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Queen Bees

Index on queens

This page has been set up as an index for all things to do with queens. How often do you hear a comment at a beekeeping meeting that goes something like this....."Is she marked?" or "Is she clipped?", as if that is the most important part of a queen. I hope to convince all beekeepers the queen is the most important member of the colony. Very often, the condition of the queen can be seen by observing the colony. I believe queens are grossly mis-understood by many beekeepers, a considerable number of whom can't see them, often when they are right in front of them. They seem to think it's funny and just accept it, rather than concentrate on developing their skill at finding queens. That isn't always confined to beginners either.

The characteristics, performance and health of a colony are determined by the queen, but sadly many beekeepers do nothing to improve their stock by requeening from their better colonies. Why not? If they ran a business and their staff were argumentative and were off work through sickness on a regular basis they would see the company suffering and would probably do something about it.

I think queens are one of the most important but neglected aspects of beekeeping. A good queen will head a healthy and productive colony that is pleasant to handle and doesn't try to swarm every time the wind changes. A poor queen will head an unproductive colony, that might be bad tempered and may not take it through the winter. I encourage beekeepers to assess their queens and replace the poor ones by raising their own from their better colonies. There is plenty of information available to help them do that by clicking the buttons on the left.

Roger Patterson.

Page created 24/12/2014

Page updated 14/12/2022