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Queen Rearing Timetable/Calendar

A facility to help beekeepers raise queen cells

The raising of queen cells is often thought of as being complicated, but it isn't once you understand it. What is often seen as complicated is the huge amount of information available. In simple terms all beekeepers are doing is to help the bees produce queen cells, but in a controlled way.

The queen rearing timetable accessed from the button top left will help you, but it would be wise to fully understand the process, rather than simply using the timetable. With queen rearing, things can often go wrong, so it is important to know why. There is no point in using the timetable if you haven't got the bees in the right condition. The timetable is quite simple to use, all you need do is to insert the proposed start or finish date and you can see what you have to do on what day. Probably more importantly is the date the queen should emerge, assuming larvae of the right age have been used.

The table is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. It is based on the original that was written in 1995 by Angus Stokes and Albert Knight on behalf of BIBBA. It is known as "Tom's Table" after Tom Robinson, a beekeeper from York, presumably because Tom originally asked for the table, or perhaps he had it written down on paper and Angus and Albert computerised it for him.

The original table was written for use with the Jenter kit, but it was used for about 20 years with an error! In 2015 I decided to use it when teaching queen rearing and bee improvement, but I felt it was rather limited. I rewrote the original "Tom's Table" as the Cell Plug sheet and expanded it with sheets for Grafting & Cell Punch, Miller Method and the Morris Board. I have retained the original Tom's Table, but only for historical purposes and as an acknowledgement of the origin.

In writing the new timetable I have included an instruction page, which I strongly advise reading before using. To help amateurs whose time is often limited, I have given two options for each method, one with start dates, the other with finish dates. The sheets suffixed "2" are for inserting the finish date.

I stress the programme is not protected. This is because I expect beekeepers to tweak it to suit themselves. I suggest copying before making modifications, then work on the copy.

Roger Patterson.