This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Queen Rearing

Queens stored in a queen bank full of workers to care for them until needed

Mating nuc's set out in the field

The queen cells are put into mating nuc's with about a cup of workers bees.

Rack of queen cells

Loading the rack of queen cups

After the larvae is loaded into the cups in the grafting room, they are put in cell builders for two days. The rack of cells is then put into finishing colonies.
At day fifteen of the queen rearing process the capped cells are removed from the frame and put in mating nuc's that are set in the field. The queen emerges from the cell on day 16. She will be in the nuc box for about one week until she can fly. When she is old enough to fly she leaves the nuc box and fly's out to be mated. In a perfect mating scenario she will be mated 8 - 10 times receiving a lifetime supply of sperm from the drones.
The queen will come back into the nuc box and will begin laying in a week or so. After she is laying for a week the queen breeder will come through and pluck her off the frame of the nuc and put into a mini cage. A new queen cell is put into the mating nuc and the process begins again.
The queen is then put into a queen bank where she is kept until a package of bees is ready for her.
My queen breeder will make over 50,000 queens this year.