Queen rearing

Preparing and cleaning mini-nucs

A couple of years ago I bought some polystyrene mini nucs. Over the last couple of years they have seen some good use; raising a good number of queens, for loss replacement, expansion and swapping mean queens out to improve… (READ MORE)

DIY, Problems, Queen rearing

Lonely queen

I tried to overwinter a mating nuc this year for the first time. I put it inside a full size hive and padded with hessian sacking. But then the winter was too warm and they starved – too much flying,… (READ MORE)

Problems, Queen rearing, Winter

Lovely queens

I have been lucky enough to fall on my feet with nice queens this year. There has been some breeding (by which I mean selection of the best stocks and taking their swarm cells), some culling of mean queens and… (READ MORE)

Queen rearing


Hooray ! The queen from my early queen rearing exploits has been mated and is laying. My first (purposeful) queen-reared queen. My first green queen of the year, marked and clipped. She has a big golden abdomen,  far larger than… (READ MORE)

Queen rearing, Shopping

Change of plan & mating nucs

Bit of a change of plan. Following a chat with a fellow beekeeper, and the suggestion that combing over should not be an issue at all and was quite normal, I decided that I should try to raise all three… (READ MORE)

Queen rearing

Three, three, the rivals

So three cells have been made; three out of 30, but I only need one queen. Well I say three, but two of them are heavily combed over, so maybe that means they are dead in the cells. As I… (READ MORE)

Inspection, Queen rearing

Today’s the day

I did my queen rearing today. As the donor hive only had 4 frames of brood I didn’t want to leave them short at this time of build up. I grafted tiny larvae from cells using a paint brush. I… (READ MORE)

Inspection, Queen rearing

Mini nucs’ prep

Last year I went on a queen rearing course and at the end I bought some mini nucs. They needed cleaning first so I did that first.  Then I was left with an interesting design choice by the manufacturer of… (READ MORE)

DIY, Queen rearing

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

Also know as “come on queeny, go and get mated and get on with it”. It has been a while since I saw an egg in any of my hives, and today is mating day, woo woo… It has been… (READ MORE)

Inspection, Queen rearing