First time queen breeder - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    May 2009
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    Manhattan,Montana,USA
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    ok specialk what if you crowd down a colony leaving the queen in and let them build swarm cells on newly drawn foundationless combs. then we have moved away from the emergency cell. Fat bee man raises queens like this all the time I believe. The two queens i raised last summer are doing well and they are fat beutiful queens, much larger than the queens that i have bought. you can still raise a few queens cheep i believe. but as i said queens up by me cost $30-$40 by the time i ship them up here.

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  3. #42
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    The trouble with that is that they probably WILL swarm. There are other ways to take advantage of the swarming impulse though.

  4. #43
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Kwest: you could do it that way, provided they have ample food. But, as Mr. LaFerney mentioned, timing is critical. Once you start a swarming impulse, it's hard to stop it. Sometimes with a colony, if you find a sealed swarm cell the colony has already made up their mind. If you remove the swarm cells they could just swarm anyway, leaving you with nothing. I've had it happen with uncapped swarm cells too. So sure, it's possible, and very cheap. But if you lose even 10% of the colonies as a result, it isn't worth it to me. If queens are worth $30-40 and 10 frames of brood are worth $100 (about that) and you lose the colony 10% of the time, each queen will have an inherent facilitative cost of about $14 (you lose $140 10% of the time). That's not counting your expenses in rearing queens. Too pricy for me.

    >I select my best all around colonies by using a scoring method that calculates scores given to each hive for each area of performance during each test (which is often)...<

    You wouldn't be interested in sharing that scoring sheet, would you?

    >I have added a section for queen trading on my site for you guys to use to start swaping stock or even selling stock.<

    Fantastic! I can't wait to get queens worth while enough for me to trade on there (other than the ones I buy, of course).

  5. #44
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    Sep 2006
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    SE Texas
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    86

    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    I'm confused...the reason to buy the (expensive) queen rearing system is to take the grafting step out of the process....and for small scale it has worked great for me, especially with a Cloake Board to minimize disruption for starter->finisher.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Just a request to Michael Bush, Michael Palmer, Russel Apiaries, any others in the know...Could we compose a bibliography for queen rearing? I'm seeing so much good material here - kc
    Doubt it.

    I've been reading these guys and it seems as with all things beekeeping, each has their own method, not always compatable.

    For a beginner, it's probably best to read up various methods used by people who have been successful, and try some differing methods yourself till you're getting good results.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  7. #46
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Big THANK YOU!!! Michael. That book list and all the info on the thread Old Timer started (rearing queens without grafting) should improve my queen score. Last year's efforts were fair-to-middlin', not spectacular. I got too busy catching swarms, which brought in plenty of queens, although not all were good queens. My chopsticks method may have killed a larva or two, but it worked for the most part. My hook didn't work, nor did my syringe tube idea. We can learn by doing, but we can save a lot of doing by reading and try what works first. More reading list suggestions are welcome!

  8. #47
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Thank you, Oldtimer. Your post on the cut cell method and your answers to everyone's questions are better than most books! Several folks have mentioned conflicting information, and incompatible methods are probably a good source of this.

    Special Kayme and rrussel - thanks you for the buy-some-and-rear-your-own queens plan. I fully agree with culling the bad stock, and wonder if the evaluation scoring system is similar to Harry Laidlaw, Jr.'s on pages 143 and 144 of Contemporary Queen Rearing or if you have added some winning tweaks?

  9. #48
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    By the way, rrussell, do you also cull drones from your bad colonies as immediately as you re-queen them? Same question to anyone else?

  10. #49
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    By the way, rrussell, do you also cull drones from your bad colonies as immediately as you re-queen them? Same question to anyone else?
    Absolutely... In fact drone colonies get just as much if not more attention during selection than grafting (queen mother) colonies. Not only do we cull the bad, but we breed the best as well.

    I discuss this in depth on several threads here on beesource as well as on my site... here is a link. Hope it helps.

    http://russellapiaries.webs.com/apps...drone-colonies

  11. #50
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Doubt it. I've been reading these guys and it seems as with all things beekeeping, each has their own method, not always compatable. For a beginner, it's probably best to read up various methods used by people who have been successful, and try some differing methods yourself till you're getting good results.
    Exactly. There are just too many variables in bee keeping, making every location, strain, forage supply, and operation completely different. Books written by someone in the north east, and read by someone in the south west will not get the south western bee keeper very far if he does not study his own colonies with much more diligence than he studies the findings of the author.

    It is important to learn from others, but use what you read as the building blocks instead of the foundation of your approach to bee keeping.

    Your foundation should always be YOUR bees, and what they teach you... The rest should be taken as an "idea" instead of as an experience...

    It seems too often people make the wrong move because they just "knew" that it would work because it did for an author...

    The best way to become successful is to build your operation and your practices around what works and what doesnt, learn from YOUR experiences, and grow from them. Your own experience from your own bees will never lead you astray.

    Hope this helps! (wow... I almost sound like a fortune cookie) NEW TOPIC! lol

  12. #51
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    I fully agree with culling the bad stock, and wonder if the evaluation scoring system is similar to Harry Laidlaw, Jr.'s on pages 143 and 144 of Contemporary Queen Rearing or if you have added some winning tweaks?
    Not even close... That system is like a horse and cart compaired to a F-22. lol.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Well, thanks, Robert, and thanks again. When guys with your's and Oldtimer's qualifications warn against taking books too seriously, and on the exact same reasons - individuality of apiary situation - I take notice. Still I think that ol' boy over there in England, Brother Adam, whom Michael Palmer includes 3 of his books in that list, might be able to pass along a few gems that I might not have thought up just yet. Sure, he raised Buckfast bees over there across the pond, and I catch swarms of Sespe substrain of mexican bees in California, but in all those years he might have thought of something that could help me.
    A Greek fellow whose father had 200 hives told me to build a few observer hives - because I'd learn more faster that way, which is right in keeping with what you and Oldtimer are saying. A gal from the Ozarks wrote that she spent as much time with her girls as she could. I noticed how adept she was at observing what they were doing and her knowledge of the plant biology of her apiaries, particularly the timing of blooms. I probably have as twice as many books on local plants as I do on bees, and have lived off them almost every time I've gone hiking since I was about 13 years old. I've always enjoyed the application of book knowledge and practical knowledge to the question at hand. Engineers take a lot of crap for being "bookish", but I also build boats, airplanes, guns, engines, machines, and have helped develop a new engine cycle. Now that I'm making bee boxes and watching them carefully, I figure, "Hey, this bee business has been going on for a few thousand years, why not read what others have done before?" I'll bet you could write a dang, good book, yourself, with your family having been in the game 125 years.
    Thanks for the lead to your site. I joined and will spend some time there in the winters, when I'm not modifying my horse cart observation sheet into an F-22.

  14. #53
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    when I'm not modifying my horse cart observation sheet into an F-22.
    LOL! Get after it.

  15. #54
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    It is important to learn from others, but use what you read as the building blocks instead of the foundation of your approach to bee keeping.

    Your foundation should always be YOUR bees, and what they teach you... The rest should be taken as an "idea" instead of as an experience...

    It seems too often people make the wrong move because they just "knew" that it would work because it did for an author...

    The best way to become successful is to build your operation and your practices around what works and what doesnt, learn from YOUR experiences, and grow from them. Your own experience from your own bees will never lead you astray.

    Hope this helps! (wow... I almost sound like a fortune cookie) NEW TOPIC! lol
    Very good advice Robert, thank you. While reading your post couldn't help, but remember my old professor who once said: Ahead of you is four years of hard work, and those of you who complete all the requirements will earn a degree in engineering, which will HELP you to become engineers one day. You will learn lots of theoretical stuff, where to find information you need and how to use it, you will develop technical way of thinking etc. etc., and once you use all of that to succesfully complete a project, you will have experience that will allow you to call yourself an engineer.
    In a way, his way of thinking applies to beekeeping too. Do you agree?
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  16. #55
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    I do agree... very much so... the materials that are available to learn from are just what he said... Tools. Knowing which tool to use, and when and how to use it can only come from experience... and experience can only come from trying...

    Think about it in a different way... let's say you have a vintage vehicle that is in mint condition and you spend every weekend polishing and detailing it and you just can't wait to take it for a nice long cruise as soon as spring arrives... but you crank it (as you do daily, just to keep it lubed), and instead of the usual "purr" you here a distinct "pinging"... so you look and you look, but you just can't figure out what is making that sound...

    Would you rather trailer it to a specialty shop that rebuilds vintage models every day and let them take a look... or would you let you cousin Bob bring his first set of shiny new tools over and take care of it for, because he just finished reading a book about old cars?

    I would tell Bob to keep reading his book cause he's never getting NEAR my baby...

    Im sure you agree... so the question is, why? After all the book that Bob read may have been written by a great mechanic and there may have been some really excellent points in that book about parts that wear out and make "pinging" noises... but the reason Bob and his book are less qualified than the dirty Bubba at the specialty shop that probably didn't even finish high school... is experience... bubba has seen this issue a hundred times, he's made some mistakes and he's learned how to fix the problem in a better way... his experience has given him the ability to adapt to face whatever situation arrives... if the manufacturer of the car happened to use z different part during that one year model, the book may not show it... but bubba will know why its different and he will know what he needs to do to fix it right.

    Ok, now I'm certain that I will never be able to sell a single copy if I ever do decide write a book... so Oldtimer I may have some free time on my hands... wanna go fishing? Lol.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Always up for some fishing Robert it's a popular pastime in these parts. Sold the boat now but luckily my son has one.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  18. #57
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: First time queen breeder

    I have an armada of boats... We live on a 33,000 acre lake with 105 miles of shore line... to bad I dont ever get time to actually enjoy it. We used to be known as the "Pirates of the Ross Barnett". lol. That was back in the days when my schedule looked like this:

    Wake up..
    Coffee..
    FISH..
    Coffee..
    Dress fish..
    Coffee..
    Work bees..
    Lunch..
    Coffee..
    FISH..
    Give fish to neighbors.. while drinking coffee and talking about fishing..
    Work bees..
    Dinner..
    Coffee..
    Sleep.. Dream about coffee, fish, and bees.. lol.

    The wife got me on the weekends... IF she woke up early enough to beat me to the boat house!

    I would LOVE to catch some NZ fish and of course, drink some NZ coffee. lol. and play with some NZ bees... Maybe January 2013... IF the wife doesnt beat me to the airport. ;-)

  19. #58
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    3,406

    Default Re: First time queen breeder

    Push out those Moon Beam bees, I'm sure you'll have time to retire after that. Name your price.

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