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  1. #1
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    Default Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Force a hive to make swarm cells by keeping the hive very congested and well fed. Once the cells are drawn and larva are in them, but before capped, split the hive by moving the frames with queen cells and the nurse bees to a new location and leaving behind the queen and foragers. Cut out queen cells once they are capped.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    the idea will work, however once the bees begin to prep for swarm many times splitting will not stop them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    The only drawback I see is the vigilance needed to split them before they swarm.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    There's an old wives tale that swarm queens are swarmy. Those old wives often have it right.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Swarmy swarm queens would be a genetic trait. I plan to make a non genetically swarmy hive swarm because of overcrowding. Does that logic sound right?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Sound right to me heaflaw, but can not claim to be expert.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    I don't agree with the logic that you are making a "non-swarmy" situation. It is not the queen who decides anything. It is the workers. One split is not going to genetically anything about that queen or the workers she produces. Queens that produce workers that don't have some desire to swarm, die out and drop from the gene pool. Swarming is reproduction not running away from the bee keeper.

    When you make the spilt. take the original queen with some other bees from the original hive Then they will feel that have "split". Really they will feel that they have a population reduction and need to rebuild and build up population and stores. Leave the original hive with QCs so she can restart the colony. Depending on her matings there could be some genetic changes in her workers.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    why not use the MDA Splitter method? http://www.mdasplitter.com/

    just remove old queen with one frame of brood with bees and one frame of honey to a nuc
    then just "notch" some cells with eggs so the bees can make queen cells easier
    This way the bees never think about swarming, and also creates a brood break and messes with mites reproductive process

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by LSHonda310 View Post
    why not use the MDA Splitter method? http://www.mdasplitter.com/

    just remove old queen with one frame of brood with bees and one frame of honey to a nuc
    then just "notch" some cells with eggs so the bees can make queen cells easier
    This way the bees never think about swarming, and also creates a brood break and messes with mites reproductive process
    I looked at this recently...and I am convinced that this is the easiest and simplest way to raise queens on a mid-size scale. I plan to put this method into practice in the spring.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Swarmy swarm queens would be a genetic trait. I plan to make a non genetically swarmy hive swarm because of overcrowding. Does that logic sound right?
    A few years ago that might have been completely consistent with the science, but they have now discovered that traits and behaviors which are caused/influenced by environmental factors can sometimes be passed on to offspring. Google epigenetics.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    I think there may be better ways to avoid emergency queens than swarm cells; trying to get superceder cells.
    Methods to try;
    Moving the queen out for a few days and then back. That was Ray's idea ?
    Stretching the brood nest by adding an empty super between upper and lower bodies.
    Putting an inner cover between to reduce contact with queen.
    Partially closing a cloak board between upper and lower.

    The idea is too make them believe she is failing without the panic of emergency queens and wiothout the risk of swarming.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    It will work, however as long as the old queen is still in the hive, they will want to keep swarming.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Some of the best hives come from captured swarms. I believe it's at least partly because the bees instead of the beekeeper decide which larva and which cells to make into queen cells. By creating a swarm condition, I am letting them decide everything.
    I understanding the epigenetics idea(at least somewhat). Consistant swarm conditions would cause increased genetics for swarming, but surely just once would have little effect. Is this not right?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    I have thought about starting queens the same way, and likely I will try it next spring. What can it hurt?
    I will include doing an artificial swarm with the original queen--that's the plan anyway. I would need a tutor for grafting or the mda splitter way--eyesight is the problem for me.

    I'm still more at hobby than sideliner. Experimenting, having fun with beekeeping experience. I do the honey to pay for my hobby, and having more hives means more fun.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    This year I put on top of a queen right hive: deep with frames & resources and a queen excluder between the deeps. I let it populate. Then I put a screened bottom board on it and brought some brood/egg frames up. The bees on top made queen cells. I was able to take these cells and put them in a queen castle with resources and raise some queens. One would not think the hive would create queen cells with just a screen landing board beween the deeps but they did. I got the idea from the queen rearing section of this forum.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    It works Heaflaw. I did this last spring by purposely crowding a strong hive. Once the swarm cells were almost capped, I took two frames each with swarm cells and honey and placed them into a divider hive box where I had 8 frames total. (So essentially I had made up four two frame nucs in one box). I dumped in a ton of nurse bees. I used a double screen bottom board with 4 separate entrances.

    I moved the hive box to another bee yard and placed it on top of a strong hive for heat. I painted each outside entrance area a different color. Three out of the four queens hatched and mated. The fourth one never mated properly.

    I placed the original queen in a five frame nuc I made up with different bees, brood and honey frames and place her in a different yard. She's still going strong and never swarmed afterwards.

    The trick is you have to stay on top of the swarm cells and check them everyday. You don't want any of them hatching prior to the break-up.

    Poorman queen castle.jpg
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Some of the best hives come from captured swarms. I believe it's at least partly because the bees instead of the beekeeper decide which larva and which cells to make into queen cells. By creating a swarm condition, I am letting them decide everything.
    I understanding the epigenetics idea(at least somewhat). Consistant swarm conditions would cause increased genetics for swarming, but surely just once would have little effect. Is this not right?
    I have no idea if swarming is actually something which can be passed on by an epigenetic mechanism or not - or how many generations of swarming it would take to make a difference. I mostly mentioned it because a life long beekeeper who i respect named Ed Holcomb believes that propogating from swarm cells results in increasingly swarmy bees. Just anecdotal.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Swarmy swarm queens would be a genetic trait. I plan to make a non genetically swarmy hive swarm because of overcrowding. Does that logic sound right?
    The flaw is the bees. They oft times have minds of their own. You may be shortcutting yourself here. There are other ways to raise queens w/out grafting.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    I agree with what you have been saying heaflaw. You are not the only person to do what you are asking about, and they have had great success. I have done it, Fat/beeman has done it and recommended it, and many in the past over many tens of decades or more have done it, and we have all had success with great queens from doing it this way.

    Granted, propagating from swarms of unknown origins may be a way of increasing swarminess in bees, but I have never heard a scientific or even long term observational study of it. Besides, as you say, you are not increasing from swarmy bees, you are increasing from known bees but causing them to go into over crowded swarming mode. There is a big difference in my mind between the two.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Anything wrong with this method for raising queens?

    I've split this way quite a few times. My only concern that rattles around in my head, is whether I'm breeding to encourage swarming behavior. I don't do the congestion thing on purpose any more, but if you were going to do this "alot". You may want to only reproduce the bees are "truely" congested before they start making swarm cells.

    I've had bees that were in a 5 frame nuc with every possible bee crammed inside and 2-3 lbs of bees hanging out the front and under it. They refused to swarm.

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