ALL ORDERS PLACED FROM 7TH -17TH OCTOBER WILL BE COURIERED DURING THE WEEK 18TH - 22ND OCTOBER

Southern Alps Honey ~ Queen Raising Begins

It is that time of year again and we've began our Queen Rearing/Raising program.

We do this to replace older queens in hives, to start new colonies and to chose desirable traits for our hives. It involves a fair amount of planning, from preparing the 'Queen Yard' where the grafting of larvae takes place, to planning when the queen cells will be needed out in the field. 

To graft, we transfer larvae, that were intended to be worker bees, into queen cell cups. These cups are then placed into a colony (hive) that has no queen bee and the larvae will be used by the bees to make new queens, a process that is started within 24 hours! 

All bee larvae are fed some royal jelly for the first few days after hatching. Queen larvae are fed the jelly exclusively and as a result of this different diet, the queen develops into a sexually mature female, unlike the worker bees. 

The queen cells are removed from the 'Queen Yard' and carefully taken to their new homes after 10-12 days when they are capped and ready to hatch. If one was to hatch inside the queen raising hive, she would destroy all of her rivals (the other grafted queen cells) immediately.