Newest Developments

(College Station, TX) Our latest endeavor is to try raising some queens for the first time. So far it looks pretty good. The picture is of my youngest son, Gerrit, holding the queen rearing frame that he built. He also did the grafting of young larvae into the queen cups. We made the queen cups ourselves from dipping a dowel into hot wax several times.
The queen cells that were accepted by the bees have been fed and drawn out, and all except for one were already capped. They only remain in the open larval stage for 5 days. The nurse bees fill the cell up with royal jelly so the larva will have plenty to eat and finish its development inside the cell after it is capped. It then pupates and emerges. It takes all of about 15 days for total development. They are in the egg stage for 3 days, and on day 4 when they are about a day old, the larvae are grafted into the queen cells with the royal jelly that accompanies them at the time. We then put them into a queenless starter hive that had nothing but nurse bees shaken into it with empty comb for the bees to cluster on. After one day, they are then moved to a finisher hive that is queenright with the queen below a queen excluder to finish them off.
Today is day 11, so we need to either cage or remove them by day 15, 4 more days. We can then put them into small queenless nucleus hives so they can fly out and mate and we can start some new bee hives with the new queens.

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One Response to Newest Developments

  1. Doris Stovall says:

    Glad to see everything is going so well. Good to see you and Gerrit working together.

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