Keeping bees on Long Island since 1949.

Queen Rearing Group Update

For those who could not attend the last Queen Rearing Group meeting, here are the minutes of the meeting.

· We are looking into purchasing three queen mothers of a single improved line to maintain some genetic diversity of stock.
· We will plan on raising nine batches of Queen Cells for sale to beekeepers. There will be three grafts from each of the three Queen Mothers.
· A plan was presented that had grafting on Wednesday evening at my house in Bohemia, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM for those 9 batches.
· Queen cells will be distributed to club members to get mated locally to preserve the breeding stock of our area.
· A schedule has been uploaded to the LIBC Yahoo Group.
· A Procedure for hive management for Queen Cell production has been prepared, based upon full participation in all 9 batches although we may have teams working together or individuals who only participate in a batch or two.
· These files were uploaded as PDF files (so everyone can read them) and their basic format (XLS or PPT) in case you want to tailor for your participation or plan.
· I will run a grafting workshop on either Wednesday, May 1st or the following Saturday, May 4, at my house where we will practice grafting and use these grafts to collect some Royal Jelly for later grafting use in cell preparation. TBD at later date.
· Ideally, you or your team would participate in the grafting, take a frame of grafted cells home, transfer to a finisher colony, and then sell off the queen cells to club members who would then start a nuc with the queen cell for ; 1) current hive queen replacement, 2) keeping a nuc for spare queen, sale to someone who needs it and didn’t plan for it, or if not needed try to overwinter as either nuc or single story hive, or 3)mated queen sale.
· Queen cells would be ready for pickup either Friday evening or Saturday morning, depending upon participant’s schedule. Remember cells need to be kept warm. We will look into cell covers to protect cells and allow emergence to extend time of potential pickup and use.
· Participation will require a small investment (Queen mother purchase, queen cell production equipment, and commitment of bees)
· A full participant would need two queen cell bar frames, two dedicated hives for nurse bees and finisher hive use, and a nuc box or hive body (Medium ok) for starter colony.
· Grace will build some Queen cell bars for sale to participants.
· I will look into purchasing a batch of queen cup holders/queen cups for sharing rather than each individual purchasing their own.

We will consider a Queen evaluation Procedure to track and evaluate our queens for future local selection of queen mothers.
Issues:
o Queen Mother Lines: Information to go to Lackey, he will select, purchase, and maintain)
o Brokering of queen cells: gathering list of those interested, map of participants, communication protocol, distributing those developed.
o Potential price for finished cells paid to finisher: $5/cell
o Potential price paid to Lackey or substitute for larva preparation, grafting aid, and grafting materials: $TBD/frame of cells

Consideration of a group interested in building some custom beekeeping equipment:
o Use club Yahoo group mail to share ideas, improve concept, finalize design.
o Temporary teams or groups could come together to build.
o Would be nice to share drawings or sketches in a common format. Anyone got a drafting package and some time to aid the group?

Additional planning meetings:
o February 13 @ 7PM at Lackey’s
o March 13 @7 PM at Lackey’s

Uploaded some files to the Yahoo group. Don’t forget to sign up!