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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,347

    Default Controlled Queen rearing

    I have read that for grafting Queens one must use larvae that are 72 hours old or younger. After this time larvae will be destined to be workers. It is said that the younger the larvae is when started on the path to being a Queen the "stronger" ...better laying...the Queen will be.
    If this is the case why not graft the egg itself so it is in the favourable environment to becoming a Queen in the first place? I realize when an egg is deposited it is stuck to the comb cell at the end but surely this positioning could be replicated.
    Just curious.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,118

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    When you use a Jenter system or one of the clones you don't have to graft - you move the entire cup from the queen mother hive to the cell builder hive along with whatever egg or larva is in it. I've never done it but it seems like I recall that using eggs is usually not successful. Could be wrong. Anyway that would be a good way to give it a go.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    A fellow by the name of Steve Tabor used eggs to make queens back in the 60s or 70s. He developed a tool to hold and move the egg from worker cells to queen cups.

    His study showed that the queens produced were no better than those that were grafted using 24 hour old larvae, and the process was harder to accomplish.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,401

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    When trying to keep every step in the production schedule on an even keel I would say that the judgement as to the age of a larva for grafting is a bit more within a narrow time spectrum than when one picks an egg. Handling "hatchers" coming out of the cell finishers at the same time handling immature and underdeveloped queens is only going to lead to a diminished take rate at picking time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    1,347

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    When you use a Jenter system or one of the clones you don't have to graft - you move the entire cup from the queen mother hive to the cell builder hive along with whatever egg or larva is in it. I've never done it but it seems like I recall that using eggs is usually not successful. Could be wrong. Anyway that would be a good way to give it a go.
    Can anyone share their experience with the Jenter system?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Summerville Ga. USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    Works great for me. the only thing I have problems with is the queen don't always start laying right away so you have to check maybe 2 or 3 times to make sure the cells have eggs in them. Some folks say to not reuse the cups but I don't have a problem with that. I have found that looking at the cells from the back side holding it up to the sun makes it easier to see the eggs in the cells.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,030

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    It is very hard to get eggs out in one piece.

    Also, because I use the cut cell method instead of grafting it has been easy for me to experiment with eggs. What has happened is where just hatched larvae are present the cells with eggs will often end up empty. Likewise, if I give them nothing but eggs, they have only raised a few of them.

    I only cut cells now once a week. Very occasionally something will come up and I have to do the cell cut a day early using eggs. I know and plan for, that there will be very few accepted on those days.

    Could be an interesting experiment for those wishing to try it.

    Counterintuitive, I know. Common sense would say the bees should do just as well with eggs as with new larvae. But for whatever reason, that has not been the case, for me anyway.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    I have read that bees will eat/destroy eggs if not from their own queen. If that if true, it may explain the disapearing eggs.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,401

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I have read that bees will eat/destroy eggs if not from their own queen. If that if true, it may explain the disapearing eggs.
    If this was the case on a regular basis there are a lot of commercial queen breeders who have been dodging a big bullet for a very long time. Myself included........

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rube63 View Post
    Works great for me. the only thing I have problems with is the queen don't always start laying right away so you have to check maybe 2 or 3 times to make sure the cells have eggs in them. Some folks say to not reuse the cups but I don't have a problem with that. I have found that looking at the cells from the back side holding it up to the sun makes it easier to see the eggs in the cells.
    I use the Nicot queen rearing kit, a clone of the Jenter. Transferring eggs won't work. Been there, tried it, got ticked off at the wasted time. Nicot queen cups are translucent so you can see the eggs, and when they hatch, you can see the little dot of royal jelly. I transfer 24- to 36-hour larvae.

    Second, the Nicot is frustrating because the queen will not always lay eggs right away, so you do need to return and check the cups to see if the larvae has hatched.

    The Nicot works for me, but it's not the only way and it's not the perfect system.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO https://www.createspace.com/4106626
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    >If this is the case why not graft the egg itself so it is in the favourable environment to becoming a Queen in the first place?
    >Can anyone share their experience with the Jenter system?

    It's easy enough to transfer eggs with the Jenter system. I have, many times. The bees always removed the eggs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Controlled Queen rearing

    January 2014 Bee Culture has an article summarizing some research into which larva/eggs bees choose to raise queens
    they sometimes choose eggs, and sometimes older larva, but usually the young larva.
    A queen from a young larva will hatch a day or two before a queen from an egg -- so expending resources on eggs is not wise.


    The bees know what they are doing. (I think I first heard that from Michael Bush, but it is a frequent and wise reminder.)

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