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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 […]


[…]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 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 […]