The queen rearing event on the 25th of May was held at one of David Lee’s apiaries in the beautiful scenery of Anne’s Grove Gardens, Castletownroche, Co. Cork. It was a cold, rainy day but six enthusiastic beekeepers travelled to the event which was led by our host, David Lee, assisted by Liam Rice and myself.
A break in the weather allowed us to set up the workstations, and, as the attendance was not numerous, we took our time and discussed thoroughly all the aspects scheduled for the event. Liam and David presented the NIHBS colony scoring system and proper selection for breeding and then discussed the Cloake queen-rearing method. We then detailed the Apidea mating hive and the Nicot and Jenter queen-rearing methods.
After this, it was time for a break, so we took 10 minutes to have a cuppa and some delicious cupcakes prepared by David’s wife, Maureen. With the break behind us, we lit the smoker and we opened the hives. As we had grafted some larvae the previous week, we had sealed queen cells at this stage, which we introduced in the Apideas some of the participants brought to the event. I then demonstrated larval grafting, under the expert supervision of Liam and David.
The participants were shown how to differentiate larvae of different ages and were instructed on how to perform the grafting. Each of the participants got to do the grafting and we placed the larvae they grafted inside a hive for rearing, so as the beekeepers can come back to take their queens once they get an Apidea. We ended the day with a quick recap and the beekeepers went home to take care of the Apideas they had queened at the workshop.
Dr. Stefan G. Buzoianu, PhD, Dr. Vet. Med.