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So I'd been watching a lot of queen grafting educational videos on Youtube.

Very interesting stuff. Here's my question and a bit of explanation on why I asked;

When the beekeeper puts in a queen bar with like 10 to 20 queen cell cups (already grafted in the cups) on the organized hive bar in the queen starter colony to grow, at this point lets say they are sugar water feeding and its a dearth... (Before the cups are transferred out)

Will the quality of the queens reared in this situation be less than if they'd done the same thing when it wasn't a dearth, and were feeding normal honey and pollen compared to sugar water?

What do you think on this? I'm pretty sure you will say there's a difference, but I'm curious as to how much a difference you've seen and to get into the details of it.

The answer of this has to do with picking the right times of year to do grafting.

(But also I don't see many people that talk about do I have enough drones growing also at the same time I'm making all these queens? Most grafting videos don't talk about the drone population at the time they are grafting. So this leaves me wondering a bit about that too.)

Thanks.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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go to the top of this page, and put "Grafting" in the search bar.
then pick the "across the site" choice.
read the 448 threads and you should have many of your questions known and unknown answered.

GG
 

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Will the quality of the queens reared in this situation be less than if they'd done the same thing when it wasn't a dearth, and were feeding normal honey and pollen compared to sugar water?
Probably the quality would be better in a flow. Jay Smith certainly thought so. So did G.M. Doolittle.
 

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So did C.C. Miller. He agreed that bees overwintered best on sugar syrup, but he said the jury was still out on the feeding of brood.
 

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Nurse bees need a protein source, pollen, to excrete the large amounts of royal jelly needed. A pollen flow is related hand in hand with a nectar flow and having a flow on stimulates nurse bees to produce jelly. So it seems logical to me that having both flows would be much better than syrup feeding. Even if you use closed cell starters with a frame of bee bread and a frame of honey, the nurse bees that are used to populate the starter are coming from hives where they know if there is a flow or not. Now I could be wrong, but it at least makes sense to me.
 

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I would guess they would do better in a flow. Just because bees, in generally, do better in a flow. It cures a lot of ills. However, if I needed queens, I would not wait until a flow to graft them. I would provide them ample sugar syrup. More importantly, I would provide them copious amounts of nurse bees. As many as I could fit in the box.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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According to the queen rearing articles and books I have been reading, a cell starter is filled with NURSE bees, not foragers. It does not matter so much if the flow is on or if pollen is coming in, because the nurse bees are not foraging for it in the first place. What you need is a shipload of young bees and a frame loaded with pollen and honey/syrup. In a really packed cell starter, a good number of the nurse bees have actually eclosed in the starter and have no idea what is going on in the world outside of the hive. They do know that they are queenless.
 
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Nurse bees that have been feeding on honey have brood food glands that are better developed than those that have been feeding only on sugar syrup. This is why Br. Adam and Gilles Fert, a well known French queen producer, recommended feeding honey, or a mix of honey/sugar syrup to the cell starters/finishers.
 

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I think that as long as those nurse bees have the pollen and honey at hand they will follow the program. There is some suggestion that if they have not been actively feeding larvae it takes a day or two to gear up the production of jelly.
Other pre requisites will be proper temperature and humidity, available water to dilute honey (or fresh nectar).

Certainly to make the proposition of queen rearing a success, mature drones must be available. In some articles these conditions are taken for granted as already being in place so may not be mentioned, but any comprehensive queen rearing tutorials go to great lengths to stress the importance of all the enabling conditions.

Probably to get an average functional queen some of the conditions can fall a bit below ideal and still serve the purpose but to get a real prize winner you better not short too many of them.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Certainly to make the proposition of queen rearing a success, mature drones must be available. In some articles these conditions are taken for granted as already being in place so may not be mentioned, but any comprehensive queen rearing tutorials go to great lengths to stress the importance of all the enabling conditions.
And that goes back to a flow. Drones are usually only produced when all the needs for a hive's survival are being met. That means adequate nectar and pollen coming into a hive. So while the flow will not have an impact on the ability of a starter colony to get the QC's started and/or finished as in the case of a starter/finisher hive, the presence of sufficient drones for mating IS dependent on a flow. IMO.
 

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My experience is its difficult to raise high quality queens without a natural pollen flow. A nectar flow, however, is nice but not an absolute requirement if you furnish them with regular supplemental (preferably thin) syrup. In a perfect world a light nectar flow is ideal while a heavy one can result in a mess around the cells with bees building comb all around the cells making them difficult to seperate.
 

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Re: available drones for mating queens. It is the first calculation I do, to calculate when the drones from the hives I've chosen to be the supply for mating will have been on the wing for 3 weeks. The first action I take prior to queen rearing
is manipulation and visual inspection of capped drone cells or the lack of.

Re: flow=drones. Not always the case. (Nor is drones=flow.)

Re: pollen and nectar natural flow. Probably best for queen rearing. Both can be adequately sub-ed for other purposes IMO.
 
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