The first NIHBS Queen Rearing workshop of 2014 was held at the headquarters of the Galtee Bee Breeding Group, at Glengarra Wood, on the 17th of May.
The day couldn’t have been better picked, as it was one of the warmest days to that date, and there was plenty of activity around the hives. The attendance comprised of 14 beekeepers, from Tipperary, Limerick and Cork, all anxious to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to improving their own bees and rearing queens from their own stock. The four trainers, leading experts in this field, Micheál Mac Giolla Coda, Aoife Nic Giolla Coda, Redmond Williams and Michael Maunsell, started with an introduction to apiary equipment and hygiene.
To facilitate the “hands-on” aspects of the workshop, the participants were divided in two groups, according to their fields of interest and experience…and away we went to the hives. One of the groups, led by Aoife, focused on finding, marking and clipping the queen and proper management of Apidea mating hives. This session provided the attendees with invaluable “hands-on” experience, as they got to catch, mark and clip drones. Details were also provided on how to operate the Nicot and Jenter kits and were introduced to the principles of larval grafting. The second group, led by Micheál dived deeper in proper selection of breeding colonies and got excellent “hands-on” experience in the “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to colony assessment. They were also presented the details of proper selection for breeding and the use of the Cloake board for queen rearing. The day ended with an excellent discussion session, and the hosts treated everybody to a cuppa and cookies.
Dr. Stefan G. Buzoianu, PhD, Dr. Vet. Med.