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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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http://www.xstarpublishing.com/#ThePracticalQueenBreeder

The Practical Queen Breeder: Beekeeping Naturally, by Michael Bush

Details: $20 Paperback 6 x 9 in. B&W 210 pages 114 illustrations.

This is my current method of queen breeding and rearing after many years of trying various techniques. It is the one I find most reliable in getting cells started, finished and mated. The reason I do this method is that it has the most success in my experience under adverse conditions as well as good conditions.

For ebook versions or links to online book sellers use the link above.
 

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I always look forward to queen rearing literature! I always hope that I will find a solution to my queen mating in my local area being less than 20% successful (I am at 0% this year :/). Looking forward to the book!
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does this method scale down enough for the backyard beekeeper?
Some of the book is describing how to raise just a few queens. Most of it is more focused on raising a lot of queens, but also the principles of how to get well fed, well mated queens apply on any scale.
 

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I read it. Good info. I want more details on feeding.

Assume I'm maintaining a threshold of sugar stores of "20% honey". This is the amount of sugar in capped honey. Its independent of volume. Should I change this?
thread: minimum stores not for winter

How do I make sure they are well fed and stimulated before going into a cell starter (and while they are in it)?
thread: feeding a cell starter sugar water
thread: feeding bees that don't want food

Also, I don't trust sponges for watering a cell starter. I think I will spray the cell starter with thin syrup. I was thinking of adding a rapid feeder for water or an inverted feeder for sugar.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Assume I'm maintaining a threshold of sugar stores of "20% honey". This is the amount of sugar in capped honey. Its independent of volume. Should I change this?
I don't follow how this applies to a cell starter. My starter is two frames of nectar and two frames of bee bread. Honey will do if there isn't any open nectar, but you should scrape the cappings some to get the bees to uncap it.

How do I make sure they are well fed and stimulated before going into a cell starter (and while they are in it)?
I don't need them to be fed before. I make sure I shake in nurse bees and they are always well fed and I make sure there is plenty of food for them (nectar and bee bread and water).

Also, I don't trust sponges for watering a cell starter. I think I will spray the cell starter with thin syrup.
Thin syrup is not water.

I was thinking of adding a rapid feeder for water or an inverted feeder for sugar.
Maintaining a closed starter and not have bees escaping is tricky enough without adding complexity.
 

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I thought I had already bought this, but then it came up in a search. Considering the number of grafts I've done vs the queens I've gotten to the finish line, I'm grateful to get your take. Just bought it! Thanks
 
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