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Discussion Starter #1
So I just pulled a bunch of frames for a nuc today, and tomorrow or the next day after they calm down and realize they don't have a queen (or I realize they DO have the queen) I'm going to try the 'on the spot' method of queen-making. If the bees haven't already started a couple cells, of course.

So I was wondering if anyone with a lot of experience can explain about how old each of these larva are:

A. Eggs. Yeah, I got that part.
B. Yeah, its in there. Kinda dark
C.
D. I'm guessing this is pretty close to the 36 hour mark (still being fed royal jelly)
E. 4 days old?
F. End of 4th day?
G. 5th day?
H. 6th day?
I. 7th day? Looks like this one is pretty close to flipping and being capped.



The most important part for me is to be able to recognize them younger than 36 hours. The rest is mostly curiosity.

Thanks!
 

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Nice pic and detail. I have absolutely no idea why you think you need or why you would ask for clarification here. What exactly is the "on the spot" method of queen making, anyway?

I hope you got a whole lot of bees and brood for that nuc.

chris
 

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All of those (that I see) are too old.



#1 above is probably OK, but since you don't handle the larva with the On the Spot method you can use really young ones. If you can see any milky royal jelly in the cell at all it means that the larva has hatched and the bees are already feeding it - even if you can't see it. Those are the ones to use.

You can find out what this method is here - MDA Splitter
 

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I am no expert, but have attended several classes in queen rearing. They all say, as soon as it is curled, too old. They also indicate that you basically can not see it- the age you need
 

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Just look for larva that are in a small puddle of Jelly, are only the size of an egg, and are just slightly curved. See the winking eye on this guy ;)? That's them! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, thanks David and winevines! I thought they pretty much came out curled--I'll have to take a closer look, or just cut below the eggs I see.

Jeff123fish--Its my first hive so I couldn't really compare on the dryness of the cells, but I was wondering about the color of the brood...they never really get that 'neon' white--they pretty much stay the color of capping wax. I attributed it to them being Russian, while everyone in the books always wants to talk about Italians. Russians are supposed to be more sparing in their food stores; maybe they don't have to feed their brood as much. Or something, I really dont' know. But my area has been in a dearth since I got this hive, and on about 1 quart of 1:1 a day, they've grown well and have completely pulled their second medium super (combined brood and stored syrup) and are working on their third. So I guess neither the color nor the 'dryness' really matters much to them.
 

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I thought I had the picture you want:



Look really hard and you can just see her - or maybe you can't. Doesn't matter, the royal jelly indicates that there is a hatched larva there. It's gonna take a lot of practice to graft with larva this young I think. I can't do it. Yet.
 

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i no yall gonna have a fit but you get that frame of eggs you want take a knife an cut that comb down so you can get to em better. make sure you
aint cutin it down to the egg but about 1/2 way down. make sure you aint
letin em dry out to so wrap em.. id practice 2 frames full if you just learnin.
i only use egg figure they larve they to old.
 

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. But my area has been in a dearth since I got this hive, and on about 1 quart of 1:1 a day, they've grown well and have completely pulled their second medium super (combined brood and stored syrup) and are working on their third. So I guess neither the color nor the 'dryness' really matters much to them.
I am in your area more or less... the dearth does matter, but sounds like you are feeding them like mad. When did you start them and how did you get a start with Russians?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When did you start them and how did you get a start with Russians?

I got them from Paul Kinser in Stanley VA, just south of Luray (as in the Caverns). He has Russian queens. I think he said he open mates his virgins, so technically I guess I don't have pure Russians (for sure). I do have a good variety of color in my hive--5-banded, 3 banded, all yellow abdomens with black tipped butts, grey with black stripes, some with the upper half orange-yellow and the lower half grey, and a few all blacks. The queen is all black.

Here's a listing of local queen/nuc suppliers. "Local" is a relative term--I've had to drive about 2.5 hours one way to both of the places I got my bees this year.

http://beekeepersguild.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30&Itemid=50

When I got the nuc it was early; the frames were filled with eggs and some largish brood, maybe a few capped. Paul said the queen was maybe a month old. I think I picked it up on June 6, so a month and a half ago.

Took this pic on the 19th of July--this is from my second medium box. (They'd pulled 9 frames from foundation in about a month.)



Notice the vertical holes in her laying pattern--she dosn't like to lay on the foundation support wire, so the bees fill those holes in with honey and pollen for easy access while feeding brood. Or maybe the bees know its a bad cell, and fill it so she won't lay there...

Overall, I'm very pleased with this nuc, even if it was a little 'green' when he sold it to me. If my attempt to create an On-the-Spot queen in a nuc I just started dosn't work, I'll get a replacement queen from Paul. I like these bees--I haven't seen a varroa or SHB yet (I see lots of cleaning themselves and each other, and chasing ants on the outside of the hive), and they've grown well during the dearth. I can't wait to see them working the fall flow, if we get one!
 

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Thanks. And what great photos you get.
I know Paul and have gotten nucs from him in the past. This year we were able to raise our own nucs to sell. I have started to use the term Regional rather than local............

I assume you are connected with a local club ? BANV?
I doubt you will see a Fall flow of any real substance, but this has been a strange year so nothing would surprise me. I would do what I could to build them up to 3 mediums to go in to winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I assume you are connected with a local club ? BANV?

Ah, no. This forum is my 'club' as much as anything. All the club classes had ended when I decided I wanted to keep bees, and they don't start until Jan or Feb. I tried contacting one club leader/moderator (don't remember his name) but never got a reply. Do you know a good club around Alexandria?

I love this chart, but only because I'm assuming its based on a general average of conditions. It says that Sept/goldenrod can give around 20 lbs of honey. Does that match with your experience?

http://beltwaybees.wetpaint.com/page/Northern+Virginia+Honeybee+Annual+Cycle
 

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Do you know a good club around Alexandria?

I love this chart, but only because I'm assuming its based on a general average of conditions. It says that Sept/goldenrod can give around 20 lbs of honey. Does that match with your experience?
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BANV is the only club I know of in that area.
And, sorry to say, not gaining 20 pounds in Sept. is not my experience without a lot of feed. Send me your email via private message and I will add you to our club's email list- We are in Prince William County. All classes will start up again in January/February all over the NOVA region- we work as a cooperative effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BeeCurious--the wires are not exposed. I drew in those lines so you could see how straight the holes in her pattern were. I could see the wires down in the bottom of the cells, thru the honey, and above the brood pattern.
 
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