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Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Omie, Jun 30, 2011.
You make it sound so good, Omie, I'm tempted to do just that. I have two big, very vigorous hives ,and I know they have plenty insidet o support a split---Just wish I had a mentor here for the first time at bat. The last thing I want is a major foulup with the ladies. That always gets me in deep water before I know it...
For many years when I had no money to buy queens, and had empty hives and nucs to fill in the Spring, in SC, I would make all of my splits and nucs by making sure there were eggs and young larvae, honey and pollen and plenty of bees in every box, so thery would more often than not raise a queen from the young brood they had.
I had one yard w/ 80 nucs which had a better than 90% success rate. Sometimes one hardly gets that w/ queens or cells.
I'm glad you are enjoying your bees and learning too.
I applaude you self sufficiency and I think there is some logic to the 'adapted to the local environment' rational of your thinking. I would however suggest that most folks that preach the 'local adaptation' line actually have little real understanding as to the time line that is required in the natural world to get to some local adaptation <ie nice sound bite but may require more time and resources than some folks think or believe. secondly I would suggest although it may be thrifty to rear your own stock that fairly quickly you will need to 'diversify' your gene pool or suffer the consequence of not doing so. when that time does come.... reasonable choosing stock that will compliment you own 'locally adapted' stock is really the critical decision.
Or, just buy live Queens and be satisfied.
Omie, I think a detailed description of your method would be quite useful here, if you would be so kind. I'm sure many visitors would greatly appreciate it.
sounds like Omie you have plenty of genetic diversity, so for you I would say 'that problem' is minimal. my personal bias is that a bee that works well for myself here in the south will likely not be the best bee for some one in the north. I love my 'italian' type bees but if I lived in northern New York or Minnesota italians would not be my first choice. at this time I think New World Carnolian would be my choice if I lived at that end of the line.
for myself I am quite glad that here and making some small attempt at rearing 'treatment less bees' I am quite happy for a limited amount of genetic diversity.
Great Thread I agree Please detail your Queen rearing and splitting
for all too Learn
the drums roll and everyone set on the edge of their seats in anticipation.
ps... I am especially curious to find out how the 'on the spot' queen rearing technique works for ya'.
the black cat goes back to lurking...
an Omie snip..
who I named Calico
is the name related to her coloration? tiger striped?
RU going to the ESHPA Picnic in Cannandaigua,NY on July 23 at the VA Hospital? Tom Seeley is the guest speaker. I would love too meet you there.
Omie...great account of you work! The second queen cell pic where we could see the larva was especially good!
that is a good pic of the royal worm!
Great post and pics!!
Omie, you may have good intentions, but raising the bees up north won't change their genetics. That process is a lot more complicated and requires (among other things) a varied genetic pool and several generations of selection. Splitting your hives will give you more bees with little genetic variation. Of course, the queens, by mating with local "northern"drones, will add genetic variation to the next generation but to really get somewhere you need many generations and selection of the best hives (Those that winter well under the same conditions).
For really good results, artificial insemination of selected queens with selected drones is the way to go.
So long as you're in bees for the enjoyment, just enjoy the splitting for increase. You'd probably be a lot more realistic leaving the genetic advances to the researchers in the neighborhood.
Maybe because they know they better get the comb drawn immediately due to total lack of other space for the young queen to lay.
or maybe just a population dynamics of very young bees?
There's no denying it---a young vigorous queen to take you into the winter is a plus. She should also be capable of building up quickly come spring. But the most important consideration for pulling through the winter according to what I have learned (from reading and experience), is a plentiful stock of honey positioned for easy accessibility to the cluster the bees will form when the real cold sets in. I admit, here it's not quite the same problem. My bees can usually fly out practically every day of the year, but even so, when they haven't had enough honey stocked in the hive, if a cold rainy snap does come and keeps them from collecting, instead of building up new brood, they can starve. That's happened to me once or twice early in the spring, when they really needed the food fast and a week of rain locked them in.
Since, like you, I'm in bees for the "fun" of it, I try not to take off too much honey and try to avoid feeding them with syrup. Though I have feeding equipment, it's been years since I've used it. Rather than making syrup, i f I have to, I give my bees "heated honey" saved from from melting cappings in my solar wax melter.
my goodness she looks like a Cordovan (which I rear here from II stock). quite a feat (genetically) to get one of those from Omie.
I'm amazed that with a cell phone you can get in so close and still get such clear shots.
But she could be colored that way and yet not be Cordovan, right?
I must say my grasp of genetics came very late in life so I am certainly not an expert on such matter. a cordovan queen is an italian bee* with a double recessive for the coloration which paints the normally black parts of your 'typical' italian rusty red to orange. I have never heard of this genetic combination happening outside of the italians.
*although we think of the Italian bee as being yellow with black stripes the coloration varies from the cordovan to a bee which is very dark (black). I assume the latter is the honey bee from which genetics folks tell us are the origin of the Carnolians.