very basic question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    North Okanagan BC Canada
    Posts
    274

    Default very basic question

    I have raised a few of my own queens, from queen cells I created by making a hive queenless, or extra cells my colonies have created but this year is the year to learn grafting.
    I understand to get the best queens you need the youngest larvae in a hive that is ready and able to feed large amounts of royal jelly. I have read about confining the queen to ensure you get young larvae. Swapping in fresh comb and checking back at a later point. But doing all you can to get the youngest larvae.
    My question, if I have a queenless starter, with no open larvae, and I drop in some grafts containing eggs, would not the queenless bees be ready to pounce when the egg hatches and thus ensure the longest amount of time to feed the royal jelly and create the larger stronger queens of legend?
    Why young larvae but not eggs?
    thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    victoria,canada
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: very basic question

    Just a beginner my self will give my take on the question.
    First it is very hard to transfer the egg and orientate it upright in the cell. As a larvae it is easy to place it on it side in a cell.
    Second If you were a Queen breeder the 3 day wait would be loss of 3 days of queen rearing from that cell builder.
    When i first raised as few queens i cut comb strips with eggs and waited the extra time . i only needed a couple of queens.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: very basic question

    1. You can not graft eggs.
    2. Bees will not raise a queen from eggs if you use one of the graftless systems where the queen is forced to lay in plastic cups. They will eat the eggs when you move them to hanging vertical.
    3. Young larva are easy to graft and the bees readily raise queens from them. Any age larva up to at least 24 hours old and some claim 48 hours make perfectly good queens.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: very basic question

    A queen breeder named Steve Tabor devised a special tool to move eggs into queen cells, but he found that the queens produced were no better than those made from larvae 18 to 24 hours old. The nurse bees removing and eating the eggs was a problem for him also.

    If you time your egg hatch, and you put the frame of eggs in a queenless starter so that you will have eggs hatching 12 to 18 hours before grafting time, you will find larvae that the bees have selected at hatch to make into queens. Those will have 3 times the amount of food that the average brood cells will contain. These larvae will be the same as if they were grafted eggs.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

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