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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Grand Rapids, MI


    My Dad and I keep bees together, and we are thinking about trying a little queen rearing this year (our first try).

    For his birthday, I wanted to buy him a book on Queen rearing. He expressed interest in these two books...

    "Rearing Queen Honeybees"
    By Roger Morse

    "Breeding Queens"
    By Giles Fert

    I've heard of Roger Morse before, so I am leaning towards that book. Does anyone else have these books? Which one would you suggest? Are there other good books I am missing?

    --Jon D.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    I think most books, in an attempt to be through, get overwhelming for the beginner. I like this:

    It's a simple step by step plan and it works fine. After you get this to work, you can move on to the more esoteric concepts.

    But here are the MAIN concepts, IMO.

    1) In order to get good queens (or sometimes any queens) you need the correct age larvae. There are just after they have hatched. The bees will not build queen cells on cells that have an egg in them. It needs to be a larva and it needs to not be too old.

    2) In order to get the bees to build queen cells you need LOTS of bees in the cell starter. If it's not overflowing with bees you won't get very many queen cells.

    3) In order to get good queens you need lots of food available. The cell starter needs frames of pollen and nectar.

    4) You need to get the timing right. The critical dates are, (measured from the day the queen is confined). One day after you confine the queen you need to release her. Three days after you need to set up a cell builder so it's queenless. Four days after you confine the queen you need to transfer the larvae. Thirteen days after you need to set up the mating nucs. Fourteen days after you confine the queen you need to put the queen cells in the nucs. Twenty eight days after you can check for eggs in the mating nucs.

    I don't have either of those books. I do have a lot of books, but most are overwhelming at the beginning. I have Laidlaw's, Snelgrove's, a couple of smaller books, whose authors I forget, both of Jay Smith's books (Queen rearing simplified and Better queens) and, of course, the classic Doolittle's Scientific Queen Rearing, and the handouts from Marla Spivak's queen rearing class.

    All of them are interesting reading that makes more sense when you've reared a few queens.

    There's nothing wrong with grafting, but I've found the Jenter system (and there are many similar ones) to be quite simple and less dependant on good close-up eyesight.

    If I'm grafting, which I usually don't, I like the chinese grafting tool the best, but you need to buy three or four. Usually one will be better than another.

    You can also do a searh on here for "Queen rearing" and find many references to books and methods.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Seattle, Washington State


    Dont go with Roger Morse's book. I did nit like it at all. To mush of an overview and leaves the reader with too many questions.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! &

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA


    Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding
    by Harry Hyde Laidlaw, Robert E. Page

    is an excellent choice also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Perkasie, PA


    I can't remember the exact title, but Brother Adam published an excellent, non-technical book on breeding bees (this may have been the book's name). It explains the advantages of many different races of bees and what traits they pass on to their offspring. It does not cover the use of grafting or II, but it does give a detailed outline of how to maintain and systematically improve closed populations of honeybees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Berkey, OH, USA


    I agree with honey house, get queen rearing and bee breeding by laidlaw and page.

    It does a good job of explaining the genetics too. The concept that the drones are copies of their mothers had me confused at first.

    Also as MB stated the Ohio Q Breeders site is a good practical guide.

    p.s. I bought the Morse book, read it once, and put it away. It was not that helpful to me...

    [size="1"][ January 17, 2006, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: BerkeyDavid ][/size]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County


    There are lots of books to read. Best course for you is as MB said. Also subscribe to some magazines.
    Over time I would still read the other books but by then you should have some experience in the how-to's. Just always try to go for the queen which does the best for you. Singing, honey, population, mite control, etc.
    If you want I would first keep the queen you want on a new frame that all she can do is lay in that frame. Use that to have the bees raise queens from. Try grafting, or as what I use is a queen rearing kit. Keeps the queen in a cage of 110 cells. She can only lay there. I keep her there for 4 to 5 days. The larva are now ready to become queens. Get a kit and they will give you more ideas. Another way is just keep the queen in a small hive with only one frame to lay in. Time it for a 3-4 day interval and put that frame into a queenless hive. Make sure this is the only batch of larva and eggs they have access to. Works well for just a dozen or so queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Western North Carolina


    Check this site out:

    [size="1"][ January 18, 2006, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: BEESURV ][/size]


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