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John Harding Queen Rearing

The main purpose of this systemis its versatility and to have an additional use so you always double its value in purpose, and it's not lying around for the best part of the year unused. Given the choice honeybees prefer vertical narrow empty spaces with unlimited depth, and just enough space to build 5 or6 combs side by side...

East Midlands 1998

Use of plastic foundation in the Apidea mini-nucs Use of Syrup instead of candy in Mini-nucs Use of cut comb containers for candy Grafting using a magnifier and torch Preparation of cell raising colonies Use of a cell transporter Use of an incubator for hatching queen cells

BIBBA Books

Beekeeping: Challenge what you are told! "Have you ever met a beekeeper with fixed opinions about a beekeeping topic? Have you questioned that experience and knowledge they are based on? The craft used to be local, traditionally learnt by observing bees, whereas today, we are bombarded with international communications, promotions, soundbites, sensationalism and the like, with the same information, whether…

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

For myself and my local association, Wisborough Green BKA (WGBKA) in West Sussex, where I am Apiary Manager, I usually produce at least 100 queens per year. This is mainly to replace poorer queens in honey producing colonies, provide queens to head nucs for new beekeepers and for members who need queens for a variety of reasons. We try to…
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

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

Last year, I did several splits including splits of all my favourite breeder colonies in mid-August. It was a slight gamble where I live in Cheshire but the weather was fair and the outlook very similar. Roger mentioned that I was out of action from last September (2 months to get walking, a year to pass a medical to get…
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

From the President – Jo Widdicombe Trials and Tribulations – Frank Hilton Are you a Natural Beekeeper? – Brian Dennis Natural Beekeeping – Philip Denwood Racial Profiling of Mongrels – Paul Honigmann Bee Improvement and QR – R Patterson History of Manx beekeeping – Cilla Platt Making Increase – Brian Dennis Locally Adapted Bees – Wally Shaw Bee Races in…

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

A key question any individual or group should consider is what method should I/we follow to Improve our bees and to produce queens. There are a few key choices depending on your aims, capacity (time and equipment) and capabilities. I’m assuming the reader is looking for a bee that is native and/or locally adapted.
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn – part three

<- part two Bee Improvement Strategies by Kevin Thorn the third and final part of Kevin's series 3: More advanced Strategies in Bee Improvement suitable for native bees Propagating and positioning Drones To have any chance of breeding pure native queens you need to be producing lots of drones – the more the more successful you will be. You also…
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn – part three

Nucs

THE PURPOSE(S) OF YOUR NUC(S) This month’s main article is a chapter from an upcoming book, The Nuc – An Essential part of your Sustainable beekeeping Plan… Bees live a very purposeful life, often drawing comb, storing food etc. for future generations of bees. Similarly, we should do our beekeeping on purpose.  So, what is making you raise one or…

Conserving black bees

CONSERVING BLACK BEES (Apis mellifera mellifera) in the Hebrides, Scotland by ANDREW ABRAHAMS, via the American Bee Journal Readers might ask, why on earth spend much of a lifetime con­serving what most beekeepers perceive as an aggressive, unproduc­tive race of honey bee — a race per­haps left behind by history? I was fortunate, often by chance rather than grand design,…

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 programme. JUST STARTING 🎥 Roger Patterson - "Beekeeping: What's it all about?" This is a 1 hour presentation that gives the absolute basic information to help potential beekeepers decide if they should go…

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

Queen Rearing Methods There are so many techniques of queen rearing, and so much has been written about them, that it may seem unwise to add any more. Studying too many methods can be a source of much confusion and leave one overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Like most things in beekeeping, the best way to learn is…

Recommended YouTube Videos

There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some are excellent, with factual and sound information featuring good, knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers. Unfortunately there are many of dubious accuracy, giving poor advice that may be inappropriate for our conditions. As there is no vetting procedure to display educational material online, what is the inexperienced beekeeper to believe? BIBBA strongly believes…

Sandringham Report 2021

Sandringham Native Bee Project One of BIBBA’s Members, Eric Marshall, approached the Trustees to see if they would support a project to breed and rear native bees. Eric lives close to the Royal Sandringham Estate and it has been a key aim of BIBBA to develop a Special Apiary Project at Sandringham that would fit in with HRH the Prince…

Improving bees by raising your own queens – one and two day courses

The improvement of bees is an important part of beekeeping. The suitability of bees to the environment and their temper are issues that concern the caring beekeeper, but are not often included in tuition. This course will cover many of the topics and techniques that will suit the "ordinary" beekeeper, with a large practical element
Read more » Improving bees by raising your own queens – one and two day courses

Caging Virgin Queens

Comparing Alternative Methods for Holding Virgin Honey Bee Queens for One Week in Mailing Cages before Mating

Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and unsuitability to our fickle climate. Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared queens
Read more » Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

Sustainable Bees & Queens

For Everyone using low-cost, simple methods: There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate.

Sustainable Bees & Queens : Midlands

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate. Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared…

Sustainable Bees & Queens : East Anglia

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate. Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared…

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South West

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate. Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared…

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South East

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate. Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared…

NatBIP – Selecting our Breeder Queens

Assessment of Colonies A fundamental part of the National Bee Improvement Programme will be the assessment of our colonies.  A quick and easy system of recording qualities is vital to the selection of our breeder queens.  Selection of these breeders not only allows us to raise the next generation of queens but also plays an important role in producing a…

Section 7.1 – The Mating of Queens

The Mating of Queens - Use of nucs, mini-nucs and mini+ nucs Whether you are using natural queen cells, emergency queen cells, grafted queen cells or cells produced from larval transfer kits (such as Jenter or Cupkit), the next step in the process is finding a home for the queen cell or virgin queen so that she can go on…

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

Finding queens in Spring, and marking and clipping them whenever necessary, has become an integral part of my seasonal beekeeping programme. Advice from Micheál Mac Giolla Coda

Jutland Visit

Report On Visit To Jutland Report by Tom Robinson This is an account of The British Bee Farmers Associations Spring meeting to West Jutland, Denmark in the spring of 2003. On Thursday 13 March we flew from Standsted to Esbjerg taking the bus to Rinkobing Fjord to stay in our base of the Hotel Fjordgarden where David Ashton, who is…

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

This is a method of persuading non-prolific and non-swarmy bees to raise queen cells on a regular basis through the season.

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

  Leek and Moorlands Beekeepers have been raising queens for over 30 years and welcome beekeepers of all levels of experience. Plans In 2018 we used the Miller method for cell raising, and grafed larvae and also used the Jenter  system..  We used Apidea mini-nucs for mating.  We also trained 4 members in instrumental insemination. Further Info You can see full…

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

We know everyone is busy, but thought we'd draft a little newsletter of the topics covered in March and April. Tried to keep it short, but please get in touch if you need more information on any of the topics. Links and names have been included to try help you Google your way. As with all our communications - please…

Some history of the East Midlands group

A problem that has long been with us, has been to find a mating site that gives reasonable isolation. We have used sites several hundred miles from our base. These include Spurn Point on the East Coast, and the Elan Valley in Wales. The restriction on movement of bees when varroa arrived put an end to such travelling, and over…

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

<- Part One More advanced Strategies in Bee Improvement suitable for native bees Many people find queen rearing a daunting prospect. There is an overwhelming amount of information, methods and advice. For clarity you simply need to select your selection criteria, a method of starting queen cells, a method of mating your queens and a method of introducing your queens.…
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

Rearing your own queens is a cost effective way to ensure the continuity of your hives, grow your stock  and improve the quality and temperament of your bees. This practical, 2 day workshop covers a range the topics and techniques to suit the “ordinary” beekeeper. It includes a large practical element that is easy to understand and apply without the

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

Rearing your own queens is a cost effective way to ensure the continuity of your hives, grow your stock  and improve the quality and temperament of your bees. This practical, 2 day workshop covers a range the topics and techniques to suit the “ordinary” beekeeper. It includes a large practical element that is easy to understand and apply without the

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

BBOBI was set up in 2019 as a co-operative in Henley-on-Thames, which borders Bucks Berks and Oxon. Although a large geographical area, the climate and forage are remarkably consistent across the area. As the first BIBBA group in the home counties, we aim to be a springboard for other local clusters, as they attract more members and hopefully set up…
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

BBOBI Group – April 2020 Newsletter

We managed to raise over 200 virgin queens last year, all from local stock and distribute them to 67 BBOBI members for mating from early May until mid July. We would like improve our efficiency this year, we tried may ideas. Some worked really well, (grafting from our own stock), some things wasted time, (travelling to others hive to try…

BIM Index Issues 1-25

Bee Improvement Magazine: subject index. Issues 1-25 to search the index type Ctrl+f (Cmd+f on Mac) to open search box Africa Beekman, Dr. Madeleine "The Cape invaders." 9, 12 Allergies Tarzi, Dr. M. D. "Allergy to hymenoptera venom." 9, 8 Apis mellifera mellifera Burry, Harris "Conserving biodiversity in the dark European honey bee." 2, 8 Crudgington, Dr. H.G. "Hygienic behaviour…

NatBIP News No6

This month Jo gives us his musings on long-term bee improvement as well as answering the question, are queen larvae selected by the beekeeper as good as those selected by the bees? Ashbrow school report their successes in queen rearing- if 10year olds can do it, can't you?

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

Why the production of a large number of drones is the inevitable consequence of the free mating of queens in drone congregations; and why this proliferation of drones is a key factor in ensuring the adaptability and resilience of the honey bee through the ages.

Can BIBBA supply me with queens?

BIBBA as an organisation is not in a position to supply members with appropriate breeding material. BIBBA encourages members to work with other local beekeepers to select and improve the quality 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…

Sustainable Bees & Queens: Chesterfield

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate.

Sustainable Bees & Queens: Kent

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate.

How I select my ‘Breeder Queens

At the start of a new season I like to make a shortlist of which queens are good enough to breed from, in other words, to become my breeder queens. I do this by looking at the current condition of the colony as well as looking at the record of past performance.

Sustainable Bees & Queens – Wales

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate.

Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

This book describes a little known but simple way of quickly increasing honey bee colonies. Rather than just being one method, there are several techniques that can be used on their own if needed. The author has used the whole method or parts successfully for over 40 years
Read more » Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method