alleyyooper
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Queen Bee Rearing.

Have been keeping bees for many years. We have 12 out yards with over 100 colonies in 2 different counties. We go thru a lot of queens replacing them in the fall every two years and many thru out the summer to replace queens that are failing or died for some unknown reason.

I tried the grafting spoon method to start out but my old eyes even with a magnifying set of glasses left a lot to be desired.
Then I discovered thru an Australian at a bee education program Cell punch queen rearing. With the cell punch I can punch a whole cell and attach it to a rearing bar. Place the bar in a queen less nuc where the workers develope beautiful queen (:?: peanuts) That I remove and add one to a nuc to hatch. My queens are a breed I have worked from our Carnolioan stock and swarm stock all of which have survived at least two Michigan winters.

We keep a separate yard that we raise drones in to mate our queens in a rearing yard about a mile away. We seem to be having success with our program to get a strong healthy queen crop.

:D Al

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pomerinke
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Re: Queen rearing.

I have always thought I would enjoy keeping bees. Unfortunately I don't have space (I don't even have a yard).

Is it difficult? Perhaps at some point in the future when I move to an actual house, I may look into it.
- For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create. -

alleyyooper
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Re: Queen rearing.

Once you get over the newness of it, it is simple. I know a person that keeps bees on there apartment balcony in New York city.

We have 12 out yards which means our bees are on other peoples property. they get a gallon (24 pounds) of honey every so often as payment plus our bees pollinate their gardens.

:D Al

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Queen rearing.

I have never done it, but that seems like an over simplification.

Check out the thread here on getting in to beekeeping: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 88&t=70825

knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers were suggesting it takes about $1000 worth of equipment to get started.

And you have to know what you are doing. That seems obvious just from reading your first post in this thread, alleyooper. I read it, but it didn't even sound like you were writing English. I didn't have any idea what you were talking about.

I had been hoping to get in to keeping a hive of bees for my garden, but when I saw how expensive and technical it is, I gave up that idea.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

alleyyooper
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Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Yes it can be costly to start if you buy every piece of equipment sold. also if you can not do any thing with out some one holding your hand.
My start I bought enough wooden wear for the bees needed for one year. So that was 2 bottom boards, 4 deeps since I had heard to start with two colonies, and since I was told not to expect honey the first year no need for honey supers just a inter cover and outer cover.
By my second year I had boughten a couple of good books one being bee keeping for dummies, the other the ABC XYZ of bee keeping. I also joined a club

I have never owned a bee suit, have never worn one either. I wear a light color long sleeved shirt, blue jeans, helmet with a veil.

So if you can read and comprehend what you read you can learn to build all the wooden wear you will need. I suggest you buy the frames however, use real wax foundation.

What I wear when collecting swarms.

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What I wear when removing bees from a house.

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The feeders I use and I get them free from a pizza shop and a sub shop. No expensive feeder bought here.

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Bees don't care what color the hive is so I buy $5.00 a gallon OOPs stain from Home depot instead of expensive exterior paint mixed to a color.

Image

I have the tools and a near by lumber yard so I build all my own bottom boards, boxes, inter covers and outer covers.

Image

Not only do I raise my own queens and make nucs for increase I am on a bunch of list to collect swarms and do removals from some buildings and trees even.

Image

So now go and read how expensive and hard bee keeping is from some one selling a book and scaring people off. Southeastern Michigan beekeepers (semba.org) Has a bee keeping course.
If people were not so afraid of the boggie man I could probably hook you up with a club in their area.

:D Al

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applestar
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Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Thanks for sharing your expertise, Al. I have to admit that I was startled by the technical details, but also intrigued.

Right now, I'm reading your posts the way I usually do when learning something I'm not familiar with -- skim, file-for-later, and skip anything I don't understand or is not immediately feasible (a lot at the moment :oops: ) ...go back to them when I have gained better understanding.

I'm pretty sure where I live it's not an option to keep bees, but I'm still dreaming.... When you mentioned someone keeping bees on a balcony in NYC, I looked it up, and it seems beekeeping is legal in that city -- it seems like it should be allowed everywhere considering the current plight.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Tone is pretty harsh, but thanks for sharing. I was only telling you what a lot of people who keep bees have told me.

I never heard of anyone working with bees and not wearing a bee suit and veil, etc, but if that is an option, that is great to know. You make it sound feasible for me to think again about having a bee hive and that is great!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

If you have some basic carpentry skills you can build a top bar hive which is what most beginners start with. They are frameless so the comb hangs from the bar. You have to be more careful opening the hives since without frames the comb is more fragile and harvesting is a bit messier since you would have to use a potato masher and a colander to mash the honey from the comb. You would not need an extractor. Warre and other hives are also sold as kits which is a little cheaper, you can put them together yourself. You can build any of the bee boxes if you have carpentry skills and cheap lumber. In Hawaii people do build their own starter hives, but unless they work in construction, lumber is not cheap. Paint needs to be non-toxic so while you can pick any color, you have to make sure it is safe for the bees. You only paint the outside of the hive and bottom board, but the bees do hang out there.

Swarms fill up on honey before they leave the hive and while they are searching for a new home they have no brood or honey to protect, only the queen, so they tend not to be agressive. But it still recommended to have protective gear.

Some bee keepers do wear shorts and tank tops and no gloves when beekeeping, but they do get stung almost every time. A long sleeved heavy jacket, pants and boots will do. The jacket needs to be able to zip up without gaps for the bees to get in. Then you really can get away with a hat and veil and a lot of duck tape to seal everything up. You don't need the leather gloves. I got stung right through the leather glove. long sleeved dishwashing gloves work just as well, but you need to tape up the cuff. If you join a bee club you can learn a lot and if you have your hives ready when swarm season comes, you can have your name put on a list and they will call you when someone has a swarm they want removed. Be aware though, that most homeowners usually have not called the beekeepers first and may have sprayed the swarm with insecticide making them useless. If the swarm is not accessible, you will be spending your time and gas going out there and still not come away with anything. Besides the, hive you will need equipment like a bee vacuum and box to put the swarm in once you capture it. Even if you can get it home, the queen may not like the accommodations and they will fly off again. Most people will requeen a captured swarm which means that they have to buy one and have it shipped. The old queen left with the swarm so you don't know how long she will live or her temperament. If you want docile bees you have to try to get a good queen.
https://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

We do have a new member who is a carpenter, but the rest of us are not, so we purchased the economy jackets (not the full suit), gloves, hive tools, and initially we were given the starter hives and boxes. They were over twenty years old and in my climate, wood rots and gets termites, so we are replacing them now and we bought hive kits which turn out to be the better buy than buying the pieces separately. The initial costs are high but the equipment should be good for years. If you can find someone selling old equipment you have to look at the condition they are in. If you have diseases like American fould brood, it does not matter how old your hives are, you have to seal the bees in the hive; burn it all and start over.

Selling honey for us offsets the cost of maintaining the hives. If you want to sell honey you have to look at your local laws. Ours requires that someone take the food safety class and be certified and we have labeling requirements.

The Dept of Ag is making it harder to import queens. We may have to start trying to rear our own queens.

The easiest way if you only need one queen to make a queenless split of the right aged larvae from a healthy colony and get them to rear the new queen in a nuc. This takes the most time and means you have to realize the hive is queenless before it is too late to save them. This is a gamble since all your hopes are pinned to the survival and successful mating of this one queen.

If the nuc produces a lot of queen cells you can hedge your bets by punching existing unopened queen cells or grafting the right aged larvae and putting them in queen cups.

Most people want non-aggressive queens because they are easier to work with and have as neighbors if the hives are in an urban area. Queens can be bred with desirable traits like hygenic queens. Most of the time people just need a queen to save the colony. Aggressive hives are harder to work with but they tend to be stronger colonies.
https://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

alleyyooper
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Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Oh yes Mister Bush a one time moderator on beesoursce.com a bee keeping forum. His answer to many questions posted back in early 2000 was to buy two bee keeping books and do a archive search of the forum.

Barry decide he should do some thing as people were not two happy with him.

As for top bar hives they were designed for Kenya and work in some of the hot climates but not so many workable in main land north America.
Bees work up is called the chimney effect, over the winter they work from the bottom of the hive to the top eating honey and shivering their wings and constantly working from the out side to the inside and back out side of the cluster. They can't do that in a top bar hive and people who are led to think it can be done in northern states where winter high temps rarely get to 45F during the day.

My one friend in Minnesota wrote a post on a bee thread of a forum,
" Guess I m a crazy one as I open a hive. Every day in the summer so if I have 3 hives it gets opened every 3rd day but I don't Bo it for the bee's. I do it for my own personal thing cause for me it's therapy. It relaxes me .
I do not even wear a shirt because when I do they get under the shirt and panic and sting me"

Here is a site for urban bee keeping.

https://honeylove.org/

:D Al

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Good to know. In Hawaii, top bar hives work well especially for beginners who trade up later. Inside the hives bees keep the temperature a balmy 98 degrees. In summer they constantly fan the hives to cool them, but we keep the hives in the sun because there are fewer issues with American foul brood and the hive beetles have a harder time getting in the hive with a line of bees at the door. Now, our bees are hunkered down in the middle of the hive to stay warm, but they are still foraging since we do see some pollen and a little bit of honey being stored. Last Saturday we even saw a few drones and queen cells. The brood has been spotty but we are hoping it is because they don't need to replaces as many bees. In winter bees have less forage so they keep their populations lower since they don't need as many foragers and bees live longer in winter. Once things warm up more and the orchard starts to bloom, we usually see more brood building when the food supply gets better.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

alleyyooper
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Re: Queen Bee Rearing.

Our bees in the winter very seldom leave the hives. A bright sunny day will see them leave many times for a cleansing flight. Lots of brown spots in the snow, also some dead bees that could not make it back to the hive and froze.

It is snowing out right now so it will cover what was there before. Some time in late February we will make the rounds on a warmer day and insert pollen patties in the hives.

So why am I not getting e mail notices of reply's to any thing?

:D Al

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