Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?
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  1. #1
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    Default Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Just a thought, but haven't seen or heard anyone talk about it.

    Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with an egg in order to raise Queens?

    I've heard that when others have tried using eggs to raise Queens rather than larvae, the eggs often get removed.

    What happens if Royal Jelly is added to the cell with the egg?
    Is there better acceptance or do the bees still remove the egg?

    Going from the egg stage would give the newly hatched larvae excess Royal Jelly from the start.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    1st, adding royal jelly to a cell with an egg can drown the egg. 2nd, the eggs are “glued” to the bottom of the cells, which is why they don’t fall off even if you take a frame out and shake it. So, grafting an egg is not an option since the egg will be damaged when moved. Another system would have to be used like the Nicot queen rearing system. Then, you do not need to add royal jelly since if the bees are going to raise it at all, they will add the royal jelly. If they aren’t going to raise it as a queen, they will just eat the royal jelly and they developing larva.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post

    I've heard that when others have tried using eggs to raise Queens rather than larvae, the eggs often get removed.
    My understanding has always been (and I would like to be corrected if it is not accurate) that it is virtually impossible to graft an egg without damaging it. The egg, when deposited on the bottom of the cell by the queen, is held there by an adhesive-like secretion. This is why the egg initially stands on its end. When a grafting tool removes the egg, it tears or fractures the outer membrane of the egg where it is "glued" to the bottom of the cell. I would assume that the nurse bees would then be removing those damaged and non-viable eggs from your grafting frame.

    I suppose in the Nicot system, you could add royal jelly to the egg, but I have never heard of anyone doing that.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    I've heard that when others have tried using eggs to raise Queens rather than larvae, the eggs often get removed.
    Depends where the eggs have originated. As each egg is laid it becomes coated with a small amount of that Queen's pheromone - so - if it is then transferred to another colony, it will have the smell of a 'foreign' queen and be destroyed. If it is transferred (say) above a QX in the same colony it stands a good chance of being accepted, as nothing has changed - only that egg's position within the same hive.

    I discovered this whilst trying to figure out why I couldn't get eggs accepted which had been laid in a Nicot laying cage. I eventually got them to be accepted by inserting them into a hopelessly queenless colony - i.e. one which had been queenless for over 7 days, and which had presumably forgotten by then what their original queen had smelt like.

    BTW - there's no point adding RJ to the egg - the bees do that themselves, and in all probability would remove any which ought not to be present there. Upon hatching, the young larva eats very little, and so it only needs the tiniest amount at first. It's later-on that the bees have to work hard to keep the fast growing larva supplied with a sufficient amount.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    If you were to use cell punch or cut cell process it would remove the egg damage issue; still there would be the wrong smell issue if you moved in cells from another queen. Would there be enough ( or even any) potential benefit? I suggest that anything surplus to what will give full genetic potential is wasted effort.

    I think it would not be hard to contrive an experiment that would answer the question. Maybe it has been done and discarded since it is not well written about.
    Frank

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Thanks for the replies.

    I have seen a study where eggs were transferred to Petri dishes and studied while they hatched. A special tool was used, probably under magnification. The majority were transferred without damaging the eggs.

    I was actually thinking more like the OTS method, as new comb will have eggs around the outside ring of the patch of Brood. After breaking down some cell walls, the Royal jelly could then be placed below the egg in the base of the cell without drowning the egg or newly emerging larvae.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Thanks for the clarification. I don’t think that will improve acceptance. The bees clean out cells they don’t want to raise even if they have royal jelly in them. Also, when a larva hatches out, it doesn’t crawl across the floor of the cell looking for food. It gets fed where it is at or it starves. So, I don’t think having royal jelly away from the egg and larva would help. I think that the nurse bees would just eat the jelly since it was put in the wrong place in their mind. But, it would be an interesting experiment to do what you are proposing in an observation hive and take photos and videos so we could all see what happens. If you have the capability of doing that, please do so and share your results with us.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    I was actually thinking more like the OTS method,
    trials in OB hives has show OTS doesn't reliably direct the bees to start 1st instar larva, so eggs are doughtful.


    In Breeding Super Bees Taber talks about his work with eggs using special forceps .. He was getting 70% take on his cells( 1,232 cups out of 1,750) but didn't see it as a way forward for great queens, just for the movement (shipping) of genetics

    "There has been a long-standing dream among beekeepers to raise queens form eggs because of the possibility of rearing superior queens. Very little data support the idea that a queen raised from a egg is better then one raised form larva" p 37

    "In these experiments, good queens, poor queens and even worker bees were raised from eggs all at the same time and in the same colony. This extreme variation in development does not usually occur when rearing queens from young larva" p 38,39
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    If you want to start from eggs then use Oldtimers cut strip method here:

    https://beesource.com/resources/elem...t-cell-method/

    I've used oldtimer's method and it works, although I prefer grafting because of the fewer steps involved. I suck at grafting so I graft twice as many cells as I think I'll need, but its still less work.
    Zone 6B

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    If you want to start from eggs then use Oldtimers cut strip method here:
    well


    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I too have tried raising queens from eggs, they cannot be grafted as they are glued to the bottom of the cell, but I've done it by both cut cell and jenter. The bees don't go for it, you get a very poor take, maybe one in 10 if you are lucky.

    Bit of a mystery why bees would reject eggs, but there is a reason for everything, I just don't know what it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have experience at giving them eggs instead of larvae by both the Hopkins method and the Jenter method. I don't have any experience at actually producing any queens from them because the bees just remove them.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Has anyone put Royal Jelly in with egg to raise Queens?

    Thanks MSL, both those comments were what I was referring to in the OP. So was thinking the Royal Jelly might help with acceptance.

    I don't have an observation hive to test this with. If I had more time available maybe would investigate...

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