens when you set up the right conditions and both make poor queens if you don't.

    >It is virtually impossible, at least in my mind, to directly tie the quality of a queen directly with how it was fed because the quality of the mating itself is at least as important as any other factor.

    I agree. There are too many other factors and IF there is any difference, it is insignificant compared to all those other factors.

    > I am not convinced that there is any actual evidence that a larger cell is real proof that the virgin was any better fed than a somewhat smaller one.

    I agree. I think the amount of left over jelly is a better measurement that the size of the cell.

    >>.... (the idea that the egg in a queen cell was any different than an egg in a worker cell was purported by Schirach and proven by Huber in the late 1700s.)
    >Would you please clarify this statement? Are you saying that Huber proved that an egg in a queen cell is different than that in a worker?

    Quite the opposite. The prevailing theory of the day was that there were three kinds of eggs: drones, workers and queens. Schirach had questioned that and fairly well proved that bees could make a queen when they had no queen cell and no queen, but some still argued that perhaps the queen randomly laid queen eggs in worker cells and one of those was converted, rather than removed as they might have been had they not needed the queen. Huber was the one who laid all that to rest.

    >I agree. Quite often when cells are well fed, the remaining cell will still have residual royal jelly in it after the queen has emerged.

    And I think that is the best measurement. Did they run out of food...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I agree. Quite often when cells are well fed, the remaining cell will still have residual royal jelly in it after the queen has emerged.
    Nothing scientific here; however, it does seem that 'grafted' queens are often superseded fairly soon. My opinion, however, is that the problem lies with the food received by the queen larvae.

    Most of the queen breeders and package dealers certainly feed their bees. And the stuff they feed is HFCS and pollen supplements. IMO, these artificial feeds are lower quality food and produce lower quality queens. I do not believe that the queens being started from young worker larvae is the problem.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    I've seen that the queens first meal is to turn around and eat the remaining royal jelly in the cell she emerged from. A well fed cell is one that supplies the queen royal jelly left over so she has a large first meal.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    back to the original point of the thread - i have read many differing theories of "organic" agriculture. i even wrote for one of the big organic publications for a while. most of the opinions are very much evidence-based. rudolf steiner's bio-dynamic theory is the big exception. steiner was incoherent and his acolytes are batshit crazy!
    (full disclosure - i haven't actually tried filling a cow's horn with poop, burying it beneath a fulll moon and dancing around it naked to collect magical space energy)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    And finally is it even true there is a difference. if ti is how much of a difference? so in the end is it something big enough to even worry about. it is something so important it could be causing problems in the bees overall. For me the issue starts getting some pretty big shoes to fill. It starts loosing readability the more things I add for it to be responsible for. Okay so maybe we have some slightly mal nourished queens. That is not genetic and will not be carried on and compounded. So the next generation gets grafted at one hour and you scrub the slate clean.

    Overall I am not seeing my own argument holding up will over time. random poor queens maybe. decline of the honey bee. I don't think it is even possible over an issue of nutrition. starvation does not alter genetics. only the transmission of those genetics. A starved poor health queen still carries the same genes they are not altered one bit.
    i do have to disagree with daniel, however. we have pretty good evidence that starvation does alter genetics, or at least the expression of those genetics. whether that is compounded over generations or the slate is wiped clean remains to be seen.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    >Nothing scientific here; however, it does seem that 'grafted' queens are often superseded fairly soon.

    While I agree a lot of the commercial queens out there seem to be superseded quickly, I graft a lot of queens and I don't see them superseded in several years... so I think it has more to do with raising them too early and banking them too quickly after they start to lay, not with grafting itself
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    >And the stuff they feed is HFCS and pollen supplements. IMO, these artificial feeds are lower quality food and produce lower quality queens.

    There is plenty of evidence that pollen substitute makes short lived bees. I'm sure it also makes short lived queens.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Do we know why eggs positioned in a queen cell artificially by man is rejected by the bees?...since we know that the bees will naturally lay eggs into cell cups on the combs in preparation for swarming.....
    Thanks Jim

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    It seems the next big advancement in queen rearing would be figuring out how to get the bees to accept eggs within cell cups .....natural or artificial....if it is generally accepted that queens reared under the swarming instinct result in the best queens & these queens always come from eggs placed into cell cups by the queen or bees themselves...how do we replicate those conditions in order get the bees to accept eggs placed into cups by man?

    Thanks Jim

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Mark I woudl tend to agree except you are talking about something that is fed 1500 times a day.
    sorry...doesn't pass the smell test. There are 1440 minutes in a day. young brood is constantly eating...it is laying in a pool of food.

    has anyone observed larvae being "fed" once a minute? i've grafted larvae onto microscope slides (with food...using a chinese grafting tool) and recorded video of it under the microscope....larvae appear to "swallow" once every few seconds.

    i'm still in arizona, but can probably post a video in a few days. i've done this "live" at our conference in Leominster, and I've shown video at several club meetings....I've been amazed that some of the top academic bee researchers seem to have never done this, and are captivated. it seems like about the most obvious thing to do to me.

    deknow

    deknow

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Some of Gunther's writings (his book, "towards saving the honeybee") are beautiful to read...especially his description of the comb precipitating out of the cluster as bones precipitate out of a developing fetus comes to mind.

    Ramona went to one of his workshops when he was still at the Pfeiffer Institute...it is where we first learned about foundationless comb (before we had ever heard of enlarged cell size).

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhr81064 View Post
    It seems the next big advancement in queen rearing would be figuring out how to get the bees to accept eggs within cell cups
    you can crowd the bees (don the fatbeeman talks about this)...there are many ways to induce the building of swarm cells.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    sorry...doesn't pass the smell test. There are 1440 minutes in a day. young brood is constantly eating...it is laying in a pool of food.

    has anyone observed larvae being "fed" once a minute? i've grafted larvae onto microscope slides (with food...using a chinese grafting tool) and recorded video of it under the microscope....larvae appear to "swallow" once every few seconds.
    The actions of bees and larvae concerning a larva grafted onto a microscope slide are the same as undisturbed larvae and bees within a hive? No, of course not.

    According to Morse...I think it was he...larvae are "visited" some 10,000 times between egg hatch and cell sealing. Visits, I believe, means topping off the pussle of jelly, and not actually "feeding" the larva. The nurse bees don't actually feed the larva, she does it herself.

    At least, that's my take on the matter.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Williamson View Post
    "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
    With all due respect to anyone's sensibilities, what a load of pseudo-spiritual nonsense. And I only say that because I'm not allowed to use a stronger word than 'nonsense' here on BeeSource.

    While I do not like the idea of hundreds of queens being created from one as it is detrimental to the gene pool, humans have spent hundreds of years figuring out the best ways to make new queens. One thing that people can do that bees can't is make sure absolutely everything is in the proper place to get the best quality queens possible. Certainly not much inferior to naturally raised queens, if at all.

    Poisons in nature are important, but what about the poisons beekeepers put in the hive?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Is there any scientific evidence that grafted queens are inferior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    With all due respect to anyone's sensibilities, what a load of pseudo-spiritual nonsense. And I only say that because I'm not allowed to use a stronger word than 'nonsense' here on BeeSource.

    While I do not like the idea of hundreds of queens being created from one as it is detrimental to the gene pool, humans have spent hundreds of years figuring out the best ways to make new queens. One thing that people can do that bees can't is make sure absolutely everything is in the proper place to get the best quality queens possible. Certainly not much inferior to naturally raised queens, if at all.

    Poisons in nature are important, but what about the poisons beekeepers put in the hive?
    Bravo Sol, we agree on this one (even the part about the poisons in the hive) All queen raisers are really doing is channeling the natural instincts of bees to suit the beekeepers purposes and ideally you are doing it at a time when bees will readily cooperate.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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