How Well are Very Young Larvae Fed
Selection of a breeder queen within your own apiary or beestocks has been discussed in detail on this forum.
However, what has been previously said about the feeding of very young larvae in the colony headed by the queen you select?
Although now retired, this is what one of Australia's largest queen breeders said on the matter:
"During the years I have been breeding and rearing queen bees, and transferring countless numbers of young larvae into prepared queen cell cups, one condition has stood out, which is very easy to observe, but would be very difficult to measure in a scientific way by a commercial operator who does not have the sophisticated equipment and the skills to operate this equipment, which seems to determine how well a strain of bees will perform. This condition I refer to is. HOW WELL A COLONY OF BEES FEEDS ITS VERY YOUNG LARVAE." He further states that such colonies who feed their very young larvae abundantly quickly reduced brood rearing when nectar and pollen conditions receded, they are seldom if ever short of stores, and they rarely swarm. He also noticed that despite transferring a lot of frames of sealed brood and bees to the breeder colonies which were unrelated to the young larvae, they were still well fed. This led him to believe that the demand for this abundance of food comes from the very young larvae being fed.
An interesting observation from a very experienced queen bee breeder!