1st Batch of Potential Queens for 2014.

We’ve officially started off our queen rearing for 2014!

Last year we hit several snags and realized our dream of being able to have dozens and dozens of queens to use for splits and to sell just wasn’t going to happen. I recently finished a book on rearing queens using the Nicot no-graft method and I think it’s going to make a big difference. So far, so good. Here’s a few pics thus far:

2014-03-26 13.41.31This is actually day 4.. My queen was on the other side of this Nicot device enclosed for 4 days inside of her hive. She has laid nearly 110 eggs into the artificial comb cells. Most of the eggs have now hatched and are ready to be moved.

 

 

2014-03-26 13.48.23

28 of the cell cups have been removed from the back of the Nicot and placed in to the holders on these cell bars. Today was a bit cool to be doing this, so I did all the transfers inside my truck with the heater on.

 

 

2014-03-26 14.26.08The two cell bars are no enclosed into my queenless cell builder hive. In about a week, I will take the cells that made it to the capped stage and place them into mating nucs to hatch and prepare for their nuptial flights. Now it’s a game of seeing how many make it to become laying queens.s are no enclosed into my queenless cell builder hive. In about a week, I will take the cells that made it to the capped stage and place them into mating nucs to hatch and prepare for their nuptial flights. Now it’s a game of seeing how many make it to become laying queens.

Kelley Mutt Queens!

While we’ve had colonies raise their own queens after a swarm, the queens in these pictures are the first “mutt queens” we’ve reared that will be placed in nucs for requeening hives later this year.

We certainly aren’t expert queen producers, but I have a plan to try and produce a line of queens that will be genetically diverse, as well as productive, gentle, and resistant to mites and disease.

At this time we won’t be offering any of our queens for sale, but after we have gained some experience and developed a line of mutt queens with desirable traits, we might begin selling our extras.