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Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

[…]stressful (for me) and I opted to put my queen and her attendant workers straight onto some sealed brood on a frame cleared of bees, all safely separated by a queen introduction cage. Obviously, introducing virgin queens brings extra risks with mating flights and when to check to see if it’s gone right or not. Again, I’m not going to […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

[…]a comb crevice for quite a while. If the queen has not been found after the first run through the broodbox, a decision must be made as to whether to search further or to wait until the next inspection. As a rule it is better to decide in favour of the latter, unless there is some urgent reason for finding […]

Native Honey Bees

[…]all have some yellow colour in and are prolific. Non-prolific and can be kept on a single brood box B.S. all year. Some beekeepers report they can be selected to be more prolific, so a larger brood area is needed. Low swarming. In personal communication John Dews, who was a leading authority on Amm in the U.K., told me he […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]especially when tiered. Easy manipulation due to lightness in weight Why not use full size brood boxes? Simple – they are just too big, plus I would rather use brood boxes for honey production It takes too long to build up for when I’m ready to start early in the season. The centre brood box would have to be decreased […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]with the introduction of mellifera bees into ceranaterritory. It is also highly susceptible to sac brood and foul brood, but not markedly so to nosema. The different races of A mellifera can generally be differentiated in physiological terms. Bees from warmer climates tend to be smaller in size and lighter in colour than those adapted to the colder regions, although […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]of breeding success (Ruttner, 2004). For a test about 30 young bees are collected from the brood box and are frozen to kill them, their right wings are removed and the veins measured (Dews and Milner, 2004). This was done using a USB microscope and the computer programme Beemorph (Talbot, 2002) which can be downloaded via the BIBBA website […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]breed from bad tempered colonies! Build the colony up in the spring by gentle feeding until the brood box is full of bees. This can be as early in the year as possible with the proviso that drones are present in the apiary. Find the queen and transfer her to a nucleus hive with a comb of sealed brood flanked […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]done any queen rearing before why not start with a simple ‘split’. Build your colony up on two brood boxes to be split in two when the time is right. The bees will rear queen cells in the queenless brood box. More details on this simple method in Section 5.1 of the NatBIP GUIDE at Queen Rearing guidance If […]

Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

[…]and my version of the Morris Board that was on a colony all summer. This has two half size brood boxes, each of which can produce queen cells, otherwise one side can be closed down. At its most efficient I can produce a bar of queen cells every 5 days. At WGBKA, 20 full colonies and 12 nucs survived the […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]to rear queens from, that is, to be used as a ‘breeder queen’. In the Spring, when the brood box is nearly full of bees, add a second brood box to allow the queen access to both boxes. Raise at least one frame of brood from the original box to the middle of new second box and replace below with […]

NatBIP News No3

[…]a bad-tempered colony is much easier earlier rather than later, when, perhaps, they are filling a brood box and three supers. One way of dealing with a colony with less-than-ideal temperament is to remove the queen. About 7 days later, inspect the colony and examine each brood comb thoroughly, shaking bees off if necessary, and removing every emergency queen cell […]

East Midlands 1998

[…]cell transporter powered from the cigar lighter of a car. The unit being an old video camera box a bit smaller than an attache case, fitted with a polystyrene block which has holes to accept the cells. The unit being thermostatically controlled by a thermostat and having a digital thermometer mounted on the lid to indicate the actual temperature inside. […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]although for several reasons we have only used one this season. Being on my own I moved two single brood box colonies on site in February 2021. Late in February, fellow BIBBA Member Kevin Thorn gave a presentation about the Aberton Project to West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Beekeeping Association (WNKLBA). There was considerable interest and arising from that meeting […]

Jutland Visit

[…]Honey is taken not only from the honey supers which are full brood box size but also from the broodbox. On Saturday, we had a lazy morning walking round Ringkobing which is an old town and harbour. We walked by the sea and around the coast, seeing the factory where wind generation mills are produced not only for Denmark but […]

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]heavy gloves (leather or similar) are not worn, firstly to avoid the possibility of spreading foul brood and secondly to be able to handle and “feel” the bees without being clumsy. If gloves are worn, they should be new and lightweight, because queens and bees may be handled. Apiaries at some locations may be in rural areas with rough or […]

Colony Assessment Criteria

[…]do. I suggest you decide if you want prolific or non – prolific bees and what size brood boxes you want. The bee should suit the box, otherwise you will have problems you could probably do without. Colour. This is often seen as not being important, but it gives you a very good idea if your selection is on track […]

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

[…]ones in the other two. Day 2 – Put a plastic film over the queen excluder and under the half box with the brood etc and remove the grafting frame. Between 3 and 24 hours later graft young larvae into the grafting frame and return it between the brood and pollen. Leave the other half box on its own queen […]

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

[…]to collect data for the Plymouth Uni PhD project run by Victoria Buswell on the phenological brood cycles of our bees and temperament. Cambridge BKA Winter Lectures included lectures by David Evans – DWV and Varroa Timing – St Andrews Uni, and The Apiarist Blog Wally Shaw – Apicentric Beekeeping – Welsh BKA Prof Gilles Budge – CBVP – Professor of Applied Crop […]

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]thermostatically controlled heater unit run off the cigar lighter in the car. The unit housed in a box fitted out with polystyrene blocks that have holes made to hold the queen cells. A digital thermometer on the lid giving the temperature reading. Record keeping is a vital part of queen rearing and distribution of queens. Not least among the problems […]

Bees for Sale

BIBBA are encouraging their members to raise extra queens and nucs to sell in order that we can dissuade beekeepers from buying imported queens. We presently do not have the ability to inspect or vouch for such queens and nucs and simply require the seller to give an assurance that they are raised from local stock and are not imports, […]

How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

[…]time of year. A colony which looks healthy and has come through the winter with plenty of good brood and is medium to strong will score ‘5’. A colony which is only just hanging on, very small with poor brood will score ‘1’. After assessment for over-wintering I write ‘o.w.’ to indicate specifically what it is for (similarly, ‘b.p.’ if […]

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

[…]end of the season (not much honey though)! The best method for splitting is to find the queen and make up a nuc with her (Frame of brood, shake 2 frames of bees in if staying in same apiary, frame of food and make up with spare empty comb or foundation, feed next day.) The bees in the now queenless […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

Conserving black bees

[…]in April. Year-old and two-year-old colonies expand into a double brood chamber (British National brood box = 36 litres; Langstroth = 40 litres) and are normally given 2-3 honey su­pers above a queen excluder to con­tain swarming impulse. Queens that are 3-4 years old are held in single brood boxes to produce splits or are Demaree’d to produce queen cells […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]used for many years and is very quick, is to place a caged fertile queen on the top bars of the brood frames in the suspect colony. If it is queenright the bees usually ignore it, if queenless, they will usually climb all over the cage in seconds. On many occasions I have seen bees scuttling over the frames in […]

Webinars – Summary

Recordings of the majority of webinars are also available on our YouTube Channel Don’t forget to sign up here, for free, to learn more about our future […]

Using a Smoker

[…]and never had the need to use it. Preparation. As with a lot of things in beekeeping I tend to make preparations, so I make things easy for myself and avoid possible problems. I collect fuel when I see it and put it in an animal food bag. This is a mixture of hay, dried grass, touchwood, fir cones, leaves, […]

Section 2.1 – How NatBIP will work

[…]qualities are important to us. The fewer the qualities we wish to select, the easier it is to make progress. In this NatBIP Guide, there is an example of a record card where colonies are assessed for 5 main qualities, native appearance (to help us move away from a hybridized or mongrelised population), temperament, swarming propensity, health/brood pattern (including over-wintering) […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]Name: Name or location of apiary Hive No.: Number or ID of hive Hive Type: Type of hive + Brood box system e.g. brood and half Main Table Box: General scales are 1 to 5 (5 being best). The first two rows (above) are the scores brought forward from the previous year. This allows an at-a-glance reference to the colony’s […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Recommended YouTube Videos

[…]in the “Advanced” category may need the viewer to take into account regional variations and make adjustments based on their own knowledge and experience. Beginners Pests and Diseases Management techniques Queen rearing and bee improvement General […]

NatBIP News No5

[…]queen that will start laying imminently. If this is the case, one still needs to check the sealed brood, when available, to make sure the queen is not a drone layer. If queen cells have been made on the test frame, it is an indication that the colony was queenless and you can either let them proceed with a queen […]

NatBIP News No6

[…]corner and made sure we sprayed them twice a day to prevent them from overheating. They really did make a roaring and crackling noise. Some of the children were worried that the bees would die because they couldn’t get out but I explained that they would be busy building new comb and as long as we made sure they were […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]daunting. Techniques described in the Guide, can be as simple as building a colony up on two brood boxes and then dividing into two, to produce a split, suitable for beekeepers with little experience. Other slightly more demanding techniques of queen rearing are also described. The hardest part of queen rearing can be deciding which method to try. utilising natural […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

[…]two new Nucleus apiaries 3 miles apart.  Here we will have 20 No. 5 by 5 British National brood boxes which will have additional 5 frame brood boxes added above, to make 2 story 10 frame hives. AMM Nucs and Queens for saleThis set up allows use to bring on the queens into full lay and to assess their performance.  […]


[…]organizations. Appoint as deemed necessary from among their number posts of responsibility and make such other appointments from among their number as deemed fit. Appoint staff and determine their remuneration. Appoint or determine the appointment of one or more custodian trustees or Trust Corporation of not less than 3 persons to act as trustees for the purpose of holding any […]

BIFA feedback

[…]plenty of willing volunteers stepped up, car park attendant, reception desk, tea and coffee makers etc. Some Leeds members who had paid to attend seemed to automatically step in and help on the day. The local bakery came along and sold sandwiches and cakes, Spinks Compact came to take orders for honey jars, and Northern Bee Books put on an […]

Laesoe 2004

[…]Switzerland Balser Fried described the situation of the dark bee in his country: it makes up 90,000 of the total 200,000 colonies. The A.m. mellifera Association has 180 members who make use of both 25 regional (non-isolated) and five isolated alpine mating stations, mating some 6,000 queens per annum. Breeding stock is selected on behavioural and morphometric criteria. One canton, […]

John Dew’s Views – the Best Bee

[…]have to be fed sugar to keep them alive. This is a consequence of their character of moderate brood production throughout the active season with their compact pattern of brood and always a reserve of stores. A quick reduction of breeding activity in response to adverse weather conditions results in a lower consumption of food. These characters, together with a […]