Our beekeepers association here in Prince William County, Virginia just received a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant. Uncle Sam has provided us $15K to learn how to raise our own local queens for our Northern Virginia, Marlyand and So. Delaware fellow beekeepers.
As a new beekeeper, I know there's a lot of learning yet. Raising a queen is tough enough, but how do you all ensure your girl finds the right guy? Does nature curb inbreeding adequately (i.e. if brothers and non-brothers are available does she know to pick the non-kin?)
Is there a special trick you use to ensure genetic diversity? Can't imagine how one could really control queen breeding?
I admit I have not yet read the books on this art. Very ignorant here on the subject. Appreciate any advice, or experiences you can relay.