Queen rearing ducks in a row
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Queen rearing ducks in a row

    I have been wanting to jump in & try(I say try but I ain't gonna quit) queen rearing. toooo many questions. I have 6 hives, 3(started as nucs from Michael Johnston) seem to be doing well, one is a swarm I caught doin pretty good, 1 bought from a friend in Roch., that is doin well (I would like more bees like these). I also have an after swarm,(very small) that I am considering combining with a small queenless & putting in a nuc box. I have costed out the Nicot, EZI, & Betterbee, think I am going w/ Betterbee.
    I only know a few beeks here, one whom I have told that I was going to jump in is already asking for a queen for his queenless, a commercial guy that I help had 7-10 queenless out of his 100+ hives.
    Questions I am pondering.
    1.) is it too late to start here in the Western Fingerlakes region of NY?

    2.) Do I dare play with my hives, risk decent hives, by using population for QR?

    3.) how many queens, & best way to manage through the winter? I would like to get to 12-15 hives next year.

    4.) Queen Banking; How to? Bank?< Nuc Box? Top of good hive for heat?...

    If you had to start queen rearing all over what would be your checklist of resources & timeline (for this area)look like?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,274

    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    In your area queen raising is winding down for the winter. Continue getting your ducks in a row with some research and come out swinging in the spring.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Accord, NY
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    I tried my hand at queen rearing for the first time this year. Some of the problems I ran into I see in your situation as well. Here's my novice opinion:


    1.) is it too late to start here in the Western Fingerlakes region of NY?
    I think so. Winters can come early, suddenly and hard n your parts.

    2.) Do I dare play with my hives, risk decent hives, by using population for QR?
    I wouldn't. This time of the year I'd focus of getting the 5 (6?) through the winter.

    3.) how many queens, & best way to manage through the winter? I would like to get to 12-15 hives next year.
    Here's one scenario: I'd try to get five survivors. Build them up early and split with new queen cells in early May. Five double deep hives will have 100 frames (=20 five frame nucs. Five old queens + 15 virgins. Combine the queenless nucs and one might end up with 15) Lots of stars have to align just right but it could work.

    4.) Queen Banking; How to? Bank?< Nuc Box? Top of good hive for heat?...
    I have no clue but I'd like to learn about banking.

    If you had to start queen rearing all over what would be your checklist of resources & timeline (for this area)look like?
    I like the cloake board and the chinese grafting tools. I dipped my own cups but was not too happy with the acceptance (50%.) I got some plastic cups for next year.
    I split and sold too many hives from my tiny apiary, this past spring, so I was left with only nine strong hives. I did some grafting beginning of July and ended up with too many queen cells and not enough donor hives.
    I'll have to resist selling any bees next spring and focus on strengthening my resources. I'm planing to do some July nucs to over-winter or sell in the late summer to people who, like your friends, need to replace some queens.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
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    1,866

    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Having been at queen rearing for about six years or so, I'm still learning. Those darn ducks dont' stay in that row!

    I use the queen rearing kit from Mann Lake. No guessing, no grafting, easy as can be.

    My biggest bottleneck is making up the mating nucs once the queen cells are about to be capped. I can guarantee you a week of solid rain and muddy bee yards when this needs to be done, in fact, some of my farmer friends have requested I raise a few queens when their crops need a good shower.

    I look at my calendar to decide when the queen cells will emerge, then count back to when I need to make up my mating nucs, then count back to when I start my crop of queens and start a queenless cell builder. I try and make sure I have no vacations planned and these days don't conflict with the farmer's markets I attend.

    When the mating nucs need to be made, it takes me more than one day to get these organized. You can count on feeding these mating nucs, but you cannot count on every mating nuc producing a laying queen. For some unknown reason, some of my queens appeared to lose their way home after spending an afternoon with the boys. Since I introduced a queen cell, there are no eggs or larva to build an emergency cell. So I mark these nucs and introduce another queen cell.

    What I did differently this past year is to raise some hives with all brood boxes with the sole intent that these hives would donate frames for the mating nucs. I had no intent of asking these hives to make honey. I didn't want to be messing around with honey supers and I wanted all the hive's energy to go into brood production.

    And queen banks? I have philosophical problems with queen banks. The big breeders have found out that the best queens need 21 days of laying eggs to adequately develop their pheromones. So I made up plenty of mating nucs to keep my queens actively laying. It also helps me judge their ability and productivity.

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

  6. #5
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I Questions I am pondering.
    1.) is it too late to start here in the Western Fingerlakes region of NY?
    Start with question #1 by asking yourself if you are gong to have an ample supply of drones flying when your cells hatch and the virgins are ready to go out on their mating flights.

    I'll guess the answer is no which makes the rest of them moot for this year.

    Start in the spring. Your commercial friend is going to have to wait. (He should have known this himself.)

    Wayne

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Livingston County, NY
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Thx for your replies, sorry I was distracted.

    Shortly after this thread I seem to have lost all but two hives. My aspirations for QR is contingent upon the funds to repopulate. I am talking with someone who is contemplating selling his 16 hives. I have been reading & re-reading this forum, QR Essentials, contemporary QR. I ordered Bro. Adams bk. hope to make a splash this summer.

    2/17-2/18 62 degrees. had great weather here. Nasty returned with a vengeance today!

    I checked my two hives, still have good stores and bees. One lost hive had no bees, & 60-70lbs of honey[?*?*] that I topped the swarm colony that I caught. The other hive was a colony(M.J. Eaton nuc) that requeened itself in June.

    Thanx Michael Palmer for the intro of your friend. I hope to learn from him your craftiness.

    My too short term relationship (2yrs) with my friend & mentor ended shockingly, he went to FL and unexpectedly died (73 yrs old). I am still in shock. I thought he would live to be a hundred.

    Q1. When do drones start flying? (W.Fingerlakes NY)what to watch for?

    Q2. How/Where do you get royal jelly to prime cell cups? any info how to collect/store?

    Q3. What do I need to know about drones for QR purposes?

    Q4. Pros & cons to pollen patties & your favorite recipe; why?

    THX, LB
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    My 2 Cents worth

    Q1. When do drones start flying? (W.Fingerlakes NY)what to watch for?
    When Temp get about 65 Degrees and above on a calm day if you have seen drones flying for a week to ten days they will be some mature for mating the time of day will very as the days get warmer

    Q2. How/Where do you get royal jelly to prime cell cups? any info how to collect/store? Usually find a early swarm cells then once grafting i will collect one off my grafted Q cell from my cell bar at about the 3 day after grafting

    Q3. What do I need to know about drones for QR purposes? From egg lay to mature drones, will be about 35-40 days or 12- 15 days after drones hatch

    Q4. Pros & cons to pollen patties & your favorite recipe; why? Best to trap your own pollen from healthy colonies. I like to make a pure 100% pollen Pattie or take a dark clean brood comb and lay it flat and pour the pollen pellets into the comb (this is fresh frozen pollen let thaw and warm to room temp ) and place it facing next to your graft It makes a lot of better well fed queen cells
    Last edited by Velbert; 02-19-2011 at 08:46 PM.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Velbert,

    Loved your pics! Mesmorizing! I didn't dare open the elk folder.

    Please elaborate on your pollen collecting policy/philosophy. How much/often can you collect from one hive? Is it for QR purposes only?

    Also, Collecting, storing, & using royal jelly for grafting. What is an appropriate amount for x amount of cells?

    I am hoping to get input from the "jedi QR beekeepers"
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  10. #9
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    CAMARILLO, California, USA
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Who is the supplier of your frame feeder in the photobucket image?
    Thanks,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  11. #10
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    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    [QUOTE=lakebilly;620716]Velbert,

    Hope This Helps


    Please elaborate on your pollen collecting policy/philosophy. How much/often can you collect from one hive? Is it for QR purposes only?
    Yes Mainly, have eaten some, and for my own use. Collect every other day (or if is going to rain) Have home made front pollen trap when I put traps on I will leave them on for a couple of months and it usually in July and August/September get about 6-7 lbs this time of year not as much coming in this time of year on a good year with some rains in The month of Aug have gotten as much as 10lbs of bitter weed pollen per colonie

    Also, Collecting, storing, & using royal jelly for grafting. What is an appropriate amount for x amount of cells?

    I will collect a few as i find swarm cells and wrap them in a wet blue shop towel and place them in a freezer bag and into the freezer they go. Some time I will pull a cell 3 days after Grafting it (JzsBzsplastic cell cups) will ad a small drop of water before using and keep it mixed up as i graft can get 40-60 cell Grafted per full jzsbzs Q cell. Harvest your Queen Cells before the become sealed and don't let them dry out

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    Who is the supplier of your frame feeder in the photobucket image?
    Thanks,
    Ernie
    Got the yellow ones From Better Bee or Brushy Mt the Black ones from Dadants

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    I have heard that the bees will carry smaller amounts of pollen to get throught the holes with something after three days they figure it out. collect from multiple hives on alternating days sounds workable.

    eggs selected from grafting dry out unless the cell is primed before the eggs is placed, correct? the more royal jelly the better or is that left to the attendant bees to determine?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,610

    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    >1.) is it too late to start here in the Western Fingerlakes region of NY?

    No.

    >2.) Do I dare play with my hives, risk decent hives, by using population for QR?

    I don't know. It's a fun experiment.

    >3.) how many queens, & best way to manage through the winter? I would like to get to 12-15 hives next year.

    You can never have too many queens... you can always sell them, bank them, put them in nucs...

    >4.) Queen Banking; How to? Bank?< Nuc Box? Top of good hive for heat?...

    I set up a bank. Do them all at once, don't add more later. set up a queenless nuc, wait 24 hours for them to settle down and then give them the queens.

    But nucs are really better. The queen gets to keep laying, you can steal excess brood for other uses etc. and when you want to introduce the queen to a queenless hive you can pretty much, just add a frame of brood with the queen on it...

    >If you had to start queen rearing all over what would be your checklist of resources & timeline (for this area)look like?

    I wouldn't start until you see drones flying. Earlier the bees won't be in the mood. Trying to time it so the first drones are just flying is just pushing your luck. The bees are motivated to raise queens about a month before the main flow, but not really before. Here (my climate is pretty cold, probably as cold or colder than yours) that would be Mid May before they are kind of interested and the end of May before they are really motivated.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  15. #14
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I have heard that the bees will carry smaller amounts of pollen to get through the holes with something after three days they figure it out. collect from multiple hives on alternating days sounds workable.

    eggs selected from grafting dry out unless the cell is primed before the eggs is placed, correct? the more royal jelly the better or is that left to the attendant bees to determine?
    Just leave the trap in place at all time they will get enough pollen for there needs

    You slow thing down a lot more taking them off and on it will take the 2-3 days before the become use to it

    They do figure it out and will get smaller loads it seems also they learn to to go through the hardware cloth using the corners with a smaller loads to get safely through with their loads also a hive needs a certain amount of pollen so they just increase the amount of bees and trips need to fill that need. You will also see new pollen in the combs with the traps on

    So just leave the trap on until you have collected what you want on and off wont help any just worsen it

    after they have been on for a day or 2 make sure the drones have a way out so they don't clog the trap

    if you don't have a queen excluder on i have just raised the lid so the drones can get out or make a drone escape (small Hole for 1 drone at a time exiting tapered cone)

    When priming your cell cup just use enough so the larva will not dry out (the bees will remove this once you place it in the cell builder and the mixture changes in the queen cell as the larva ages the RJ changes so putting a bunch in does not help any.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    But nucs are really better. The queen gets to keep laying, you can steal excess brood for other uses I like that etc. and when you want to introduce the queen to a queenless hive you can pretty much, just add a frame of brood with the queen on it
    I wouldn't start until you see drones flying. Earlier the bees won't be in the mood. Trying to time it so the first drones are just flying is just pushing your luck. The bees are motivated to raise queens about a month before the main flow, but not really before. OK.

    Here (my climate is pretty cold, probably as cold or colder than yours)COLDER THAN HERE, Rochester, NY?! Gadzooks, Suffrin Succatash! That's hard ta believe!
    that would be Mid May before they are kind of interested and the end of May before they are really motivated.[/QUOTE] Our warm weather starts around mid-May. You don't feed to stimulate brood rearing in time for main flow? Thx, MB

    Velbert, Any ill affects from weed pollens or allergies? I am liking the idea of pollen intake the more I research it.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  17. #16
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Queen rearing ducks in a row

    not for me no ill effects from weed pollen

    just take one little piece to try it out to make sure

    My brother it would cramp his beller real bad but didn't effect his breathing that is what you may need to watch for

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