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What is the easiest way to preserve the genetics of a good colony? I want to preserve the characteristics of this queen.
 

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Find the queen and pull that frame and two more (one capped brood, one mixed stores) and put in a nuc with 2 frames of built comb if you have it, if not two frames with foundation or foundationless, whatever. The remaining colony will make a bunch of emergency queen cells. If the colony is a single deep you can split the remaining 7 frames two ways once the queen cells are capped, if it's a double deep you might be able to split the remaining 17 frames 5 ways (3 frame splits) if they build queen cells on enough different frames. If you run foundationless you can also cut the queen cells out, depends on how many new colonies you want. I just learned if you want the best queens using this method, you can tear down any capped queen cells on day four as those are made from larvae that is a bit older than optimum.
 

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I like making multiple splits rather than a simple 50/50 walk away split as it gives you a greater chance of the new queen(s) successfully mating. Outside of some late season splits I made in late October last year this method has resulted in 100% mating success. I made 8 splits last September and 15 about a month ago that were all successful. I made 5 more last week that I'll check on soon. The late October splits were 3 for 8 but I tried not using follower boards and also failed to reduce the entrances enough and most got robbed out bad. Reducing the entrance is not as much of an issue if there is a flow but I would definitely recommend using follower boards on small 3 frame splits. Hope this helps.
 

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What is the easiest way to preserve the genetics of a good colony? I want to preserve the characteristics of this queen.
Search Mel Disselkoen and his notching method to get queen cells started on multiple frames. Its great for producing a fairly small number of queens from a superior queen.
 

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Vance, I dont know if there is Devil in the detail of notching and I did not provide all the secret ingredients but I tried several times and the bees ignored the spots I notched and picked their own larva to draw emergency cell on. I get well better than 50% acceptance of ones I graft. That is only a recent development for me and previously I used the Snelgrove double screen division board and that has been completely predictable.
 

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Find the queen and pull that frame
What your describing is the worst way possible to make queens
the bees start with larva that is too old
in a normal walk away split they draw a bunch of cells, and the the bees chew down 50%+ of the cells removeing the worst of the bunch, and then most of the time the "best" queen wins...this doesn't happen when your break the cells in to nucs

further more when bees make emergey cells they prefurantuily use larve form drone lines that are not seen in the work force, so in 40% of the queens your not getting the drone side traits that are responabul for that colony's gentinics
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What your describing is the worst way possible to make queens
the bees start with larva that is too old
in a normal walk away split they draw a bunch of cells, and the the bees chew down 50%+ of the cells removeing the worst of the bunch, and then most of the time the "best" queen wins...this doesn't happen when your break the cells in to nucs

further more when bees make emergey cells they prefurantuily use larve form drone lines that are not seen in the work force, so in 40% of the queens your not getting the drone side traits that are responabul for that colony's gentinics
I am now confused... so what would you suggest to preserve the characteristics of a good colony?
 

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What your describing is the worst way possible to make queens
the bees start with larva that is too old
Eh ? Sounds ok to me. He does say, " you can tear down any capped queen cells on day four as those are made from larvae that is a bit older than optimum." which should cover the older larvae issue - not that I'm over-impressed with the 'larvae as young as possible' argument, which applies more to a potential queen's subsequent performance, rather than her genetics, which will be the same regardless of larva age.

further more when bees make emergey cells they prefurantuily use larve form drone lines that are not seen in the work force, so in 40% of the queens your not getting the drone side traits that are responabul for that colony's gentinics
Don't follow this at all - have you got any links to support this assertion ? 40% sounds like you've read something that I haven't ... :)
LJ
 

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which should cover the older larvae issue
As far as I can find there has only been one study that takes steps to control the age rather then to guesstimate it biased on development time from other studys, Tofilski, Czekońska (2004)and their results say other wise
while a big suprize, it makes sence, the older larva has to play "catch up" in terms of food consumption

The precapping period of queens reared from brood, which was younger at the time of dequeening, tended to be shorter than the precapping period of queens reared from older brood
The total development time of queens reared from brood that was younger at the time of dequeening tended to be shorter than the total development time of queens reared form older brood,
Our data show that both the precapping period and the whole development time of emergency queens increase with the age of brood from which the queens were reared (Fig. 3). Thus, estimations of brood age in emergency queen cells based on time of capping (Winston, 1979; Fell and Morse, 1984; Hatch et al., 1999; Schneider and DeGrandi-Hoffman, 2002) cannot be very accurate. Another source of inaccuracy of estimations is the correlation of the precapping period with the position of the queen cell in the nest (Visscher, 1986; Fell and Morse, 1984; DeGrandi-Hoffman et al., 1993; Hatch et al., 1999)

Don't follow this at all - have you got any links to support this assertion ? 40% sounds like you've read something that I haven't .
Through patriline analysis of colonies along with large numbers of emergency queens reared by each we affirm the purported “royal” patriline theory that, instead of competing nepotistically, workers exhibit bias towards selecting individuals from particular “royal” subfamilies during emergency queen rearing events, Further, we show that these “royal” patrilines are cryptic in honey bee colonies; occurring in such low frequency in the overall colony population that they are frequently undetected in traditional tests of queen mating number and colony composition.
An average of 40.21% of the queens produced per colony were from queen exclusive “cryptic” subfamilies

not that I'm over-impressed with the 'larvae as young as possible' argument, which applies more to a potential queen's subsequent performance, rather than her genetics, which will be the same regardless of larva age.
a poor qualty queen with good gentnics is still a poor queen
a great quality queen with advravage genetics is a great queen
a great quality queen with great genetics is an exelant queen

In the late 30's and early 40's the USDA Bee Culture Lab in Madison, Wisconsin started a program to determine which stocks available from queen breeders were best. Two-pound packages with queens were placed on combs on or about April 15. Brood production, population, and total honey production were monitored carefully. Some of these package colonies barely made winter stores, but a few did pretty well, producing 150 to 250 pounds above winter requirements. But one breeder consistently produced queens that developed colonies producing 250 to 450 pounds of honey over winter requirements.

Madison's Farrar, and other government beemen then spent time visiting and making observations of that particular queen breeder, and methodology developed in his queen-rearing operation. The conclusion was the stock was no better than available anywhere else. That's right! When we reared queens from that stock or from stock obtained from the poorly performing groups, we turned out very high-performance queens. So it wasn't the stock that was good -- it was the queen breeder. What stood out more than anything was his care and selection of each queen cell and queen every step of the way.

The basic information we got from that queen breeder was something we already knew -- to raise superior queens was mostly a matter of creating a superior environment. After all, there is no genetic difference between the workers and the larvae from which you graft your queens. Improve the environment. Improve the environment -- get that imprinted in your queen-rearing method every step of the way. Be sure there are always enough young bees and more than enough pollen and honey available. Always graft more cells than you will use or need so you can select only the best. Also, have more laying queens than you will use, and again -- select only the best.
-Steve Tabor Breeding Super Bees
 

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The above contains a helluva contradiction. If you subscribe to the theory that - during an emergency (when gut logic would suggest that any viable larva would do - i.e. "this is no time to be fussy about precise selection") - bees actually select-out larva of a particular 'royal patriline', then it automatically follows that ALL methods of queen-rearing which involve ANY element of human selection are flawed.

Not only A.I., but grafting and it's alternatives such as the Alley and Hopkins methods. It even extends to the Miller method, if one (otherwise bee-selected) q/cell is then selected by the beekeeper. Essentially then, ALL human queen-rearing is flawed, and has been for the last 150 years. The royal patriline theory would also invalidate Tabor's advice to "Select only the best".

Should we therefore give this theory any weight ? If so, then how will the thousands of queens which are raised every year then be produced ? The small-scale guy could probably manage ok - the bottle & cap method recently posted comes to mind - or the Miller method could be used with just the first queen emerging kiling the others (does early emergence fit into the royal patriline theory ?), but one queen at a time isn't going to satisfy the huge demand for queens.

But - thanks for the link - I'll now need to give it a careful read. :)
LJ

Just spotted this:
a poor qualty queen with good gentnics is still a poor queen - "is still a poor performing queen" - but she carries good genetics which can be carried on to the next generation.

a great quality queen with advravage genetics is a great queen - again, "is a great performing queen" - but her genetics will remain average, and that is all that can be carried on to the next generation.

Think 'future' - always.
 

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There does appear to be some very contradictory suppositions. At this moment in time I will settle for thinking that in some situations one of the theoretical systems controls, and that in other circumstances, a different set of regulating forces is the drummer.

I dont have any illusion about having my name attached to a line of bees and anyways even a super bee would be unlikely to rise above my management shortfalls. "Pearls before swine'" metaphor comes to mind!
 

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What is the easiest way to preserve the genetics of a good colony? I want to preserve the characteristics of this queen.
If starting from a single colony, there is no easy way to preserve the genetic makeup of that colony. It is possible to do so, but it will require a significant effort, and the final result risks arriving at a line that has lost it's vitality due to inbreeding.

No matter what methods you use to create daughter queens they will mate with drones from other colonies. If you are open mating, daughter colonies will be diluted by 50% with an unknown quantity if open mated, a known quantity if using II.

You best option to truely preserve the line takes multiple generations. If we look at it overly simplified, you make a bunch of queens from the mother colony, but you are not particularly interested in those queens per se. What you are interested in is the drones they will create later as those drones derive entirely from the original queen mother. In a closed mating scenario, the drones from those queens mated with virgins from another line will give you a line that derives 50% from the original mother colony via the drones. To further purify the line you you back cross daughters from the original mother line against drones from this line.

If you are not in a situation where the drones can be at least somewhat controlled during mating, then after a couple generations you will be dealing with genetics that are mostly from the local area background, no matter what you do. This is the area of breeding where the folks with a thousand colonies over multiple yards in an area have the advantage as they can control the background drone population for open mating. For those of us with a handful of colonies surrounded by other beekeepers, unless one heads down the II rabbit hole, keeping a pure line is just wishful thinking.
 

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Just spotted this:
a poor qualty queen with good gentnics is still a poor queen - "is still a poor performing queen" - but she carries good genetics which can be carried on to the next generation.
+1
I have such terribly performing queen as we speak.
Pure trash as far as observed performance goes.
And you know what - I am banking my 2021 projects on this exact queen.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Find the queen and pull that frame and two more (one capped brood, one mixed stores) and put in a nuc with 2 frames of built comb if you have it, if not two frames with foundation or foundationless, whatever. The remaining colony will make a bunch of emergency queen cells. If the colony is a single deep you can split the remaining 7 frames two ways once the queen cells are capped, if it's a double deep you might be able to split the remaining 17 frames 5 ways (3 frame splits) if they build queen cells on enough different frames. If you run foundationless you can also cut the queen cells out, depends on how many new colonies you want. I just learned if you want the best queens using this method, you can tear down any capped queen cells on day four as those are made from larvae that is a bit older than optimum.
HTB
How many days is it before I go back to split the emergency queen cells into new nucs?
 

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but she carries good genetics which can be carried on to the next generation.
going back to the example.. we have a poor f-1 and your graft off her, her F-2 daughters work force are f-3s, the genetics are long washed out.
Further more how do you decide she has "good" genetics.. maybe mom was just a well raised queen, or maby she did have good genetics by mated with crap drones, or maby she was well raised and got a crap drone father and poor getnics

people (me included) go on and on about genetics, but for most of them the control of such genetics is well beyond there ability, but quality control is with in the grasp of any and every beekeeper..

bees actually select-out larva of a particular 'royal patriline', then it automatically follows that ALL methods of queen-rearing which involve ANY element of human selection are flawed.
Not really
emergy queen rearing almost never happens in the wild, swarming is the natural way of making queens, and the cryptic lines don't show up in swarm queens as the worker bees don't chose the larva... its random ( or the queen choses what egg ends up in a swarm cell depending on who you talk to).
grafting is similar as the larva are randomly chosen.


Not only A.I., but grafting and it's alternatives such as the Alley and Hopkins methods. It even extends to the Miller method, if one (otherwise bee-selected) q/cell is then selected by the beekeeper.
The cryptic lines seem to be the result of human selection, the mutation causing the larva to be more attractive to workers brought to prelvance by human induced emergy queen rearing that gave them a reproductive advantage not avaibul in natural reproduction, some writers refer to them as parasitic lines

Modern cell building mimics swarming conditions and is much more in line with "natural" reproduction then dequeening hives. the genetics to be come queens are not selected by the bees, but by random as they would in swarm conditions so the cryptic lines aren't represented.
 

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If you don't teardown queen cells capped by day 4 then you'll need to split them on day 9. A queen hatches 16 days from a laid egg but bees can make queens from any larvae less than 3 days old. On these types of splits where you remove the queen and let the colony build a bunch of emergency queen cells some will be made from 3 day old larvae which is day 6 from an egg, meaning that queen cell will hatch 10 days after you remove the queen, so you split things up on day 9.
 

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HTB
How many days is it before I go back to split the emergency queen cells into new nucs?
If you don't teardown queen cells capped by day 4 then you'll need to split them on day 9. A queen hatches 16 days from a laid egg but bees can make queens from any larvae less than 3 days old. On these types of splits where you remove the queen and let the colony build a bunch of emergency queen cells some will be made from 3 day old larvae which is day 6 from an egg, meaning that queen cell will hatch 10 days after you remove the queen, so you split things up on day 9.
 
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