Best Queen Rearing Method

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Matty Brown

New Bee
Joined
Nov 12, 2023
Messages
29
Reaction score
14
Location
Ireland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
10 hives using the rose hive method with national brood boxes.
Hi,

Just wondering what you would recommend as the best queen rearing method for someone who has never reared queens before.
I have been keeping bees few a few years now but have never reared my own queens.
Next year I am planning on splitting many of my beehives and will require quite a lot of queens.
I have about 10 colonies of Buckfast bees in Sligo Ireland using the rose hive method with national brood boxes.
I have been looking at using the punched cell method because it seems to work very well for someone who does not know what they are doing.
Let me know what method you think I should use for next year.
Open to suggestions.

Thanks
 
Best for you?
Best for queens?
Easiest?
I graft - badly - because at least I get some results (some such as Nicot cages don't work as the queen refuses to lay in the cups)
As weather and wasps and drone availability mean Queen rearing where I live is end May ,June and possibly half July, you have to be certain of getting results. Some Qs are better than none.
(don't ask how I know)
 
Hi,

Just wondering what you would recommend as the best queen rearing method for someone who has never reared queens before.
I have been keeping bees few a few years now but have never reared my own queens.
Next year I am planning on splitting many of my beehives and will require quite a lot of queens.
I have about 10 colonies of Buckfast bees in Sligo Ireland using the rose hive method with national brood boxes.
I have been looking at using the punched cell method because it seems to work very well for someone who does not know what they are doing.
Let me know what method you think I should use for next year.
Open to suggestions.

Thanks
I’ve tried all sorts nicot, punched cell, grafting using a Chinese grafting tool, Miller method and several others with very varied success. Last year I tried grafting with a stainless steel tool and it all seemed to click, I found I could lift the larvae out of the cells much more consistently than the Chinese tool so that is my method of choice from now. (Will probably find I get no success the year 🤔)
So as others have said, try a few and find what suits you.
 
as above I’ve tried a few different types some have worked better than others ,
This season for eg my miller frame colony’s were to strong and drew the comb out to much , have you thought of letting the colony do the queen rearing when they produce swarm cells ?
 
Agree with the comments, that it is best to try and find out yourself. There is a lot of moving parts in queen rearing and it is a complety different beekeeping skill. I suggest to also include grafting as it is a great 'fun' skill and allows you to work closely with larvae and understand bees better. I would say be open minded and do not be afraid to fail. If you fail, just stop, think and start again. Good luck.
 
Have a look at the Ben harden method if you dont need large amounts of queens.
 
have you thought of letting the colony do the queen rearing when they produce swarm cells ?
If you do, take the chance to give to improve the colony if needed. A week after removing the queen, destroy the cells and give the colony a frame with eggs and larvae from one of your best colonies.
 
First question is how many queens do you want to raise. Big difference between two or three to ten or twenty to 50.

If we assume between 5- 10, don't forget if you want mated the assume you will need double that in queens at the start.

My system is a lazy one, i split vertically any colony with 8- 11 frames of brood in April early may, the top box has a back entrance, they raise queen cells. i leave on in there and take excess queen cells and put in mating nucs. Job done, no hassle with starter and finisher colonies etc.
 
I for one will be very interested in how you get along next season Matty. A roundup of success/failure next year at this time would be very useful.
I will defiantly let you know how I get on.

Thanks for the advice.
 
Graft then use a Cloake Board.
From reading your other threads you have limited hive numbers, so using a cloake board makes sense as this method is a starter/finisher in one hive. Must be a very strong colony, triple brood if possible.
 
Have a look at the Ben harden method if you dont need large amounts of queens.
I used QCs in nucs and walk away splits previously, but last year I tried this method. One go was excellent (about 10) but the next one most of the queen's died in their cells. No idea what went wrong but will definitely try this method again next year. Main issue for me was getting set up with enough queenless hives (or apideas) to get the new queens mated, laying and ready to replace my less favourable queens.20230723_191721.jpg
 

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