Grafting is often seen as highly technical and an unattainable skill. It shouldn’t be though – because it isn’t – it’s just practice and knack.
After all, the aim is simple enough: – to transfer a young larva from one cell to another. How difficult can it be?
To maximise success you need to sit down and think for a bit though. Consider how to choose your larvae, which grafting tool to use and how to set up your rearer colony. Then get stuck in – what’s to lose? Continue reading Queen Rearing – How to Graft
Mostly Apideas are used to rear queens from queen cells. However, there are occasions when you may want to introduce a laying queen or a virgin into an established Apidea.
Here’s a simple introduction method: Continue reading How to Introduce a queen bee to an Apidea
Introducing a new queen can be a tedious, long-winded process. Here’s a good quick method of introducing her 1 hour after removing the old one. No seven day gap, no removing of queen cells, no stressed bees. Yes, it works – I’ve tried it.
Here’s what to do: Continue reading Quick queen bee introduction – Paper Bag Method
A Cloake board is an essential piece of kit for anyone considering rearing their own queens. The method utilises a queen-right colony ensuring the best quality queens.
Click here for a timetable for the Cloake board system Continue reading Cloake Board Method of Queen Rearing
Here’s how to set up your Jenter kit. It’s how I did mine and that’s now working well.
By the way, be warned – the bees won’t like it when it’s new and the queen will be reluctant to lay into it. So get it set up and into a strong colony to get it drawn out and smelling beeish before you trot the queen into it. Continue reading How to set up your Jenter Kit
There are all sorts of bees for sale out there – Buckfast, Carniolan, Italian, Russian, Greek – you name it but how can they possibly be better than the locals on their home turf? Think about it, think about the risks in importing diseases and god knows what-all else. Don’t import bees – improve your own.
Click here for more information on the Native Irish Bee.
Here’s how and it isn’t difficult. In fact it’s fun and very rewarding – you will see real results year on year. We used to have some really horrible bees here and only a few hives of them but each year they would chase us round the garden. Now, in the middle of summer I have around 25 hives of bees here and stings are rare.
So make a start this year. Continue reading How to improve your bees
When deciding which colonies you are going to breed from and which colonies you are going to cull, data recorded in Colony Assessment Sheets can be tabulated using this Colony Appraisal Sheet devised by the Galtee Bee Breeding Group. It may seem pedantic but this is an invaluable tool in bee improvement and bee breeding.
Click it for a better view: Continue reading Honey Bee Colony Appraisal
Bee improvement is not difficult – anybody can do it and in fact every beekeeper should do it. The first step is to assess your colonies for a full season and record the data in a Colony Assessment Sheet. It will take a full season because the bees often do not show their true colours till they are big and strong and start to throw their weight about. Once you have the data you can compare colonies systematically and objectively then select stocks for breeding and stocks for culling.
The sheet below has been designed to record both Colony Assessment Data and routine beekeeping information from each visit. Click it for a better view. Scroll down and I’ll walk you through it…
Continue reading Honey Bee Colony Assessment