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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've been grafting daughter queens from three mother queens that I imported into my operation in the Spring of 2009. One of the three was my favorite to graft from, I really like(d) her daughters. Anyway, all three mother queens were living in their own double 5-frame medium depth nucs (all-together ten frames for each queen and her entourage), all of them were fed pollen substitute and sugar syrup whenever food was unavailable naturally. They all maintained large brood nests and strong populations through the Summer of 2009. I needed to regularly harvest sealed brood and combs of sealed honey to ensure a continuous supply of grafting age larva and that they didn't get strong enough to swarm.

Well, every time I opened these mother queen nucs, I was always extremely careful to make mental note of where the queen was, so that when I moved frames I would not be putting her in harms way. I call(ed) them MQa, MQb, and MQc; quess what the acronym's mean. Anyway, MQb went missing about three weeks ago, now MQa has gone missing about two days ago. At least MQc is still with us, at least the last time I opened her hive to harvest larva.
 

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Good one G B. You can tell them their mother was MQc, but the reality is they are most likely from MQa or MQb. I rarely used larva from MQc, but until I choose replacements for MQa and MQb; it looks like MQc is going to be my primary MQ.
 

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Joseph,
Do you have any daughters from MQa or MQb around that might be good replacements? BTW, I've really enjoyed your posts on your queen rearing program, thanks so much. It sounds like you've gotten a well working system going for you there.
 

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RayMarler,
Yes, I have several daughters of both MQa and MQb working in my full-size hives. Out of these progeny there are four solid candidates -- these four have been brooding quite prodigiously since about February, and I've been harvesting brood from them to create and boost nucs since then. They are still keeping ahead of my brood thieving activities to build their hives up for the coming honey flow (if it ever does arrive:() They have even been better pollen foragers than most of the other hives, needing less pollen substitute and bringing in more fresh pollen than the other hives. Once I see which of them does best with foraging nectar from the upcoming honey flow and which two of the four produce the most female offspring homozygous for Cordovan coloration I will have my new MQa2 and MQb2

Joseph,
Do you have any daughters from MQa or MQb around that might be good replacements? BTW, I've really enjoyed your posts on your queen rearing program, thanks so much. It sounds like you've gotten a well working system going for you there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are the majority of the final batch of potential daughter queens raised from the last of MQa's brood. They were sealed between Thursday evening and early Friday morning. Several of this batch were placed earlier into mating nucs before they were sealed. These are actually two separate single level cell bars.

 

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Howdy brac,
Thanks. I am reluctant to ship queens outside my local area. They are open mated, and though I am very confident (about as confident as possible), of the genetics of my mother queen's, I know that the daughter queens I produce from them are "open mated", so may possibly pick up some AHB genetics from wild drones in my area. I do not expect this to have a strong correlation to promulgating uncontrollable ferocious bees into the Northern states, especially since nearly all of my own hives are headed by these same queens and the vast majority are very productive and very gentle bees, though there can be exceptions. Still, I do not wish to invoke the wrath of those who might be naysayer's concerning the shipping of open mated queens from known AHB territory.
 
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