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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by gfbees13 View Post
    gfbees13, isn't that the truth! LOL Not just this thread, but most internet blogs and the human interaction via non human medium leads me to wonder if I should have been a psychology major instead of a science major?

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  3. #82
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by gfbees13 View Post
    It seems that if you really want to see beeks fight, just ask this question: Step 1. Ask Question. Step 2. Sit back and watch.
    I hear you neighbor. Thing is, always, the devil is in the details. Cool and really important stuff happens at the edges. Always has.
    But for the rest of us, looking for a clear cut...1,2,3 linear, clear explanation, we get dissapointed and the whole show, watched while getting some beer and pop corn, ends up looking like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9fI5M6_XVk

    But even in this clip...in the beginning, all is white and all is bright...but only for a very, very short moment.

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    @deknow,

    Would you be so kind and start a new thread on this particular issue?
    Thanks and Peace!
    Yes, please.

  5. #84
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    "It will be readily appreciated that in the course of many years and daily contact with bees, the professional bee-keeper will of necessity gain a knowledge and insight into the mysterious ways of the honeybee, usually denied to the scientist in the laboratory and the amateur in possession of a few colonies. Indeed, a limited practical experience will inevitably lead to views and conclusions, which are often completely at variance to the findings of a wide practical nature. The professional bee-keeper is at all times compelled to assess things realistically and to keep an open mind in regard to every problem he may be confronted with. He is also forced to base his methods of management on concrete results and must sharply differentiate between essentials and inessentials."--Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Brother Adam
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    "It will be readily appreciated that in the course of many years and daily contact with bees, the professional bee-keeper will of necessity gain a knowledge and insight into the mysterious ways of the honeybee, usually denied to the scientist in the laboratory and the amateur in possession of a few colonies. Indeed, a limited practical experience will inevitably lead to views and conclusions, which are often completely at variance to the findings of a wide practical nature. The professional bee-keeper is at all times compelled to assess things realistically and to keep an open mind in regard to every problem he may be confronted with. He is also forced to base his methods of management on concrete results and must sharply differentiate between essentials and inessentials."--Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Brother Adam
    Nice find Bush! Nice!
    The End.

  7. #86
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    ...Of the studies that we know both the number of colonies and the number of cells studied, we can estimate that the colonies studied produced, on average, 31 cells per colony. We know of 64 colonies studied in 6 studies cited above. Which means, on average, 1,984 cells were studied in those 6 studies (plus the two that we do know the cells studied, but don't know the number of colonies studied), making a total of (very roughly estimating) 2,387 queen cells studied, averaging at 298 queen cells studied per study.

    Yes, a hand full of queens generated in one set of circumstances isn't much to shake a fist at. 2,387 reared in 8 studies (when literally dozens, if not hundreds of studies have been done on this) is information of value, especially when every one of those individual studies showed statistically relevant information.
    Hold on a second....you are trying to make a case that these queens in these studies show an inferiority in emergency queens....but that is not the case.

    Referring back to your post #36 https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...40#post1209040 :
    You used the first study (91 queens) to show:
    So bees will rear emergency queens from varied ages of larvae. They don't do it all at one time.
    ...but neglected to mention that all 89 of the measured queens were pretty much the same quality...these were emergency queens.

    ...the second study used grafted older larvae (larvae the bees didn't make queens out of)....again, not any data as to what happens with an emergency queen.

    I really won't bother going on...it isn't worth my time. I'm not trying to diss you or these studies, but you are not drawing the straight line you claim to be drawing, and the experience of many (many) beekeepers is that excelent queens can be produced even with a walk away split.

    Granted, a whole lot of this is estimation and speculation, but I don't have the $40 to drop on each article to read it through for your amusement. If you want to pay for it, have at it. I also don't have the 8 hours it would take to sort through another dozen articles spanning back 40+ years.
    It is you that has been making claims about what these articles indicate. Perhaps you would have a better idea what they said and be able to represent them better if you had read them.

    Relying on peer review is stupid. I can show you a peer reviewed and published Tom Seeley study that calls measuring 10 cells in the middle of 1 side of the frame the 'mean' for the entire frame. Peer review does not make that true or correct on any level...and that's an easy one.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Nice find Bush! Nice!
    The End.
    The End of what? Not even close..watch this thing unfolding.

    But really...why The End? Just because Mr. Bush found a very eloquent quote from Karl Kehrle?
    A quote that if read carefully, puts the amateur, wanna bee newbee on notice, that this stuff called beekeeping is really complicated, complex, and yes, mysterious to boot. Yes it is...but so what?
    That this endeavor, takes "many years and daily contact with the bees"...that the professional bee-keeper on the other hand, out of necessity of course, somehow gets it right...and the "amateurs" and their conclusions "are often at variance....".

    They might be...but even Brother Adam had a beginning.

    Yes, an early and precocious one, but still a beginning, when, I am absolutely sure he did not know a queen pheromone from a queen stinger.

    I am in no position to diminish this man's life work and achievements, or no one else s for that matter. But, why not, on the shoulders of all these pioneers and giants of beekeeping that so very often are brought into the discussion as the ultimate back-stopper and authority, why not come up with some personal thoughts and ideas? Why stop here?

    I think the field is and was wide open...and like I mentioned before, at our best moment, as humans, we are very poor students. The bees, on the other hand, at their worst moments and times, are the best teachers. That will never change.

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Relying on peer review is stupid. I can show you a peer reviewed and published Tom Seeley study that calls measuring 10 cells in the middle of 1 side of the frame the 'mean' for the entire frame. Peer review does not make that true or correct on any level...and that's an easy one.
    With respect, it does not seem reasonable to me to say to someone that is stupid rely on peer review because you (deknow) know a case in which peer review allegedly was not strict. How many tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of peer review are made each year? One or two, or even 10 peer review not strict is statistically relevant? Do you know any area of ​​human action without error? What do you propose instead of peer review?

  10. #89
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    The circumstances that bees find themselves in here in the north if OTS queens are timed correctly:

    There are plenty of larva to choose to make queens from including some that are made accessible by judicious use of a hive tool or knife.

    The colony is populous and has stores.

    The ambient temperatures are not chilling any brood.

    It is at or very close to the time of natural swarming in the area.

    The experiences of beekeepers who are using this method successfully (successfully for me means at least a state average crop for honey producing colonies, and a consistent overwintering rate) should not be denied.


    Science is an evolving progression of ideas that illuminate or confuse us. Over time theories are accepted, and then repudiated. I understand that scientific minds are questioning, but we do not need to be dismissive of each other. I have mixed views on discussions like this. The distances that separate us allow for interactions that, if face-to-face might never happen because they become hostile and confrontational. Noses might be bloodied. Yet, I learn more from some of these discussions in a few minutes than I could in a beekeepers meeting where convention dictates that most questions are polite and not coldly incisive. What I would request is that beekeepers keep an open mind because sometimes things work without being scientifically validated and OTS queen-rearing is one of them.

  11. #90
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Hold on a second....you are trying to make a case that these queens in these studies show an inferiority in emergency queens....but that is not the case.
    You misunderstand.

    The studies do not show that emergency queens are inferior. I have never said they did.

    The studies show a variety of information, but mainly two points that are relevant to our discussion:
    1. When the bees show a sudden loss of queen, they will rear emergency cells from a wide range of aged larvae
    2. Queens reared from older larvae show a decrease in "quality", namely amount of sperm that can be stored in the spermatheca, the number of drones mated with, the number of ovarioles (among other factors).

    I was the one that made the connection. Not these articles.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    You used the first study (91 queens) to show:
    ...but neglected to mention that all 89 of the measured queens were pretty much the same quality...these were emergency queens.
    I disagree Dean.

    The study measures the quality of queens produced in emergency situations. Some were from Egg 0–24 h, Egg 24–48 h, Egg 48–72 h, Larva 0–24h, Larva 24–48 h. The results showed a wide variety of differentiation in size, spermatheca size, poison sac size, weight, and ovariole number.

    The study did not compare emergency reared queens to grafted ones. I never said it did. Again, I drew that conclusion.

    But the better question is, why does it matter? that all the queens in the study were "emergency queens"? If anything, it showed you the wide variety of "quality" that can come from an emergency queen. Isn't that valuable in and of itself?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I really won't bother going on...it isn't worth my time.
    Then maybe you should apply yourself to areas that are worth your time, rather than telling me how you won't bother.

    I can continue this discussion indefinitely. I've read the studies. I read most of them years ago. I came up with my own conclusions. You are welcome to do the same. Or not. I don't really care.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    you are not drawing the straight line you claim to be drawing
    And what am I not drawing Dean? I'm using studies that have shown X, Y, and Z, and I'm making a connection between them to prove my belief of W.

    Would you prefer if I take a quote out of a 100 year old book that isn't exactly in the direct context of our discussion, that somewhat hints upon the notion that someone once maybe thought the other way around, and then we can all sit here and think about what that person really meant, but never really discuss it?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    and the experience of many (many) beekeepers is that excelent queens can be produced even with a walk away split.
    Can be. Correct.

    Crappy queens can be made out of grafted cells. Can be.

    The difference is, under optimal conditions, you know the age of the larvae that will be used to create the queen when grafted. In a walk away split, you do not. The evidence shows that 39% of the time a walk away split is done, a queen from an older larvae survives till hatching. How old? I don't know. Maybe 24h, so it wouldn't matter. Maybe 48, which could matter. Maybe 60, which would matter. But you don't know. And even under optimal conditions, it's still a possibility. Fairly high actually. And that older larvaed queen would hatch before the younger one, and have an advantage during a queen duel. So the odds are, an older one WILL be the winner.

    And it should, if you think about the biological need to have an emergency queen. The bees need one now. So they get the fastest one they can get. Not the optimal one. But they don't need a perfect queen. They just need A queen. And A queen is what you get. But not the queen.

    You want to ignore the math, go ahead. I'm not forcing you to change your management strategies or your thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    It is you that has been making claims about what these articles indicate. Perhaps you would have a better idea what they said and be able to represent them better if you had read them.
    Why try and belittle me? I'm reading articles that discuss topics and draw conclusions, and I'm trying to use that information to draw other conclusions. What's wrong with that?

    If you disagree with the facts and articles I'm using, tell me another article that fits better. Take the time to find your own data, your own papers, your own statistics that disagree with mine. Do your own research. Disagree with the conclusions I'm drawing? Tell me the conclusion that should be drawn based on the facts and statistics we are discussing.

    Maybe we would be better suited if you took a nap and could go calm down. Then maybe we can come back together and have a thoughtful conversation about facts to better both of our understandings of the situation, rather than you trying to tell me where I'm wrong without advancing the conversation, then telling me I don't know how to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Relying on peer review is stupid.
    Sorry Dean, but you actually lost a good amount of respect I had for you with this comment.

    Peer review isn't perfect. It probably isn't ideal. But it is a method of verification and validation. Not the only one. But to say it's "stupid" either shows a disrespect or a lack of understanding of the process involved.

  12. #91
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Wow, lots of good info from folks who don't care, can't be bothered, or just too educated.


    Ddawg, I can't help you cause I'm not educated enough, but there are several good reads on the subject of queen rearing.
    Pick a method you like and give it a go. You'll learn more that way than you would here.

  13. #92
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    for those of you notching, are you looking for eggs or just hatched larvae for the notch(es), and do you go back say a week later and cull any cells that are not at the notch(es)?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #93
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    So, perhaps a germane question would be at what level does the lack of development of spermatheca/ovariole development impact a queen such that her productivity is impeded enough such as to not allow her two productive years? Can it be predicted by age of larva at "emergency" initiation?
    Then knowing that. How often does it happen? Then how does that compare with the failure rate of introduced mass produced queens?
    Rehashing a vehicle example: What does it matter if you have a range of 600 miles in your truck, if you are only ever going to go 150 before you fill up your tank?
    So what I have learned is that generation of commercial beekeepers have been successful with walk-away splits, and anecdotal evidence presented by practitioners of OTS queen rearing is that there is not a high rates of queen failure. This leads me to believe that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that having queens with maximum ovariole and spermatheca development is not neccessary within one's apiaries.

  15. #94
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    squarepeg, in reading Mel's writings his goal is that nurse bees have access to appropriate aged larva, as soon as they can. I see notched larva as insurance. I notch cells on 6 frames if I can find them - it has got easier with bifocals! When I come back a week later the first thing I do is idnetify the number of frames that have good looking (large well developed queen cells) on them. If they happen to be where I notched them great I use them and break down the others - leaving 2 cells per frame. If it happens that my notched cells look small compared to the others I kill my notched cells and leave the 2 best cells I can. I aim to get 3-4 splits per double deep colony. On split-up day it is like dealing cards. In goes the frame with the queen cell at position 3 of a 5 frame box, next I am looking to balance sealed brood and bees. I aim for about 2 completely filled sealed brood combs per nuc, adjusting as I go along, then next goes a honey frame and the balance of poorly filled frames gets doled out last. The honey frames go to postion 1 or 5. The entrances are reduced and the nucs are spread around the original site to disperse the foragers. With one apiary I have been leaving the bees at their home site and not moving them. Now that I have expanded to another site I have more options.
    There are a couple of other points. I saw a study that said that when moved, a significant number of foragers are lost as bees have to learn all the nectar sources from scratch. I think that this is an argument for not moving the splits at first.
    I don't get hung up on the notching, the main point is a good cell and a brood break.

  16. #95
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Adrian, you raise several good points...but I would back it up and point out that no one has (at least as far as I'm aware) actually done a side by side comparison between well provisioned (the way an experienced beekeeper would do things if they were looking for success) emergency queen and a "by the book" graft.

    Without taking any special measures, it would be easy, in a study, demonstrate that 4 frame nucleus colonies don't overwinter well near the Canadian border....it's common sense. ..or at least it was until a few beeks up there decided to _try_ and make it work....and rely on it working. They did very different things than a researcher would do if they were doing a simple comparison of 4 frame nucs vs 20 frame hives for overwinter success. The researcher would do things consistently between the hive types that would be likely to show a difference in wintering.

    The same is true about researchers looking at emergency queens....their " materials and methods" are designed to show a difference between each group. For a beekeeper, the materials and methods are "make this work regardless of my approach" ...and that can lead to very different results than "what's happens if I try this and document the result"? It's like the difference between journalism and activism.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  17. #96
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    In getting back to the focus of the thread. If you have the space, and the time, try raising a few queens by whichever method interests you most. Raising queens is fun. Opening a nuc then seeing an active laying queen, and the eggs and larva she is producing is immensely satisfying. It is much more fun than making honey.

  18. #97
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    I don't have many but am overwintering nucs in Canada just a short distance from the US border. So far have lost more full sized hives than nucs but the winter is far from done.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Adrian, you raise several good points...but I would back it up and point out that no one has (at least as far as I'm aware) actually done a side by side comparison between well provisioned (the way an experienced beekeeper would do things if they were looking for success) emergency queen and a "by the book" graft.

    Without taking any special measures, it would be easy, in a study, demonstrate that 4 frame nucleus colonies don't overwinter well near the Canadian border....it's common sense. ..or at least it was until a few beeks up there decided to _try_ and make it work....and rely on it working. They did very different things than a researcher would do if they were doing a simple comparison of 4 frame nucs vs 20 frame hives for overwinter success. The researcher would do things consistently between the hive types that would be likely to show a difference in wintering.

    The same is true about researchers looking at emergency queens....their " materials and methods" are designed to show a difference between each group. For a beekeeper, the materials and methods are "make this work regardless of my approach" ...and that can lead to very different results than "what's happens if I try this and document the result"? It's like the difference between journalism and activism.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  19. #98
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    So, perhaps a germane question would be at what level does the lack of development of spermatheca/ovariole development impact a queen such that her productivity is impeded enough such as to not allow her two productive years?
    That's assuming that you can isolate the variable of "larvae age" to determine it's impact on "spermatheca/avariole development" to determine it's impact on longevity of the queen.

    The first is fairly easy to determine. Finding a correlation between the first and the second is possible (and I believe has been done). Finding a correlation between the second and third is possible (and likely has been done, although I would hate to find a paper on the topic, only to be berated for bringing in more research). But to find one study, or experiment, or anecdotal evidence that links all three together is going to be difficult.

    Especially considering that some young larvae with fully developed spermatheca/avarioles won't live to be two years. Often because there are so many other variables at play, it's difficult if not impossible to isolate that exact cause and effect.

    Which, in and of itself, may negate it's importance to most.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Rehashing a vehicle example: What does it matter if you have a range of 600 miles in your truck, if you are only ever going to go 150 before you fill up your tank?
    The question then becomes, well, what did you pay for? And did you pay anything more than you would have to not have the range you thought you were getting?

    It doesn't matter if your car has a range of 400 or 500 miles if you're only going to fill up the tank every 150 miles. But what if you paid an extra $5k to have that extra 300 mile range, in case you needed it, only to find out it isn't there when you do need it? Would it matter then? What if I told you that car you purchased and thought you had a range of 500 miles would, 15% of the time, run out of gas 75 miles after you filled it up, would it matter then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    and anecdotal evidence presented by practitioners of OTS queen rearing is that there is not a high rates of queen failure.
    I'm sorry, but when did we determine this was true?

    The queens reared by practitioners of OTS may be superseeded 80% of the time, and the beekeepers wouldn't know it. Maybe it's 2% of the time. I don't think anyone has presented information in this thread to give anyone other than a current OTS practitioner an idea as to what level of success rate, overwintering rate, queen longevity, laying rate, supersedure rate, or any other relevant criteria exists, or doesn't exist, for the OTS method.

  20. #99
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    deknow thanks. My beekeeping is unconventional because of Beesource. I started and overwintered a TBH because Michael Bush said it could be done in the North. Local wisdom contended it wouldn't work. A donation of beekeeping equipment to start 4 hives from someone who came to Beesource just to give it away got me into Langstroths. My third year I had 4 out of 11 survive. I didn't medicate or count mites and still don't. I noted that the surviving 4 had all had a brood break, and suspected that may be the reason that they survived and the others didn't. Mel Disselkoen's method of increase has been my mainstay for increase. Michael Palmer's overwintering nuc principles help ensure they overwinter. Roland's Production method has meant I can produce honey. As far as I know there are no scientific studies backing any of my online mentors. I am not going to let it worry me, I value what science has to offer but critical thinking is what matters.

  21. #100
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    Default Re: Rearing queens for a small operation

    understood adrian, many thanks.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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