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Wednesday words: queen-rearing terminology

Before you begin queen rearing, it helps to understand the lingo. Authors of queen-rearing instructions often use a variety of synonyms which make a confusing subject even more difficult. Below are some of the most common terms—and their synonyms—I found in recent publications. Artificial insemination (or instrumental insemination): The manual transfer of sperm from drones […] Read more

How to start a queen in a two-frame nuc

I had a request to write about how I start queens using a two-frame mating box such as the Brushy Mountain “Queen Castle.” The Queen Castle is a standard size deep brood box that can be divided into four two-frame sections, each with its own entrance. But the following instructions could be used for any […] Read more

Why every beekeeper should use a nuc

The term “nuc” is short for nucleus colony. A nucleus colony is just a very small colony of a few thousand bees and a queen. A beekeeper can find many ways to use a nuc. Nuc boxes, the structures that hold a nucleus colony, come in all shapes and sizes. Usually you see five-frame deep […] Read more

Using the Cloake board method to raise queens

The Cloake board, invented by Harry Cloake of New Zealand, is a piece of beekeeping equipment used to raise queens. The Cloake board method of queen rearing is popular with newer beekeepers because it allows the beekeeper to raise queens with a minimum of equipment and very little disturbance to the hive. Cloake boards are […] Read more