I have been beekeeping now for over 25 years, selectively rearing queens of our Dark Native Irish Bee, Apis mellifera mellifera. My selection program is based on the ability of my bees to over-winter strongly, together with disease resistance, docility, productivity, colour and more.
My home and main mating apiary is just on the outskirts of Dublin city, with the bees foraging over the extensive area of the Phoenix Park and the Liffey Valley, including the gardens of suburban Castleknock.
My queens are naturally open mated, but I have been flooding the vicinity of my apiary with drones from my own native dark bees. Each year I over winter more colonies of bees than I need, keeping only the best and requeening those that do not come up to my criteria.
Lecture Title: “Apideas. Their operation and maintenance”
To be able to keep ahead of your beekeeping problems, each beekeeper should ideally operate a percentage of mini mating nucs, according to the amount of honey producing hives that they keep. The aim is to always have a surplus of spare queens, to stay ahead of the needs of the bees. It should help you to fix most of the beekeeping problems that will arise during your beekeeping year and help to increase productivity.
Because of their small size, Apideas are prone to certain problems. Over the years I have greatly improved my success rate in getting queens mated and introduced into full hives. This presentation will tell you how I do it.