Massachusetts Queen Rearing/Breeding Class: Saturday, April 27th
2013 Spring Queen Rearing Class Saturday, April 27
"The only beekeepers with good queens are beekeepers that are raising their own queens."
- Albert Einstein [Our staff historian is looking into this one]
At Golden Rule Honey, one of our goals for 2013 is to help beekeepers in Massachusetts (and beyond) to get involved in rearing, selecting, and breeding queens.
Raising queens and selecting stock does not need to be difficult, expensive, or time consuming, and no more resources are required than one strong colony of bees to raise more queens than you will be able to use. Most of the complicated procedures you have heard described or read about are complicated because they are designed to work consistently, efficiently, and throughout the season whether conditions are favorable or not. For beekeepers not in the queenrearing business, these complications are not necessary.
Only a few basics need be in place in order to raise excellent queens.
Beginning on April 27th, we will be offering several sessions of full day queenrearing/breeding classes. Each class has a maximum of 10 students, and will consist of 3-4 hours of classroom/discussion about the mechanics of queenrearing and the process/methods of selecting and breeding bees. Following will be hands on grafting instruction/practice and (weather permitting) working a bit with the cell builders in our home yard.
We will focus on our preferred method (grafting and queenless cell builder), but will discuss other methods as well, as the concepts are the same. You will leave the class equiped to raise queens.
Each student will recieve as part of the class, 1 cell bar frame, 3 cell bars, 30 new cell cups, 1 grafting tool, 1 LED flashlight, and 1 pair of magnified reading glasses...everything needed to raise queens (just add bees).
In addition, each student will be entitled to 3 virgin queens or queen cells from our own stock. We will do our best to supply these 3 virgin queens when it is convenient for the student to use them...the more notice you give us when you want your queens, the more likely we are going to be able to have them available on that date. You can get the virgins any time we have them available this season or next.
Raising queens is only half the story. Breeding bees requires some special attention to the quirky haplodiploid genetic scheme employed by the honeybee and a close look at the traits you will be selecting for. Our class places a significant focus on the breeding end of things.
Tuition for the class is $100/student, and includes the above listed materials and 3 virgin queens. Class meets in Leominster, Massachusetts.
http://BeeUntoOthers.com for registration
Class begins at 10:30am and will run until 4-5 in the afternoon. We will take a lunch break (although I'm sure we will be talking about queen rearing the whole time). We have a good local pizza place that will deliver, or you can bring something.
We will be offering this class on some other dates coming up (generally on Saturday, but if you have a group of at least 4 people that wants to do this on a specific date, Saturday or not, let us know and we will try to accomidate your needs. Evening classes are also possible).
Each student will graft a few larvae to be placed in our cell builders. Students will be able to pick up virgin queens on May 8th or 9th from their own grafts. These virgins are not counted towards the 3 included in the class fee, and there is no extra charge for them. Conversely, there is no gurantee that they will emerge (it is still a bit early in the season).
There will be several Saturdays throughtout the season to follow up and practice grafting (we are going to offer 2 or 3 queen rearing open houses in Leominster).
The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
-Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"