Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been many discussions about the relative quality of queens from emergency cells, vs supercedure or swarm cells.Questions of the importance of the amount of royal jelly in cells at time of queen emergence, and viewing whether open brood was swimming in jelly or just so so. In such discussions I have voiced the opinion that anything more than merely adequate was likely a waste. In doing some more reading in prep. for grafting some queens next season I see there is reason to question this.

It seems there is well documented experiment to show that conditions can be staged that result in enhanced queen properties considerable above what would result from grabbing any frame with apparent proper aged larvae. Banking the mother queen for a few days, selecting larger sized cell cups are two things that I have not seen commonly considered. The importance of the standard, crowding, pre conditioning nurse bees, adjacent frames of pollen and honey, simulating a flow etc., is a given.

This link is food for thought; there are others similar but I found this one easy to digest. https://www.researchgate.net/public...aring_Young_Honey_Bee_Queens_Apis_mellifera_L.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
Those are some pretty significant increase numbers. I am a little hesitant of trying to shove my best queen into a cage for several days. I wonder if a push in cage over already capped brood would perform the same function? Can I get her to lay in some empty comb and then graft the resulting larvae into hand-made 10mm cups?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts
One of the better ones on the over all subject is Breeding Super Bees
Improve the environment, Improve the environment, Improve the environment

. Banking the mother queen for a few days, selecting larger sized cell cups are two things that I have not seen commonly considered
in both cases this effect happens in nature when a hive swarms and the queen slows her laying and with out space to lay, she lays in alarger cup then a worker cell..


The more you look at standard grafting mesures.... restricting the queens laying (such as a breeder matined in a nuc) using as young as possible larvae, bigger then worker cup, etc the more you are emulating the natural effect swarming has.. So while it feels much more invasive then just pulling a queen from a hive and letting them draw cells (some thing the rarely happens in nature ), grafting produces a more "natural" queen

I because of this study Randy Oliver was playing with enlarged cups this year.. but IIRR it was late season and queen rearing was tuff and it didn't go anywhere
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those are some pretty significant increase numbers. I am a little hesitant of trying to shove my best queen into a cage for several days. I wonder if a push in cage over already capped brood would perform the same function? Can I get her to lay in some empty comb and then graft the resulting larvae into hand-made 10mm cups?
That might do it on plastic foundation. I think the outside workers are pretty keen to dig under the fence and let the queen out. I have some deeps with grooved ends to slip sub division dividers for three frames. I made up a queen caging divice out of excluder that will receive an undersize frame within so I have that. If you were doing it on an ongoing basis the selected queens would likely be kept fairly handy and easy to find. That is a curse for me with my dark crouching queens.:(

I dont know how much difference the improvement would make in real life conditions for Joe Blow. In a lot of cases it might be just like "putting pearls before swine" but it tickles my fancy. I believe Bernard Huevel is working these angles with the queens he sells.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
So for the 30 some queens I hope to produce next year, not worth the extra effort? I should just graft into large cups? What diameter are the JZBZ and Nicot cups anyway? Micrometer is at work so I can't check myself this evening. Thinking that I can make dipped cells out of pure beeswax with a 10mm dowel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So for the 30 some queens I hope to produce next year, not worth the extra effort? I should just graft into large cups? What diameter are the JZBZ and Nicot cups anyway? Micrometer is at work so I can't check myself this evening. Thinking that I can make dipped cells out of pure beeswax with a 10mm dowel.
I think the JBZB ones are close to that; have not had my hands on the nicot style. The dipped cups are not hard to make
61554
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One of the better ones on the over all subject is Breeding Super Bees
Improve the environment, Improve the environment, Improve the environment


in both cases this effect happens in nature when a hive swarms and the queen slows her laying and with out space to lay, she lays in alarger cup then a worker cell..


The more you look at standard grafting mesures.... restricting the queens laying (such as a breeder matined in a nuc) using as young as possible larvae, bigger then worker cup, etc the more you are emulating the natural effect swarming has.. So while it feels much more invasive then just pulling a queen from a hive and letting them draw cells (some thing the rarely happens in nature ), grafting produces a more "natural" queen

I because of this study Randy Oliver was playing with enlarged cups this year.. but IIRR it was late season and queen rearing was tuff and it didn't go anywhere
I am sure some purists would be horrified at the thought of calling such a queen the "most natural" but they seem to tick off all the desirable qualities. I did AI on the dexter cattle I used to raise. It sure is a benefit to be able to call more of the shots!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts
So for the 30 some queens I hope to produce next year, not worth the extra effort?
I would say not worth it
We have been rearing good queens for a long time. Like with many things beekeeping if its something basic like this, or say puting OA in a fogger :) ... If its not a SOP there is likely a reason for it. some one HAS likely has tried it.
of note JZBZ cups are around 8.8mm
I am sure some purists would be horrified at the thought of calling such a queen the "most natural" but they seem to tick off all the desirable qualities.
yep.
Its not a reproduction response, its a survival response. More or less outside of a bear attack, emergency queens don't happen in nature.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
I have been, ok, the bees have been raising decent queens for me for the past several years. I noticed last year that a few were smaller than I have been accustomed to seeing. Figured it is time to help nature along a bit. Went ahead and ordered Steve Taber's book on Amazon. Time to make some of the larger cups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts
Time to make some of the larger cups.
One study, no replicates.
For whatever reason beekeepers are often willing to hop on to something shiny and start changing the "recipe" before trying the standard recipe 1st...Lauri's no heat sugar brick recipe as a great example..
Of note the next year the same researchers found that queens laid much bigger eggs in queen cells.. of corce the only way to do a lot of this is with this groups commercial queen rearing system https://www.researchgate.net/public...oyal_Jelly_Harvesting_Without_Grafting_Larvae

any way The experts say
. Queen cell cups should measure 8-9 mm in diameter at the rim
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3896/IBRA.1.52.1.07

we do in this study see smaller cups making lighter queens https://www.researchgate.net/public...ra_Linnaeus_queen_bees_during_breeding_season

The 8-9mm recommendation comes from years of experience and has to do with cell acceptance. Weiss (1967) found 8.9mm had the best acceptance. sorry no link, Taber references it on page 3. I had to dig a bit threw the library to find out why I "knew" the JZBZs size (and most outhers) was picked for acceptance reasons
when it comes to learning to graft, you want the best acceptance you can get
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,834 Posts
What diameter are the JZBZ and Nicot cups anyway?
I used the Nicot system since it first came out, the wholes in the grid are slightly larger, there was a recommendation to cut and put a straw into the holes to make them smaller. I never had to, when I was sending bees out to BVS for testing, he commented that my bees were larger than he normally gets? was it the slightly larger cups? did find some queens would mistake the larger hole and lay drone eggs in them.
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,154 Posts
I am a little hesitant of trying to shove my best queen into a cage for several days.
Try this, after some hunting a few weeks ago, I did find a seller on amazon that had them, were not cheap and the shipping was ridiculous, but I bought two anyways. The concept is, I can confine the queen to a single frame in the center of the nest using two of these. If I confine her to an empty frame on Saturday morning, remove the two vertical queen excluders on Sunday, then on Wednesday every larvae on that frame is right age for a graft.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That looks like a handy piece of gear grozzie!

If you do not have an empty drawn brood comb for the queen to go to work on you can use one of your honey super frames. After you graft you can wash out the remaining eggs and open larvae so you do not have cocoons in your extracting frame. It is no problem for a few days if it is a medium frame in a deep box.

Some poster here keeps a dedicated frame for that and I believe Cushman showed a frame with fillers either side to produce a smaller area of even aged larvae.

If you are using the chinese grafting tool a plastic base foundation would be preferable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts
another option
Single Frame Queen Confinement Cage
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,154 Posts
another option
I saw that one when I was hunting for options, it needs to be at the end of the hive is my understanding, it only wraps around one side of the frame. That's why I went for the vertical excluder option I found, I can set it up with two of them in the center of the nest, at least I can in theory. Ask me at this time next year to see how well it worked.

FWIW, one thing I tried this year. I did what many would call the 'flyback' style of split. In the original location I had the queen, on a frame with some brood, mostly stores, then beside it an empty drawn frame. With that were 7 fresh new frames and a frame feeder. I did that split on Saturday. On Wednesday when I lifted out the drawn frame, one side was full of larvae, none of which could possibly be more than 4 days from egg laid. Split was done around 9am on Saturday morning, frame to graft from pulled out at about 2pm on Wendesday. If you are only going to do one round of grafts, this is a decent way to get accurate timing on larvae.

Some of my inspiration on this, watching MP videos oline, then reading Brother Adam in Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey. He would put a warm frame into the breeder colony, then check it every 12 hours for eggs. When they saw eggs on the frame, he would mark down when the correct time to graft would be. I've been trying to do it the other way around, mark on the calendar when I want to graft, then manage a colony to try get correct age larvae at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,154 Posts
$9 each shipped (US obuilisy)
Hmm, I didn't find that site, but, it's the same folks that I ordered thru Amazon for them. Shipping to Canada was something like 50 dollars for a pair. I had found them on Alibaba, but moq was something like 500, and I could not find them listed at AliExpress.

At this point it's academic, but I've saved that link in case I decide I want more.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top