Queen Bee Breeding for Backyard Beekeeping
4.0 (69 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
358 students enrolled

Queen Bee Breeding for Backyard Beekeeping

Learn how to successfully raise your own queen using a graftless method suitable for all hive designs.
4.0 (69 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
358 students enrolled
Created by Janet Luke
Last updated 7/2015
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $34.99 Original price: $49.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 10 articles
  • 2 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Recognize the difference between eggs and larva in a cell
  • be able to state the best time of the year to start queen breeding
  • state what needs to be present to successfully reed queen in your apairy
  • construct a kit holding frame
  • be able to set up a cell builder colony
  • be able to state what makes a good queen to breed from
  • discover the pros and cons or this type of method
  • Prepare a nucleus hive for your queen cells
  • learn how to correctly position your queen cells in a nucleus hive.
  • How to safely handle a queen bee
  • learn how to quickly locate a queen in a colony
  • state what a non grafting kit is and demonstrate how to use it.
  • No equipment is necessary to begin this course.
  • AFTER completing the course you may choose to buy a non grafting kit from your local bee keeping supply retail outlet.

Are you a backyard beekeeper who would like to learn a new skill?

Would you like to raise your own locally adapted queen bees?

Would you like to save money, have fun, breed and raise quality queen bees to increase your apiary?

Would you like to breed queens but are put off by the specialized skills required to graft larvae? This technique uses an ingenious non-grafting kit! No grafting necessary.

Finally a course which demonstrates how to successfully raise queen bees using the Top Bar Hive design.

Raising your own queen bees is something all backyard beekeepers can learn to do. It is fun, saves you lots of money, prevents any diseases being introduced to your hives and raises the best quality queens.

I have been raising my own queens for a number of years using a easy non grafting kit called the Jenter kit. This system suits me and my Top Bar bees perfectly. This course is for all backyard beekeepers (whatever hive design your bees are housed in) but especially suited to people who choose to keep their bees in a top bar hive design.

I will take you through the whole process, step by step. Explaining and demonstrating how to adapt this system to your unique apairy. Each video lesson will have you right in the hive with me seeing and doing, which I think is the best way of learning. No stuffy old text books in this course.

Who this course is for:
  • A hobbiest bee keeper who would like to learn to successfully raise their own locally adapted queen bees .
  • A beekeeper who has mastered basic beekeeping and who would like to extend their skill base and learn another aspect to their beekeeping hobby.
  • a beekeeper who keeps bees in a top bar hive, warre hive or langstroth hive
  • A beekeeper who would like to save money and build up their hive numbers easily and efficiently.
  • a beekeeper who wants to produce bees who have varroa sensitive hygiene traits
  • This course is not appropriate for an absolute beginner beekeeper.
Course content
Expand all 28 lectures 02:30:02
+ Introduction to Queen Breeding course
7 lectures 15:34

At the end of this lecture you will understand why you should learn to raise your own queen bees. Understand the unique properties of a non grafting kit and realise that raising queens can be done successfully by the backyard beekeeper.


Raising your own queens allows you to save money, is fun, prevents risk of diseases being introduced to your hives and allows you to learn a new skill. You can choose the particular traits you are requiring in your apairy and help to develop a strong , locally adapted bee to your climate and flora.

Preview 07:46

In this lecture you will learn the advantages of using a non grafting kit. This technique is perfect for the beekeeper who does not have perfect eyesight a steady hand or only wants to use this skill once a year.

Preview 02:38

Learn the signs to be aware of in preparation to beginning the breeding cycle in your hives.

When Can You Raise Your Own Queens?

Learn the important facts and timings in regards to queen breeding. It is imperative that this is understood as the breeding regieme hinges on these timings.

The Life Cycle Of A Queen Bee

Test Your Knowledge of the Queen Bee life cycle.

Queen Bee Life Cycle
3 questions
A Flowchart showing the process of Queen rearing
1 page

This document is a personalized record itemizing each particular action required during the queen breeding cycle. Most importantly it gives the reason WHY you are doing each action so you have a greater understanding of every action you are doing with your hives.

Download Your Personalised Timetable for Queen-Raising Using A Graft-Less System
4 pages
+ The Cell Builder Colony
5 lectures 35:17

Learn what a cell builder colony is and its main function in the process of Queen rearing.

Preview 04:14
The preparation and Making of a Cell Builder Colony

Learn how you can avoid problems during the process of making a cell builder colony.

What Can Go Wrong When Making Your Cell Builder Colony

Understand how to divide the hive using a queen excluder to make a cell builder colony and what pitfalls to avoid when doing this.

Creating and positioning Your Cell Builder Colony
Key Points to Remember when creating your Cell Builder Colony
+ The Jenter Kit
2 lectures 14:38

The parts that make up a non grafting kit can initiially look confusing but after viewoing this lesson I will explain the roles of each part and how they fit together.

Parts of Your Jenter Kit

I will describe how I make a frame to fit into my top bar hives to hold the non grafting kit in place. I will also describe how to do this with a langstroth frame

How To Make A Frame For Your Kit
+ The Queen Breeder Colony
7 lectures 50:13

You will learn how to choose a hive whose genetics you want to perpetuate

Understand how it is very important that you give the hive at least 24-48 hours to clean and warm the kit BEFORE the queen is introduced into the unit.

Learn to place comb with kit in middle of brood nest.

inserting the kit into the Queen Breeder Hive

I share with you how I make a simple queen catcher and how to catch and contain the queen in the kit.

Moving the Queen Into the Kit

In this lesson you will learn what to access and look for when checking your queen breeder hive for the correctly aged larva. I also share some tips to make this job easier.

Checking the kit for signs of the correct aged larva
Key Points to remember when assessing the larvae

Will you learn to successfully assemble the larva cups into the queen cup frame, ready to be inserted in the cell builder hive.

Preparing the Larvae cups for the Cell Builder Colony

Understand the key points to remember when assembling the parts of the kit. Understand why it is important to keep the larva in a cool and humid place while you are doing this.

Key points to remember when preparing the cell cups.

After this lesson you will be able to demonstrate and understand the theory behind:-

- why you can only insert queen larvae once into this cell builder colony per queen raising session

- why any eggs will be cannibilised.

- how you can have a very quick look on day 6 to see how many queen cells have been drawn so you have an idea on how many nucs to make up.

-how it is possible to buy special roller cages that fit over the queen cells to protect it from being torn down by early emerging queens or to restrain the queen if she emerges early.

How to insert the Queen Cell frame into your Cell Builder Colony
+ Creating a Nucleus Hive
3 lectures 25:39

After this lecture you will understand that:-

- a minimum sized Nuc would be 2 full frames of capped worker brood and two frames of capped honey and pollen. Add more frames if you have them available.

-if the parent hive is particularly strong add some more frames of capped brood to your Nuc

-always do an American Foul Brood Check on every brood frame you are transferring.

-Always choose a strong hive to split. Needs to have at least 15 full frames of brood and honey stores and have been through a season.

-Move Nuc to a new location so you don't lose any of the foraging bees if they try to return to the parent hive.

The Nuc must be queen less for at least 24 hours before the Queen Cell is introduced. This will allow the hive to accept the cell.

Making A nucleus Hive

At the end of this lecture you will why/how:-

-To wedge the queen cell between two brood combs just below the honey band in the brood area.

-Leave undisturbed for at least 1 week.

-if there is not nectar flow on in your area then feed your Nuc with a 1:1 sugar syrup solution.

-I choose to insert the queen cell when it is 13 days old as this will give me a couple of days up my sleeve if the queen decides to hatch early.

-when you are transferring the cells keep them warm and protected.

Placing a Queen Cell in a Nuc

Buy conducting an Oxalic Acid treatment on day 19 after the queen has hatched you can successfully and organically treat your new Nuc for Varroa. You can expect a very successful knockdown rate. This is for the simple reason that all the capped brood that was present when you made up this new Nuc has now emerged and any developing larvae that the newly mated queen may have laid has not yet been capped. There is only this small window in the Nucs brood cycle.

You only need to do a one-off treatment in a Nuc with a new Queen.

If you are more familiar with conducting an oxalic trickle then you can do this as a one off treatment on your new Nuc.

Oxalic acid does not penetrate the brood cappings so this timing is important so that all varroa are exposed to the treatment.

Measure only 1/2 teaspoon of oxalic acid cystals as a dosage, as hive is so small.

Do not use formic acid, thymol or chemical strips in a Nuc whilst the queen is so young as this can harm or even kill her.

Treating a young Nuc with Oxalic Acid to treat for varroa

Test Your understanding on how to make up a Nucleus Hive.

Creating a Nucleus Hive
2 questions
+ Tips and Tricks to help you with Your New Queen Building Skills
3 lectures 02:57
Follow these Key Points to have Success with Your Queen Raising
Looking After Your Graftless Kit
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Raising Queens Using a Non Grafting Kit