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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Creston,Ohio,USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Selecting for early build up

    I am wondering about grafting queens from hives that build up early. Obviously this would just be one of the traits.
    First of all; how much of it is hereditary and how much of it is based upon hive strength, lack of mites, food storage, etc.
    Second, can early build up actually be a detriment if they start too soon without enough pollen coming in?
    Third, is it possible to select for queens that start to build up later yet will surpass a hive that starts to build up sooner?
    How much emphasis do you place on that trait?
    Hoping to glean some wisdom from those that have had more experience than I.
    Thanks.

    Hartz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    415

    Default Re: Selecting for early build up

    Good question Hartz!

    Yes, early build-up may be selected for. Yes, early build-up will be a trade-off to hardiness/thriftiness as resources that possibly would be kept in reserve for survival, are utilized more efficiently and thus used up.

    One usually assumes that the hives that build-up more readily and early are going to possibly need to be fed more then the rest of what you have.
    Many people who use bees as a source of income want early-build-up.

    How about this: select for bees that will build-up early if there is supplemental feed available: they are more responsive to feeding. The best of both maybe?

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: Selecting for early build up

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartz View Post
    First of all; how much of it is hereditary and how much of it is based upon hive strength, lack of mites, food storage, etc.
    No clue. But I think the better question is, does it matter? You're obviously want to keep your colonies strong, with low mite counts, and adequate stores, regardless if you want them to build up early or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartz View Post
    Second, can early build up actually be a detriment if they start too soon without enough pollen coming in?
    Not just pollen, but nectar too. And yes, that can be a problem. I'll begin feeding colonies that I want to expand in January, when Maples don't bloom until February, and dandelions don't get going till mid March. If you feed and they run out of stores, they will starve. If you feed before a natural pollen or nectar flow begins, you need to keep feeding. If you select for early natural build up, and they begin to consume pollen or nectar and a freeze kills all the blooms, they will starve all the same and you need to begin feeding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartz View Post
    Third, is it possible to select for queens that start to build up later yet will surpass a hive that starts to build up sooner?
    I suppose it's possible. At that point you would be selecting for not only the timing of build up, but the egg laying capacity of the queens. If one queen will begin laying February 1 but lays 1,000 eggs per day, and another queen will begin laying March 1 but lays 1,500 eggs per day, as long as all the other factors are accounted for (colony size, stores, ect.), by May 1 they will have equal populations. By June 1 the second colony will be stronger.

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