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Controlled Mating and Hygienic Behaviour

[…]Bigio*1,3, Hasan Al Toufailia1 , William O H Hughes2 , Francis L W Ratnieks1 Honey bee mating cannot be directly controlled in the same way as in many agriculturally important animals. Instrumental insemination is, however, possible and can be used as an aid in selective breeding. Hygienic behaviour, in which worker bees detect and remove dead or diseased brood from […]

Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

[…]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”

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 […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]better that your queen cells are staggered by date, it makes it easier when making up queen mating nuclei over several days rather than all in one day. I make up these on the 10th day after grafting, so you see that writing it down or taking a photograph is a must and does make life so much easier. Four […]

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]crossbar on which the mini-nuc rests. A thick band of rubber cut from a car inner tube straps the nuc to the stake. The mini-nucs are sited so as to give the bees something 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. […]

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

[…]but queen cells may be duds. There are methods of minimising the downsides of both. 6) What mating nuc will you use? Three frame nuc needs more resources in terms of bees but is more successful. Mini nucs require fewer bees but are less successful and need more attention. 7) What method will you use to introduce your queens into […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]handling techniques, selection criteria, producing queen cells, cell building colonies, mating nucs, etc. These courses are very popular, with lots of information and tips on improving your own and your local bees. Past experience suggests they are likely to fill up quickly. Numbers will be limited to give attendees individual attention where needed. See the BIBBA website for details. […]

NatBIP News No13

[…]with drones from the surrounding area. This is in contrast to other agricultural livestock where matings can be controlled and specific crosses produced at will. The use of exotic queens does not just affect the colonies that they are introduced to; there is a knock-on effect on the local population. Drones produced by imported queens will mate with new queens […]

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

[…]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 colony will create […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

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

[…]needs to be defendable and the foraging bees may end up going back to the parent hive. I left new nucs locked up in a cool shed for three days before moving them out and onto a stand, opening up the entrance. So, did it all work? Not entirely. I had some bees not mate/return, some absconded, one queen was […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

East Midlands 1998

[…]year we had more queen cells that failed to hatch than in previous years. As we take our nucs 70 miles to our mating site, it is a lot of wasted time and effort if the queens fail to emerge. We did use an incubator some years ago, and we still have two in working condition. We plan to use […]

NatBIP News No 7

[…]to bring their drone-free nucs to a site to get their queens mated with reliable drones. Running a mating station will involve costs but a charge could be made for each nuc benefitting from the facility. Financial viability is part of long-term sustainability. End of the season As we draw to the end of another season, whatever the highs and […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]build up a supply of colonies to back up the queen cell rearing. Bees are essential for making up mating nucs, whether they be mini-nucs only requiring a cup-full of bees or a 2-frame nuc requiring a frame of stores, a frame of bees and largely sealed brood and three frames of empty comb for the queen to lay up […]


[…]where in its first 5 years had mono-strained a vast area with A. m. mellifera starting from one mating apiary belonging to Micheál Mac Giolla Coda. To see these bees being manipulated without veils or gloves, and to realise this has been done in such a short time, speaks volumes for the work of these beekeepers and the policies that […]

Male Fitness of Honeybee Colonies

[…]to estimate male reproductive success of 16 drone producing colonies. This allowed for estimating the male mating success on both the colony level and the level of individual […]