Is it time for beekeepers to support production of Illinois queens?

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Is it time for beekeepers to support production of Illinois queens? Powered By Docstoc
					Is it time for beekeepers to support
   production of Illinois queens?

                Stu Jacobson
   Institute for Legal and Policy Studies
     University of Illinois at Springfield
A Queen’s Long, Hazardous
Journey to Your Hive
BREEDER COLONY CELL BUILDER

MATING NUC QUEEN CAGE

BANK SHIPPING CONTAINER
HAPPY TRAILS…???
 3-5 LOCATIONS & VEHICLES 

 YOUR HOUSE  [BANK?] 

 YOUR COLONY  ACCEPTANCE ??

 PRODUCTIVE LIFE (1+ years) ???
Problems at Producer’s End:
   Trying to produce a quality product for
   an audience which wants to pay as little
   as possible. BEEKEEPERS!
   May have problems with skilled
   labor…sometimes pull queens too early.
   ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR
   HEALTHIER OR BETTER QUEENS?
Problem Causes: Shipping
   Temperature extremes—Penn State
   study--- queens exposed to freezing.
   Also very high temperatures and
   dryness.
   Chemical exposures—pesticides &
   cleaning agents.
   Rough handling? They are bugs after
   all!
Shipping: Possible Solutions
   Producer & customer have limited
   control.
   Order “in bulk”—greater protection.
   BUT--Battery cages need new design:
   queens at end of rows—less care &
   greater exposure.
   Shipping overnight—worth the extra
   cost.
Problem Causes: Chemicals
   Some producers have exposed developing
   queens to coumaphoz & Apistan.
   Are you exposing queens to miticides?
   At higher concentrations and with direct
   exposure--Queens may not develop or die.
   However, chemicals absorbed into comb or
   into bees’ bodies & food for queens &
   larvae…will result in lower level exposures.
Problem Causes: Chemicals
  At lower levels…queens may look
  normal, but stop laying within weeks.
  Bees may fail to supercede them!
  These things happened w/ 50+ queens.
  Finally replaced 50% of queens.
  Later we learned that the producer had
  fired their manager.
Chemicals: Possible Solutions
   Before ordering: talk with queen
   producer, ask about chemical use,
   express concerns.
   If in doubt—talk with another producer.
   If have a problem—keep records, dates,
   etc—write, e-mail or call producer.
   Bee Reasonable—don’t accuse!
Chemical Free Queens?
   Producers may overuse miticides due to
   worries about customers’ tolerance for
   Varroa in package or shipping
   container.
   Maybe we need to re-examine this.
   Are a few Varroa as bad as failing
   queens?
Chemical Free Queens?
   If you and others express your concerns,
   especially in writing… most producers should
   get the message.
   There should be quite a market for “certified
   queens” produced with a minimum of
   chemicals!
   Producers should specify how and when they
   treat with chemicals.
   Utilize websites…or brochures.
Disease treatments:
   When does producer treat for Nosema?
   When for tracheal mite—if at all?
   Treatments don’t affect queens, but
   these diseases can cause them to fail!
   Producers should specify treatments
   and their timing.
Other concerns:
   Are queens laying when removed from
   nucs?
   How long are they banked? Applies to
   specific lots of queens.
   “Fall” queens may have been banked
   for months.
What about queen introduction?
   Assuming you received a healthy queen—how
   do you introduce her?
   One commercial beekeeper I spoke with has
   only 50% success!
   Mailing cage introduction can work well when
   good flow on--can also feed syrup.
   Don’t’ stand at edge of bee yard and throw
   queen cage at a colony. 
More queen introduction
   Need to go into brood chamber, remove
   queen, check for cells and brood.
   Don’t introduce queen into colony with
   queen cells or laying workers.
   Leave bees queenless for 24 hours.
   Nuc introduction = most successful—
   but takes more time.
What about disease resistance?

   Many producers claim they have disease
   resistant bees & queens.
   For example, “We are selecting for hygienic
   behavior.”
   Is this hype? Hopefully not—but in many
   cases it’s difficult to know.
   Also…does their breeding program effectively
   maintain or increase disease resistance?
Disease resistant honey bees:
   Select from a minimum of 40+ colonies
   which are tested several times a year.
   Instrumental insemination to control
   genetics.
   Otherwise--selection program will be
   much slower.
   Also if drone mother colonies not DR—
   workers will be much less resistant.
Disease resistant lines:
   There are 5 DR lines readily available: MN
   Hygienic, New World Carniolan, Buckfast,
   Russian and SMR (Smart).
   The SMR ~“experimental”—said to be highly
   defensive; Russians?
    MHYG & NWC--hygienic behavior reduces
   brood diseases—important because of
   increasing AFB resistance to antibiotics.
Disease resistance:
   NWC, Russians & Buckfast resist HBTM.
   Market for producers who sell disease
   resistant queens bred with DR drones?
   At this time very few producers are
   doing so.
   ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR
   DISEASE RESISTANT QUEENS?
Long term approaches to queen
problems:
   In the “Queens’ Long Journey”…each
   stage of the trip can present hazards.
   Should we look for ways to shorten the
   number of stages?
   One approach: raise your own
   queens—worth another talk.
   Miller method—take larvae from best
   queens--no grafting needed.
Raising own queens
   Can raise about 20 queens.
   Can make nucs by dividing hive bodies.
   If colonies in the area are headed by
   Disease Resistant Queens…
   Then colonies headed by your new
   queens will be more resistant than
   those from most purchased queens.
Raising Illinois queens:
   If you enjoy producing queens perhaps
   should try to produce some to sell to
   other beekeepers.
   Killion family raised thousands/year for
   decades.
   Steve Staley has raised several hundred
   over the past three years.
Illinois queens:
   If we’re really concerned about getting the
   best queens.
   We should look to our own state—Ohio has
   several queen producers. [Indiana?]
   Need to think “out of the box,” meaning
   thinking about introducing queens in May or
   June.
   Otherwise have to be raised in the South.
Illinois queens:
   We can produce queens in Illinois, but
   not much demand at this point.
   Without a market…few want to try to
   raise queens for sale = ”Catch 22.”
   However, beekeepers could produce
   queens as an additional source of
   income…diversification.
These beekeepers should start small
and build a market—work with those
who sell queens and packages in the
state.
Can appeal to those who want queens
raised with a minimum of chemicals.
And, those who want as Disease
Resistant queens as possible.
Illinois Disease Resistant Queens
   Can produce stock which is significantly
   resistant by buying breeder queens.
   Use purchased DR queens for drone mother
   colonies.
   With this approach, can produce purely
   mated NWC or MNHYG queens, or crossbreds
   of DR lines.
   These would be among the best Disease
   Resistant queens available anywhere!

				
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posted:11/16/2011
language:English
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