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Somerford 

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Hi all

I would like to know your favourite/best method of queen rearing (lets say, for sake of arguement to provide up to 20 queens a year)

Pros/Cons and also the dates you aim to commence each year.

regards

S:cheers2:
 

Hivemaker. 

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Grafting,when.........as soon as there are drones in the selected colonys in decent numbers.
 
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MJBee 

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My eyesight is not good enough to graft so I use the "Jenter" system - as Hivemaker says - as soon as there are plenty drones.

Pointless raising queens if there are no drones to mate with:(

Mike
 

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Unless you have some sperm in the freezer..
Somerford have you ever tried the Jenta method ?

I tried using a Cupkit once,as the instructions said "brush with wax and allow the bees to clean up the cups".
Clean the cups? the buggers filled them all with nector!
 

sherwood 

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We all know that queens are only half the story the other half is of course the drone. There is little we can do about these but heres a little tip if you have a hive on your apairy that you either dont think is pulling its weight or whose temprment you dont like consider putting a Queen excluder above the floor when you know some of your princesses are about to make their maiden flight. You thus avoid drones from those colonies whose traits you would like not to see in your bees having the possibility of adding their genes to those queens, every little helps. You will of s course have to clean any dead drones from the QE when check the hive and you would obviosly not do this on the hive that had the virgin queens in it or the Queen couldnt make her flight either.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Only one problem with this idea Sherwood,drones are rather like free agents,allowed into any hive,and the sexually mature drones from the colony you do this to will already be in every hive in the apairy,and most likely every other apairy in the area,bit like closing the stable door after the whatever it is has bolted.
 
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Thats why I line my hives up and dont worry about forager's drifting.
 

sherwood 

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Yes drones do spread between hives, however you are still likely to contain a large number of drones originating from the home hives and depending upon when you put the QE on you are more likely to contain more the sooner you introduce the QE.
It is a procedure my mentor has been doing for a considerable number of years and me for the last 2.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Why has your mentor got so many undesirable hives if he has been
doing this for so many years? Drones are not sexually mature until around 17/20 days after emerging,so excluder needs to be on for a very long time, there are much easier ways.
Destroy existing drone brood and re-queen,or perhaps get the undesirable colony to rear desirable drones by placing combs of drone larvae from other good colonys into the undesirable one's,they are then less likely to rear so many of there own,and you end up with a great many more good drones. But it all depends on any other beekeepers in your area as well,and what there colonys are like.
Mark a few hundred drones,you would be surprised how many colonys they turned up in,and how far.

No doubt of the excluder keeping them prisoner though,do you do any checks/swarm control ect late in the evening to prevent the drones flying off when the hive is opened.
 
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Bcrazy 

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I use the Jenter system of queen rearing. I only manage 20 or so queens for myself (and a couple to sell) and the remainder of eggs are frozen for microscopic purposes.
I carry out this at the begining of drones becoming visable in and out of the hive. I will collect a couple of drones to see if they are mature enough to mate, its an easy test.

It would amaze some of you the structure of the egg, and it's very resilient.

Regards;
 

sherwood 

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I didnt say my mentor had a considerable number of undesirable hives I said he has used this method when he does have such hives. He has been beekeeping in excess of 40 years and runs over 100 colonies at present and in the years I have known him he is the beekeeper who has the strongest hives in our society and consistently acheives the highest yields in addition to taking time out to impart as much knowledge as he can to other members.
 

beebreeder 

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B Crazy
I know eggs are far stronger than we think, have you looked at semen through a scope, long tails or what
kev
 

beebreeder 

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I use cupkit or graft, cupkit in home apiary as it needs repeated visits and it works well for me, also the cupkit can be used but graft straight into the cupkit plastic cells then you can queen cage etc . I graft in out apiaries as return visits are not needed in the same way,never had the cupkit box filed with honey though
 

Poly Hive 

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Interesting that this discussion has centred on moving larvae and no mention yet of Queen right or Queenless cell starting.

I have never had success with Queen right so now use a "starter box" of queenless bees and finish off cells above the Excluder in the top super.

PH
 

Somerford 

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interesting pint, PH. I too was thinking the same !

Whenever I have needed queens in the past (only a few as and when) I have tended to keep a couple back from a colony that has queen (swarm) cells in it and who's queen's characteristics are what I want.

Could they be classed as emergency cells ? well yes in some cases, but I've never had a major problem using the queens produced this way.

Perhaps this year I need to take a more professional approach ?!

regards

S
 

beebreeder 

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I use a specialist built brood chamber that consists of a normal 14x12, a vertical q/excluder and a q/less nuc all in one box, the q/cells can be started and finished in the one box using cupkit or moved to incubator/mini nuc or full nuc at on/two days pre emergence,pictures attached. I hope
kev
View attachment 1355

View attachment 1356
 
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admin 

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Beebreeder tell us how it works.

It looks like a spaceship from the outside.
 

beebreeder 

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How it works?
Firstly it looks like a spaceship because the pic was taken in mid september and there is a gallon bucket feeder inside. The right hand side of the hive is a queen right strong colony, able to be supered if required as its national size. In between the two hives is a vertical q/excluder, come queen rearing time the broodbox is re-arranged, a frame of food and pollen, frame of emerging brood and a frame of five day old larvae are moved with bees, (not queen) to left hand box, and the cell bar frame is put in for the bees to cluster. The main colony is then moved to the far right of the main chamber, moving any frames of food and new frames to the left of the box, this makes a large enough space for the nuc to be q/less. the following day the cupkit is removed from the queen mother hive and the cell bar from the nuc. The normal transfer of larvae is carried out in a warm moist atmosphere and the cell bar re fitted in the nuc, the nuc is then fed heavily with honey saved from the same colony and pollen. Fouteen days from trapping the queen in the cupkit cage all q/cells are caged and moved to mini nucs, incubator or nuclei made up two days previous and kept in a cool dark place. The rest as they say is up to mother nature or II if the timing is right (weekend). I hope this reads o/k it works well enough for me to have made a second hive of the same type. The concept comes from a book by Gilles Fert on raising queens, he only uses the hive as a horizontal finisher.
Please ask if you have got lost and I will endeavour to help, the whole base unit is 14x12 frames, the nuc is empty in winter.
kev
 
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