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Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

[…]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 subject is strongly influenced by the papers and books of Gudrun & Nikolaus […]
Read more » Jim Vivian-Griffiths “Mating Biology of Honey Bees”

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

[…]will outline the job description of drones and include some behavior particulars leading onto the mating event, the ultimate goal of all drones. I hope to demystify sex alleles and show very clearly how they work. We are well aware that our queens are polyandrous (promiscuous). I will demonstrate whether it is just the number of drones or the variety […]
Read more » Michael Maunsell “The Drone – More to its life than we may think?”

Ardnamurchan Jan 2016

[…]difficult as the colonies were depleted of natural stores and the weather was mostly too cold for mating, even on rare fine days. We 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 […]

Caging Virgin Queens

[…]Alternative Methods for Holding Virgin Honey Bee Queens for One Week in Mailing Cages before Mating Gianluigi Bigio , Christoph Grüter, Francis L. W. Ratnieks  Published: November 16, 2012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050150 Abstract In beekeeping, queen honey bees are often temporarily kept alive in cages. We determined the survival of newly-emerged virgin honey bee queens every day for seven days in […]

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]Eighe. No other beekeepers/feral colonies were known to be in the area at that time and drone-free mating hives housing virgins were set up as a test, as no successful mating was achieved a number of hives were established on the reserve. New queens were successfully grafted, mated and reared from more brood retrieved from the source apiary and these […]

Controlled Mating and Hygienic Behaviour

[…]Bigio*1,3, Hasan Al Toufailia1 , William O H Hughes2 , Francis L W Ratnieks1 Honey bee mating cannot be directly controlled in the same way as in many agriculturally important animals. Instrumental insemination is, however, possible and can be used as an aid in selective breeding. Hygienic behaviour, in which worker bees detect and remove dead or diseased brood from […]

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

[…]for cell raising, and grafed larvae and also used the Jenter  system..  We used Apidea mini-nucs for mating.  We also trained 4 members in instrumental insemination. Further Info You can see full details and register for information on our meetup site […]

Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group

[…]the apiaries there are owned by members of the group. This provides an excellent opportunity for mating our best virgins. All the known beekeepers in the rest of the area are supportive of our aims and are careful to keep local bees. This means that we are able to make good progress in bee improvement. We also like to encourage […]

Methods for Rearing and Selection of Queens

[…]technical equipment. As the success of breeding programmes strongly depends on the selective mating of queens, a subchapter is dedicated to the management 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 […]

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]crossbar on which the mini-nuc rests. A thick band of rubber cut from a car inner tube straps the nuc to the stake. The mini-nucs are sited so as to give the bees something to help them orient on to the site, such as a bush or small tree. This reduces losses due to queens returning to the wrong nuc. […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]site in a secluded valley and have taken breeder drone colonies and virgin queens there for mating, we are taking a break from the time-consuming use of the out-apiary, so we can concentrate on establishing the Group and the colonies on the new site. The out-apiary is there for the future if we need it.   Key to our bee […]

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 […]

Laesoe 2004

[…]has 180 members who make use of both 25 regional (non-isolated) and five isolated alpine mating stations, mating some 6,000 queens per annum. Breeding stock is selected on behavioural and morphometric criteria. One canton, Glarus in the east of the country, has granted A. m. mellifera protected status; the federal government has refused to extend this status nationwide but has […]

“Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

[…]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 some of the current bee problems have partly […]


[…]where in its first 5 years had mono-strained a vast area with A. m. mellifera starting from one mating apiary belonging to Micheál Mac Giolla Coda. To see these bees being manipulated without veils or gloves, and to realise this has been done in such a short time, speaks volumes for the work of these beekeepers and the policies that […]

Honey bee conservation

[…]centre, a drone congregation area, and the surrounding populations. Honeybees have a very complex mating system in which drones and virgin queens meet mid-air to mate in areas that have been named drone congregation areas. Drones assembled in such a drone congregation area come from several surrounding colonies and thereby represent the diversity of the entire local population. These congregation […]

BIM 43 – Spring 2014

[…]some details of a system of mating isolation by time of day (“Mondschein”or “Moonlight”) mating… Pure Mating by Time Isolation – John E Dews For ordinary beekeepers a major problem in bee breeding is the difficulty of ensuring pure matings for their selected queens. If this problem can be solved, much more rapid progress will be possible in improving the […]

Native Honey Bees

[…]rather than soil the hive and possibly spread disease. Despite the odd report of Apiary Vicinity Mating (AVM) being observed in other races, it is thought that only Amm are capable of performing this useful function on a regular basis. If correct, it may suggest that some of the problems seen in U.K. and Irish conditions where poor mating in […]

BIM 33 – Winter 2010

[…]Clare A model agreement – Terry Clare Queen rearing group – Roger Patterson Warnholz Mini BiVo nuc – Dave Cushman The Harding Mini Nuc – John Harding Bee improvement – Roger Patterson Entombment follow-up – Dave Cushman BBKA Forum – Roger Patterson Morphometry Course – Dinah Sweet BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]better that your queen cells are staggered by date, it makes it easier when making up queen mating nuclei over several days rather than all in one day. I make up these on the 10th day after grafting, so you see that writing it down or taking a photograph is a must and does make life so much easier. Four […]

Male Fitness of Honeybee Colonies

[…]to estimate male reproductive success of 16 drone producing colonies. This allowed for estimating the male mating success on both the colony level and the level of individual […]

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

[…]can be quite difficult to find the queen of a very small colony such as a weak nucleus or a mini mating-nucleus. This is probably due to the fact that in these tiny colonies the queen is more likely to run onto the floor or sidewalls and it may be necessary to remove all the frames before she is found […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]will fly in dull and drizzly weather which would keep Italian bees indoors. It may also be that mating can take place at lower temperatures than in the case of the southern races. Although less prolific than Italians, the workers live longer and there is a higher ratio of foraging bees to hive bees. The wintering capabilities of the Dark […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner