Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate... - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    DanielY -

    Try running the financial numbers on a 75% effective assumption at each step of the queen rearing process, and also count your available resources based on which "ingredient" (brood combs, nuc' boxes, nectar flow, 32-oz. cups of bees for mating, etc.) you have the LEAST of. Now over-produce your queen cells based on those limits.

    Too many queen cells = no problem. It's the mated ones laying a solid pattern that you are concerned with.
    In actual Numbers concerning "Ingredients". Since that is pretty much exactly what I am trying to maximize production with.

    At the end of last year the things we had the least of was equipment of any kind. 12 colonies and 10 nucs and that was all the equipment we owned.

    Over the winter we used money form honey sales to purchase 50 additional deep boxes and I think 60, possibly more Medium boxes. and that was form selling honey from just 4 production colonies we started with last year. Nucs swarms added during swarm season added a tiny bit to that honey count.

    So by the time queen cells where being produced this year we had equipment to no only expand 12 full size colonies and the 10 nucs we where ready to make as many as 200 mating compartments. Most of the nuc production went to a cell builder early in the season.

    I estimated 19 cells per full size colony (Times 12) and on average 5 cells per nuc for adn additional 50 cells. Grand total of my estimate 278. We also made an additional 32 cells by grafting that I had not included in my estimate of natural cells for a total of 301 cells from all sources. In actuality we got 282. Some where lost in attempting to cut them from fraems or the count would have been slightly higher.

    So now altering numbers to a 75% rate at each step. Would mean 212 virgins emerge. This would be 12 more queens than we where prepared to manage. IN reality this woudl not be a problem. Because by the 75% one quarter of these virgins are going to be lost upon introduction. My method spread the emergence out over as much as two to three weeks so restocking compartments is possible when necessary.

    Not only that but in our case we sold some virgins reducing the number needing to be housed in the first place.

    In comparison our actual emergence number was 60%. with 32 of those virgins sold as virgins.

    As for introduced virgins I think we ended up somewhere in the neighbor hood of 40% of those mated. Final result was 40 or so mated queens in all.

    But with no sale of virgins and a 75% mating success rate on 212 virgins would be 159 mated queens.

    At that time we had 40 nuc boxes waiting and could convert mating compartments to 100 more. In reality the sale of nucs, virigns queens and mated queens made it possible to purchase even more equipment. which we are int eh process of looking at now. that was the reason to produce these queens. to be sold so we could get ready for our increase production.

    Basically what i see you describing is increasing and management with no planning. Anyone can out produce themselves. it is production with preparedness that needs to be encouraged.

    Last year was our year to increase without equipment. and I even said that the biggest limiting factor to increase was equipment. I still see it that way just not to as large a degree. This year has been far more about failure to get queens reared than equipment. we have the equipment and are able to get even more. The queens are not getting produced in anywhere near the numbers we are looking for.

    We where and are prepared equipment wise for a 9 fold increase of our apiary. the bees are not getting it done. As a result we have busted our tails to make up for the short coming. And we are still prepared. The bees are attempting round two at this moment. I a thinking we will sacrifice any honey production for this year. but then I don't expect much in the way of honey this year. If I loose that income I may be looking far more seriously at getting bees to Almonds this winter.

    Anyway I understand your point and have lived in it. but it is correctable. It is a management issue not a production issue. Only recently have I heard anyone mention we are dunning out of equipment. and that is bottom boards. You can in fact make hives without bottom boards so I do not consider it critical. By the way I had not planned to have addition of full size hives that would need bottom boards. these hives came from swarms that require full size equipment. As far as my planned increase. we have had all the equipment needed when needed so far. I was nto goign to do a repeat of last year.

    And final assessment. it was not easy. Not by far. It took planning. accurate estimates and discipline.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    **Ignore**
    Last edited by shannonswyatt; 06-25-2014 at 07:05 AM. Reason: Fixed now.

  4. #43
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    I usually have a harder time requeening a large hive than a smaller hive. I'm not sure if they don't want my cell or want to raise their own.

    I generally don't have any issues with mating queens in smaller hives, but I do run into more issues with SHB, swarming, and absconding.

    On the last page, David/Daniel you mentioned introducing virgins. Are you planting cells or are you letting them emerge into an incubator and introducing virgins?

  5. #44
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    Apr 2009
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    Murray County, Georgia
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    There is clearly a far higher successful mating/return of a virgin queen in a full size colony, particularly if the queens orgin is from that hive's stock. When I try to requeen single deeps with a queen cell from somewhere else, I have noticed that I have the same problems I have with mating nucs. I'm wondering if the problems are related to the queens I'm trying to get introduced and mated are genetically different enough that they are considered foreign and aren't readily accepted at some point between hatching and mating.

  6. #45
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    That probably is a factor. My hives that were so successful were requeening theirselves, while the mating nucs had cultured cells grafted from an II vsh breeder queen.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    I would say a colony that has started a queen cells from it's own brood has pretty much gotten to the point it is looking for a new queen. Taking bees and introducing a cell does not necessarily indicate readiness on the bees part. A hive that is developing laying workers being a good example of a colony that would be difficult or impossible to get a cell introduced to. I put it in the came category as anything else where I am making the choices rather than seeing what the bees choices are. I give completely queenless bees frames of young open brood and wait to see them starting queens cells. At that point I am able to introduce a more developed queen cell more successfully. It takes a lot more time and work but I see better results than just taking bees and assuming they even want a cell. In my most recent attempt a rearing queens I used the same bees that made the cells to fill the mating compartments with.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  8. #47
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    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    pol-line really like how they lay in 4 1/2 length medium depth frames

    http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g3...616_185406.jpg

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Nice Velbert! Are you just cutting a top bar in half and re-milling the ends for you frames?

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    From an evolutionary view letting the first queen kill all of the others wouldn't make sense. Why make all of the other queen cells anyway. The biggest threat isn't not hatching, it's coming back from mating flights.
    Evolution doesn't work like that. By that logic, why wouldn't every bee in the hive be able to lay eggs? Why not have multiple queens?

    Just because a species has evolved to some extent does not mean it has evolved perfectly.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Yes remilling top and bottom bars I buy the commercial frames from dadants

  12. #51

    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    http://www.researchgate.net/profile/...9232000000.pdf

    The largest constraint to mating frequency is, therefore, the storage capacity of the queen. This would suggest that variation in queen size may also contribute to the variation in mating number because larger queens presumably have a higher storage capacity.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    ...From an evolutionary view letting the first queen kill all of the others wouldn't make sense...
    Actually, it does. It ensures that the hive will swarm in sufficient numbers to be successful, as opposed to throwing many after-swarms too small to stand much chance of surviving Winter.

    Also, the evidence: European honeybees have done exactly this for millennia untold, and have thrived, up until the humans started making pesticides.


    OOPS! Apologies, someone resurrected an old thread.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-07-2015 at 06:47 PM.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post

    From an evolutionary view letting the first queen kill all of the others wouldn't make sense. Why make all of the other queen cells anyway. The biggest threat isn't not hatching, it's coming back from mating flights.
    It is a bit more complex than that. I have seen worker bees keeping an emerged virgin queen away from a nice, big, fat queen cell. The virgin was very dark in colour, and the next week when I checked, the winner was a lovely tiger tail queen. I think the workers have a LOT to do with who wins the queen wars. They can sense which virgin in the cell will likely make the best queen and they tilt the match.

    So this does mean the "fittest" (evolutionarily speaking) queen generally wears the crown.

    A recent paper examined the patrilines of eggs selected by the worker bees to make into queen cells. We have always assumed supersisters would get preference, but it appears that is not true. Workers overwhelmingly selected eggs from patrilines not commonly represented in the hive. Just quickly, that propensity would drive genetic diversity in the local gene pool. And indicates we have a lot to learn about the more delicate points of in-hive, bee-directed queen rearing.

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    It is a bit more complex than that. I have seen worker bees keeping an emerged virgin queen away from a nice, big, fat queen cell. The virgin was very dark in colour, and the next week when I checked, the winner was a lovely tiger tail queen. I think the workers have a LOT to do with who wins the queen wars. They can sense which virgin in the cell will likely make the best queen and they tilt the match.

    So this does mean the "fittest" (evolutionarily speaking) queen generally wears the crown.

    A recent paper examined the patrilines of eggs selected by the worker bees to make into queen cells. We have always assumed supersisters would get preference, but it appears that is not true. Workers overwhelmingly selected eggs from patrilines not commonly represented in the hive. Just quickly, that propensity would drive genetic diversity in the local gene pool. And indicates we have a lot to learn about the more delicate points of in-hive, bee-directed queen rearing.
    Nice post. Yes, I've seen more than once workers constraining virgins. When they are really desperate they will ball her.


    BTW, what happened to David LaFerney??
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Western Wilson - could you post a link to those studies regarding patrilines of eggs selected by workers for queen cells?

    This question was raised here on Beesource a few years ago, and I asked it to Dr. Larry Connor, who directed me to Dr. Tom Rinderer, who answered that the studies at that time had a muddled conclusion, and needed to be re-investigated.

    I'm very curious about who studied it and how they ran those studies. Thank you.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Western Wilson - could you post a link to those studies regarding patrilines of eggs selected by workers for queen cells?
    You were asking a lot from my aging brain! I have been to a few bee lectures lately, but yay, I found the reference, which came from a Bee Culture webinar in which a number of researchers presented on the work in progress in their labs.

    The study in question is the MSc thesis research, as yet unpublished, of James Wittrow, as reported by Dr. David Tarpy. His "take home message" from studies of lineage of queen larvae is that they tend to derive from rarely represented subfamilies.

    More work in this is in progress to look at what it is that worker bees are looking for in selecting eggs to raise as queen larvae, but it appears they are certainly looking for something(s).

    This bears directly on queen rearing by the apiarist, who generally grafts/selects at random based solely on mother queen quality and larval age....and suggests that devising some worker-directed method of initiating queen rearing, daunting as that is for creating large runs of queen cells, might be wise.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Weather is always a factor.
    The first attempts I did at queen rearing was in 4-frame nucs and full size hives. If I got cells I'd split em up and take the queen to her own nuc for just in case. Did ok but not 100%.

    The second season I was better prepared in that I had a queen castle and plenty of nucs. My method was the same and I had 100% success. The difference? First season we had a long dry spell and the second was just right.
    This season I'll have some more data to base an opinion on but I still think good weather gives you better chances.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Bigger IS better for mating nucs - or so the numbers seem to indicate...

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    You were asking a lot from my aging brain! I have been to a few bee lectures lately, but yay, I found the reference, which came from a Bee Culture webinar in which a number of researchers presented on the work in progress in their labs.

    The study in question is the MSc thesis research, as yet unpublished, of James Wittrow, as reported by Dr. David Tarpy. His "take home message" from studies of lineage of queen larvae is that they tend to derive from rarely represented subfamilies.

    More work in this is in progress to look at what it is that worker bees are looking for in selecting eggs to raise as queen larvae, but it appears they are certainly looking for something(s).

    This bears directly on queen rearing by the apiarist, who generally grafts/selects at random based solely on mother queen quality and larval age....and suggests that devising some worker-directed method of initiating queen rearing, daunting as that is for creating large runs of queen cells, might be wise.
    A good case for Miller's method.

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