Ben Harden queen rearing – setup

The Ben Harden queenright method for queen rearing (introduced previously) has relatively few requirements for specialist equipment. Most beekeepers will already own the necessary bits and pieces, and will be able to build, borrow or steal the things they lack as appropriate. The colony is prepared by adding a second brood box to a standard […]

Ben Harden queen rearing – intro

The ‘Ben Harden’ method is an approach used to raise queen cells in a queenright colony. It offers a number of advantages that make it particularly suitable for relatively small-scale beekeepers, for beekeepers who want only a limited number of queens (10’s rather than 100’s, though the latter is possible if well organised) or for […]

And then there was calm

Synopsis : The rush and bustle of the first half of the season is over and things are calming down. Time to reflect on some aspects of the season so far, and the importance of keeping good hive records. Introduction Over the past few seasons I’ve noticed that there is an inflexion point in the […]

More queen rearing musings

Synopsis : What happens when your queenright cell raiser swarms? Are cells being reared under the supersedure response doomed? This and other musings on miscellaneous aspects of queen rearing, together with some comments on clearing supers on queenless hives. Introduction I described queen rearing last week as The most fun you can have in a […]

Queen rearing miscellany

Synopsis : Queen cell selection by the beekeeper or the bees – which is more reliable? Nectar collection  and comb building by requeening colonies. Three miscellaneous queen rearing topics this week. Introduction May to July are the busiest months of the beekeeping season for queen rearing . We’re fast approaching the halfway point so I […]

The bees know best

Synopsis : Queens reared under the emergency response are numerous and preferentially started from eggs. The cells are then subjected to strong selection by workers after capping. What does this tell us about good quality queens and can we use this knowledge to improve our own queen rearing? Introduction In Eats, sleeps, bees I made […]

Seasonal scheming

Synopsis : Midwinter is the time for planning and preparation for the beekeeping season ahead. In addition to thinking about the normal season’s events – swarming, mite control, honey etc. – now is the time to be more expansive. What arrangements need to be made for the longer term sustainability of your apiary and beekeeping? […]

Measure twice, cut once

Swear often 😉 I’ll return to cursing shortly … bear with me. The autumn solstice is long gone and we’re fast approaching the end of British Summer Time . For most northern hemisphere beekeepers this means that there may be five months of ‘not beekeeping’ before we start all over again. Of course, there are […]