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Queen Rearing

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Update 20 March  2016

We are experimenting with rearing our own Queens and keeping records of our actions.

The method chosen- Jenter system. One or two colonies would be used and the queens would be reared in mating nuclei, possibly with the back up of Nucleus boxes. It was quite apparent no one is an expert in rearing queens and therefore arranging a speaker would be beneficial.

The Team:
Queen Bee:  Caroline Everett – team leader
Drones:Alan & Peter – advisors
Workers:  Viv, Perry, Jonathan, Roger and John
If you would like to get involved, please contact Caroline

Record keeping. Caroline to keep records.

Assess colonies: Assess the hives during March. Jonathon to lead assessments with entire team there where possible. However early March we may need to take every opportunity possible so Peter will check weather and if possible do a weekday assessment with those who are available.
I caught up with Roger Patterson at the Federation day and here are the answers to the couple of questions that were raised at the meeting or after.
Q.
Can you assess the colonies before the queen has started laying? There should be an inspection to check for other queen cells after 1 week of placing in the nukes, but should you keep checking or leave them alone as we normally do? Is there a risk of balling?
A.
He did not feel there was an issue with balling. You can check within 4 days of hatching, after that only check after 5pm when the queen was not likely to be on a mating flight as looking when she was not there would not give an accurate assessment.
Q.
How can you work across multiple apiaries? For example if your egg donor colony is on one site but your cell builder is on another?
A.
The main issue is drying out not temperature. Remove the Jenter system and wrap in newspaper. If it is cold then use a hot water bottle. If you think of any other questions I will email him.

Method:
Place Jenter in frame into a breeder colony and trap queen in24 hrs later release queen if Jenter laid up
3 days later check larvae has hatched, if so remove queen from cell builder colony
8 hrs later Transfer larvae from Jenter to cell builder colony.
7 days later thoroughly check cell builder colony and rip down other Q cells (or can we do this 2 days later when we are at apiary anyway?)
2 days later (9 days after larvae put into cell builder) make up queen less nuclei in the morning with 1 frame food & 1 frame about to hatch brood (or did we want to do larger nucs?). 8 hrs later transfer cells to the nuclei. (Where are we making nucs from? If not planning to use cell builders for a second batch could use them to make 3  -  4 nucs but depends which cell builders chosen & who they belong to).
2-4 weeks later (4 realistically for us) use queens that have been produced and move the next batch of sealed queen cells into the nuclei 8 hours later so need to have started the process again (4 weeks after the 1st) (Can we check temperament while queens not mated or do we need 4 weeks after that,  in which case can’t start 2nd batch for more than 4 weeks after 1st unless we have spare nucs to use)

To prepare before the season;
Make a frame to hold the Jenter system and a cup system one
Make a frame to hold Jenter metal bar Make more metal Jenter cup holders
Get a queen rearing kit together including;
Pliers
Pozi screw driver to remove cup system cover
Flat blade screw driver to leaver cup system off cell builder bar
Queen cages At club
Jenter SystemCup system
Frames etc aboveMagnifying glass to see larvae & torch
Numbers for hives & nukes
Large Umbrella
Pens
Record sheets – Caroline
Buy a tool box for it? Use a box until we know how many tools we have.

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