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A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…](BIBBA) conference on the Isle of Man, I was lucky enough to attend an excellent presentation on queen rearing by the Dutch commercial beekeeper Jeroen Vorstman.  I had been raising queens myself quite successfully for some time using the Ben Harden method and various versions of the Cloake board system.  These are both excellent systems, and only require a little […]
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Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]drone foundation is available, it is rarely used by most. Since the advent of wired foundation, only the exceptional practitioner wires his or her own frames and therefore has the option of using just a strip of foundation at the top of the frame, embedded in the top wire (see photo below) - a method that frees the bees to […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]Approval was given for it to start and for BIBBA to provide funding. These are Eric’s reflections on the first year of the Project: Eric Marshall writes: Little did I think when I dropped an e-mail to Brian Holdcroft what the consequence would be. I was simply interested in finding one or two local beekeepers who were interested in raising […]

Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

[…]treating with chemicals letting the bees draw out their own comb rather than using foundation only taking off honey in the spring if there is a genuine surplus avoiding artificial feeding unless really necessary using well insulated hives with eco-floors only acquiring bees from reliable, local sources encouraging the creation of pollinator patches. We were fortunate to find a 2.7 […]

NatBIP News No6

[…]20 cells that we set up we only had 4 cells sealed. We weren’t sure if it was something we had done wrong or if there was another reason – we’re hoping Jo Widdecomb can give us some guidance on this. Needless to say, the children were really pleased with the 4 queen cells that were eventually sealed and felt […]

Bee Improvement Days 2021

[…]to attend this course. Not only do we work at the hives, but bees can be brought into other areas on combs and clothing. There is always a chance of being stung. Circumstances vary, where some locations may not be in an area that enjoys a speedy ambulance service. It is also unlikely there will be tutors or attendees who […]

East Midlands 1998

[…]to prevent them entering the cell and getting trapped. Conclusion One important ingredient to the success of the East Midlands Group, is the enthusiasm of its members. The co-operation is first class, and the discipline they show in sticking to the arrangements for carrying out the work is excellent, for in queen rearing one cannot put off a job even […]

Recommended YouTube Videos

[…]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 that beekeeping information should be high quality, so we have made it easy by asking an experienced practical beekeeper to recommend a selection […]

NatBIP News No3

[…](although the NatBIP card can be used for both purposes) and specifically provides information on which queens are worth rearing offspring from. I have already started assessing my colonies for the characteristics that I look for. Most qualities are assessed on a 1-5 scale which is easy to use (from bad to good, similar to a review using a 1 […]

Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

[…]is started three weeks prior to the start of your first round of queen rearing. Also, a frame of drone comb or foundation can be inserted in the breeder colonies. Once it has been laid up it can be removed and replaced with another frame of drone comb or foundation.  The laid up frame is then placed in one of […]
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Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]or primed cups (that is ones that have been in the hive for a least a day), in every other position on the grafting bar, and found that it makes no difference to acceptance. The next stage At some point in the following days, we will check for acceptance, to satisfy our curiosity, and so we know how many homes […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]One side only is 0.5. Enter the number of frames that have brood on both sides. Frames with brood on one side only mark as 0.5. (S,M or L can be used to indicate approximate amount of brood the frames). Native Appearance* 1-5 (Non-native -> Native) Assess on each visit. Summary is an average of last 3 assessments. This measure […]
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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 […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]as often happens. This is only one of several reasons why a colony can be queenless, other common ones are:- A colony may have swarmed and the beekeeper doesn’t check to see if a queen is present, but removes all the queen cells, so they are hopelessly queenless. A queen has emerged but not returned from her mating flight. Until […]


[…]online, but as with books, there are a large number that are poor quality, inappropriate for our conditions or give poor advice. There seems to be an urge by beginners to make a video about their new hobby and display it for the world to see, when they may lack adequate knowledge or experience. Beekeepers, especially beginners, may have difficulty […]

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

[…]but it was also useful to put the date that Roger sent me the email with identification information on so I knew which cage 1 it was. Use any system you wish but expect total confusion if you don’t have any system in place. Make notes of how the bees arrived. This was very useful with the grafted larvae the […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer