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.
With an open mating system I find you can manage with just four colonies to breed successfully.
This is a method of persuading non-prolific and non-swarmy bees to raise queen cells on a regular basis through the season.
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.
The main purpose of this systemis its versatility and to have an additional use so you always double its value in purpose, and it’s not lying around for the best part of the year unused. Given the choice honeybees prefer vertical narrow empty spaces with unlimited depth, and just enough space to build 5 or6 combs side by side…
Finding queens in Spring, and marking and clipping them whenever necessary, has become an integral part of my seasonal beekeeping programme. Advice from Micheál Mac Giolla Coda