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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I used the Snelgrove board to induce bees to start queen cells and the author recommends pinching any cells that are capped by day 5 after setting them up. That would remove the possibility of having a caste queen. That move could be used with any queen rearing process I think.
    But in that situation, you are still selecting the age of the larvae that will be used. Only instead of doing it during grafting, you are doing it during capping (culling the oldest larvae). The mentality backed by proponents of emergency style queens is that the bees always know what's best, and will choose the best queen on their own. But the fact that you have to go back in and cull cells that are capped on day 5 kinda flys in the face of that assumption, does it not?

    Sure it can be used, but the question is if you just let the bees do their thing, without interfering in that step, which queen would have hatched first? Would it be the caste queen? Would the caste queen be the best quality queen you could get?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The fact that cells are started up to 3 days after removing the queens presence would not have to mean they selected 3 day old larvae.
    There was a study done that showed the age of the larvae the bees will select. I can't find it now. But the evidence indicated in emergency situations they would choose larvae that is between 12h-72h old (counting age as post-hatching). They ignored larvae under 12h old (as that's the time period they only eat pure royal jelly anyway), preferred 12-24h larvae, but also selected 24-72h larvae (although to a much lesser quantity).

    It is possible to say that if the bees start rearing queens 24-72h after removal of the queen, that in hour 1 they select a larvae that is 1 hour hold, and in hour 65 they select a larvae that is also 1 hour old. The other studies, however, indicate that they take a broad brush, and select larvae of multiple ages, rather than the youngest.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Someone would have to search it out but I think I have read something to the effect that bees may tear down some of the older cells once they see they have a number to select from. Yes in desperation they will even build a cell and cap a drone larvae.

    When I went back in to check for capped cells I did not find any early capped ones. Strictly opinion but I think them selecting older cells if they have a choice of optimum ones would be a rare circumstance rather than a common one.

    I will use the Snelgrove board again this year but I think I will notch some frames selectively so I can have the cells distributed over more frames. I will see if they agree with my age selection or choose their own cells to tear down and start queen cells.
    Frank

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Someone would have to search it out but I think I have read something to the effect that bees may tear down some of the older cells once they see they have a number to select from.
    You don't have to search far. It was the first article that I quoted to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Tarpy, Hatch & Fletcher, The influence of queen age and quality during queen replacement in honeybee colonies. Animal Benaviour, 2000, 59, 97-101, 100.
    53% of the cells built were later destroyed. And non-randomly. Meaning the older cells had a greater "destruction rate." But not 100% of the older cells were destroyed.

    "only 37.0% of the cells constructed around eggs 0-24h old were torn down, while more than half (61.1%) of the cells started around larvae 24-48 h old were torn down before the queens could emerge."
    Id. at 374.

    But leaving 38.9% of the cells constructed from 24-48 h larvae intact to emerge isn't a great selection rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    When I went back in to check for capped cells I did not find any early capped ones. Strictly opinion but I think them selecting older cells if they have a choice of optimum ones would be a rare circumstance rather than a common one.
    Rear enough queens and you'll learn it isn't that rare.

    When actively selecting and grafting larvae, it isn't too common because you select the age of the larvae. Still, sometimes you miss and one gets capped a day early. If you do a walk away split, the results will be very different.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    How do you decide, in appraising the resulting queens, that one was raised from a 24-48 hour cell rather than the apparently favored 12-24 hr? Undoubtedly there will be queens that turn out to be less than favorable but how many are so for reasons other than a stale dated larvae?
    Frank

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    How do you decide, in appraising the resulting queens, that one was raised from a 24-48 hour cell rather than the apparently favored 12-24 hr?
    You don't.

    You don't look at a queen raised under an E-cell condition and determine that they were either raised from a 12-24h larvae or a 24-48h larvae. You look at the quality of e-cells overall when compared to other methods.

    I give you the following:
    Given: A queen raised from 36h larvae is, generally speaking, to be of lower quality than a queen raised of 12h larvae (as shown by the papered studies)
    Given: Workers will destroy 61.1% of cells of larvae that are 24-48h old, and leave 38.9% of those older larvae to hatch.
    Given: A 36h larvae developed into a queen will hatch before (all other things considered equal) a 12h larvae developed into a queen.
    Given: The first queen to be released usually destroys her sisters that haven't developed yet.
    Given: A queen reared from older larvae has a statistically greater chance of winning in a queen on queen fight (as shown by the papered studies)
    Therefore: The queen reared from the older larvae has a greater chance of survival than the queen reared from the younger larvae.
    Therefore: The queen reared from emergency stimuli has a greater chance of being of lower quality than a younger larvae queen.

    Statistically speaking, not every queen that wins will be of the lower quality. But statistically speaking, the average queen that survives from the e-cell situation will be over a lower quality than the average queen that survives from a situation where only 12h old larvae has been reared (based upon selection from the grafting).

    The better question isn't whether the e-cell queen is of lower quality. The better question is whether the reduction in quality is important enough that it justifies the need to graft as opposed to just doing walk away splits (or another method of e-queens). Considering that the work involved in grafting is very small, to me it is worth the work. Your assessment may be different.

    But look at when bees are taking their time to select the right replacement queen: either swarm or supersedure queens. They don't do the broad brush selection of 0-72h old larvae. They only choose the youngest queens. Why? Because they can afford to take the time to get a quality queen. If the swarm/supersedure methods didn't produce noticeably superior queens to the bees, why wouldn't they just select a random assortment of 0-72h larvae to make swarm/supersedure queens from, and take their chances?

    If you are looking for a date to go to prom, and you are looking in August, you've got time to be selective. Choose the best date. If you are looking for a date to go to prom and it's late April, you are more under the gun. You don't have time to be selective and you have to choose the quick date, maybe not the best looking one, but one that will get you into the prom. Doesn't mean you have to date her for life though. The bees use a very similar situation. E-cells are the late April prom dates. Choose an August prom date.

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    I think there was much more to Mel's OTS book/method than just raising queens. As I read it he focused on queens to get you started on "outbreeding mites", making more bees or honey to sell and overwintering nucs with a June/July queen to build your apiary. He didn't seem to be focused on breeding a super queen.
    Personally I think that most queens whether emergency, supersedure or grafted or whatever will suffice as long as you have enough bees (a lot of bees) in the box to feed them as larval. It is my understanding that workers get the same feed as queens for the first 3 days.
    I also like Oldtimer's method. The link is on this site under Resources - pretty cool.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    @SKM,

    Very nice, well put together post. Enjoyed it!
    Summarizing the "givens" bellow, is an added bonus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    You don't.
    I give you the following:
    Given: A queen raised from 36h larvae is, generally speaking, to be of lower quality than a queen raised of 12h larvae (as shown by the papered studies)
    Given: Workers will destroy 61.1% of cells of larvae that are 24-48h old, and leave 38.9% of those older larvae to hatch.
    Given: A 36h larvae developed into a queen will hatch before (all other things considered equal) a 12h larvae developed into a queen.
    Given: The first queen to be released usually destroys her sisters that haven't developed yet.
    Given: A queen reared from older larvae has a statistically greater chance of winning in a queen on queen fight (as shown by the papered studies)
    Therefore: The queen reared from the older larvae has a greater chance of survival than the queen reared from the younger larvae.
    Therefore: The queen reared from emergency stimuli has a greater chance of being of lower quality than a younger larvae queen.

    Statistically speaking, not every queen that wins will be of the lower quality. But statistically speaking, the average queen that survives from the e-cell situation will be over a lower quality than the average queen that survives from a situation where only 12h old larvae has been reared (based upon selection from the grafting).
    Grafting or not, these variables are in play...all the time. I don't think anyone that raises or raised queens for a long time, by whichever method, would dispute the fact that, all things being equal, a queen resulting from a 12 hr larvae is much better than one raised from a 72 hr larvae.

    Yes, each one could end up "leading" a hive, laying and keeping the hive together so to speak. But that, does not speak to the idea of which one is better.

    Biologically and physiologically speaking, the making of a queen has specific turning points that the bees seem to have mastered. Yes, we interfere and influence these complex feedback loops by whichever "method" we decide to use in "making" queens. Some are better than others. No revelation there.
    Like it or not, those biological processes are a given. Axiomatic.

    As an immediate practical application of these "givens"...at least in my view, is that if the "method" you employ will set in motion queen rearing of a wide age range, then, understand the risk of the "first one out, will likely kill the rest".

    Having some sort of cage to allow these cells to emerge into, would be one way of mitigating that.
    Taking the cells out and placing them in your colony of choice, before the emerging takes place, would be another way.

    And this would apply to grafting as well. I have seen folks learning to graft...but even some more experienced ones, picking larvae that clearly show large age differentiation.

    SKM, is right...the older larvae more than likely, will emerge first.

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    >I disagree with the theory, as it is not based on any form of evidence or reality.

    The reality has been observed as far back as Huber by many bee observers. The bees on old brood comb will float the larva to the mouth of the cell. If they have new comb or if the cell wall is broken they do not float the larva out.

    "Larvae destined to become queens are floated to the mouth of the cell with pap.
    It is probably for that purpose that the bees accumulate the pap behind them; and place them on this high bed; this is evidenced by the fact that this large bed of pap is not neces-sary for their food, for we still find it in the cell after the worm has descended into the pyramidal prolongation by which the workers terminate its abode.

    "We may therefore know what larvae are destined, by the aspect of the cells occupied by them, even previous to their enlargement and their change into a pyramidal shape. From this observation it was easy to ascertain, at the end of twenty-four hours whether the bees had resolved to replace their queen. Among the great number of mysteries which surround this great trait of their instinct, there is one which I hoped to discover and which would appear to lead to the clearing of other points equally obscure."--Francis Huber, New Observations On Bees Chapter X, while describing the bees making emergency queens.

    What the bees do varies greatly by the circumstances. Miller, Smith and others started with the assumption that bees would start with too old of a larvae. After decades of observation they concluded they were wrong. My problem with any research on the subject is that I think you can get whatever results you like if you set up the right circumstances. The qualtiy of emergency queens, as well as grafted quens, depends entirely on the circumstances. Not on some immovable "fact".

    If age is your concern there is a very simple (even if somewhat tedious) solution. You come back four days after you made them queenless and destroy any capped queen cells.

    I have always understood that Mel had two methods. OTS and IMN. I have never been under the impression that they were the same method.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    Very nice, well put together post. Enjoyed it!
    Much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The reality has been observed as far back as Huber by many bee observers. The bees on old brood comb will float the larva to the mouth of the cell. If they have new comb or if the cell wall is broken they do not float the larva out.
    But there is where you lose any empirical value. Nothing in your quote, or any other information I've read, indicates that bees floated to the edge of the cell of are worse quality than those that were not. Huber didn't even mention anything about quality of queens. Not a thing.

    In fact, floating a larvae to the edge of the cell would provide MORE royal jelly for them to feed off of, and would create a better fed larvae, all other things considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Miller, Smith and others started with the assumption that bees would start with too old of a larvae. After decades of observation they concluded they were wrong.
    Alot of things have changed in our understanding of bees since Miller, Smith and Jay. This would be one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    My problem with any research on the subject is that I think you can get whatever results you like if you set up the right circumstances.
    Some of the studies within the papers I referenced goes back to the 70's. Most occurred in the early 2000's. Many were replicated, and found the same results. Are you saying all of those studies were "flawwed", despite the fact that they were peer reviewed and replicated multiple times?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If age is your concern there is a very simple (even if somewhat tedious) solution. You come back four days after you made them queenless and destroy any capped queen cells.
    But if the bees always choose the right age, you wouldn't need to do that, right Mike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have always understood that Mel had two methods. OTS and IMN. I have never been under the impression that they were the same method.
    So here:
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf
    Where Mel says:
    "ON‐THE‐SPOT QUEEN REARING UTILIZES SIMPLE TECHNIQUES AS OUTLINED IN THE I.M.N. SYSTEM OF QUEEN REARING"
    Am I supposed to interpret that to mean OTS and IMN are not the same, or in anyway linked?

    I'm not saying they are the same. I'm just using the information in front of me to determine what he's trying to say. Maybe he worded it incorrectly. Maybe my understanding is. But I don't think so.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    I can see lots of advantages of grafting especially where you are selling queens or transporting cells. It is a whole lot easier logistically to have a nice separate, uniform neat package rather than queen cells attached to a frame of bees. Grafting gives flexibility in choice of eggs with very little damage to comb and is not very disruptive to the donor hive. I am sure it would be the way to go if you were raising queens where there is value to ultimate performance and photo sessions of process: Certainly Lauri's queen rearing has a lot of appeal that Mel's would not!

    For my purposes it would be little problem to check and pinch cells that could have come from older larvae. I am no fan of walk away splits in many circumstances as that could lead to underfeeding issues that might well lead to somewhat compromised queens. I think it is easy to crowd and feed the nurse bees so that cells will be well fed from the get go. Maybe that has been tested.

    Maximum longevity and peak laying capacity of my queens will not likely ever be tested in my climate and I doubt that I will ever know whether 10% or whatever of their ovarioles are not developed. Is perfection sometimes the enemy of good?
    Frank

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    What does IMN stand for?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    International mating nuc is what it stands for. It seems that the instant authority so quick to be rude doesn't really understand who he is talking about. We are just talking, can't we be civil? Why is it so important for some people to feel they are the absolute authority?

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Who's being rude?

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    I wonder.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    The great thing about beekeeping is the number of answers you will receive to your question, and maybe all of them are good. Now here goes another, go to Beeworks.com and order their DVD on queen rearing. They go through several ways of raising queens, then make up your own mind as to which you want to do. The DVD is of excellent quality. The Nicot system is a fool proof way of getting the correct age Larva. Just remember that raising good quality queens is only half the process. Having good quality drones is of equal importance to complete the equation. Good Luck.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    I'm just being argumentative! Not everyone has to like Mel's cell notching or his other method of deselecting and spacing by dousing with powder. Interesting concepts though.

    For the small number of cells I need, if the notching will help fix the cell locations where I choose, and breaking the cell walls guarantee uninterrupted feeding of the larvae, I will not be bothering with the multiple splitting and mite control portions of his method. I mix it up further by combining it with the Snelgrove board. My son has done something similar with the Cloake boards. I think we can really blurr the line between untimely, unprepared emergency cell queening and a contrived situation that is closer to supercedure conditions from the ensuing queens perspective.
    Frank

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    SpecialKayme, thanks for your response. I think the confusion is in the terminology. I think there would have been less confusion had he labelled the sheet you refer to in post #38 2. http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf as "notching" rather than the title he gives it which leads you to think there is flour involved.
    I do have a seperate point. I know that science supports that in order to have the maximum number of ovarioles in a honeybee queen she needs to be fed royal jelly for the maximum length of time possible which means she should be grafted or transferred as soon as it is feasibly possible to do so. In a lecture I heard a speaker describe this in a metaphor: Suppose instead of putting a full size gas tank in a Chevy truck, the factory screws up and puts in the gas tank of a small sedan. The owner of the truck thinks he has a great chevy truck until it runs out of gas because the tank is too small. The point was that a queen raised in less than optimal conditions would run out of eggs sooner than one that was raised perfectly.
    This may be true, but suppose you never drove the truck (the truck with the sedan's gas tank) far enough to run out of gas. It wouldn't make a difference. That is how I think it may be with bees. I accept, based upon the evidence I have seen, that some of the queens that are produced by MDA.splitter techniques may not have the maximum ovariole development. It makes sense. However, it is not a concern in the apiary. They overwinter, and then they produce honey. Liken it to humans: If you were developing a race of superhumans you probably wouldn't pick me, but I get to reproduce and add something to the gene pool. My kids are healthy and smart, thank goodness.
    I think John Lennon said it best, "All I am saying is give bees a chance". Oops, according to google he said "bees".

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    >In fact, floating a larvae to the edge of the cell would provide MORE royal jelly for them to feed off of, and would create a better fed larvae, all other things considered.

    Except that once the larva turns the corner it's all out of reach.

    >>Miller, Smith and others started with the assumption that bees would start with too old of a larvae. After decades of observation they concluded they were wrong.
    >Alot of things have changed in our understanding of bees since Miller, Smith and Jay. This would be one of them.

    No, that was the understanding at the time. The really great beekeepers just eventually decided to reject it.

    >Some of the studies within the papers I referenced goes back to the 70's. Most occurred in the early 2000's. Many were replicated, and found the same results. Are you saying all of those studies were "flawwed", despite the fact that they were peer reviewed and replicated multiple times?

    I'm saying you can set up the right circumstances and get all sorts of results. I'm sure Miller and Smith and Quinby observed things under many different circumstances than the researchers.

    >>If age is your concern there is a very simple (even if somewhat tedious) solution. You come back four days after you made them queenless and destroy any capped queen cells.
    >But if the bees always choose the right age, you wouldn't need to do that, right Mike?

    Which is why I don't.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Here is a quote from Oldtimer on OTS queen rearing from a recent post on BeeSource. He discusses why an OTS queen typically turns out well and why emergency queens may not.

    Watched the video you posted Eduardo, yes that is probably the simplest way to get some queen cells. As to quality, notching the comb as he did can produce good quality cells. The reason is that if the bees have to use a comb like that to make queen cells, to get the cell in the downwards position, they have to float the larva out to the end of the cell on royal jelly, and then point the cell in the normal downwards position. But to feed, the larva has to stretch around the corner to get the jelly, and as a result these queens are often not so well nourished, and smaller. That is why you will often hear it said that emergency raised queens are not as good.

    But notching the comb as he did, means the bees will choose a larva immediately above the notch, and build the queen cell straight down, because the cell below has been cut away. This can produce a well fed and high quality queen.
    That discussion is located in post #20 here.......
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=queen+cell

    I'm thinking Oldtimer knows from experience what he is talking about.

    For the record, while OTS appeals to me, I know nothing of the procedure involving bullet cartridges, flour, or killing all other brood in the frame. It appears to me you "notch" the cells that have larva the age you want (or eggs if you choose) and a queenless hive will build queen cells where you've notched. Doesn't seem that difficult to notch only cells with the age larva or eggs you choose. And when I follow the OTS method, I don't lose my mind and have to take every statement ever made by the folks who figured it out as literal. Everyone misstates something once in a while or says something could have been worded better. And I may pick and choose what I like and modify as I please but I would still refer to it as OTS queen rearing if I didn't change anything drastic.

    The video linked below shows what I refer to when I say "notch" the cells. Also, this is the video posted by Eduardo that Oldtimer is referencing in the quote above:
    Last edited by BeeAttitudes; 01-21-2015 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Which is why I don't.
    But if the bees always chose the right age, if you came back after four days there wouldn't be any capped queen cells.

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