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Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Connor L.,Wicwas Press
American Bee Journal | Year: 2011

This simple system can fit into a lot of back yards and even on a rooftop in a city. It could produce as many queen cells as the strength of the colonies allow and your transferal technique facilitates. Robbing is reduced by feeding honey below the colony. Add protein patties whenever the supply of natural pollen is short. Or stop producing queens until the pollen situation improves. You can produce queen cells and virgin queens throughout your beekeeping season. Your goal is not to produce the early queens, but to have queens for spring and summer increase colonies. If you or area beekeepers 'Palmerize" weaker hives and tear them apart into several nucleus units, (named after Vermont's Mike Palmer), you can produce your own supply of survivor stock or mite-resistant queen cells or virgins, and sell some to neighbor beekeepers. The size of this operation should fit into the zoning limits for many urban and suburban lots. You do not need to mate these queens, but let your customers purchase the cells or virgins and use them in their own nuclei colonies. This system still requires support colonies, perhaps located in another location. It provides an acceptable model for small-scale queen production without the vast expanse of bee yards and other facilities needed for large-scale queen production. For my southwest Michigan location it should let us start queen cells in late April or early May and continue into late summer. We will be able to concentrate on vigorous survivor colonies that have done well after a horrible winter, as well as incorporate stocks that have demonstrated varroa resistance. For these we have spent some money for instrumentally inseminated breeder queens. Always produce a variety of queens, and keep your queen census diverse! Source


Connor L.,Wicwas Press
American Bee Journal | Year: 2011

• If you produce queen bees, produce them from resistant stock, and test the offspring using a powdered sugar test, ether roll, or another standardized test. • If you buy queen bees, insist they be from resistant stock, and ask for data showing this resistance. • If you have non productive colonies, "Palmerize" them and develop a number of strong two-story nucleus colonies for wintering. End the season with mite-resistant stock in all your hives. Feed the bees so they have good pollen (protein) reserves, starting perhaps about August 15, so the bees that produce the bees that go into winter will be well fed. Feed enough sugar syrup or leave enough honey for proper wintering. Reduce the entrances to minimize robbing and access to mice. Wrap the colonies if this is advised for your latitude. Source

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