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Bee Improvement - Basic

Honey bee improvement
for the small beekeeper

These notes are intended for beekeepers in the U.K. and Ireland, but the principles of bee improvement are the same everywhere, it's just the methods of achieving it that vary. I am used to the cool climate of northern Europe, where many of the beekeepers are amateurs and their needs are different from the warmer climates where there are a large number of commercial and semi - commercial beekeepers.

I have always had an interest in improving bees and have tried to encourage others to do so, but it's not easy when much of the written work and speakers don't address the subject from the needs of the beekeeper who only needs a small number of queens per year and not all at the same time. That is the reason for expanding this topic from the more advanced stand that Dave Cushman took.

I have separated bee improvement into two sections - this one that I have called "basic" for the smaller beekeeper and "advanced" that gives techniques more suited to the beekeeper, or groups of beekeepers, who need more queens. The principles are the same, it's just the methods that vary, but I don't want to confuse the smaller beekeeper by including methods that are beyond their needs or understanding. I have tried to arrange it so the advanced beekeeper starts by reading the "basic" section first.

The buttons on the left should help all beekeepers to improve their bees, but for more advanced methods please see the advanced pages.

I regularly give lectures and workshops on bee improvement. If you would like anything from 1 hour to a whole weekend please Email me. My events can be be tailored to suit all beekeepers, but I have one that is a whole day and is well received by the ordinary beekeeper.

Roger Patterson.