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I was reading some things about raising queens and it said that queens start out the same as all the other larva. They are treated the same until day four or something like that.

Along with that tidbit I was reading about the way to raise queens in which you allow a queen to lay eggs in a little box thing, then you take those inserts that the queen laid eggs on and place them in a frame hanging upside down, the "Jenter" method or something like that.

This left me with a few questions.

First, if all the larva are the same why would a brood make all of those upside down cups into queens? IOW what makes a colony decide to make a queen and how many?

Second doesn't one queen kill or destroy all the other ones? So how do you keep the first queen that comes out from nuking all the other queens in that frame?

For the most part I understand the methods of splitting to make a queen as that kinda makes sense to me. It's the "Oh No we don't have a queen we better make one" so they do. But why would a colony make 10,15,20 or so all right next to each other in that other system?

~Matt
 

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Your post covers a wide area of topics. Let's see, where to start . . . .

I was reading some things about raising queens and it said that queens start out the same as all the other larva. They are treated the same until day four or something like that.
Days 1-3 both queens and workers start as eggs. On day four the egg hatches. The diet the bees feed the hatched larvae determine what she turns into. A heavy feed of royal jelly creates a queen, while a feed of royal jelly mixed with bee bread will create a worker. The more nutritious and abundance of royal jelly creates a morphologically distinct queen.

IOW what makes a colony decide to make a queen and how many?
Which kind of queen? There are swarm queens, supercedure queens, and emergency queens. Swarm cells are created when the colony senses the queen's pheromone is too weak, and the colony is overall doing well with much brood and needs to split. They often raise several (10-25) queen cells in an effort to create the best queen. Supercedure queens are made when the bees believe their current queen is inferior and wishes to get rid of her. Often, not so many queen cells are made (around five). They only need one, but just to be on the safe side they make back ups. Emergency queens are reared when the hive finds out they are queenless. They often go with about five queen cells again.

Now, if you are referring to queen rearing, your goal is to replicate one of the above natural desires of the bees. Either make them really happy and give them what they think are queen cells (so they think a swarm happened and they are left to raise a new queen) or make them think it's an emergency situation and they need a queen asap. The difference involves the age of the larvae, of which you often choose.

Second doesn't one queen kill or destroy all the other ones? So how do you keep the first queen that comes out from nuking all the other queens in that frame?
Practice, patience, timing, and some times queen hair rollers.

why would a colony make 10,15,20 or so all right next to each other in that other system?
Essentially, that's what happens in nature. When a colony reproduces (or swarms) they make 10-25 queen cells. The old queen leaves the hive, and the new queen (occasionally an unhatched one) is left to the old hive. Some times they swarm two or three times, depending on the size of the colony. But mainly that many cells are created in an attempt to get the very best queen.

What were you reading about queen rearing? What source? I just ask because most books can provide a much better response than I (but maybe not some others on here) and can remember much more than I.
 

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Practice, patience, timing, and some times queen hair rollers.
So if you're using a system where you graph 10-20 queens into a single frame you just have to make sure you're around when they hatch and "Wisk them off" to a new hive?

I guess I'm wondering how people who raise queens do that and what do they do with the queens after they hatch?

Essentially, that's what happens in nature. When a colony reproduces (or swarms) they make 10-25 queen cells. The old queen leaves the hive, and the new queen (occasionally an unhatched one) is left to the old hive. Some times they swarm two or three times, depending on the size of the colony. But mainly that many cells are created in an attempt to get the very best queen.
I understand the behavior in a swarm or emergency situation, just wasn't aware that they would make 20 or so of them :)

What were you reading about queen rearing? What source? I just ask because most books can provide a much better response than I (but maybe not some others on here) and can remember much more than I.
I've read a several different articles. The last one I was reading was the "Queen rearing" section on Michael Bush's site.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm

The part that had be befuddled was the last picture under the "Jenter method" section.

I think I understand the process of getting them to the frame, I just didn't understand the "Natural behavior" that would want to make the brood make all those cells queens.

So if I'm understanding the process correctly it would go like this.

Put together a colony with a queen. Put in a frame with the box thing. Queen lays eggs in it. Transfer those eggs to the special frame for queen cells. I'm assuming you would remove the queen at that point as well as do whatever you could to create a sense of "desire to swarm". Maybe add extra bees to the colony or something? I'd also assume you'd attempt to keep the colony from creating additional "Rogue" queens.

I've also seen something like the frame shown with "Cages" around the egg cells. Is that to keep the queens from killing the other ones? Are those added right before they queens are expected to hatch?

And then what? You can't really "Store" queens can you? Do they have to ship them off right away or is there someway to keep them alive in a box or something? Clearly I'm pretty much clueless here :)

Thanks for your info

~Matt
 

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So if you're using a system where you graph 10-20 queens into a single frame you just have to make sure you're around when they hatch and "Wisk them off" to a new hive?
http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalendar.pl?month=5&day=22&year=2010

A good calendar to aid you in your queen rearing. On day 9 the queen cells are capped over. They are very sensitive at this point, so you don't want to move them or shake them. On day 13 you can move the cells, and on day 16 the queen emerges from her cell. So, anytime between day 13 and 16 you can move them into a mating nuc.

I've read a several different articles. The last one I was reading was the "Queen rearing" section on Michael Bush's site.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm
Mr. Bush has a fantastic site. Good choice in reading.

Put together a colony with a queen. Put in a frame with the box thing. Queen lays eggs in it. Transfer those eggs to the special frame for queen cells. I'm assuming you would remove the queen at that point as well as do whatever you could to create a sense of "desire to swarm". Maybe add extra bees to the colony or something? I'd also assume you'd attempt to keep the colony from creating additional "Rogue" queens.
Most often, to create queen CELLS you need two hives. One, you have a normal hive with a laying queen of genetics that you want. Two, you have a smaller cell builder nuc (small hive) with ample stores and lots of nurse bees. If you are using the Jenter method, it would probably be best to prep the cell builder nuc first. Take two frames of older/capped brood and put it in the nuc. Make sure you don't have young brood or eggs in there. Add one frame of honey and one frame of pollen. Feed additional sugar or pollen if you want. You want to make sure they bees are happy and well fed, that will give you good queens. Shake in additional nurse bees from a strong hive. As you prepare the cell builder, go to your normal hive and put the queen plus a few attendants in the Jenter box. Leaver her in there for one day. When the day is over, you remove the queen and put her back in the box. Take the jenter box and remove the cups and place them in cell bars, placing the cell bars into the cell builder.

I've also seen something like the frame shown with "Cages" around the egg cells. Is that to keep the queens from killing the other ones? Are those added right before they queens are expected to hatch?
Those are the hair roller cages I mentioned before. They are added after day 9 to make sure if one queen emerges early, you don't lose the rest.

And then what? You can't really "Store" queens can you? Do they have to ship them off right away or is there someway to keep them alive in a box or something?
Once the queens hatch, you put them into a mating nuc (alot like a cell builder). From here, you wait for the queen to take her mating flights and mate. Once she has matted, you let her lay eggs, confirm they are laying, and on day 40 you have a laying queen that you can do whatever you want with. You essentially need one mating nuc for each queen cell you are trying to turn into a laying worker.

If you have a bunch of queens and nothing to do with them, you can put them in a queen hotel (search it).

Are you trying to create queens to sell, or for yourself?
 

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Matt, I am only a third year beekeeper but I have been studying queen rearing in preparation for next year. Your last post is on target.

The cells are taken out of the Jenter (or Nicot) system and put on the queen cell frame. Sometime before time the queen emerges, you put on what is commonly referred to as a "hair roller" tube over the queen cell/cup and wait for them to hatch.

Then they are put in a mini nuc/hive for acceptance just like when you buy a mated queen. When accepted, release them and they will take a mating flight after a few days and hopefully return to start laying.

Hope this helps.

Soapy
 

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Those are the hair roller cages I mentioned before. They are added after day 9 to make sure if one queen emerges early, you don't lose the rest.
Ahh, that's funny that I didn't pick that up because that's exactly what they look like.


Once the queens hatch, you put them into a mating nuc (alot like a cell builder). From here, you wait for the queen to take her mating flights and mate. Once she has matted, you let her lay eggs, confirm they are laying, and on day 40 you have a laying queen that you can do whatever you want with. You essentially need one mating nuc for each queen cell you are trying to turn into a laying worker.


If you have a bunch of queens and nothing to do with them, you can put them in a queen hotel (search it).
I'll have to look those up. From the sounds of it a "Queen hotel" sounds like something more commercial and the other method would be more like what a hobbyist would do.


Are you trying to create queens to sell, or for yourself?
Well, neither just reading about it :) I don't even have my hives started but have a tendency to start reading and not stopping. Just makes me feel a little more like I know what I'm getting into before I do it.

More than likely I'll just do it for myself to make additional hives and re-queening my own hives.

Thanks again for the great info and help.

~Matt
 

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Hope this helps.

Soapy
Definitely helps. Like I said in my other reply, just reading up on it now. Hoping to start my hives next spring and probably won't be doing any queen rearing into well after that. I just enjoy reading and learning about the subject.

Thanks,

~Matt
 

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So if you're using a system where you graph 10-20 queens into a single frame you just have to make sure you're around when they hatch and "Wisk them off" to a new hive?

No. It would be a nightmare trying to catch virgins as they emerge, and then placing them in a mating nuc.

A couple days before the queens emerge from the cells, you move the cell to a mating nuc. That way the queen is where you want her to be when she emerges.
 
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