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John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]these were to be the basis of this project and be multi functional. For this system it is better to make a purpose built stand that will make manipulation far easier, is stable and at a height that is agreeable to you. The base is set up on the stand and made up of three 5 frame nucleus bodies end-to-end […]

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

[…]80% success rate in introducing a lot of bees very quickly. I’m sure you appreciate that having to make up 30 nucs at short notice can be quite challenging. Now, when I say that it didn’t entirely work, I need to clarify that. In May, I had two queens to use on my personal bee improvement programme. Now, I would […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]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 to have a go, find out what works or does not work, and then try to refine or improve the technique over time. Although there is an enormous array […]

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

[…]placed in an empty nucleus box, which is covered over with a cloth, for the time being. In order to make more room for inspection it is advisable to remove a second frame from the brood chamber and having scanned it, transfer it to the nucleus box in like manner. These back frames are generally empty in the early spring, […]

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

This is a queen rearing method to persuade non-prolific and non-swarmy bees to raise queen cells on a regular basis through the season. (updated July 2015) Summary: Put queen excluder(s) and 2 half-width brood boxes over a standard colony when the first supers would normally be fitted. Wait for bees to start putting nectar in the half boxes and mature […]

BIBBA Queen Rearing Table (Tom’s Table)

[…]Table” that has been rewritten by Roger Patterson in 2015, to include other methods of producing queen cells and to correct one error. This version covers grafting, cell punching, cell plugs, Miller/Alley and Morris Board methods. BIBBA Queen Rearing […]

Laesoe 2004

[…]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 long-term history of bees in Northern Europe. The forests in which honey hunting and log hive […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]of honey and wax. Some species of Meliponinae form very large colonies and store sufficient honey to make their exploitation worthwhile. Modern apicultural methods are inapplicable, but tribes of Central and South American Indians have kept such bees in “hives” for hundreds of years. (It should not be inferred however, that Stingless bees are necessarily gentle and easy to handle; […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]to read newsprint clearly at 12-18" in front of you. We strongly suggest a notebook and/or laptop to make notes. A camera for practical sessions is always useful and its use will be encouraged. All other equipment will be supplied. What can I expect? A well-run course with a limited number of attendees, so the tutors aren't over-stretched allowing them […]

Lecturers

[…]and is able to shield the speaker from questions that may be asked to embarrass the Lecturer, or to make a point about something that has nothing to do with the lecture. Thank the Lecturer after the […]

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]to help them orient on to the site, such as a bush or small tree. This reduces losses due to queens returning to the wrong nuc. In normal weather conditions we expect queens to be mated and laying within two weeks. Planning based on this presumption, means having more queen cells ready to put in the same mini-nucs two weeks […]

The black bee, an increasingly rare pearl

[…]out more On the black bee, FEDCAN, the black bee conservatories, the action of POLLINIS for pollinators, and to find a list of reference works: […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]more spendthrift like Italian, and although I fed it and hope it will, I don’t fully expect it to make it through winter as it is still light. These bees aren’t particularly dark, which illustrates how (except in very pure lines) bee colour doesn’t really tell you anything. Hive 2 is an established colony which descends from one Gareth John […]

BIM 50 – Winter 2017

[…]have been raising queens for 50 years, and not always having ideal conditions I have had to make do with what is available I have found that larvae for queen rearing can survive outside the hive and be transported for much longer than is usually said Winter Losses – Beowulf Cooper a necessary part of strain maintenance … SICAMM Conference […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]about queen rearing but surprisingly little about assessment of colonies and selecting which queen to breed from. What there is, can be off-putting as, often, such a long-winded process is recommended that few of us would ever reach an end-result. Particularly in the first season, one wants to identify a queen worth rearing from quite quickly, so that some new […]

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

[…]reliability, offspring more closely resembling their parents, but usually little thought is given to how this strain can be maintained. Inevitably, it may be almost impossible to keep them pure and you will need to buy in new stock regularly just to keep them going. An alternative to buying in queens is to start with a frame of eggs from […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

BBOBI Group – April 2020 Newsletter

[…]an eye on the What’sApp group, it is the best way to make cries for help. If you’re not included, email me your phone number to be added to the thirty or so members on the group today. If you do not wish to read these emails in future, please let me know and I’ll remove your email from the list. Please […]

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

[…]Karl would need to prepare recipient colonies or nucs, with those receiving virgin queens needing to be queenless several days longer. I knew little of how Karl operated, apart from a brief description and a few photographs, but he seemed to cope very well. I live in a rural area. My village sub-Post Office has closed down, the nearest had […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]more than my usual amount of time at home during 2020. It has given me a chance to think about how to improve my bees and beekeeping and to decide what equipment I prefer to use and which can be let go. The NatBIP message is still spreading amongst beekeepers and the BIBBA and other webinars offer some golden tips […]

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 […]

Section 3.1 – The Selection of Local Stock

[…]tested methods that have been shown to produce results, but individuals and groups will be free to make their own decisions. Nothing is set in stone and things can, and will, be modified over time according to beekeepers’ experience. In the system described, using the suggested record card, the following qualities are selected: Native appearance Temperament Swarming propensity Health and […]

Recommended YouTube Videos

[…]are still appropriate for our conditions, those 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 No3

[…]bees can vary at each inspection, but an average picture soon builds up. It is good practice not to tolerate colonies that are unpleasant to handle, particularly at this time of year, as they will deteriorate through the season as their size increases. Dealing with a bad-tempered colony is much easier earlier rather than later, when, perhaps, they are filling […]

NatBIP News No4

[…]then harvesting the resulting queen cells for use in nucs (see the GUIDE for ideas). It is good to make a start in a simple way and we can always refine our techniques in the future as we get more experience. We never stop learning better ways of doing things, but a good way to learn is just to have […]

East Midlands 1998

[…]1998 will probably be of interest. First some general comments to set the scene. It is tempting to make changes just for the sake of change, or to be panicked into making changes when things go wrong. This last season has been disappointing largely because it has been such a wet season, as the weather records that have been broken […]

NatBIP News No5

[…]can develop this quality over time, being able to survive the worst threats as well as being able to make the most of what is on offer, in good times and bad. By avoiding the use of imports, a locally adapted population is allowed to develop allowing us to select and improve from this population. As beekeepers, we sometimes ask […]

NatBIP News No6

[…]nature’s preferred route and that would make our task all the more difficult. The easiest way to make sustainable progress is to combine the demands of nature with the demands of the beekeeper. This is achieved by avoiding exotic imports and working with local bees. Many people see the problem with this is the fact that our local bees are […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]we favoured queen-right queen rearing and wanted to assess this unit as an on-going source of queen cells. At this point it was realised that we would not only need at least a couple of Amm queens to provide graft larvae, but also colonies in support. This was where another helper from WNKLBA, Barry Thrower, proved most helpful. As swarm […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]The hardest part of queen rearing can be deciding which method to try. utilising natural queen cells is another method... Working in Groups Beekeeping is often a solitary occupation but, with bee improvement, small-scale beekeepers stand more chance of making an impact if they can work together. Improvement Groups can be a challenge in themselves, but much pleasure and satisfaction […]

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]art, queen-rearing is an important part of beekeeping, and every beekeeper should have access to queens of particular characteristics that they have raised themselves.  I think the secret to queen rearing is not to give up after the first attempt but to keep trying; eventually, it will work.  Queen-rearing also works well in a group situation, with a few beekeepers […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

[…]I have a professional apiary and sell products from the hive under the name La Reine (French for Queen), queens, nucs and provide pollination services. Lecture Title: “Queen Rearing Simplified” Queen rearing simplified is about rearing the best quality queens and is useful for small and medium sized apiaries. The method is based on standard equipment and standard frames, so […]
Read more » Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

Margaret Murdin “Bee Genetics Explained” – “Understanding the Queen

[…]to explain the genetics of honey bees in a straightforward way …in a way that is easily understood and useful to beekeepers.   Lecture Title: “Understanding the Queen – her physiology, characteristics and behaviour” Many beekeepers spend a long time looking for a queen in a colony. They know she is important, but how much do they actually know about […]
Read more » Margaret Murdin “Bee Genetics Explained” – “Understanding the Queen

Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

[…]and apiary weather conditions. The data collected offers a beekeeper/queen breeder a powerful tool to examine the colony and queen conditions without disturbing the bees. Weight data can be used to calculate the “adjusted production figure” (average harvested by each apiary minus the harvest of each hive) for each individual hive in order to avoid mistakes in qualifying strong lines […]
Read more » Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

“Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

[…]equipment. Amongst the topics covered will be: Setting the criteria you want in your bees. How to assess your own and other people’s colonies. Recording your assessments using simple methods. Rearing queens from local bees to avoid relying on buying them. Deciding which colonies to use queen cells from and which queens to cull. Using natural queen cells the bees […]

Downloads Old

[…]Adam Tofilski  http://www.drawwing.org/ This newer version (0.45) is able to automatically detect all important points on a honey bee forewing and to calculate cubital index, discoidal shift and some other indices.The new version is not under GNU license any more, but it is (and will remain) free for non commercial use. The old GNU version is still available for both Linux […]

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]the native subspecies of dark European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera from our Isles. To make up the losses imports of foreign subspecies, which had started in 1859, were increased. Since then regular imports of Apis m. carnica, A.m. ligustica and other races have become the norm. Crosses between these bees have given a range of hybrids in the British Isles. […]

Colony Assessment Criteria

[…]This can be done by assessing colonies against a set of criteria that you want in your bees, using queen cells from colonies displaying those criteria and culling those that don’t. Clearly these criteria need to be something that is achievable, not something that isn’t. What beekeepers need to remember is they usually only have influence over half the parentage […]

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

[…]& June Queen rearing continues July training get together to review our progress to our aims and share our lessons. We’ve had interest from new beekeepers and keepers wanting more bees. We can’t promise to supply nucs in this our first year, but if interested please get in touch and we’ll add you to the list. Communications are doing really […]

Caging Virgin Queens

[…]bee queens every day for seven days in an experiment that simultaneously investigated three factors: queen cage type (wooden three-hole or 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 […]

Michael Maunsell “The Drone – More to its life than we may think?”

[…]my house and his land. There followed a short intense period of study of beekeeping and carpentry to make a suitable home for my new tenants. Naively I assumed that the bees would be delivered to me. Unfortunately I had to cut down the tree and remove the bees myself. With a background in science I set about experimenting with […]
Read more » Michael Maunsell “The Drone – More to its life than we may think?”

Dorian Pritchard “Selective breeding without inbreeding; where’s the happy medium?”

[…]of bees is best achieved by the co-assembly of the favourable genetic attributes of related stocks into one or more superior lines. Breeding from the best can achieve this, but this strategy and the use of “multi-breeder queens” also accumulates recessive alleles, some of which are harmful. In the single-copy, “heterozygous” state recessives are unexpressed in females, but when “homozygous” […]
Read more » Dorian Pritchard “Selective breeding without inbreeding; where’s the happy medium?”

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

[…](there are several variations of each of these). 4) Will you use finisher colonies and/or an incubator to increase capacity – not needed except to produce a lot of queens. 5) Will you produce queen cells or virgin queens? There are pros and cons of both. Virgins may not be accepted but queen cells may be duds. There are methods […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

BIBBA Open Day. Wakefield.

[…]be presentations and demonstrations on a number of topics including:- Colony handling techniques How to assess colonies for behaviour Setting simple criteria for what you want in your bees Raising queens by simple methods (the bees often do it for you!) Making up and maintaining nuclei Introducing queens and queen cells   Cost: £18/head before 25th May, £20 afterwards. Includes […]

BIBBA Open Day. Lampeter.

[…]be presentations and demonstrations on a number of topics including:- Colony handling techniques How to assess colonies for behaviour Setting simple criteria for what you want in your bees Raising queens by simple methods (the bees often do it for you!) Making up and maintaining nuclei Introducing queens and queen cells Cost: £18/head before 13th June, £20 afterwards. Includes refreshments […]

BIBBA Open Day – Improve Your Bees

[…]live colonies on topics such as:- Colony handling, assessment and recording Methods of raising queen cells Making up and managing standard frame nuclei, queen and cell introduction Cell raising methods – queenless colony – queenright colony – cell starter, […]

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

[…]specialist equipment. Topics covered will include: Setting the criteria you want in your bees. How to handle, assess and record colonies. Deciding which colonies to use queen cells from and which queens to cull. Using natural queen cells the bees build. Producing “Artificial” queen cell using grafting, cell punching, cell plugs and the Miller method Clipping and marking queens Changing […]

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

[…]specialist equipment. Topics covered will include: Setting the criteria you want in your bees. How to handle, assess and record colonies. Deciding which colonies to use queen cells from and which queens to cull. Using natural queen cells the bees build. Producing “Artificial” queen cell using grafting, cell punching, cell plugs and the Miller method Clipping and marking queens Changing […]

Countryfile – on the Rame Peninsula

[…]that I was keen to get my message across and we reached agreement on what questions I was to be asked. I showed them the apiary where the filming was to be done; it is in a scenic spot; the hives look quite smart and the bees are virtually all ‘black’ and mostly docile. Things looked quite promising. On the […]

BIBBA Conference 2018

[…]variety of topics, all relevant to those who are relatively inexperienced, but are eager to learn how to keep their bees with care and understanding and develop their management system. All speakers in this group have been asked to explain their topics in a manner that fairly inexperienced beekeepers can understand. In addition there will be seminars and workshops. About […]

Downloads

[…]of these files be acknowledged.  DrawWing By Adam Tofilski This newer version (0.45) is able to automatically detect all important points on a honey bee forewing and to calculate cubital index, discoidal shift and some other indices.The new version is not under GNU license any more, but it is (and will remain) free for non commercial use. The old GNU version is […]

Beekeepers come swarming to the Sustainability days

[…]factors to consider for bee improvement Getting queen cells and two framed nucs set up How to get up to 11 colonies in one season Roger frequently signposted attendees to the Dave Cushman website (http://www.dave-cushman.net/) for more detail or information on the subject areas he was talking through. Overall, a fantastic attendance across the country and, hopefully, plenty of individuals, […]
Read more » Beekeepers come swarming to the Sustainability days

Lester Wickham

[…]own. I know that since the AGM Lester has been gradually handing over the job of Treasurer to Tom Robinson, and this was finalised at a meeting in August. We took the opportunity to make a presentation to Lester privately funded by Committee members of a Whisky decanter and glasses together with a bottle of fine Scotch and a commemorative […]

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]the short to medium term, we wish to breed local adapted dark bees of the best genetic stock and to make these available to local beekeepers interested in establishing the sub species in their apiaries. We want to focus on temperament in the short term, with the aim of introducing other traits such as productivity, low swarminess and hygienic behaviour […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

[…]of the reasons for importing stock and to find out more about beekeepers’ attitudes to queen rearing. The DEFRA committee concluded that some of the reasons that beekeepers have for imports were as follows:• Queens are readily available• Queens can be produced more cheaply than in UK• Queens are available earlier in the season• Queens are regarded as of better […]
Read more » A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]range of beekeepers, not just BIBBA members. It is important to view it as a long-term project and to make it flexible so that it can be constantly modified and updated and kept relevant to current situation and events facing beekeepers. It will provide a framework for a better more sustainable future for beekeeping in this country, something never attempted […]

Conserving black bees

[…]a problem, apart from disfiguring cut comb sections. I have noticed large numbers of lice transfer to queens in late autumn. Nurse bees are no longer feeding brood and perhaps the queen becomes the main source of mouth-to-mouth feed transfer, from which the louse can steal a meal. Mother and daughter together on comb Conclusion. As I write this in […]

Cupkit, Fakes and Annoyance

[…]are usually fixed onto a bar in a frame and placed in a colony that is set up to convert them into queen cells. I use it both as a complete system, and with the cup and holders only, but I graft into them.  Many other beekeepers do the same, preferring them to some of the other dedicated cups that […]

Section 2.1 – How NatBIP will work

[…]selection and improvement more difficult. Ultimately, we would like participants in the Programme to make their own decisions regarding what characteristics they select for, and how they achieve this. Variations in environmental conditions and in the qualities of the available stock in different regions mean that decisions regarding the running of the Programme are best made locally. The NatBIP Guide, […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]about 2.75 lb If 10 frames in a super. Full National super about 28lbs. Round up or down according to how well filled each frame is. If using different size frames, weigh them to be accurate or work out own estimating system. Amount Fed. In this column, enter any feed given with quantity and date of feed in preferred units. […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

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 […]

NatBIP News No 7

[…]this message for years but detractors either do not believe it possible for ordinary beekeepers to make improvements, or they believe it just takes too much time and effort to make a difference. It is up to BIBBA members and NatBIP supporters to show that we can improve the quality of our bees in a sustainable manner. This approach should […]

Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

[…]will hold around 30 cars when we can persuade people to park tidily. Another of our objectives was to make beekeeping as accessible as possible for disabled people in wheelchairs. To this end we raised sufficient funds to ensure that our training apiary was set up on a solid base which provided all-weather access for wheelchair users. We also developed […]

BIBBA Books

[…]has been involved with his local BKA teaching apiary since 1967 and managed it for around 15 years to show practical beekeeping, provide bees to local beekeepers and to reproduce colony scenarios for training new and experienced beekeepers alike. This book brings together a range of challenges and opportunities that almost all apiaries will encounter and the contents suggest some […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]If we assume that a colony produces on average 2.5 swarms in a season**, and therefore 2.5 virgin queens to be mated - and if we, again for simplicity, take it that a queen will mate with say twelve drones on average, then it follows that, on average, only some 30 drones from a typical colony give up their lives […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

[…]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.  It allows us to sell 5 frame nucs or mated queens.  We can […]

June 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]art, queen-rearing is an important part of beekeeping, and every beekeeper should have access to queens of particular characteristics that they have raised themselves. I think the secret to queen rearing is not to give up after the first attempt but to keep trying; eventually, it will work. Queen-rearing also works well in a group situation, with a few beekeepers […]

Queen Rearing Timetable

[…]a bit of tweaking it can be used for other methods of cell raising. Download Excel spreadsheet of Tom’s Table: […]

Bee Breeding and Queen Rearing Courses UK

[…]help and encourage beekeepers to raise their own queens from locally adapted colonies, rather than to use imported queens that may not suit their environment, or run the risk of importing pests and diseases. BIBBA Open Days Bee Improvement For All (BIFA) days One and two day Bee Improvement Courses If you would like an event in your area, either […]

Surrey Hills Queen Rearing – GU1

[…]breeding from local stock without importing any bees or queens. Promoting this approach we hope to encourage other beekers to do the same. contact Sarah Rowlands […]

Constitution-2008

[…]discretion acting through the Central Committee and without having to give a reason, refuse to admit to membership any applicant whom they shall consider not to be a fit and proper person to be so admitted. 7. Membership application. Application for membership shall be made in a manner approved by the Central Committee. 8. Undertaking to observe rules. Every applicant […]

Roger Patterson

[…]prolific lecturer, demonstrator and writer, being author of books, booklets and a regular contributor to the bee press. Roger now owns and maintains Dave Cushman’s website www.dave-cushman.net, that is widely recognised as one of the world’s most comprehensive beekeeping websites. He is the author of “Beekeeping. A Practical Guide”. He is a past BBKA Trustee and is Vice President of Bee Diseases […]

BIFA feedback

[…]appalling weather, though, we had an extremely good turnout. Out of 140 bookings only 27 failed to make it, demonstrating a certain level of faith, because the snow continued to fall for most of the day, and it’s one thing to get there, but quite another to be sure of getting home again!   So the day started. Roger Patterson, […]

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Groups

[…]store personal data, are you GDPR compliant? What assessment criteria do you want in your bees? How are you going to operate? Do you need funding? Can you combine with a local BKA? You may already have the expertise, but if not, then BIBBA can offer help and tuition, perhaps from other groups or experienced individuals. We ask only that […]

Jutland Visit

[…]home farm, which previously belonged to his grandfather. The premises are large with space to store equipment and process honey for 2000 colonies, all on standard Dadant equipment. His hives and indeed all the equipment we saw in Denmark are made of polystyrene are neatly stacked and contain frames with new foundation. All old frames are stripped and cleaned with […]

Native Honey Bees

[…]I believe this is a significant benefit during long spells of confinement. The old writers used to make a big issue of “pollen clogged combs” as if they were something to avoid, but we now know much more about the nutritional benefits of pollen. In the 12 months April 2012-April 2013 in the U.K colonies were in a poor state. […]

Terry Hitchman

[…]member of BIBBA for approximately 20 years. He purchased his first Apis mellifera mellifera virgin queen at the East Midlands bee breeding group’s Locko Park open day in 1992 and now has 25 colonies of native or near native bees. He has been a member of the Stratford-upon-Avon Beekeepers’ Association committee for 19 years, Chairman for 10 years and, together […]

What is Apis mellifera mellifera?

[…]and northern geographical race of Apis mellifera, the western honeybee. It may be subdivided into many local ecotypes. Its various vernacular names include: “Dark European Honeybee” (English), “L’abeille noire” (French), “Die dunkle Biene” (German) and “Det mörka Nordiska Biet” (Swedish). Apis mellifera mellifera is distinguished from other subspecies of the honey bee by a) Morphological characters, including colour, size, wing […]

Colonsay a honey bee haven

[…]disease. The Bee Keeping (Colonsay and Oronsay) Order 2013 comes into force on 1 January and will make it an offence to keep any honeybees on the islands except Apis mellifera mellifera, whose hardiness allows them to survive the harsh climate of Scotland’s west coast. Beekeeper Andrew Abrahams has campaigned for the islands to be recognised as a sanctuary for […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]species in their own apiaries.   During the Summer of 2020 the Group moved its apiary from Thrumpton to the village of Langar in the Vale of Belvoir, Nottinghamshire. The location has been chosen for its diverse forage, capability to accommodate our full operation on one site, and flexibility to place our drone colonies around an extensive estate. Whilst in […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]colonies that had come through the past two swarmy seasons without attempting to swarm. The ancestors of these queens had been selected for the combined traits of supersedure, longevity, docility and productivity. GBBG holds a variety of activities throughout the year such as outdoor demonstrations on colony evaluation and recording, queen rearing workshops, and a winter discussion and study group. […]

Nick Mawby

Membership/WebsiteDeputy Chair Nick Mawby has kept bees since 1977.  He has managed a queen rearing group in Leek, Staffs for 30 years; this group became the association teaching apiary but is now refocusing again on queen rearing.He is chairman and webmaster of North Staffs Beekeepers Association. When not beekeeping, Nick will take off in his campervan. For any comments regarding […]

Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis

[…]occurred at varying levels across western European populations. This system describes an essential tool in Europe for genetic stock identification and estimation of admixture levels which can assist management strategies and monitor honey bee conservation […]
Read more » Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis

Methods for Rearing and Selection of Queens

[…]field of molecular selection tools. Because the subject of queen rearing and selection is too large to be covered within this paper, plenty of references are given to facilitate comprehensive studies view full article […]

Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group

[…]area are supportive of our aims and are careful to keep local bees. This means that we are able to make good progress in bee improvement. We also like to encourage other groups in the county and beyond and have helped some of them achieve dominance in their own locality. We also help with the local association’s policy of encouraging […]

Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

[…]Core activities centre around selective breeding from the best near-native bees and local bees showing native characteristics and behaviours, hence improving thrift, robustness and temperament. Happy to work collaboratively with individuals or other small groups in the area who share our aims. We use grafting and mini-nucs as standard but have experience of other methods. Talks given and practical queen […]
Read more » Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

Ardnamurchan Jan 2016

[…]in locally-bred, native and/or well-acclimatised bees. More and more beekeepers are learning to rear their own queens or source them locally rather than import stock with the attendant risks of disease and the possible spread of the small hive beetle. In the link video you’ll see me marking a young queen, before sending her to a waiting beekeeper: https://vimeo.com/145290438. The […]

Controlled Mating and Hygienic Behaviour

[…]encouragingly high and indicate that supplying beekeepers with naturally-mated queens, or virgin queens to mate locally, can result in colonies with high levels of hygiene. Full text pdf Keywords Apis mellifera, hygienic behaviour, instrumental insemination, natural mating, […]

Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

[…]experiences with the DC area above the Port St. Mary Golf course. The drone comets that formed to chase our queen sent aloft, tethered to a couple of helium balloons, remains one of the highpoints of my beekeeping career. Our efforts culminated in watching a queen being pursued and mated at head height. …much to the indifference of my five […]
Read more » Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

Giftaid

[…]the donor must be a UK tax-payer (income tax, tax on interest or capital gains tax) for us to be able to claim and must complete a Gift Aid declaration. The information you supply on this form will be processed via an online spreadsheet at GoogleDocs. A paper declaration is available on request from the […]

Adrian Waring

[…]the rest of the poem! He demonstrated skill at managing bees and queen rearing which he was able to convey to others.   Adrian was also a stick dresser – a maker of walking sticks.   He made one for me with a skep carved on the handle, which will remind me of the time we spent together.   He was a man of many […]

Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

[…]timing and meeting at drone congregation areas. How do honey bees minimize the chance of virgin queens mating with their brothers, and how does the mating process work? My interest into this subject is strongly influenced by the papers and books of Gudrun & Nikolaus […]
Read more » Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

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

[…]practicable for committed amateur beekeepers to use. It is hoped that the work will also be able to show that a new and more affordable DNA testing technique will help speed up the necessary task of recovering the native bee, and hence increase the rate at which mongrelised bees can be improved. The programme is ongoing and during the presentation […]
Read more » Mike Saunders “A current attempt to recover Apis mellifera mellifera from mongrelised stocks in the Welsh Borders”

Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- CW9

[…]formed a collective queen rearing group and are each helping other local individuals and groups to enter into selective and practical queen rearing groups in their locality   For more information please contact    […]
Read more » Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- CW9

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]art, queen-rearing is an important part of beekeeping, and every beekeeper should have access to queens of particular characteristics that they have raised themselves.  I think the secret to queen rearing is not to give up after the first attempt but to keep trying; eventually, it will work.  Queen-rearing also works well in a group situation, with a few beekeepers […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]to read newsprint clearly at 12-18" in front of you. We strongly suggest a notebook and/or laptop to make notes. A camera for practical sessions is always useful and its use will be encouraged. All other equipment will be supplied. What can I expect? A well-run course with a limited number of attendees, so the tutors aren't over-stretched allowing them […]

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]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 to have a go, find out what works or does not work, and then try to refine or improve the technique over time. Although there is an enormous array […]

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

[…]80% success rate in introducing a lot of bees very quickly. I’m sure you appreciate that having to make up 30 nucs at short notice can be quite challenging. Now, when I say that it didn’t entirely work, I need to clarify that. In May, I had two queens to use on my personal bee improvement programme. Now, I would […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

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

[…]Karl would need to prepare recipient colonies or nucs, with those receiving virgin queens needing to be queenless several days longer. I knew little of how Karl operated, apart from a brief description and a few photographs, but he seemed to cope very well. I live in a rural area. My village sub-Post Office has closed down, the nearest had […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]these were to be the basis of this project and be multi functional. For this system it is better to make a purpose built stand that will make manipulation far easier, is stable and at a height that is agreeable to you. The base is set up on the stand and made up of three 5 frame nucleus bodies end-to-end […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]The hardest part of queen rearing can be deciding which method to try. utilising natural queen cells is another method... Working in Groups Beekeeping is often a solitary occupation but, with bee improvement, small-scale beekeepers stand more chance of making an impact if they can work together. Improvement Groups can be a challenge in themselves, but much pleasure and satisfaction […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]we favoured queen-right queen rearing and wanted to assess this unit as an on-going source of queen cells. At this point it was realised that we would not only need at least a couple of Amm queens to provide graft larvae, but also colonies in support. This was where another helper from WNKLBA, Barry Thrower, proved most helpful. As swarm […]

NatBIP News No6

[…]nature’s preferred route and that would make our task all the more difficult. The easiest way to make sustainable progress is to combine the demands of nature with the demands of the beekeeper. This is achieved by avoiding exotic imports and working with local bees. Many people see the problem with this is the fact that our local bees are […]