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.
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.
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.
Learn the signs to be aware of in preparation to beginning the breeding cycle in your hives.
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.
Test Your Knowledge of the Queen Bee life cycle.
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.
Learn what a cell builder colony is and its main function in the process of Queen rearing.
Learn how you can avoid problems during the process of making a 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.
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.
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
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.
I share with you how I make a simple queen catcher and how to catch and contain the queen in 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.
Will you learn to successfully assemble the larva cups into the queen cup frame, ready to be inserted in the cell builder hive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Test Your understanding on how to make up a Nucleus Hive.
I am a Landscape Architect with a Masters in Resource and Environmental Planning with Honours. I have a passion for permaculture and urban sustainable living. I have published three books Green Urban Living, Embrace Your Space and Backyard Bounty. I run a interactive website called Green Urban Living and run courses and workshops both in my garden and online.
I have always enjoyed growing vegetables but since having our three children I have become more and more concerned about the state of our environment and the rising cost of living. I want our kids to learn where food comes from and how to grow it, I also want my family to do our bit for the environment and as I do have Scottish heritage, I want to save money and learn to live a more frugal lifestyle, without having to give up my daily Lattes!
Many people think that if you live in an urban environment you can't grow your own food or have animals but after looking through my web-site you will see that that is not the case. My goal is to help you produce more and consume less in ways that make you and your family live a more healthy, sustainable lifestyle, connected to nature, whilst saving money. There are so many ways we can all live more green and eco friendly.