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Thread: Removing Larvae

  1. #1
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    Default Removing Larvae

    I usually do queenright queenraising - essentially a Demaree with the brood above a couple of supers. It's always worked fine in the past. This year it didn't work in the hive I chose. So I moved the hive to one side, put the brood box from the top of the hive iin the place where the hive had been so as to allow the flyers to return to the, now, hopelessly queenless hive. it was now full of bees and with no prospect of raising it's own queens and with no queen pheromone.
    A day later I brought a frame of open brood from my preferred breeder to the queenless hive to graft into the polished queencups. So far so good.

    However as quickly as I put larva into the cups, the bees were removing them. Eventually I gave up and the next day found only three viable queencells.
    Has anyone else seen such behaviour?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    I usually do queenright queenraising - essentially a Demaree with the brood above a couple of supers. It's always worked fine in the past. This year it didn't work in the hive I chose. So I moved the hive to one side, put the brood box from the top of the hive iin the place where the hive had been so as to allow the flyers to return to the, now, hopelessly queenless hive. it was now full of bees and with no prospect of raising it's own queens and with no queen pheromone.
    A day later I brought a frame of open brood from my preferred breeder to the queenless hive to graft into the polished queencups. So far so good.

    However as quickly as I put larva into the cups, the bees were removing them. Eventually I gave up and the next day found only three viable queencells.
    Has anyone else seen such behaviour?
    When I set up a queenless starter colony/nuc at the beginning of the season to take grafted larvae I tend to find the first few grafts over a week or so have a low take rate and then everything falls into place and no issues. I dont know if it is me out of practice or the bees needs a a few days to appreciate they need to raise queencells.

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    All the good US sites on Queen rearing suggest you need nurse bees which are used to feeding larvae or the first try of QR will have v poor results.. So insert a frame of eggs and larvae 2-3 days before grafting and then remove it when you insert grafts..

    At least that's what I do.. first lot went well, second lot planned for Monday.. (Nicot cupkit - I cannot see v small larvae as my eyes will not focus properly at close distances)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I am aware that the first attempt can be less good. And with OSR piling in bees are also less inclined to do as I wish. Never seen them removing larvae so rapidly though!
    My eyes too don't focus on small larvae now so for glasses, Poundland is my friend.

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    A bit more than Poundland prices but I wouldn't be without one now.

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