A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: May


| 5/31/2016 11:13:00 AM


Tags: beekeeping, pollen, honeybees, bees, honey, Jennifer Ford, New York,

May at Bees of the Woods Apiary seems to be all about trying something new! Read the full year's posts in this series here.

Raising Queens

queen cups blog

This year, we are trying to raise our own queens for the first time. I took a queen rearing class last summer, did a lot of reading, and finally got around to trying out what I learned.

We started out by choosing a hive to graft queens from. We have one hive that we just love. It overwintered well, and built up quickly in the spring. It is gentle, and had good honey production. We knew that we would like to have those traits in more hives, and decided to graft larvae from that hive.

But, before we started grafting, we needed to think about setting up a “starting” and “finishing” hive. This is exactly what it sounds like – hives that are used to start the queen cells, and hives that are used to finish the queen cells.  We decided to go with the Oliver “foolproof method” of queen rearing. We liked this method because you can use just one hive to both start and finish the queen cells.

The grafting takes some practice, but it isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can read about the entire process of setting up the starter/finisher colony (and small-scale queen rearing in general at the Scientific Beekeeping website, a really great resource. Just click here.




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