Emergency Queens - does it matter? - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Agreed... scratching the comb can be replaced by using freshly drawn comb put into the brood chamber 2-3 days before pulling the nuc so the queen will have laid it and the eggs will be hatching during that day... The pollen, open honey, overload of bees, and comb that can be manipulated are the key factors...

    I have used foundation in colonies that have "super layers" and the queen will lay the foundation while the bees are freaking our trying to build the comb at the same time... take these frames to use for e-queen nucs, and you get a really high percentage of good queens... but again, Nutrition should be the Top priority, then bees (to deliver the nutrition), then cell manipulation.

    Aside from the "rare" situations, I just cant see how e-queens would be easier than grafting or forcing swarm cells.

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  3. #62
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    Jun 2010
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    chilliwack bc Canada
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Hello friends,

    Total agreement with the above statements.

    It is true that the best raised queen comes out of a swarm cell.
    what i just outlined is a method to do some quick increase in the spring and at the same time prevent swarming to a degree.

    Making a nuc as described will have house(nurse)bees and also super important field bees!(imho very necessary for proper cell building)

    The only way to and up with 100 good queen bees is to raise and mate 140 queens......

    Best regards,

    Martinus
    Patience is a virtue

  4. #63
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    I know this is a little off topic, but since we are on it . . .

    By utilizing the swarming impulse, arn't you just reinforcing a strain of bee that is prone to swarming?

    If I go through a hive and find a few swarm cells, I'll do my best to save them for future increase, but I always replace them later in the year. Otherwise, aren't you liable to end up with swarm prone bees after just a few generations? At that rate, the only increases you are making are from the bees in your yards that are more likely than their yard mates to swarm.

  5. #64
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    By utilizing the swarming impulse, arn't you just reinforcing a strain of bee that is prone to swarming?
    I think so, but it depends how you go about it.

    All bees will swarm if the conditions are right. No one will ever come up with a bee that won't. But, some strains will have a greater propensity to swarm than others. Look at differen't races of bee. Look at Russians. But, also look within the group. Different colonies of the same strain will have varying swarm rates. By selecting breeder queens whose colonies don't swarm when other's are..given equal conditions, you get colonies that are less likely to swarm at the drop of a hat...as AI Root used to say.

    So, if you are harvesting swarm cells from colonies preparing to swarm, you will over time, select for colonies that swarm more readily.

    If you set up a colony as Brother Adam did..adding 10 frames of brood to a colony with 10 frames of brood, you create a colony that will build up to swarming pitch. Raise cells in this colony from breeder queens selected for low swarming propensity, make the cell builder queenless, and you are taking advantage of two important queen rearing methods used by honey bees. The swarming impulse to grow cells properly provisioned and cared for by an over abundance of nurse bees, and the emergency cell building impulse used by bees when the colony loses their queen.

  6. #65
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    Pell City,Alabama,USA
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    [QUOTE=Michael Palmer;615671
    If you set up a colony as Brother Adam did..adding 10 frames of brood to a colony with 10 frames of brood, you create a colony that will build up to swarming pitch. Raise cells in this colony from breeder queens selected for low swarming propensity, make the cell builder queenless, and you are taking advantage of two important queen rearing methods used by honey bees. The swarming impulse to grow cells properly provisioned and cared for by an over abundance of nurse bees, and the emergency cell building impulse used by bees when the colony loses their queen.[/QUOTE]

    MP, are you using this colony to start and finish cells or just finish?

  7. #66
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    To start and finish.

  8. #67

    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    I'm kind of slow... Could someone explain this in more detail. I can't quite picture it in my head:

    "Take your hive tool and scratch 2-3 pieces of comb down(2" x 1/4") till close to the 20 hour old larva."

    Quint

  9. #68
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    vancouver, bc
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    This is a bit of an aside, so feel free to ignore... but I have a question regarding the swarm impulse. It's the beekeepers aim to breed for the least amount of swarming genetics possible, which makes total sense for the obvious reason.

    But from a strictly biological/evolution standpoint, swarming is what makes bees (colony and species) reproduce and grow. Any thoughts on how essentially trying to do away with swarming (in a way) could lead to other less desirable traits/genetics? Also thinking about how swarming is a natural defense against varroa and perhaps other disease?

    Obviously splitting is a way of letting the bees "swarm" while still keeping them. Just wondering what you queen breeders/raisers think of this, as far as what possible benefits there may be to a swarm-prone queen? Or is that just crazy talk?!

  10. #69
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    May 2009
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    Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Well it really comes down to definition... the intent is not to breed out swarming entirely on all strains, but rather the select from colonies that swarm only under the perfect conditions, at the right time for the climate and population, and only once per year. Some strains that we consider "commercial" we attempt to lessen that tendency to once every other year, and again the timing for the climate where they are to be used and the population of the colony are both prime factors.

    You are absolutely right about over breeding for our on benefit possibly creating strains that could not fair well in a wild environment. The first and foremost goal of our selection process is "to produce excellent bees that are strong, thirty, and self sufficient". If a strain is unable to "survive and thrive", we work them out of our stock. The natural order must come first in any breeding operation.

    Good question and I hope this helps.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    The natural order must come first in any breeding operation.
    This is very interesting as I've been talking to some local beekeeping buddies about this for a long time. Taking swarming out of bees in very similar to what breeders have done to the cow, sheep or the chicken IMO. For instance the reintroduction of the wolve has caused quite a stir for many sheep herders, because the sheep is basically walking lamb chops. It has had its natural ablilty to avoid predation bred out of it. I wonder if the early breeders would have selected for survivablity within a natural enviroment ie one with predators along with productivity would sheep herders and wolves be able to coexist. Instead ancient sheep herders probably killed off most of the predators and basically removed that selective pressure. Lions that chase gazelles usually only catch the old or sick gazelles weeding out the weak.

    So basically do we want domesticated bees or do we want bees that can take care of themselves?

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    rrussell6870 - All other things being equal I would consider it a great advantage to have bees that were as unlikely to swarm as possible.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Well it really comes down to definition... the intent is not to breed out swarming entirely on all strains, but rather the select from colonies that swarm only under the perfect conditions, at the right time for the climate and population, and only once per year.
    This makes the most sense to me and probably for the long term survival of bees. Humans are greedy and seem to forget about the traits that are most important to the bees survival instead selecting for only traits that are good for them. There is a certain balance we must mantain otherwise we may one day end up with bees that are like sheep or chickens. What's good for us isn't necessarily whats best for the bees or any other species for that matter. The native americans understood the delicate balance that exists in nature, maybe it's time we start to think that way too.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    Maybe you're right. Since European honey bees aren't native to North America, and they no doubt displace all kinds of indigenous pollinators out of their natural environmental niche maybe we should send them all back to the forests of Europe to live in trees. Keeping exotic species like this for profit or amusement is just greedy and disrespectful of nature. We should all be ashamed.

    I kid. I'm all for sustainability and respect for nature when it's possible. The point is (In my opinion) that the genie is out of the bottle as far as living in respectful harmony with nature, we've got billions of people to feed and mortgages to pay - sadly hunting and gathering is never going to get it done again.

    I'll desist - this is far off topic. Sorry.

  15. #74
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    vancouver, bc
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    Default Re: Emergency Queens - does it matter?

    I would really like to hear some of the pro queen breeders/raisers comment on the sheep-breeding comments earlier. We all know bees are at the heart of how the world around us works (pollination). It seems that, as a result, beekeepers are bearing the brunt of many agricultural, etc. systems that are starting to show their flaws (CCD, etc.). It's weird how everything is all connected, and unfortunately, I bet bees & beekeepers will be the first to suffer, before say- GM canola and large-scale corporate farms start to feel the effects of this system (maybe) breaking down.

    Maybe it's time for a new thread to not derail this one, which is about emergency queens. I would love to hear more from the obviously very experienced and knowledgeable breeders on here on their thoughts of where to head from here as far as genetics and breeding is concerned, tied back in to that sheep analogy from before.

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