Good Queens ?

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by drone1952, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. drone1952

    drone1952 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Happy New Year!

    For you and your families! from drone1952 or easy George.

    Let's start:
    In many places in beekeeping books (or magazines) is writing the best queens are obtained from bee hives that swarming. In the same time the books say that grafting you can get the best queens.But far as I know Steiner said .... Who is write.

    Thanks
     
  2. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think better question is, What factors contribute to the production of a better queen.

    If you only wan tto consider queens produced by the bees choice you are limited to three causes.

    Swarming, Supercedure and Emergency.

    As far as I can tell Swarming is considered better over Supercedure due to number of cells only. Swarming instinct will result in more queen cells produced. That more cells are better is a matter of opinion. A person may just as well say the fewer cells produced to a higher qulaity is better. I tend to reject opinions of better that are in fact better for the beekeeper. I am looking for what is better for the queen. If In need twice as many queens as a hive will produce for supercedure. I just collect from two hives.

    So what factors contribute to the better production of queens during swarming or supercedure?

    I have found info that indicates that supercedure may be just the alternative outcome of swarming if in fact the colony did not manage to pull off a swarm. Even if this is not correct. it is well known that supercedure is very similar to swarming as far as it's behavior before the event. Due to this I consider the follow equally applicable to either situation. The only difference being the number of queen cells produced.

    The bees prepare for building swarm cells. There is some information that claims that the building and caring of swarm cells actually begins weeks prior. that the colony actually spend a significant period of time producing brood specifically for this purpose. The net result is that there is an abundance of nurse bees capable of caring for a large number of queen larva. There is abundant royal jelly to provide to them. Cells are drawn out larger due to an adequate supply of wax. there is an abundant population of bees to keep the cells at the correct temperature. And basically the entire colony is geared toward producing queens.

    Adequate population. adequately prepared to have both wax and royal jelly production. and a large enough colony to maintain climate conditions are the factors I see in play. In addition larva of the proper age to be able to rear queens from. All of these can be intentional created. making a strong colony queenless a day or two in advance. Over populating a colony with nurse bees. keeping fresh frames of capped brood in the colony at all times and providing larva of known age Are some methods of maintaining those conditions. They all require effort on the beekeepers part. many do not practice them and those that don't generally are those that will claim they make no difference. they simply remove a queen from the colony and will claim the queen cells that result are just as good as any other. I would not know but fully intend to find out for myself. I hope to do side by side comparisons of queens produced by the best methods I can find. and those produced by simply removing the queen from a colony. I also hope to do the same in regard to swarm instinct produced queens. So far i have two emergency produced queens. I will know more about their performance in the spring. Assuming there are capable of living that long.

    I do know that I am reluctant to believe reports from those that say they don't do anything special to produce queens yet claim the results are just fine. Far to many Breeders that have put a lot of time and effort into producing the best queens possible say differently.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When I first started I was told to not continue lineage from hives that swarmed. It was considered that you were breeding for the propensity to swarm.
    I have since gone 180 degrees with my thinking in that I now believe that a hive that has swarmed (or is preparing to) has in fact shown itself to be successful.
    If you are grafting I would think you would want to factor in your hives success rate as one of the traits you would want to further.
     
  4. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perry, I would agree that swarming is an indication of success. The question is. success at what? I can actually think of many ting it indicates success at. some are constant with what beekeepers would desire. some are not. I have wondered what other behaviors swarmyness is associated with. If bees will not swarm. will they also not make proper effort at foraging? IN short is lack fo swarmign an indicaton of lazy bees? that sort of thinking.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good point. :thumbsup: As well, I have hives swarm that I could not understand why. Poor numbers, plenty of room, etc. certainly not something I would want to carry forward.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To me you want to produce queens from your best hives, well the hives that build up fast and produce a large work force and prepares to swarm, are my best hives.I cut queen cells ( swarm cells) from these hives to make nucs, then from the nucs that prove to have a good queen, i start new hives:thumbsup:. Swarming is there way of reproducing, It's the beekeepers job to figure out how to keep them home to produce a good honey crop for them and the bees.Last year i won, i had a good honey crop and had the same amount of hives as i started out with at the end of the season, I did combine some hives this fall that i thought was weak and wouldn't make it through the coming winter, so i went from 74 hives to 68. Who knows what 2013 will be like? No wonder people think beekeepers are crazy, we put in many hours trying to out smart a bug.:lol: Jack
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0


    And more often than not, guess who wins? :lol:
     
  8. drone1952

    drone1952 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dear colleagues, let's clarify exactly what is Supercedure. Know the general meaning but I want beekeeper PerryBee-Senior Member- what understand in few words by supercedure.
    Why I'm asking.Because in me area the colonies that have queen cells but don't swarm (in Romania are call bee families that change quied the queen or Queen quiet family change(Familii de schimbare linistita).Are this queens good?

    If I become stupid excuse me.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Drone1952.
    Swarmimg is when bees "split" themselves, it is how honey bees propagate or reproduce.
    Supercedure is when honey bees replace an existing queen (perhaps old and out of sperm, or injured, etc.)
    I hope that answers your question. We could get into how to tell the difference by location and appearance of cells etc. but that is another matter.

    No such thing as a stupid question. The only stupid question is the one not asked. (some smart member here has that as their signature) :wink:
     
  10. drone1952

    drone1952 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks PerryBee,Thanks a lot.
    The same way I understand supercedure.
     
  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Drone, Deciding if the queens form any given hive are good or not is goign to be determined by a lot of other factors. Do they produce a good honey crop. IS the queen of that colony a good queen etc.

    The question in this thread is "Is swarming a sign of a good queen or a bad one"? A pretty good argument could be made for both. The other issue in this thread is. are better queens made from swarming cells or supercedure cells? I say they are one and the same. And will produce the best queens that the bees naturally produce.

    Can an even better queen be produced with the methods man uses to influence the bees? I think so. But it requires knowing what is needed to produce a better queen and either providing that or insuring the bees are prepared to provide it themselves. This is not a blanket claim of all interventin of man. For exampel I do not belive better queens are produced through II. We gain genetic control with II but inferior queens overall. What that means is take an II queen and rear rear open mated queens from her quickly. If she does manag to survive more than a few months. that is lucky.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As far as i know part of the question is nutrition and part is biology. The first is enhanced when a hive is rich in food and bee resources. The second is more associated with the very earliest development of the queen ... That is the earlier the larvae is determined as being defined as a queen the greater the development of the ovaries and thereby the maximum egg laying capacity for a given queen. People like Jay Smith long ago clearly demonstrated that by avoiding the grafting process you could limit this
    latter problem. Of course you can only do this by giving up (they ain't no free lunches here) volume of queens produced.
     
  13. drone1952

    drone1952 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone know the scientific name of Rusian queens?
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Apis Melifera Ruski ?:lol:
    Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

    The way I understand it. The 'Russian' Bees are a mongrel breed, similar to the NWC, with the majority breed being carniolians, which would make them Carnica.

    :shock:Alright now, just remember I get a blind fold and a cigarette!:shock:
     
  15. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Technically there are no "Breeds" in honey bees.

    I did find this.

    The Russian honeybee refers to honey bees (Apis mellifera) that originate in the Primorsky Krai region of Russia. This strain of bee was imported into the United States in 1997 by the USDA's Honeybee Breeding, Genetics & Physiology Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in response to severe declines in bee populations caused by infestations of parasitic mites,[SUP][1][/SUP] and have been used in breeding programs to improve existing stocks.

    The Scientific name is still Apis Mellifera
     
  16. Lburou

    Lburou Member

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    There is a school of thought that considers the supersedure queens as better nourished because there are usually only one or two cells for the hive to build and feed. The best nourished queens have the best chance to do well. :)
     
  17. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Better nourished could imply two things.
    Volume of food, quality of food or both.
    Volume can be effected in two ways. Individual bees with abundant food to feed. Or a larger number of bees with smaller amounts of food per bee.

    Quality of food opens up a whole new can of worms. I have asked the question before and the only answer I got was that the difference between a worker and a queen is the length of tome they are fed royal jelly.

    If in fact a queen is only a matter of volume of jelly fed. It seems to me it would have been known long ago exactly how much royal jelly is required to rear a quality queen.

    Has anyone ever tested royal jelly from a queen cell against the jelly from a worker cell to see if there is a nutritional difference?

    If quality of queen is just a matter of volume or frequency of feeding. There is another concern. Are there only a set number of bees that tend to any given queen cell. If so the volume of food available to that queen is limited by the volume of food those bees possess. I read somewhere the number 400 in regard to the number of bees required to tend one queen cell. I believe this is building the cell and feeding. So just to have a number to work with assume that half are doing the feeding. That seems like a lot of bees to feed one queen. Consider one study that indicated a single larva is fed 1500 times per day. That averages out to once every 57.6 seconds for 5 days around the clock.

    How long does it take for a colony to be prepared to do this job? I have read information that indicates it requires weeks. I have seen bees myself that will start emergency queen cells in 24 hours. Not like they have a lot of time under those conditions.

    I personally suspect there is much that is not known or considered when it comes to the production of quality queens. Since most of the queens in kept colonies today if not in bees in general are those produced under some degree of intervention. I also suspect that lower quality queens could be one of the major causes of disease susceptibility in bees.

    For example Michael Palmer seems to be having better than average results in maintaining healthy hives. I also see indications he practices better than average methods of rearing queens. He focuses on many things and it is impossible at this time to say it is any one thing or a combination of things that lead to the better results. I do believe it is true that you can't start out with a lesser quality to acheive a better quality though. You want healthy bees. it starts with the rearing of the queen. Mated to healthy drones.
     
  18. drone1952

    drone1952 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks a lot Drone George
     
  19. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    to add to what Daniel posted The age of the workers preforming the feeding tasks. Young bees in the 1 week old there at the feeding stage of there development. having a hive that has been queen less for a while and placing a frame with young brood in the hive and expecting the older bees to feed the cells could effect quality. As I understand the royal jelly that is given to queens or larva to start with is the same composition and if the royal jelly is being fed to a queen larva the composition stays the same and in most cases more royal jelly is placed in the cell than what the larva requires. the bees change the composition of the food fed to worker larva as it grows older. Queen cell building success depends on the attention the bees pay to the cells when placed in the starter. Lots of young bees, shake bees off open celled brood frames these are the bees the proper age to feed larva. You may have to shake bees from 2 hives to have enough bees the proper age. Feed Syrup and pollen patties as well as good pollen and honey frames the nurse bees should want nothing other than brood to feed. which is the last point make the cell starter building colony up a head of time so the nurse bees are anticipating the introduction of young larva in queen cups and will attend to them immediately. Success depends greatly on preparation.
     
  20. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a Daniel snip..
    Quality of food opens up a whole new can of worms. I have asked the question before and the only answer I got was that the difference between a worker and a queen is the length of tome they are fed royal jelly.

    If in fact a queen is only a matter of volume of jelly fed. It seems to me it would have been known long ago exactly how much royal jelly is required to rear a quality queen.

    Has anyone ever tested royal jelly from a queen cell against the jelly from a worker cell to see if there is a nutritional difference?

    tecumseh...
    first what Apisbee has written above should be read several times and completely from the first sentence to the last.

    quality and quantity of feed IS related to the number and age of the brood bees AND also to the quantity of the nectar and pollen available for the conversion. You can not make a highly quality product by limiting any of these variables.

    quantity is less important for a single queen cell than it is for large number of cells. you can notice this some times in swarm boxes when either nectar or pollen is in limited supply as the swarm box will cull a small number of cells to provide more than enough nutrition for what remains.

    as Apis suggest the royal jelley in a queen cell added on day one is not the same as at the end of the feeding process. this factor is often given for why double grafting really provides little difference in the quality of queens produced since the royal jelly from the double graft has been reported to be regularly removed by the bees and as far as I know no quality difference has been reported by adding this time consuming extra step.