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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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You can read this for free here: Better Queens by Jay Smith (with thumbnails)

Details: Paperback 6 x 9 in. B&W 116 pages.
Jay Smith was one of the great beekeepers and queen breeders of all time. There are many queen breeding books by scientists or small-scale breeders, but this is by a beekeeper who raised thousands of queens every year. This is much more applicable to practical queen rearing. This is also a method that does not require grafting, good for those of us who can't see well enough to graft, and does not require the purchase of special equipment, good for those of us lacking in the funds to buy one of the graftless systems on the market. This is a reprint so the old pictures are not the highest quality. I find this method very compatible with the Hopkins method. The Hopkins method will save some of the special equipment needed. But the equipment for this method isn't that different. A similar method to Smith's was also used by Hopkins and written about in his 1886 Australasian Bee Manual.
 

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Excellent book. Years ago I had the original of this book, lent it to someone, forgot who, never got it back.

One of my big regrets.
 

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Michael
I just finished reading your new book yesterday and thought I need to reread Jays book again.
I already use a lot of your methods.
Thank you and I recommend both Michael's and Jay's books.
I have been treatment free since I got back in to bee keeping in 2009.
I now have 80 production hives and some were around 40 nuc's all survivor stock and I have all kinds of request for Queens. I will be making Queen's next year for sure.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Michael, just wanted to let you know that I am in the middle of reading Jay's book and am learning a lot. I always thought that grafting was best. What an eye opener! Thanks for making the download available.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I don't know if grafting is best or not, but it is certainly the most convenient. I do agree with Jay that how well the queen is fed is critical, but there are ways to stack that deck to make sure she is well fed even if she is grafted. As appealing as graftless methods are, grafting is by far the most convenient for me. I go to the beeyard and shake out a starter hive (swarm box), find the right age larvae in the donor hive and go to the house and graft, then take the cells and the larvae frame back out to the beeyard and I'm done for the day. Graftless methods always require a lot more trips and more interventions. I think that using the Hopkins method in conjunction with the Better Queens method is less work since you don't have to cut strips and wax them onto bars. But otherwise most of my method is similar to Jay Smith's as far as the starter hive etc.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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From the Foreward:
A philosopher has written, "Without regard to friends or foes, I sketch your world exactly as it goes." Now to sketch anybody's world and do an exact job at it is more than I wish to tackle. Nevertheless, I like the sentiment of the above lines so I shall adopt them in a revised form as follows: Without regard to friends or foes I shall attempt to sketch your world approximately as I think it goes. In other words, I shall go right ahead eating my grapefruit, let the juice squirt where it may. Moreover, I am writing this in my own crude way. Should I attempt to write in an approved rhetorical manner it would seriously cramp my style.

Moreover, I am writing this in the first person for I am telling just what I do with the bees. It is easier to say "I do so and so" than to say "It should be done so and so." I have greatly enjoyed reading the writings of Dr. C.C. Miller for he tells just what he did. In the introduction to his book Forty Years Among the Bees he writes, "Indeed I shall claim the privilege of putting in the pronoun of the first person as often as I please and if the printer runs out of big I's he can put in little i's."
 
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