Small Scale Queen Rearing
“Small Scale Queen Rearing”
I have heard many “Queen Rearing” lectures where the presentation is about three levels higher than the vast majority of beekeepers are able to understand or need. The vast majority of amateur beekeepers have 5 colonies or less that I reckon is about 75% of them, so what is the point of describing methods that will produce hundreds of queens? All it does is convince the ordinary beekeeper that queen rearing is complicated and not for them, so they don’t bother and buy a queen, which may be unsuitable for their location.
This presentation will satisfy the beekeeper who wants perhaps 1-20 queens a year, yet the methods described will still suit those who may want more. There is little or no specialist equipment needed, all being part of the kit that most beekeepers have or can improvise. The use of natural queen cells will be described, together with some simple “artificial” methods. It will also take advantage of some common situations that beekeepers regularly face, such as a queenless colony or one with a failing queen.
If we are rearing queens they should come from good stock, so some simple selection techniques will be discussed. There is little point in raising physiologically good queens from poor stock.
BIBBA members will be able to register to attend the live zoom meeting with the option to ask questions (email will be sent to members closer to the event for them to register).
- Roger Patterson
Roger was brought up on a farm in West Sussex and started beekeeping in 1963. He has travelled widely, speaking on and demonstrating practical beekeeping, where his down to earth approach gained by observation, lateral thinking and being taught by many colonies of honey bees for over 50 years is appreciated. He is privileged to have seen different bees being kept in different conditions, which, together with removing several hundred wild/feral colonies has formed his opinion of what bees are best suited to our fickle climate.
Roger encourages beekeepers to use simple management techniques and keep good tempered, healthy and productive bees that suit their locality. He has not bought an imported queen for well over 50 years, preferring to rear his own from the best of those that have survived locally.
He is a prolific writer and owns and manages Dave Cushman’s website www.dave-cushman.net, that is accepted as one of the world’s most comprehensive beekeeping websites.
In his three webinars, Roger will attempt to cover some points the other speakers may have omitted. He will address some of the issues that face beekeeping and some the previous speakers may have raised. Apart from a few short spells, honey bees have been imported on a fairly large scale for over 100 years. Importation doesn’t seem to have solved anything, other than to weaken the stock that is already here for short term gain.