Tips & Tricks

No successful beekeeping without conscientious queen breeding.

This could be a title of a good breeding guide, but the successful breeding of bees isn’t that simple and that’s why the realization of a successful breeding depends on several factors. Against the background of multiple mating of the bees, here often are the first insurmountable problems: a mating like we know it from animal husbandry is not possible. These are essential factors for a successful breeding:

At the selection of breeding populations many breeders draw on the measurement of biometric features like the Cubitalindex.

Race Characteristic Cubitalindex (a/b)
Apis melifera melifera
Apis melifera carnica
Apis melifera ligustica

Of course, further biometric characteristics such as hair length, width of felt bandages, length of proboscis or the general staining can be measured for better investigation results.

A selection on behavioural characteristics is possible as well (and very popular in the breeding of Buckfast bees)

Features: gentleness, swarm indolence, consistence of honey combs, vitality, varroa tolerance.

But these features are only examples and often other desirable properties are added in actual breeding.

Some problems with this method may occur when there is a small pool of bee colonies. At least 10 colonies are essential per line, nevertheless about 50 colonies are necessary to present serious results.

Well-planned breeding preparation (Example)

  • STARTERS formation on 23.04.08
  • Resettle larvae after 1-2 hours, only recent larvae (max. 1.5 days old)
  • Hang breeding lath in starter
  • Next day: bring the accepted cells to FINISHER
  • After 6 days: take them out of the finisher, and put them in an incubator (temperature: 33 to 35 degrees Celsius)
  • If the young queen is going to hatch soon (hold cell up to the light and observe movement of the young queen), take a fertilized queen of a breeding unit (Kieler hive, Mini Plus or similar), and exchange it against the cell with the one which will hatch soon. Benchmark: queen is going to hatch 11 days after resettling larvae.
  • Bring breeding units to the hive
  • After 8-10 days and if the weather is adequate, the nubile, virgin queen leaves on her mating flight
  • Now let the queen lay eggs for a few weeks: a) to strengthen the small breeding colony b) a preliminary examination of the young queen

How to build a "starter":

  • You need a floor, a frame and a grating
  • Choose a strong working/ economic bee colony
  • Set the floor about 5 meters apart from the colony, entrance block is at the averted side of the colony
  • Take a honey frame from the economic colony and put it on the floor
  • Remove a honeycomb from the middle
  • Lift a grating onto the honey frame
  • Put an empty frame on the grating
  • Brush brood comb above the grating
  • Make sure that the queen gets back to her colony
  • If all brood combs are brushed, remove the grating and the empty frame from the starter
  • Make sure that the lanes of the starter are filled with plenty of bees bees return, but wet nurses remain in the starter
  • Close the starter with a roof
  • the breeding frame replaces the empty frame after resettling larvae

How to build a "finisher":

  • every strong economic colony can build the finisher
  • Hang the breeding frame into the honey chamber; there is a grating between honey chamber and brood chamber
  • It is advisable to hang a frame with “open” brood in addition to the breeding frame

Resettle larvae

To better resettle larvae: mix some royal jelly with water (par for par) and drop some of the liquid with a pipette into the brood combs. Two advantages:

  1. full supply for the young larvae
  2. The larvae can be easily resettled with an adequate tool; make sure that the respiratory organs is not drowned by the royal jelly, otherwise the larvae will suffocate. We recommend the use of a magnifying glass

Cooperation with a guard

Ask the guard of the apiariesIs there sufficient nectar and pollen supply? (Caution on islands, maybe you have to accomplish reserves)

  • When is it allowed to enter the area where the hives are? How old should the queens be when they are delivered? (We recommend 4 to 5 days old queens)
  • Does one need to have a grating to block drones? (We believe that cooperation is not appropriate when denied.)
  • A valid copy which attests that there are no diseases is mandatory.

These are only some questions in the run-up to be clarified.

fertilized queens late:
Breeder often jokingly talk about a book with the title: "99 sure-fire methods to add a queen”. Each of us has made some tiresome experiences.
Scientifically profound fact:
The later you add a queen, the higher the chance that she is adopted. So we recommend adding our queens at the end of September, because the colony is always able to adopt the queen at this time.

günstiges Webdesign in Berlin,CMS,Homepages, Portale und Programmierung