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13 hours ago, Stoney said:

Dear dairy,

Have been around and caged the last round of queens from the nucs with over 85% Mated.

 

As bees do not necessarily choose a one day old egg to make a Queen,I thought those that regularly requeen,would mostly either graft or buy. What I imagined from this statement is that it is normal practice to split off hives just to make a Queen then cage and use where needed? I guess then re merging the nuc back? Curious....

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Gee, now I know what wrong with my kids....they had no chance!!

Weather plays a huge part in mating success, autumn weather is much more settled and a great time for you to have a crack at it I’m sure you will find it very enjoyable, there are many ways to achieve

I had a copy of this book but lent it to someone. From memory it covered most things but was a bit precious about things like sterile conditions and damp tea towels to protect freshly grafted cells. M

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Can be Wildflower, kind of.

 

To make queens, bees for the mating nucs have to be got from somewhere so yes, hives are "split", if you could call it that.

 

But everyone has their own methods and different ways of doing things. 

Edited by Alastair
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43 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Ive told my orchardist that if its raining or the ground is wet they get the hives placed in the loadout pad and no more

 

Fair enough. Some landowners are very over optimistic about what they think the beekeeper should be able to do.

 

If you tell them to move the hives, just be sure to make them understand that means right away. If they leave it a couple of days you could lose most of the field bees.

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1 minute ago, Wildflower said:

I am keen to learn more. Is there info in the Queen Rearing section? Or will some of you wise ones enlighten me a little more?

 

I don't think there is a lot here about the larger scale methods.

 

There are too many ways of doing things for me to write them all in a post, but briefly, there are a few main methods then each of those have tweaks and variations depending who is doing it. They are-

 

Taking a few frames from a hive to make a nuc and putting a queen cell in it. The nuc may have several cycles of queen cells as queens are caged and new cells put in.

 

Some people take a very simple but least efficient aproach which is just divide a hive into two, and hope whichever 1/2 is queenless will make a new queen.

 

Hives can be "two queened" by making a queenless split which is put on top of the hive and given a queen cell. Once that queen is mated and laying the hives are combined back together, each queen has one brood box and they are seperated by a queen excluder.

 

Larger scale producers use mini nucs, that have very small combs, and are stocked by shaking bees from hives and then dumping a cup or so of bees, plus a queen cell, into each mini nuc. That way, just one decent hive might be able to supply enough bees to make 40 mating nucs.

 

And there's probably other ways I didn't think of.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

 

I don't think there is a lot here about the larger scale methods.

 

There are too many ways of doing things for me to write them all in a post, 

Thanks Alastair.

All makes good sense. I guess  with the knowledge that bees don't always make the best choice of eggs to make Queens I didn't realise how common is the practice for letting them do so. Except for making splits to increase hive numbers and/or preventing swarming.

It didn't occur to me to breed a Queen this way for the purpose of getting rid of for example the 'Oh so grumpy one!' I also tend too, to keep my Queens, WAY past their prime.

I guess when breeding this way if a Queen is not up to scratch, it is easy enough to try again at the right times of year. Definately food for thought. 🤔 Although I have never yet killed a Queen. 😕

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Wildflower there is a simplest ever way to produce a high quality queen, suitable for someone with only a few hives, it is sometimes called "notching".

 

First, the theory. You will often hear that emergency raised queens are poor quality. This is often the case but there is a reason. What happens is that if a hive is split in two and the queenless 1/2 has to raise it's own queen, the bees have to use an existing egg or just emerged larva, which will be at the bottom of a worker cell. To do it, the bees stock the cell with royal jelly, and then extend the cell downwards in the normal queen cell shape. But the larva once it gets bigger, instead of being right under a dob of royal jelly as would be the case in a normal queen cell, has to reach up and around the corner into the worker cell, to feed. This means that these queens are often poorly fed, and smaller.

 

But there is a way a beekeeper can solve this problem, without the need for any special queen breeding equipment. When making the split or nuc, you look at a brood comb and find an area with larvae that have just emerged from the eggs. Then with a knife or hive tool you scratch a line of cells out down to the foundation, immediately below some of these larvae, in such a way that if bees use these larvae to build queen cells, they can build the cells pointing straight down, no curve into a worker cell. 

 

The bees will almost every time realise that this is a good place to build queen cells, and build them where you have notched. The cells are built pointing straight down, and high quality well nourished queens can result.

 

Of course, other norms of queen cell production have to be applied. These are that the cells should be raised in the centre of the brood area not out to the edge of it somewhere, and there should be plenty of bees in the hive or nuc. There should also be enough food for the bees to feel well fed, and therefore feed the larvae well. Around a week or so afterwards have a look, and if the bees have also built other queen cells of lower quality, remove them so they can not get to hatch first and kill your best ones.

 

But there you have. Simplest ever way to produce a high quality queen when you have few resources.

Edited by Alastair
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2 hours ago, Wildflower said:

 

As bees do not necessarily choose a one day old egg to make a Queen,I thought those that regularly requeen,would mostly either graft or buy. What I imagined from this statement is that it is normal practice to split off hives just to make a Queen then cage and use where needed? I guess then re merging the nuc back? Curious....

For my operation @Wildflower I have around 70 5frame mating nucs , I graft from my breeder Queens into my cell builders then harvest these Cells at day 10 and place Cells into the mating Nucs , which I must first remove the mated queen (from the earlier cell) 
these nucs are made up as queenless Colonies in late August and usually combined into production colonies for the honey flow.. then re made as queenless nucs again when needed solely for the purpose of requeening production colonies.. 

 

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3 hours ago, Alastair said:

Wildflower there is a simplest ever way to produce a high quality queen, suitable for someone with only a few hives, it is sometimes called "notching".

 

First, the theory. You will often hear that emergency raised queens are poor quality. This is often the case but there is a reason. What happens is that if a hive is split in two and the queenless 1/2 has to raise it's own queen, the bees have to use an existing egg or just emerged larva, which will be at the bottom of a worker cell. To do it, the bees stock the cell with royal jelly, and then extend the cell downwards in the normal queen cell shape. But the larva once it gets bigger, instead of being right under a dob of royal jelly as would be the case in a normal queen cell, has to reach up and around the corner into the worker cell, to feed. This means that these queens are often poorly fed, and smaller.

 

But there is a way a beekeeper can solve this problem, without the need for any special queen breeding equipment. When making the split or nuc, you look at a brood comb and find an area with larvae that have just emerged from the eggs. Then with a knife or hive tool you scratch a line of cells out down to the foundation, immediately below some of these larvae, in such a way that if bees use these larvae to build queen cells, they can build the cells pointing straight down, no curve into a worker cell. 

 

The bees will almost every time realise that this is a good place to build queen cells, and build them where you have notched. The cells are built pointing straight down, and high quality well nourished queens can result.

 

Of course, other norms of queen cell production have to be applied. These are that the cells should be raised in the centre of the brood area not out to the edge of it somewhere, and there should be plenty of bees in the hive or nuc. There should also be enough food for the bees to feel well fed, and therefore feed the larvae well. Around a week or so afterwards have a look, and if the bees have also built other queen cells of lower quality, remove them so they can not get to hatch first and kill your best ones.

 

But there you have. Simplest ever way to produce a high quality queen when you have few resources.

 

Here is notching explained in video format.

 

 

And part 2.

 

A bit slow a long winded,  But you get the message.

 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Good videos Trevor. It was a bit slow moving so I flicked through to the vital parts but what he showed was a great demonstration of notching. 

 

I just wouldn't have done them so close to the outside of the frame, there will be better temperature and more nurse bee attention more towards the centre of the brood area. 

 

And only other comment would be that he used eggs not just emerged larva. The issue with that is that queenless bees want to get started straight away and may use other larvae not in the notched area so they don't have to wait for the eggs to hatch, and then ignore the notched area. Which is exactly what happened to some extent in his video. There will be better results using just emerged larvae in the notched area.

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When I do the notching I mark the frame where I have done the notches.

First I mark the top of the bar so I know which frame it is.

Then I put a mark on the side of the bar directly above the notch.

The mark I make is either top, middle or bottom of the top bar so I know approximately where the notch is.

I then kill any queen cells that are not in my notch area.

 

There is variations on this marking to make it easier or better for your individual requirements

 

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13 hours ago, Wildflower said:

 

As bees do not necessarily choose a one day old egg to make a Queen,I thought those that regularly requeen,would mostly either graft or buy. What I imagined from this statement is that it is normal practice to split off hives just to make a Queen then cage and use where needed? I guess then re merging the nuc back? Curious....

Just spent the entire evening watching utube. Various methods.Cloake Boards. Millar and Alley methods, cell punching and yes some form of notching. The guy I watched ofren failed. When he notched, the bees ignored every notch and still chose the bottom of frame. Will read through all your comments tommorrow thanks. And I see I have a few more videos to view. 😁

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18 hours ago, Stoney said:

For my operation @Wildflower I have around 70 5frame mating nucs , I graft from my breeder Queens into my cell builders then harvest these Cells at day 10 and place Cells into the mating Nucs , which I must first remove the mated queen (from the earlier cell) 
these nucs are made up as queenless Colonies in late August and usually combined into production colonies for the honey flow.. then re made as queenless nucs again when needed solely for the purpose of requeening production colonies.. 

 

Thanks Stoney. I do find the operation of real beekeepong impressive. How many production hives do you run? The 85% success rate of your caged queens was the start of a little learning journey for me. I may well actually start requeening.😲 

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31 minutes ago, Wildflower said:

Thanks Stoney. I do find the operation of real beekeepong impressive. How many production hives do you run? The 85% success rate of your caged queens was the start of a little learning journey for me. I may well actually start requeening.😲 

Weather plays a huge part in mating success, autumn weather is much more settled and a great time for you to have a crack at it I’m sure you will find it very enjoyable, there are many ways to achieve your goal. 
My queen raising in spring is mainly due to needing income to fund any increase which generally comes in autumn/winter. 
requeening is very high on my priority list, actually it’s second after Varroa control. 
a young vigorous queen is like the fresh engine of a race car.. 

 

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I had a copy of this book but lent it to someone. From memory it covered most things but was a bit precious about things like sterile conditions and damp tea towels to protect freshly grafted cells. My father always grafted with the sun over his right shoulder while sitting on an upturned bee box, out in the paddock. You don't need all the bells and whistles.

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14 hours ago, Stoney said:

Weather plays a huge part in mating success, autumn weather is much more settled and a great time for you to have a crack at it I’m sure you will find it very enjoyable, there are many ways to achieve your goal. 
My queen raising in spring is mainly due to needing income to fund any increase which generally comes in autumn/winter. 
requeening is very high on my priority list, actually it’s second after Varroa control. 
a young vigorous queen is like the fresh engine of a race car.. 

 

I do like that comparison, well said!

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12 hours ago, Phil46 said:

@Wildflower here is an awesome resource too,seen better days but

Thanks.Anyone wanting to sell? Other than that found it. Ecrotek $40.....

Marked my 1st Queen yesterday. Should be happy but I totally wrecked it!!!😩 Told not to put disk in too tight so as not to squash her.The little disk I put over her has tiny holes and she kept moving

( obviously should have gone tighter) ended getting paint on her wings and side of black bit. Gave up with disk. Carefully held her and tried to tidy her up and she now looks like she has fallen into a bucket of paint!😩😲 AND it's green 'cause they had no blue!

Hope she is going to be alright.?

In my defense, I literally had minutes before leaving to get huge tooth pulled out. Now I have sprained ankle AND swollen face.

I am keen more than ever now to breed some beautiful well mannered Queens that have a blue dot. (Too embarrassed to send photo)

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20 minutes ago, Wildflower said:

am keen more than ever now to breed some beautiful well mannered Queens that have a blue dot.

let us know when you manage to breed blue dot Queens. 😁

Keep in mind that to get a well mannered queen its best to start with a well mannered Mother and hope the father is polite too.

 

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Funny story! I'd say she'll be fine, probably more than you by the sounds of it, she's only got a bit of paint to worry about, no swollen face or sore ankle! We use them little discs, but I do hate them, my preferred option is to pick the queen up gently by her wing and put the dot on, easy. No gloves, but quick and gentle and no mess. Maybe go back and give it a go on the big green thing in your hive once you're better....

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1 minute ago, Mummzie said:

let us know when you manage to breed blue dot Queens. 😁

Keep in mind that to get a well mannered queen its best to start with a well mannered Mother and hope the father is polite too.

 

Gee, now I know what wrong with my kids....they had no chance!!

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3 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

let us know when you manage to breed blue dot Queens. 😁

Keep in mind that to get a well mannered queen its best to start with a well mannered Mother and hope the father is polite too.

 

Yep. Have to just hope a well mannered fellow is close by.

Used to breed English Springers. Big time studying,importing dogs,sperm etc. Could spot some of my lines, just by their conformation,in various countries across the world. We would study for temperament a full two generations beyond their pedigree. Possibility of bad temperament in pure bred dogs should be traced back many generations. I heard someone paid $1995 for a top mated Queen?

 

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