has anyone ever read this book ,if so what did you think about it
[This message has been edited by TwT (edited January 03, 2005).]
I own it. I've read it. It's excellent.
"Breeding Super Bees" by Steve Taber, A.I.Root Company is another good book. There are some interesting ideas in this book that aren't found in any other. Mine is copyrighted in 1987. I'm not sure if more recent editions are available.
If any of you are interested in breeding as well as queen raising (I don't think they're the same thing, but they're obviously complementary) then the best book I've come across is 'Background to Bee Breeding' by John Atkinson, published by Nothern Bee Books ( web page ).
I've read just about every queen rearing book available over the last several years. Steve Taber's method is acceptable if you want to produce lots of queens in a small amount of time and NOT produce honey.
Brother Adam's method is more specific to producing the highest quality queens but is adapted to producing a large number of queens at one time and just about requires a nuc yard to maintain the queens.
The best for the small time beekeeper is a little known method from New Zealand by a gentleman named Cloake. His method was the first I have found published that used the "floor without a floor" board above. Its commonly described as a Cloake board but incorporates a queen excluder in the original version. This method was published in Gleanings in Bee Culture about 10 years ago though I had read of it some 10 years before that.
Here is a synopsis done from memory so forgive any lapses.
Install the Cloake board between two brood chambers without the divider panel and get the bees used to using it as the sole entrance (takes about a week). This requires the bottom entrance to be turned to the rear and closed.
Day 1 - Rotate all of the open brood above the excluder. Queen is left in the bottom chamber.
Day 2 - install the divider board so that the top hive body is completely separate from the queen in the bottom body. Open the bottom entrance so the bees can fly freely but most of them will return to the upper hive body. The top hive body is now queenless.
Day 3 - graft queen cells and insert them into an empty frame space in the upper hive body. The queenless bees will accept most of them readily. I recommend that at most 20 cells be started in one hive.
Day 4 - remove the divider board and close the bottom entrance.
Day 10 or 11 - check carefully for queen cells on the frames and destroy them. Leave the grafted cells alone. The grafted cells MUST be sealed before you do this step.
Day 13 or 14 move the queen cells to nucs for mating.
You must know exactly how old the larvae was so you can get them into nucs at the proper time. If a larvae was 12 hrs old at grafting, then the queens will hatch 12 to 13 days afterward. Note that Africanized queens may emerge a day or two earlier.
I can't guarantee that the above is 100% accurate but it will be pretty close to the original.
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