Queen Cells – Are They Always Bad News?

Webinar: Monday 22nd April 2024 –
Roger Patterson

note change of date
Many beekeepers see queen cells in a colony as a problem and something that should be destroyed. This presentation will help beekeepers to understand them and treat them as an opportunity.

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

Last year, I did several splits including splits of all my favourite breeder colonies in mid-August. It was a slight gamble where I live in Cheshire but the weather was fair and the outlook very similar. Roger mentioned that I was out of action from last September (2 months to get walking, a year to pass a medical to get my driving licence back and lots of mobility issues in between). The rivers around me flooded while I was in hospital and many of my bees and colonies were literally swept away.
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Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

For myself and my local association, Wisborough Green BKA (WGBKA) in West Sussex, where I am Apiary Manager, I usually produce at least 100 queens per year. This is mainly to replace poorer queens in honey producing colonies, provide queens to head nucs for new beekeepers and for members who need queens for a variety of reasons. We try to encourage members to rear their own queens, but sometimes their bees need requeening with better stock. As many beekeepers only have a couple of colonies, they may not have bees that are good to propagate from. A BKA teaching apiary can be a genetic resource to distribute good local stock from.
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Queen Cell Production in a Single Brood Chamber Colony

Queen Cell Production in a Single Brood Chamber Colony Taken from Breeding Better Bees The following simple method was observed by BIBBA’s Director, Ken Ibbotson, in Holland. It is suitable for a beekeeper with single brood chamber colonies wishing to rear a small number of queens. It should produce 7-10 very good queen cells. For…

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Queen Rearing and Bee Improvement Courses

BIBBA are committed to helping beekeepers to improve their bees and those of the surrounding area, by raising queens from their better colonies and culling the poorer ones. Bee Improvement should be of interest to all beekeepers and for a number of reasons including temper, quietness on the combs and suitability to the locality. The…

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How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

At the start of a new season I like to make a shortlist of which queens are good enough to breed from, in other words, to become my breeder queens. I do this by looking at the current condition of the colony as well as looking at the record of past performance.

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