Local Queens are Best

How to simply rear your own

“Richly illustrated with the author’s photographs, there’s a first-hand commentary on what to look for and when just to trust the nurse bees to know their job. Highly recommended for any beekeeper, even with modest experience, who wishes to improve their stock.”
Geoff Hardman (Editor, Gwenyn Kernow magazine, CBKA)

Say “queen rearing” to most beekeepers, and they will probably run a mile! This book aims to de-mystify the mysteries of simple queen rearing. It sets out to explain a method of queen rearing on a small scale, which can be used by any beekeeper with a few years of experience and a small number of hives, perhaps only three or four (or even two).

Why raise queens at all, when the bees are perfectly capable of doing it all by themselves? Or they can be bought in?

I suggest there are three main reasons. The first is to improve the qualities of the bees we each have, such as good temper, hardiness, ease of management, and productivity. The second is to increase the number of colonies which consist of locally adapted bees. The third is that we can at once stop importing queens from abroad, and soon there will be no need to import queens from out of the county in which you live. The bonus is the satisfaction you will get when you see the first local queen you have raised heading her own colony!

Bruce Henderson Smith lives in Cornwall and has been keeping bees simply for over 35 years. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Cornwall Beekeepers Association and a past Chairman of the CBKA Council.

As a change from honey production, he started queen rearing in 2019. He is very keen on encouraging and persuading beekeepers of all standards to learn more. Hence this book to improve both local bees and the expertise of local beekeepers everywhere.

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