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Best queen producing & mating method???

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On 11/11/2017 at 11:33 AM, john berry said:

If you want natural selection then get some African bees. They will fight off every disease that beekeepers know about, unfortunately they will also fight of the beekeeper.Daley is absolutely right about how to select a breeder and why it is not a good idea to have more than one cell in a hive. I have seen many drone layers with brown freckles on their abdomens which are caused by stings. These queens won the fight but lost the war. Cell size doesn't seem to make much difference to the quality of the Queen as long as they are not tiny. If I have any doubt I open the smallest ones to see if they have any uneaten jelly. If there's leftover jelly then they had all they can eat.

That’s interesting, I’ve not been a beek for long but somehow I think I assumed the bigger the better when it comes to queens. I guess it’s all about how well mated they are etc. You think it’s worth investing in a decent AI queen to use as breeding stock?

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My brother uses one of those kits and was able to produce Queens for his own use from the very start. I use variations of the Cloake method but have also used John Berry's method of a box full of

If you find out what it is, please let the rest of us know .

Sometimes the bees will make big cells, sometimes they won’t. We can trick them to a point but they’re not stupid, you will always get the best cells when it is a time that is natural to the bees

6 minutes ago, JasonK said:

That’s cool, can you elaborate a little bit on your mini nucs and what they contain / how / when you run them? Thanks, great info 






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@Phil46 overall, it went reasonably well for my first year of beekeeping. The specially made mating hive with 3x3 frames (& 3 entrances) produced me a couple rounds of queens - although my first attempt failed because I foolishly placed the hive in the middle of a war-zone, and it got robbed out. Grafting went well - 12 from 20 accepted and all but one or two mated. I had good success with poormans splits also - chucking a few frames into a each corflute nucbox. Arguably the poormans splits produced some of my more hardy and prolific laying queens, albeit a bit mongrel looking. I sold numerous mated queens and covered my costs for any mating / rearing equipment. Next season I’ll be experimenting with insanely strong hopelessly-queenless starter, and then distributing the accepted cells among numerous queen right finishers, above queen excluders. I’ll aim to have the plastic cup still visibly FULL of SPARE royal jelly up until the point in which they’re ready to emerge. I’ll likely try my multi-compartment hives for half of the mating, and corflute for the rest. I’ll try to have a constant roll-over of mated queens being produced. 

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Sounds good mate...most of my splits last year were poor man splits and they have come through the season well.Im looking to have a go at raising queens for my own splits this season just to speed the process up a bit.

Am doing lots of reading,watching vids  and gear preparation for this next step in beeking.


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