Steve Rose Queen Rearing

This is a queen rearing method to persuade non-prolific and non-swarmy bees to raise queen cells on a regular basis through the season. (updated July 2015)


  • Put queen excluder(s) and 2 half-width brood boxes over a standard colony when the first supers would normally be fitted.
  • Wait for bees to start putting nectar in the half boxes and mature drones are available.
  • Day 1 – Move one frame of open brood and one of pollen up into one of the top half boxes. Slip a queen cell frame between the brood and pollen frame in the half box.  Leave existing nectar bearing ones in the other two.
  • Day 2 – Put a plastic film over the queen excluder and under the half box with the brood etc and remove the grafting frame. Between 3 and 24 hours later graft young larvae into the grafting frame and return it between the brood and pollen. Leave the other half box on its own queen excluder and hence accessible to the bees below.
  • Day 3 or 4 – One Day after grafting. Remove the plastic film (leaving the queen excluder in place) so that the queen pheromones have normal access to the box again.

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Download pdf of full article:Queen Rearing Method – Steve Rose July 2015