Laughlands Jamaica Queen Rearing

Discussion in 'Bees' started by Americasbeekeeper, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    I was invited to Laughlands, St. Ann, Jamaica to teach current beekeeping practices and queen rearing. Laughland is centered on the North coast.
    William Masterton met me at the Montego Bay airport for the drive to the farm. Wednesday, the next day, was the first day of training. William and Tom Hall were eager and ready to learn.
    Most of Williams hives are a few feet from the farmhouse. http://americasbeekeeper.org/FarmhouseApiary3.JPG
    They have hives near the shore.
    These two hives were feral colonies the beginning of October.
    It rained Wednesday but we had work to do. The bees were not happy after being opened twice in the rain and twice the next two days. By Friday most of the hives were quite defensive. William and Tom set up a starter hive. We pulled two frames of brood for grafting larvae.
    Tom practiced grafting a cell bar.
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/TomGrafting.JPG
    William grafting under the watchful eye of Tom.
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/WilliamGrafting.JPG
    Patrick joined the training Thursday. We are getting Patrick a frame to practice grafting. http://americasbeekeeper.org/GraftingFramesPatrick2.JPG
    Tony and Rose Marie Allen joined the training Friday.
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/TonyRoseMarie2.JPG
    I pulled a frame of brood for Tony and Rose Marie. http://americasbeekeeper.org/FrameforTonyRoseMarie.JPG
    We added the Allen's frame to the cell frame under Patrick's and put them back in the finisher hive.
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/TRMbaronBottom.JPG
    The mornings were queen rearing and the evenings were for teaching FABIS. Current beekeeping practices and principles were taught all day. I was introduced to William when he came to the Fall Florida Bee College in Orlando. William earned the Apprentice Master Beekeeper level in October. Several Jamaicans will be at the Spring Florida Bee College in St. Augustine at Whitney Lab in March. There is plenty of further opportunity to return and continue teaching in Jamaica.
     
  2. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    That's great Gary, you must feel really good when you help others learn new things. :thumbsup:
    Congratulations and hat off to you. :hi:
    Branko
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Not only a great thing you're doing there, but also thanks for the fantastic post to get it out to the masses. That's the kind of post that makes this forum work.
    Thanks
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Well done, nice pictures, thanks for posting them. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Thanks one and all! I will finish the story and update as soon as I rest up a bit. I have been out of the country for a couple weeks and I have much to catch up on.
     
  6. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    I just received an update from William,
    Tom and Patrick went into the girls today. I couldn't go down as my father-in-law died on Monday and I am busy helping organise a funeral. Tom says we produced 25 queens. We requeened all the miserable hives and made up annother 18 mating nucs. Put patties and sugar into and on all of them. (Very little honey and pollen to go around.) Tom thinks the queens were a little young but next time we will just add an extra day in the finisher. Thinks we might have damaged a few with the heavy gloves as well! Patrick excelled at queen spotting to kill the miserable girls! What we really need now is a formulae for making up the patties. I'll let yu know how many actually take! Happy Christmas.
    William
     
  7. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    William, Tom and Patrick wear heavy rubber gloves so they cannot be gentle with new cells.
    Latest update from William --
    Hi Gary,
    Happy New Year.! We went into the hives for the first time since the capped cells were placed. We re queened 6 hives and made 18 three framed mating nucs. We grafted 34 larvae, of these 25 were properly capped. We opened one to see what it looked like . (it was great!).
    The remaining 24 results are interesting.
    1/ None of the hives accepted the queen cells. (0 for 6) 2/ 1 queen found her way across and killed her neighbor! We found that the divider wasn't set properly!!
    3/ 3 of the 3 frame mating nucs were flooded by rain and died out leaving a mass of dead bees in the bottom, however not before all feed was
    consumed!. Blue mold was evident within the chamber and on the frames.The queen cell was opened.
    4/ 5 of the 3 framed nucs were completely empty. No bees, no feed, no brood, no nothing evident. Queen cell was open.
    5/ I of the 3 framed nucs was as above but only the queen alone was in the chamber. (She was a nice size.)

    So we have 8 going new hives. The queens are larger than the ones we replaced. One of the replaced queens from the naughty hives was not much larger than a drone! Tom, Patrick and myself going to graft again this weekend.

    Some lessons learned.
    A/ Need to redesign 3 frame boxes to ventilate better and allow water to drain. I think I'll just build independent 5 frame nucs and use them instead of
    converting full frame boxes. I'll screen the bottoms as well for better ventilation and drainage.
    B/ Leave hives queenless for at least a day before introducing queen cells. (We only allowed about 2 hrs before putting in queen cell and I am assuming that this is why they were rejected but I may be wrong.)

    C/ I am at a complete loss as to why the 5 were completely empty.
    Could they have swarmed? Or could it be that there was not enough capped brood to sustain the whole process?

    Thoughts welcome!
    See you in March.
    Regards,
    William
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Not the results you were looking for I'm sure, however anytime something is learned it is not a total loss. We have all learned by following this thread. Could it be possible that the five 3 frame nucs were just robbed out? (scratch that, no brood left) Swarming seems unlikely because there be bees and brood left behind. When bees abscond, will they abandon brood? (I wouldn't think so).
    :confused:
    Greater minds than mine may have an answer.
     
  9. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    This is only their first set of grafts ever so it is a mixed bag of feelings.
    The nucs do appear to be robbed. It was quite common in their yards when I was there.
    Bees do leave brood behind in absconding, whether AHB, small hive beetle infested, or severe Varroatosis. Some of these conditions have been called CCD.
    I wish I could fly back to Jamaica to follow up, but I have to work, oh wait, Obama cut my job last week.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Americasbeekeeper said:
    "Bees do leave brood behind in absconding, whether AHB, small hive beetle infested, or severe Varroatosis."

    I just learned something there. Thanks.

    Not sure if you were serious about your job :( , but if true, I hope things work out for you.
     
  11. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Yep, Executive Order (presidential) published January 2nd to cut Army, Marines and other military support by ten percent. I and many in my intelligence group are history. Plan is to throw bombs and cruise missiles and hope civilians are not killed.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    might I suggest?

    a snip..
    Put patties and sugar into and on all of them.

    tecumseh:
    for anything besides a full sized hive patties are a bit like placing a welcome home sign out for the hive beetles. probable encourages robbing also due to any smell.

    another snip..
    We found that the divider wasn't set properly!!

    tecumseh:
    a bit of canvas (by the book oiled canvas) draped over the top of divided boxes helps quite a bit.... this greatly reduces any access across the top (which is the route of most wandering queens). I have never had ANY success with ANY divided box I made without a cloth draped over the top (under the top cover).

    another snip...
    Need to redesign 3 frame boxes to ventilate better and allow water to drain.

    tecumseh..
    most of the smaller boxes I have seen (commercially) have a small hole drilled in on corner and a set of three saw blades (plunged cut) in the upper edge of both ends of the box. a lot of folks seem to think that larger mating units are the way to go when you have small hive beetles in the mix.

    another snip..
    Leave hives queenless for at least a day before introducing queen cells.

    tecumseh:
    most especially for smaller units (baby nucs) or anything made up with no brood I find that screening in any unit with a queen cell (placing in some constantly shady spot or better yet a building with fans) for 2 to 3 days greatly assist in keeping the bees from absconding when you do open it up. these units do need some ventilation and a bit of water at least once a day. the idea here is to keep the stocking bees in the box until the queen cell hatches.
     
  13. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    UPDATE -- William was at the latest Florida Bee College last week in St. Augustine. The Jamaican group has raised three sets of queens now. They are not absconding/swarming as much and are not as defensive (Africanized) as the original bees. They sourced one day old larva from a calmer hive on the island.
     
  14. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    That would be a good news then:thumbsup: Congratulations!
     
  15. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Thank you. They only had two goals, accomplished both plus a little bonus learning on the way. The Jamaica trip has led to a Caribbean Bee College and Master Beekeeper Program modeled after the Florida programs, modeled after the Georgia programs. Grenada is the next stop.
     
  16. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Glad to hear you are on the new bee mission. Please keep us posted. Good luck!