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Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]smokers or hive tools are to be used, other than those supplied. To identify stocks to raise queens from or to replace (we don't expect to kill queens!) we may place them in order of preference. This is for instructional purposes only and not to be seen as criticism of the bees kept by our hosts. Some apiaries may be […]

Methods for Rearing and Selection of Queens

[…]equipment. As the success of breeding programmes strongly depends on the selective mating of queens, a subchapter is dedicated to the management and quality control of mating stations. Recommendations for the handling and quality control of queens complete the queen rearing section. The improvement of colony traits usually depends on a comparative testing of colonies. Standardized recommendations for the organization […]

Caging Virgin Queens

[…]plastic), attendant workers (present or absent) and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both). Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting) and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100%) for three days but only one […]

Can BIBBA supply me with queens?

[…]of bees in their area by using the best local material available. It is not advisable to source queens from a different environment from the one they have been acclimatised to. Many experienced beekeepers believe this is why colonies headed by imported queens often do not perform well in our conditions. A simple example is that bees in a heather […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

[…]been found to be 70-99% pure AMM (you do need to be able to tell the difference between AMM and Carniolan queens though). Propagating queens You can start to introduce more propagation methods too – different methods of transferring larvae, different set ups of starting queen cells and different mating hives. The Key choices are: 1) What queens will you […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

Mike Saunders “A current attempt to recover Apis mellifera mellifera from mongrelised stocks in the Welsh Borders”

[…]beekeepers for 2 years trying to improve bees by small-scale rearing of first-cross Carniolan queens. In 2009 switched to using “nearish-native” native bees, and since then has been studying the native bee and the science of bee breeding. In 2010 started a local Group using selective breeding of the “nearish-native” local bees as the ways and means to the end […]
Read more » Mike Saunders “A current attempt to recover Apis mellifera mellifera from mongrelised stocks in the Welsh Borders”

NatBIP News No4

[…]we desire and become part of the movement towards sustainable beekeeping. Jo Widdicombe Breeder queens and queen-rearing As the active season gets well under way, we can continue to monitor the qualities of our queens using our own system of record-keeping or download the record card from the NatBIP GUIDE on the BIBBA website (search As we assess the […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]thorax. An Italian (Ligurian) influence would be lighter coloured, orangey bands on the abdomen. Carniolan (carnica) influence would give the impression of white or grey hairs. They can be dark bodied but often have a brown and very stripy abdomen, wide stripes, not narrow. Summary is average of last 3 assessments. Temperament 1-5 (Aggressive to docile) Assess at each visit. […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Conserving black bees

[…]non-swarming. Breeding Strategy. The genetic base of Colonsay’s population came from 30 imported queens, each mated by, lets say, an average 10 drones. Some 300 queens might then have con­tributed to Colonsay’s genetic mix. This number could be considerably less, if purchased queens had mul­tiple brother matings and also from initial loss of queen lines due to my poor, initial […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]in conjunction with local BKAs. BIFA days are intended to encourage beekeepers to raise their own queens from the best colonies in their area, rather than using imported queens. They are very popular, giving beekeepers lots of ideas on improving their bees, either on their own or in a group. We are in need of venues. If your local BKA […]

The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

[…]alone. In 1936 sanctions were imposed on Italy by the British Government and the importation of queens from that country diminished from that time and ceased during the war. For some years, too, the importation of other races, Carniolans, Caucasians, etc., has been discontinued. The Italian element, as shown by colouring, is steadily disappearing and many of our bees are […]
Read more » The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

Laesoe 2004

[…]August or later when no yellow drones are about. Experiments showed that introducing dark Danish queens into Carniolan and Italian colonies is difficult. Workers of these two latter races often build queencells even when an introduced A. m. mellifera queen is laying, and will remove her eggs from the cells. Nils Drivdal from Norway sketched out his view of the […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]climate is the Carniolan, but the total replacement of the whole of our honey bee population by Carniolan bees cannot easily be envisaged. The piecemeal importation of Carniolan bees could only perpetuate and make even worse the present unsatisfactory situation. Far better to stop importing all foreign bees and concentrate on a general improvement of our honey bee stocks by […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner