Improving bees by raising your own queens

The improvement of bees is an important part of beekeeping. The suitability of bees to the environment and their temper are issues that concern the caring beekeeper, but are not often included in tuition.

This course will cover many of the topics and techniques that will suit the “ordinary” beekeeper, with a large practical element

Read More

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

Why the production of a large number of drones is the inevitable consequence of the free mating of queens in drone congregations; and why this proliferation of drones is a key factor in ensuring the adaptability and resilience of the honey bee through the ages.

Read More

National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) has been launched in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a way forward to a stable and sustainable future for our beekeeping.

Read More

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.
read more

Read More

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.
read full article

Read More