2018 Queen Rearing Programme

New honey bee queen

We will be starting this year's Queen Rearing Programme in May using what's known as a 'Jenter kit' - an easy way to raise queens without having to graft larvae. The advantage of this method of queen rearing enables us to know the age of the eggs.

There are three parts to the Jenter kit:

  • Frame
  • Plugs
  • Bar frame

We already have a new queen, selected for her calm temperament sponsored by The Exeter who are one of the companies that kindly supports our branch.

The colony that will raise her is very strong, but with a serious attitude! Mindful of working around aggressive bees, we'll be fully protected in our beesuits to split this colony into a number of 5-framed nucs at the end of the process with the old queen going into a small nuc. The virgin queens raised will then be placed into mating apideas (mini nucs) with supporting bees.

Timing is very important for queen rearing and we will be aiming to do the following:

  • Set up Cloake system
  • Put Jenter in place
  • Put new queen in Jenter for 24 hours
  • Return queen to nuc
  • Prepare raising colony
  • Insert eggs into frame and put in raising colony
  • Check progress of eggs in raising colony
  • Check progress of eggs in raising colony
  • Set up mating apideas
  • Prepare nucs and mating apideas

As timing is critical, all the above will be done between 2nd - 19th May.

We'll keep you posted how we get on.