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Queen Rearing

I have two goals for 2011. I want to try my hand at some early Spring Nuc’s and I want to try to raise a few queens. I plan to use this page as a notepad of sorts, to keep track of various hints/tidbits and the like that I pick up between now and the Spring. As with anything ‘bee related’, every beekeeper has a different story. I am going to try to start tracking this here as I come to my own conclusions.

When you graft queens, most advice points you to needing a Starter Colony (these bees start the queen cells) and a finisher colony (these bees finish the queen cells and provide the rich nutrients to the queen larva to tide her over while she is growing in her cell.) There are a variety of methods to creating these two colonies (which I might delve into later), but my initial strategy is to simply use one colony for both the starter and finisher.

More Notes (pulled from the Internet for reference later on)

1. In a two deep hive, pull all of the open brood into the upper box, make sure the queen is in the lower box and place an excluder between the two.

2. Come back in two days to make sure no eggs are in the upper deep. Take upper chamber and move to a new section of your yard.

3. Now add a frame of eggs (no bees) from a good queen. This is called Day 0.

4. Important: At end of Day 4, cut out any queen cells that have been capped. These queens represent your chances for the weakest queens, as some may have gone without royal jelly for some period of time during their egg days. The bees effectively went into emergency mode and created queens out of everything that would stick.

5. Feed these little ladies like crazy. It takes a lot of energy to produce a quality queen. They may try to create several – on Day 14, extra’s can be moved to other Nuc’s (that were created on Day 13).

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