It’s swarm season to be sure, but it’s certainly also splitting season! Bees being in swarming mode means we can also have an easier time raising queens!
My Queen rearing is going very well -- all hives are progressing nicely with healthy queens and a good brood pattern. I’m now raising an additional two queens. Here’s the newest two recruits:
Why am I raising queens?
It’s always nice as a beekeeper to have a nucleus colony going as a backup. The primary reason I raise queens however is to support my local beekeeping association! New members can learn to keep bees, and I can be happy watching the new colonies grow, often with the benefit of EyesOnHives data.
For the two hives heading out this week, my last inspection showed both hives having decent stores and a healthy looking queen, and are ready for full deeps in their new home. I definitely recommend keeping an entrance reducer in place for the hives to reduce wind chill while they get started.
Raising Queens in Nucs by Simulating Swarming
I’m presently raising another queen in a plastic nuc, and another in an old nuc with a mid entrance hole in it. Both hives have lots of good looking bees and brood from my ‘breeder queen’. These are my queen rearing boxes presently.
I move my breeder queen to a new nuc when her present Nucleus colony gets crowded -- it’s been happening pretty quickly -- her brood pattern is epic. This is what I have come to expect of her, which is quite impressive for a Nuc Hive.
Once the queen is gone, the bees will go into emergency queen raising mode. With the kind of strong, crowded nuc hives this queen creates, they have been very successful in raising new queens.
My breeder queen is now in a full deep above my corner hive, but I’d like to get her back in a wooden nuc as soon as I can. Here’s the current configuration of our EyesOnHives Demo Apiary.
Happy Queen rearing!