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Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

[…]and look carefully to ensure that one of her legs is not being cut off as well. If this occurs the queen will be superseded. The queen uses her forelegs as a caliper to measure the diameter of each cell before she lays in it. This determines whether a fertile female egg or an unfertilised male egg is laid, depending […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]to the two main bodies is limited to normal inspections The nuclei can be split, and given a queen cell when queen rearing is finished It is a small enough system to possibly have in your own garden It is never queenless so never angry, unless you are doing something wrong Frames with bees can be interchanged between towers Queen […]

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

[…]to the bees below. Day 3 or 4 – One Day after grafting. Remove the plastic film (leaving the queen excluder in place) so that the queen pheromones have normal access to the box again. Download pdf of full article:Queen Rearing Method – Steve Rose July […]

Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

[…]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 no need for small mating hives, mini frames and specialized equipment. Therefore it’s […]
Read more » Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

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

[…]They know she is important, but how much do they actually know about her? In simple terms the queen is the mother of  the colony, but there is much more to it than that. Although the egg of a queen and worker are identical, they become very different creatures depending on their diet in the larval stage, that only lasts […]
Read more » Margaret Murdin “Bee Genetics Explained” – “Understanding the Queen

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

[…]humidity, hive weight 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 […]
Read more » Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

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 […]

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]adequately. Rearing from poor weak colonies without adequate feeding will result in inferior queens. Queens can possibly be reared from mid-April to mid-September in many areas, with probably May and June being the best times, as long as adequate food is provided. A queen rearing colony should be provided fed unless the weather is fine and an abundance of nectar […]

Queen Rearing Timetable

This Microsoft XL file was written by Angus Stokes and Albert Knight and provides an interactive way to prepare timetables for using the Jenter or Cupkit Cellplug Box. With 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

[…]Events There are three types of BIBBA event to 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 […]

Roger Patterson

[…]1963. This was directly after the harsh 1962/3 winter, after which, a large number of bees and queens were imported. He quickly realised these imports were not well suited to our climate and conditions. A chance meeting with Beowulf Cooper resulted in him joining VBBA (now BIBBA) in 1965. At one stage he ran 130 colonies, now reduced to around […]

“Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

[…]natural queen cells the bees build. Producing “Artificial” queen cells for those who want more queens. Changing queens in colonies. Making up mating nuclei. Getting queens mated. Working with other beekeepers and the local BKA. [/column-half-1][column-half-2]There will be plenty of information on colony management, with emphasis on understanding what is happening inside colonies and keeping things simple. Many beekeepers believe […]

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Groups

BIBBA encourages the formation of local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and to support the objectives of BIBBA to improve and propagate the native and near native honey bees. Benefits of Local GroupsMany beekeepers only have a small number of colonies, so they find it easier to work with others. A group will have beekeepers […]

Jutland Visit

[…]heat the boiler for his house. Poul raises over 2000 queens annually although he sells many virgin queens. He has many lines of queens and raises them for gentleness, quietness on the comb and he also tests for hygienic behaviour by the freeze brood method. He says he will raise 30 sister queens but after selection only retains about 5. […]

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 […]

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?

What is Apis mellifera mellifera? Apis mellifera mellifera, Linnaeus 1758 is a subspecies 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 […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]days which, for a period, is able to lay predominantly diploid worker eggs. From these eggs true queens capable of being mated can be raised, re-establishing queenrightness in the colony. The present situation Apiculture has been practiced in Europe and Asia throughout recorded history. For most of the time the honey bees kept in any country would be indigenous to […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

Downloads Old

[…]files are used by individual beekeepers and groups to help them with their bee improvement and queen rearing activities. BIBBA gives permission to freely copy any or all of these files for personal use and also pass the files to others interested in breeding honey bees. BIBBA only asks in return that the source of these files be acknowledged.  DrawWing By […]

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]to give satisfactory mating success by drone flooding using drone comb in selected hives. Grafted queen cell A.m.m. queen produced by grafting. Year 3. 2012 A suitably remote site for mating of grafted A.m.m. virgins was needed, and Eoghain MacLean; Director of the Scottish Natural Heritage Reserve at Kinlochewe gave permission to site a mating apiary on the mountain nature […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]the new site. The out-apiary is there for the future if we need it.   Key to our bee breeding and queen rearing plan is mapping the linage of each queen, assessing quality according to our own standards, then selecting drone colonies from specific lines and breeding from our best queens each year. We are able to steadily increase the […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture has seen fit in recent years to allow the importation of queen bees under licence. These queens are imported from different part of the world and are of a variety of races. If this trend continues it can have a deleterious effect on the purity of our native bee which is the race that predominates […]

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]smokers or hive tools are to be used, other than those supplied. To identify stocks to raise queens from or to replace (we don't expect to kill queens!) we may place them in order of preference. This is for instructional purposes only and not to be seen as criticism of the bees kept by our hosts. Some apiaries may be […]

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 […]

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

Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m. mellifera subspecies in Western Europe. As a consequence, replacement and gene flow between native and […]
Read more » Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis

Methods for Rearing and Selection of Queens

[…]and quality control of mating stations. Recommendations for the handling and quality control of queens complete the queen rearing section. The improvement of colony traits usually depends on a comparative testing of colonies. Standardized recommendations for the organization of performance tests and the measurement of the most common selection characters are presented. Statistical methods and data preconditions for the estimation […]

Lecturers

[…]choice of subject: Conservation and Improvement of native bees including all aspects of queen rearing. Practical Demonstrations: Considerable experience in giving practical demonstrations on colony evaluation, selection for breeding and methods of queen rearing. Also morphometry and preparation of honey for show. Geoff Critchley Geoff lives in Flintshire and is prepared to travel. Tel No… 01352 740 991 Mobile… 07885 […]

Ardnamurchan Jan 2016

[…]hope for better conditions in 2016 and the successful rearing and mating of a larger number of queens. Demand for Amm queens is strong in Scotland where there is growing interest 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 […]

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

[…]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 year […]
Read more » Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

Adrian Waring

[…]Brooke poem – Adrian recited 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 […]

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

[…]modest batch of AMM grafts have been taken to standardise the method and educate the core team. Queen cages are being prepared, either plastic bought at the Tradex or Benton Cages constructed from timber. Mating preparations have started; making Queen Castles and attending lectures on Apidea management Activities we have planned: Swarm control !!! 🙂 More evening social meetings Apiary […]

Caging Virgin Queens

[…]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 held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100%) for three days but only one […]

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

[…]Workers can only produce drone offspring if hopelessly queen less, but do they produce drones in a queenright colony? I will explain a little on drone genetics and its consequences and sex determination in the honey bee and how diploid drones arise. I will outline the job description of drones and include some behavior particulars leading onto the mating event, […]
Read more » Michael Maunsell “The Drone – More to its life than we may think?”

Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

[…]eusocial insects? How do honey bees avoid inbreeding? Examine the rearing and sexual maturing of queens and drones. Illustrated with videos I demonstrate the mating process, and the 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 […]
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”

[…]Since then has coordinated the Group’s breeding programme and its arduous task of learning about queen and drone-rearing, natural mating and instrumental insemination, colony assessment and bee morphometry and breeder evaluation and selection. Lecture Title: “A current attempt to recover Apis mellifera mellifera from mongrelised stocks in the Welsh Borders” Achieving sustained and demonstrable bee improvement in only a few […]
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

[…]and propagate the native and near native honey bees. The CHIP members have 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

Where do I find out about local groups or get support to start one?

[…]to start one? BIBBA encourages members to set up local queen rearing groups.  click to see active groups here If you are already breeding or rearing queens with the aim of selecting for native traits but have not registered as a group we would be pleased if you would consider registering by contacting either the groups coordinator or the web […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]starter and finisher colonies). Transfer larvae from the selected breeder queen. Distribute queen cells (or queens) to mating nuclei. Distribute mated queens. Most methods involve converting a full-sized colony into a cell raiser by either removing the queen or by physically separating the cell-raising portion of the colony from the queen.   In contrast, in the Vorstman method, the cell raiser […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]smokers or hive tools are to be used, other than those supplied. To identify stocks to raise queens from or to replace (we don't expect to kill queens!) we may place them in order of preference. This is for instructional purposes only and not to be seen as criticism of the bees kept by our hosts. Some apiaries may be […]

BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

[…]aimed to identify how to optimise sustainable productivity. The Study can be found (here) Imported queens are usually either pure sub-species, hybrids or man-made types. They are mainly from different evolutionary lineages that have evolved in very different ecogeographic conditions. It is well known that random mating with different types of bees creates arbitrary crosses that often result in aggressive […]
Read more » BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

Section 7.1 – 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 mating flights from about […]

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]adequately. Rearing from poor weak colonies without adequate feeding will result in inferior queens. Queens can possibly be reared from mid-April to mid-September in many areas, with probably May and June being the best times, as long as adequate food is provided. A queen rearing colony should be provided fed unless the weather is fine and an abundance of nectar […]

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

[…]out how to create another 1-6 colonies for when a suitable larvae, queen cell, virgin queen or mated queen becomes available. Have a few things prepared so that when you get the call or email, it’s not a mad dash. As soon as the above equipment is used, figure out where the next frames, box etc. is coming from. Your […]
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

[…]value. If successful, those colonies can be requeened next year with better locally produced queens. If the queens were introduced to small nucs, there would be very few drones produced. If requeened early in the spring, then there will also be few drones, especially if the colonies are kept small. The whole exercise should not greatly affect Karl’s local population […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson