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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a third year beek ready to do some splits. My question is that is it ok to purchase breeder queens if I'm willing to pay the price to do a couple splits? Assuming that I may start queen rearing next year or the following year. My assumption is that the breeder queens will make good production queens. Or, am I asking for problems in that they may be more apt to swarm and supercede? I know for the price I could buy production queens a heck of a lot cheaper but my thoughts are at this stage of my operation I could introduce some good stock early on for later queen production if I choose and have the best of both worlds in between.

James R.
 

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Please do not indirectly bash Glenn apiaries....I know a guy that has literally 1000s of daughters from those $100 queens. Also, I have friend that sells bunches of daughters from those queens. Almost all of my queens are daughters of glenn breeders.

Mike
 

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I don't think anyone was trying to shoot anyone else down, just seeking clarification.

I like and use B. Weaver queens because they're productive, prolific, and are "survivor stock" meaning the Weavers do not use any treatments for mites, and you can go treatment free with their queens/bees.

Whether you buy Weaver or Glenn bees, both are good stock. But I agree, i wouldn't pay the extra for a "breeder" unless I was going into commercial breeding under controlled circumstances.

I like to take my most productive hive, and pull frames of eggs/larvae/bees out to make my splits, thus retaining those genetics in my colonies. When I get to the point in a couple of years where I have the time and the energy to make up and sell nucs, that is how I'll do it. Not with expensive breeder queens, but from my own proven stock, chemical free and mite resistant.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK. Thanks all for the responeses. I am fairley new to all this and just had not researched queen rearing that much. Then I happened along Glenn's website and it raised an eyebrow. I guess back to one of my original questions. I assume a breeder queen will be ok for a production queen?

Second would be that it can't hurt to have good stock in your original few hives. That way when they swarm the genitecs would be there in the worker bee's if the need to requeen is there.

I realize all this this would come at a cost and not be very frugal down the road in a large operation. But then again what has not came at a price for a beginner thus far and who who knows for how long. It's addicting for sure.

James R.
 

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It is my understanding that breeder queens often do not have the life expectancy or longevity regular queens do. What they do have (or are supposed to have) are proven genetics.

I have heard that bees are bad about superceding AI queens.

Personally, I would NOT use a breeder queen in a production hive. I would use a breeder queen to raise better queens that I could use as production queens.

For a small beekeeper, it is harder to justify the cost of a breeder queen. A beekeeping friend and I have been discussing buying one of Joe Latshaw's $500 breeder queens next year and raising queens from it for our own stock. While we aren't trying to mass produce queens for sale, we will still be able to (hopefully) improve our bee stock while reducing our input costs.
 

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Along those lines, I would think it would be wise for a beek to establish a plan of action for the "breeder queen" and practice for a season or two with one of your own queens. That way you can learn as you do, get your mistakes over with, and become proficient at what you want to do, all without the cost of an expensive breeder queen. Just my thoughts.
Regards,
Steven
 

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This is a topic that's on my mind lately. The difference between a
production queen and a breeder queen is the known degree of performance. As
with all breeding, the larger the pool to choose from, the greater the
chances of finding something desirable.

If you took 500 production queens and tested them all for a year and a
half, you'd find several that would be great to breed from.
You'd have several Breeder Queens. What did you do to get them?
You spent time, effort and skill selecting them

Breeders are predictably good. However, since a queen has a fairly short
life, and evaluating a queen to determine if she's a breeder takes a year
or more, once one obtains a breeder they should graft, graft, graft, graft
and graft from her.

II breeder queens that are available today are made from known breeders,
but most are not evaluated like the breeders above, although some bee
breeders do evaluate II breeder queens and then offer them for sale.
Choosing one depends on the price and breeder.
Again, once one had one of these, they'd need to use her well to recoup her worth.

II queens are certainly worth their price: one needs to know how to
introduce and keep them in small colonies to get the most from them.

Talk to any potential bee breeder or queen producer. If they can explain
their breeding program to you and their rational behind their crosses,
there's a very good chance they'll have exceptional stock available for you
to use.

Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Adam. You came closer to answering my original question then anyone else. Again to be honest I have been hobby beek for 3 years trying to learn as much as I can and not even came across the the fact that there are breeder queens and production queens. When I did it raised the question that if I decide to try queen rearing in the next year or 2 would it be ok to use a couple of breeders as production until time to put out to pasture so to speak. Realizing the risk of swarming or any of number of things that can happen to the queen. It seems they would introduce good genetics to a beginning apiarey particularly in a emergency or supercede situation. Although I realize not practical for annual queen replacement program.

James R.
 

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When I did it raised the question that if I decide to try queen rearing in the next year or 2 would it be ok to use a couple of breeders as production until time to put out to pasture so to speak. Realizing the risk of swarming or any of number of things that can happen to the queen. It seems they would introduce good genetics to a beginning apiarey particularly in a emergency or supercede situation. Although I realize not practical for annual queen replacement program.
James R.
Hi James, others,
I'd wait until you'd made some queens and had the technique down before you invested in breeding stock. You may certainly test different queen lines in a requeening program to determine what type of breeder you;d eventually want and make queens from them. You might find that what you have is pretty darn good!

:)

Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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James you have brought up a great question and some excellent dialogue on queens.

I am a beginner beek as well and find queen rearing to be a fascinating aspect of keeping bees. I am curious to know if anyone has insight on the "big picture" of starting a rearing program? For example, I realize it is not enough just to have queens being produced in your hives, it seems to me that it is just as important to have quality drones to populate your local Drone Congregation Area (DCA).

So as an urban beekeeper, what would be an optimum hive configuration to help flood the DCA with drones thus improving the queens in my area? I know the state of North Carolina appears to be on the right track, how can we move this initiative forward and encompass all of the US?

Maybe this is a lofty goal, but if bees are in danger and the "bee movement" is gaining momentum, lets start planning to breed local queens, reduce/eliminate chemical usage, and have the bee population increase annually instead of decrease.
 
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