The first presentation by Jonathan Getty covered the topic of how to set up and run a queen rearing group – why to do it, how to do it, what materials are needed. Apiary sites, drone producing colonies and Apidea siting were also covered.
PJ Curran then gave a lecture on how to produce quality queens based on the ‘Ben Harden’ queenright System. He emphasised how grafting allows you to produce daughter queens from the best colonies as opposed to waiting for queen cells to be produced. Grafting puts the beekeeper in control of selection.
There was a break for lunch followed by practical sessions in the afternoon.
Luckily the heavy rain let up and the sun came out for this part of the event.
We looked at four different aspects of queen rearing:
use of the cloake board
Jonathan Getty, Michael Giles and PJ Curran looked through a couple of colonies to find frames with larvae of a suitable age for grafting.
Pat Deasy took a series of groups and demonstrated how to handle apideas and discussed the importance of labeling and record keeping.
PJ took charge of the grafting demonstration and made sure everyone had a try at this basic part of queen rearing
Cavan beekeepers also showed a clever design for a self leveling hive stand.
There was a good atmosphere throughout the day and the event was a great success for both NIHBS and Cavan members. It’s great to see Cavan beekeepers getting a queen rearing group organised – based around our native black bee.