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 […]

Cloake board queen rearing

Queen rearing involves presenting selected larvae – whether grafted or in natural comb – to a colony in such a way that they are raised as new queens. The cell raising colony is prepared for the introduced larvae, either by rendering it temporarily or permanently queenless, or by separating the part of the hive for […]

Queen rearing and the June gap

The oil seed reap (OSR) and hawthorn have finished here and there’s very little forage available for colonies. To make matters worse the weather has been changeable, restricting the time available for colonies to forage. Small colonies, such as casts that have been attracted to bait hives, have lacked sufficient numbers of foragers to store […]

Queen rearing

Collected articles on queenright queen rearing Ben Harden queen rearing – introduction Ben Harden queen rearing – setup Ben Harden queen rearing – cell raising General articles on queen rearing Grafting larvae Queen rearing without grafting The vertical split Brood box arrangements (Upstairs, downstairs?) and vertical splits The vertical split and stock improvements    

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 […]

Is queen clipping cruel?

Synopsis : Is clipping the queen a cruel and barbaric practice? Does it cause pain to the queen? Surely it’s a good way to stop swarming? This is an emotive and sometimes misunderstood topic. What do scientific studies tell us about clipped queens and swarming? Introduction After the contention-free zone of the last couple of […]

Queen mating flights

Synopsis: How far does a queen fly to mate? Studies using RFID-tagged queens are providing insights into the frequency, duration and temperature dependence of queen mating flights … all of which have practical implications for beekeeping. Introduction Although it tends to be a rather poor topic of conversation at dinner parties , I’m getting increasingly […]