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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody,

I'm looking for interesting ideas to use at a workshop for queenrearing (duration max. 45 minutes). One problem: where I live, there's at this moment autumn / almost winter, so it is not possible to use 'living materials'.

Has anyone a good idea?

Thank you very much!

Chris
 

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I would not assume there is no living materials. You might find a colony with some open brood so you can do grafting. You probably can't get a cell starter put together (too many bees required) or a sucessful finisher (the bees will not be in the mood to raise queens), but you could probably graft. Otherwise you can present the concepts of queen rearing. But the term "workshop" infers that there is some "hands on".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Indeed.... but giving the circumstances (problably 35 people and 45 minutes) it is not easy to do something like grafting. Also I don’t like the idea to disrupt a hive in winter-mood.
So, I’m still looking for another idea......
 

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If you only have 45 minutes you wont have more than enough time to discuss the basic concept of what is necessary to initiate queen cell rearing and consider the mechanics of various ways to to accomplish the essential conditions.

What is the typical experience level of the participants?
 

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* Large clear pictures that can be projected onto a large clear wall/screen with multiple examples of larvae that are too young (eggs), too old and just right for grafting.
* Hand out of mock queen rearing calendar.
* Hand out of bullet pointed queen rearing timeline that begins on the day you make up your starter colony (Day -2 or Day -1), grafting day (Day 0), etc.
* Grafting tools to pass around and allow participants to examine.
* Queen excluders, double screen boards, frame feeders, Cloake Board, Graft frame, JZBZ cells, roller cages, cell protectors, etc. I would have at least one of any item I discuss in my method of queen rearing present at the meeting for inspection.
* If indoors with no live hives, I would probably set up complete boxes and frames for the starter and finisher hives (or whatever configuration you are using.) As I walked through the process, I would simulate each action with these boxes and frames. May sound ridiculous, but many people can't visualize a 10 step process. You will lose them without some way to keep them visually involved.
 

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Bring in empty mating nucs. I've been to a number of 'queen rearing' sessions over the years, they all seem to be 'cell raising' sessions, and add 'transfer to mating nuc' as an afterthought.

Mating nucs require as much or more resources as compared to cell builders. Well mated queens need a good supply of drones. IMHO, cells are the easy part of raising good queens. I have been to a well done 1 hour session on mating nucs, and it changed our concepts of raising queens completely.

Empty used mating nucs to pass around. Photos showing them populated and placed. You can easily spend 45 minutes on populating and placing mating nucs.
 

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Agree on the mating nucs. I have a very high percentage success rate with grafts to capped cells. Not near as good on capped cell to mated queen. I could learn a lot from a good seminar on mating nucs.
 

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If you've got a brood frame then I would have loved to have someone show me first hand how to graft and then watch me attempt and give me pointers on what to correct. You can also show first hand what is the right age and what is too old. I'm not sure if 45 minutes will be enough to include that but it would be practical hands on. I still suck at grafting and could still use someone to show me firsthand, my acceptance is less than one out of three.

My other hurdle in queen rearing was understanding how strong to make the cell starter, it wasn't until after my third starter nuc that it sunk in what a difference it makes for it to be "boiling over" with bees.
 
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