Author Topic: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.  (Read 6468 times)

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Offline Bee Commander

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Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« on: February 27, 2016, 11:46:28 am »
Hi all,

Just wanted to share a great way to get started in raising a few or more than a few queens. David Lafernley (posts on Bee Source) is someone who gives worthy advice and a lot of help to beginners like me. I started raising queens last year using  his/Joseph Clemens method; and it worked so well using very little resources. This helped me go from 6 to 25 hives last year. If you try this, pay special attention to the section on "How I (and you can) Finally produce big cells. It is a key part in producing outstanding queens. For those of you that just have a few hives and want to produce your own queens, give it a try. This method took all the "scare out of it " for me as it spelled out all the steps.  Here's the link:
http://doorgarden.com/2011/11/07/simple-honey-bee-queen-rearing-for-beginners/
Give it a try and good luck!
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Offline Perry

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 09:58:26 pm »
Only part way into it but very interesting so far. Thanks.
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Offline pistolpete

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 10:13:56 pm »
Lol, third year bee keepers always think they know it all and want to very badly share it with the world.  Aside from that it's a pretty good article with only minor fallacies.   For the beginner I'd recommend the OTS (on the spot) method of queen rearing.  It's far far simpler and the only thing you need is a hive tool. :)
My advice: worth price charged :)

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 09:56:40 am »
Lol, third year bee keepers always think they know it all and want to very badly share it with the world.  Aside from that it's a pretty good article with only minor fallacies.   For the beginner I'd recommend the OTS (on the spot) method of queen rearing.  It's far far simpler and the only thing you need is a hive tool. :)
Hey thanks for the insult! I guess the beginner to beginner part escaped your attention. I think OTS would be a great management tool. In my case I had a handful of hot hives ... I definitely did not want to replicate those genetics.

Offline iddee

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 11:15:14 am »
PP, I don't know if the 3 year beek was meant for Bee Com or David, but this 40 year beek learned a lot from the article and will be using some of it in the next few weeks. Many times in life, I have seen old timers learn from novices. You might do well to take notice. You may also learn something.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline pistolpete

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 11:48:18 am »
It was supposed to be a joke, not an insult.  I apologise if it was taken as such.
My advice: worth price charged :)

Offline Bee Commander

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2016, 01:45:02 pm »
Lol, third year bee keepers always think they know it all and want to very badly share it with the world.  Aside from that it's a pretty good article with only minor fallacies.   For the beginner I'd recommend the OTS (on the spot) method of queen rearing.  It's far far simpler and the only thing you need is a hive tool. :)
PP,
Ok I have to admit that I chuckled when I first saw your response. The thirty-year commercial beek w/ 4 k hives that I spent time with my first year once told me "Laurie, if you want advice just ask a 2nd  or 3rd year beekeeper. They're full of advice".
I think I'm going to lay low and remember what my Dad used to tell me when I was just a tyke, " when you are in the same room with adults, don't speak unless you are spoken to".  ;D

Offline iddee

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2016, 02:55:56 pm »
ADULTS??  HERE??  WHERE??

You just keep talking, ya hear??  ;D
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2016, 03:37:01 pm »
Here is a link to a video posted on raising queens. Goes through the entire process and Doesn't require a lot of hive resources.
http://www.worldwidebeekeeping.com/forum/index.php/topic,537.msg6176.html#msg6176
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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2016, 09:27:50 pm »
Great read, thanks!

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 05:49:34 pm »
LOL!, when any of us thinks we know it all about bees................well, the bees (or someone else) WILL show us and teach us something new, something different!.......... ;D

awesome bc, keep on keeping on and sharing!
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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 07:03:28 pm »
LOL!, when any of us thinks we know it all about bees................well, the bees (or someone else) WILL show us and teach us something new, something different!.......... ;D

awesome bc, keep on keeping on and sharing!
Everyday I go out and watch my bees and wonder in amazement how in the world have they have survived me.  :-[

Offline tecumseh

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2016, 06:43:03 am »
hopefully what follows will not sound excessively harsh....

normally a person starts a 'research project' by trying to figure out what has been done in the past and then proceeding from there if there are questions that still needs to be answered.  this ESSENTIAL first step seems to be something a lot of the new folks to science and beekeeping seem to want to avoid and certainly a lot of good stuff is missed since a lot of good research prior to 1985 is not digitized and consequently not automatically searchable. this means that to get to some really good stuff you have to do some heavy lifting by going thru lots of real books and reading lot of material unrelated to the question you wish to ask. 

secondly.... imho beekeeping has a lot of odd and arcane language and does it really help anyone to make up words to make explaining what we do even more confusing?
thanks for now adding another non descriptive term to beekeeping. 

what you call the Joseph Clemens method is really nothing beside a five frame starter/finisher hive that could easily have been described in one of Jay Smith's little books (100 years ago) but even he did not have the gall to name the technique after himself.  the statement of 'large queen cells' really places the author of this in the world of a novice since the size of the cell has little bearing (perhaps some but certainly not much) on the quality of the queen that may issue from that cell.  given how few cells the author says he makes I don't think this process even complies with an effective  use of bee resources.  personally I use a similar but somewhat converted 5 frame starter box and can and do rear cells at about 4 to 5 times the number as described by the author.  you can rear queens with a queen right hive counter to what the author states and there is not necessarily any wasting of bee resources even if you rear queen cells in a queenless starter hive (of whatever size) since these same bees then go on to other ends.  many of the authors statements are really more like generalized presumption which in themselves may give a novice beekeeper a lot of WRONG ideas. 

as a piece to generally inform folks of producing queen cells and queen the article is useful but not particularly clever, innovative or in any way represents any new information.

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2016, 09:05:35 am »
hopefully what follows will not sound excessively harsh....

normally a person starts a 'research project' by trying to figure out what has been done in the past and then proceeding from there if there are questions that still needs to be answered.  this ESSENTIAL first step seems to be something a lot of the new folks to science and beekeeping seem to want to avoid and certainly a lot of good stuff is missed since a lot of good research prior to 1985 is not digitized and consequently not automatically searchable. this means that to get to some really good stuff you have to do some heavy lifting by going thru lots of real books and reading lot of material unrelated to the question you wish to ask. 

secondly.... imho beekeeping has a lot of odd and arcane language and does it really help anyone to make up words to make explaining what we do even more confusing?
thanks for now adding another non descriptive term to beekeeping. 

what you call the Joseph Clemens method is really nothing beside a five frame starter/finisher hive that could easily have been described in one of Jay Smith's little books (100 years ago) but even he did not have the gall to name the technique after himself.  the statement of 'large queen cells' really places the author of this in the world of a novice since the size of the cell has little bearing (perhaps some but certainly not much) on the quality of the queen that may issue from that cell.  given how few cells the author says he makes I don't think this process even complies with an effective  use of bee resources.  personally I use a similar but somewhat converted 5 frame starter box and can and do rear cells at about 4 to 5 times the number as described by the author.  you can rear queens with a queen right hive counter to what the author states and there is not necessarily any wasting of bee resources even if you rear queen cells in a queenless starter hive (of whatever size) since these same bees then go on to other ends.  many of the authors statements are really more like generalized presumption which in themselves may give a novice beekeeper a lot of WRONG ideas. 

as a piece to generally inform folks of producing queen cells and queen the article is useful but not particularly clever, innovative or in any way represents any new information.

tecumseh,

Thanks for your input. The challenge I and other beginners face (IMHO) is finding written material that a beginner can use. The really challenging part as a beginner (especially in the digital age), is being able to discern who to listen to and who not to listen to. There is so much information out there that is absolute junk. Believe me, I have researched and done my homework to the best of my ability. I've read queen rearing books by well known authors, etc., and found much of the material  somewhat ambiguous for a beginner.
When I found the "Beginner to Beginner" queen rearing article it was something that as a beginner I could follow. The author called it the Joseph Clemens method only to give credit to the kind veteran that publishes often on bee source in the quest to help beginners. Clemens certainly is not a man who claims to have found new earth shattering methods.
Judging by the tone of your response you are obviously someone who has been keeping bees for decades. I am relatively new to this forum, but I would love for you to share what you might suggest as a viable alternative for queen rearing on a small scale for a beginner.



Offline Ray4852

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2016, 07:54:03 pm »
You have to pick a system that works for you. If you can graft you should be able to make all the queens you need. I agree most of the queen rearing books are hard to understand.

Fat Beeman is probably the best queen rearing teacher out there. Watch his videos.

Mel Disselkoen book is excellent, OTS queen rearing is very easy to do. Watch his video

Jerry Freeman is a good teacher, I have his book on cell punching. Watch his video.

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2016, 08:24:35 pm »
Thats a good article, I liked it, thanks for posting!
   I am only 50 (ish) but I shake like a dog trying to poop a stick, so grafting is more or less out of the equation.. however, using cell punch with that exact same method makes it a viable one.  One thing I always liked about using cell punch, the cells ALWAYS look huge!!!!   :laugh:
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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2016, 07:49:08 am »
first off thanks for you very level and very well stated response Swarm Commander.  your points are well made and I suspect your conclusion are right on target.  as a person who self taught himself queen rearing 3 decades ago I can understand how good information is not always easy to access and of course with little experience knowing the good stuff from the fluff is almost impossible.

at the time I taught myself I relied heavily on two of Jay Smith old books. 

and a snip..
Jerry Freeman is a good teacher, I have his book on cell punching. Watch his video.

and my comments...
a couple of years ago I previewed Jerry's wright up on his cell punch.  I made some suggestions and really have no idea if he used any of my 'comments'.  as a means of rearing superior queen this technique is pretty close to one proposed by Jay Smith about 90 years ago and I think perhaps Michael Bush site has reproduce one of Jay Smith's book for everyone to access < you can of course buy the book if you can find one but that will set you back about $100.  If you do read the book (which is smallish) do read it a couple of time and then perhaps the less obvious points in having some success in rearing queen cells may become more obvious < one point I missed the first couple of times I read his books was the point to feed at each point in the queen rearing process including queen mother hives (several days prior to grafting), starters, finishers and nucs.   I still consult both of his little books which now reside at the Texas A&M Bee Lab. I should point out here that queen rearing is somewhat detail oriented and even the small points can be important < lots of folks (including myself) do like to cut corners but in queen rearing this can lead to failure.

for myself I use a swarm starter box and a finisher and I graft < the last of these is quite often why novice beekeeper don't try their hand at queen rearing but as a skill it is definitely something that get easier the more you do it.

I do seem to recall Joseph Clemens back when I was at BeeSource and I suspect I tried to encourage him in queen rearing.  I am glad to hear he is still at it.

Lastly as a means of rearing queen with minimum bee resources the Cloake method (introduced into the US by Sue Cobey) is something that should be seriously considered.  This process does require some attention to detail.  This method is also useable at a more commercial scale as one of my beekeeping acquaintance use this method exclusively to produce thousands of cells each spring < he produces and sells these and actually produces no mated queen for sale which given his limited labor input is also imho a good business model.
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Offline Bee Commander

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2016, 08:11:06 am »
You have to pick a system that works for you. If you can graft you should be able to make all the queens you need. I agree most of the queen rearing books are hard to understand.


Ray, well said. I have self taught myself grafting, a method that is working well for me. Your right, I can make all the queens I need and pass on the traits I want in my apiary.

Offline Bee Commander

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2016, 09:30:37 am »
Thats a good article, I liked it, thanks for posting!
   I am only 50 (ish) but I shake like a dog trying to poop a stick, so grafting is more or less out of the equation.. however, using cell punch with that exact same method makes it a viable one.  One thing I always liked about using cell punch, the cells ALWAYS look huge!!!!   :laugh:
Lazy, bout fell off my chair laughing. Here in CA it's Peach Pits not sticks! :laugh: I am approaching the back side of 50 ish! Luckily still steady but eyesight a challenge. My husband bought me a really nice magnifying lamp for Christmas, I just used it a couple of days ago for my first graft of the season, really helps.

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Re: Queen rearing for hobbyists or beginners by David Lafernly.
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2016, 06:02:59 pm »
I have a magnifying head set/glasses type of thing with LED lights in it. Something about the LED makes those little eggs glow, so they pop right out at you.
   Tonight is reported to be the last of the "freezing" cold temps at 30 degrees... weather report claims no colder than 43 at night for the next 15+ days with daytime highs being at or above 60...  Gearing up to see what made the winter and prepare to start splitting and making queens!
   As one fellow at a bee meeting quipped when asked how many hives he had...   "I have 23 hives currently, unfortunately none of them have live bees in them."
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