Produce queens from eggs, not larvae
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  1. #1
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    Default Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Does anyone have experience in producing queens from cells with eggs instead of larvae - Cutting out some comb instead of grafting? Is it more difficult to get the bees to take? Any special considerations for a cell builder (eg has to be queenless and broodless)?

    I find it interesting since researchers have been able to find metabolic differences in larvae down to 12 hours old, depending on if they were started as queens or workers.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Never really tried but don't see why it wouldn't work (if they don't need protein and eat them).

    Curious how/where the difference occurs in the first 12 hours since all young larvae receive RJ?
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    A well experienced apiarist - not a queen breeder - my first forays into cell grafting using the holepunch method was a disaster, 100% mortality.

    There being more to it then meets the eye I then fail to comprehend why
    a "backyarder" would bother beyond just curiousity. There exist specialist breeders, and the ability to raise emergency queens, so why spend what is a very small window in time (seasonly) pacing colonys through queen rearing per se in the backyard. It's not like Joe Hobbets Queens are going to revolutionise the industry wholesale, is it?

    Bill

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Cutting to the chase - because I can, enjoy working with the bees and trying different techniques. No plans to revolutionize the industry or cash in on the massive amount of money to be made. I import a couple of queens every year for genetics and hygienic traits, use these and existing hives for splits to allow the hobby to pay for itself.

    Not trying to be confrontational or disrespectful but what was your motivation for starting and continuing to keep bees?
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by Norbee View Post
    Does anyone have experience in producing queens from cells with eggs instead of larvae - Cutting out some comb instead of grafting? Is it more difficult to get the bees to take? Any special considerations for a cell builder (eg has to be queenless and broodless)?

    I find it interesting since researchers have been able to find metabolic differences in larvae down to 12 hours old, depending on if they were started as queens or workers.
    I don't but the bees do. Just kidding.
    Next spring I intend to try the Hopkins or Case Method
    of queen raising and combining it with the Cloake Board method for the cell builder. I am anxious to hear from Laurie who has a post going on introducing virgin queens on cells. She was going to do some around the first of September but I don't think she has posted the results yet. I'll get the thread and post it here in case you are interested.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    "Not trying to be confrontational or disrespectful but what was your motivation for starting and continuing to keep bees ?"

    Mine?
    I was required to study entomology (sp?) as part of a tertiary graduate structure in agriculture. European honeybees fell into that work.
    On farm, eventually, I came across a very very old german fellow who, close to departing this mortal coil, invited me into his apiary... the rest is
    now a 50yr+ history of ambition and angst.

    Your turn...

    Bill

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Only wanted a couple of hives and a little honey now and then; read a bunch and set out to "bend them to my will. End of the season, they handed me my hat and asked me to come again next year. Decided I needed to learn more about their traits and tendencies; discovered some of the old masters, started trying their methods and new techniques. Of course you can't do that with just two hives, so 2 became 12 and 12 begot 20, etc, etc ...... as you said, the rest is a history. Still find the little beggars fascinating and challenging; ironically I still have no desire to be a honey peddler but resigned to it as part of the territory.

    Sorry to hijack your thread Norbee. Still don't see a problem using cell cut method with eggs but yes - queenless for 4 days so no viable eggs exist and tear down any queen cells. Also decide if you're going to use an open or closed cell builder. The risk for an open builder is a queen returning from a mating flight can decide the cell builder is a better deal than the nuc, it plays the devil with the queen cells. Interested in hearing how it works for you.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae


  10. #9
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    The RJ is not the same. The bees differentiate on RJ based on age of larva and caste of larva. That's why you can't use an old larva. The differentiation must happen very early.

    Brood pheromone from a larva increases the likelihood that bees will take on cell building. Still wondering if anyone has experience using eggs?

    Why I would raise queens? Here they cost a bit more than 100 dollars, and I want to change queens every year and produce splits for sale. I can save a months pay from my day job by rearing some queens every year. Why wouldn't I? We only have carnica in my area, so admittedly it's easier than many places.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    @Norbee
    "Why I would raise queens? Here they cost a bit more than 100 dollars , and I want to change queens every year and produce splits for sale. I can save a months pay from my day job by rearing some queens every year. Why wouldn ' t I? We only have carnica in my area , so admittedly it's easier than many places ."

    Fair enough... a different commercial environment I'd say.
    Here they are around $40AUD including postage. There exist at least 4 , reputable Italian breeders in my State alone, with scores more interstate and the only restriction being movement _into_ West Australia.
    And if a breeder isn't on a Federal and/or State biosecurity site no beekeeper of note would deal with them.

    I have my own experience with this but just recently a fellow was boasting
    his queen supply and what he had spent to startup. Didn't sell squat and
    has not been heard of since, and we are smack bang in the middle of prime time queen sales.
    I know I have offered my "slops" from emergency queen raising and never got a bite - most are just disease paranoid these days to exchange anything.
    The market for newbies is however booming.

    Bill

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    With that price I don't blame you. Lots of good reason to be sustainable in raising your
    own queens. Because it is just too much details many will not go into it here. There are books devoted entirely on this subject alone. I will attempt to since I've almost practically experienced them all. There are many form of queen rearing including using eggs either in a natural comb cells or in the plastic queen cups. I will go into using the queen laying cage for getting the eggs. There is a post here that modify an old black comb frame to fit in the plastic laying cage. To do this successfully you have to widen the roaming space for the queen to lay in. Because without the needed young nurse bees the queen abdomen will shrink down inside this small confined laying cage.
    The second method is to use fresh drawn comb for the queen to lay in. QCs can be removed and placed inside a queen less hive for them to make the QCs. You have to be a bit careful to not crushed the QCs when removing and installing them into the mating nuc hives. For the cell builder hive I prefer to use an open system where enough hive resources are coming in preferably on a strong flow. If not then you have to supplement feed the hive. What I like to do is to find a booming hive with lots of foragers. If not enough foragers I will combine 2 forager hives into one cell builder/finisher hive. Then take out all the eggs/larvae frames to put inside a nuc hive along with the old queen. Don't mixed in different bees from different hives otherwise they will kill the old queen. The foragers will be returning to the cell builder hive. With the open larvae frames and the queen removed, take more cap brood frames along with the attaching bees from the near by hives to replaced the removed frames. What you want is a booming hive with lots of bees. Brush in more bees from other hives if there are not enough bees to cover the frames. This is call a bee bomb hive!
    The queens raised from the eggs stage will be more healthy, hardy and productive laying queens. All my queens this season are from the eggs stage raised queens for the II process. I used the natural comb method to produce these queens.
    The price per queen there is that US dollars or your country's dollars?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Norbee,
    I've do not know why but bees do not start with eggs. Prefer to eat them. Have not really played with attempts since I was more of a clunk than a keeper, so good luck.
    Michael Bush has plenty of history to read and work from here; http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm

    I've always thought of it as the hive withdrawing it's investment in the eggs and gambling it all on a few larva.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 09-25-2017 at 06:38 AM.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  14. #13
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    Default

    Beepro, with your cell builder, don't you end up with a large proportion of old bees, less apt to care for brood?

    It's USD, and I'm not planning to sell only queens, but splits with my queens. The market for splits is crazy here now, 600 USD obtainable for a reasonable split. I have queens from good material, and will continue to graft some from elite queens.

    Not having success with rearing from eggs doesn't mean it's immpossible. Bush's site has a link to Alley's method, and he successfully used eggs. Might have found my answer right there, so thanks for the link. Queenless, broodless cell builder for minimum 10 hours before introducing eggs.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    >Does anyone have experience in producing queens from cells with eggs instead of larvae

    I have experience at giving them eggs instead of larvae by both the Hopkins method and the Jenter method. I don't have any experience at actually producing any queens from them because the bees just remove them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  16. #15
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    Interesting. I'll see if I play it safe with really young larvae or whether I'll try a batch with eggs ?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    The bees have a lots of secrets that I have not yet know them all. The one who
    can master this task will make lots of young healthy queens through out the 4 seasons. I'm presently experimenting on some winter II queens with the last batch of the early Fall drones raised here. It feels like summer in the high 80s but the weather can change really fast here. Winter is coming.
    Here is my idea and it works wonderfully before on a flow. Combine all the pollen frames from the other hives into this foragers hive along with the attaching bees. Then put patty subs and syrup on the top bars. As you can see there are plenty of foods available when the flow (heathers) is on along with the extra pollen feeding frames. Chasing after the flow can also give you plenty of big fat well mated queens as well. Either use the graft cells or the eggs to put in. For the eggs, it is a bit tricky. You have to time the queen's laying at exactly 4 days for the hatched eggs. If not the bees will removed these eggs when you put them inside the CB (cell builder) since they are inside the wax/plastic cup cells now. So timing is extremely important. Once the eggs hatched into larvae then they will make QCs out of them. This is the difference between success and failure when using the eggs. So eggs they will removed while in larvae form they will not!
    As to your question of using older bees, it is exactly the opposite. The newly emerged bees cannot feed RJ to the developing QCs yet. So the mid-aged bees are the one that I found will feed the QCs. The older foragers just know one thing that is to bring hive resources back to fuse these developing cells. A condition that you can create like an almost swarm hive but without a queen to swarm is what you are looking to make for the cell builder/finisher. Remember that the about to emerge cap broods also contribute to the next generation of young bees too. And there are plenty of them. Let's say, for example, you are using 3 deep boxes full of bees to condensed the bees into one bee bomb hive. Not enough then add more bees from another 3 deep hives since you have plenty of bees with that many hives now. How many older and newer bees you will have then? Check out you tube for the search term bee bomb (nuc) hive. The pics will be very eye opening. You can read up more on here http://www.glenn-apiaries.com/apimondia_1.html and a quote "Brood from other colonies is added every 2-3 days to keep the population strong and young." "In fact, any stock can be transformed to Cordovan color in two generations of a cross and back-cross to cordovan drones." Now the local carnis drones are in big trouble now that I got this red head/ultra yellow genetics.
    Notice that the glass tube (vials) for the cap QCs inside an incubator are what I have adopted here as well. My glass vials are a bit larger and deeper but work just as well. Hundreds of them are thrown away in the garbage can everyday. Too small and not worth it to be recycled they said. They are free too and I got thousands of these reusable and pasteurize-able little vials for the cap QCs. Along with the QCs into the homemade mini fridge incubator they went. In time you will be the King of Queens producer there. Can you keep up with the busy bees schedule?

    These are your next generation of productive queens so don't be too skimpy on the resources to make them. A devoted investment now will give you plenty the next season of harvest. Only accept cells that are at least 1.5" long and emerged virgin queens weighing around 150g. Doesn't has to be this standard if you don't want to. Mines are up to the queen standard!



    These are mine:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    Glass vials inside incubator:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 09-26-2017 at 01:39 AM.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    They look good. Thanks for the info.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae

    I too have tried raising queens from eggs, they cannot be grafted as they are glued to the bottom of the cell, but I've done it by both cut cell and jenter. The bees don't go for it, you get a very poor take, maybe one in 10 if you are lucky.

    Bit of a mystery why bees would reject eggs, but there is a reason for everything, I just don't know what it is.

    They do raise queens from eggs, because with natural supersedure or swarm cells, the queen is made to lay an egg in a pre built queen cell cup, and the bees then raise a queen from it. They just don't seem to like it much in artificial cells.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #20
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    There might be some pheromone marking of the queen cells with eggs during swarming and supercedure.

    Have you tried cutting away half the height of the cells with eggs, too?

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