On the morning of the 18th of May, the queen rearing workshop at Deise Apiaries seemed like a lost cause, as the day started with strong wind and heavy rain. However, God must be a beekeeper Himself, as the rain stopped just before we got there, allowing us to make the most of a brilliant workshop. The high-calibre of the event can be evaluated through the fact that the four trainers, Pat Deasy, David Lee, Liam Rice and P. J. Curran shared over 100 years of beekeeping experience between them. The attendance comprised of ~15 beekeepers which were split in two subgroups. The session started with David Lee and Liam Rice detailing the creation, management of the Apidea and the transfer to a nuc box. We moved on to colony assessment and breeding selection by P. J. Curran. The participants were given handouts and got to assess a hive according to the NIHBS criteria and Hooper’s five questions. The next demonstration was given by the host, Pat Deasy, who detailed the introduction of grafted queen cells into a colony. As Pat had grafted a frame of cells especially for the workshop, the attendees also got to see queen cell-rearing in action. The final practical was also the highlight of the day, with the four trainers detailing larval grafting. The participants got to do the grafting themselves, and this sparked an intense discussion around the subject. As the day was coming to an end, we had a warm cup of tea and some delicious treats kindly prepared and served by Sheila Deasy. Finally, a group photo was taken and everybody headed home, all determined to graft their own queens over the next while.
Dr. Stefan G. Buzoianu, PhD, Dr. Vet. Med.