So I decided to try my hand at queen breeding using a jenter style queen kit this year, as the quality of the queens we received last year was questionable. Basically it’s a no graft kit where you place the queen into a special box and she lays into little cups that can be placed into a queen raising bar. I followed the instructions leaving the unit in place for a few days to inherit the hive odour, then placed the queen into the box for three days before releasing her.
I then proceeded to check the cells for the larvae but there was none. I then noticed larvae on the frame I’d put in which was impossible… except the bees had been removing the eggs and placing them on the frame, cunning little devils.
Luckily there were enough eggs in enough cells that I was ok. The next step was to place the cups back into a queen-less hive so the girls would raise these eggs as queens. So I checked each frame carefully to make sure no queen cells were present otherwise the new queen would hatch early and kill my queens. No queen cells found. I inserted the queen raising bar…
Fast forward 10 days and all the queens should have been capped. With eager anticipation I checked on my queen cell bar only to find that all the queen cells had been destroyed… damn girls were too clever and there was a hidden queen cell. So it’s back to square one. Bees 2 Beekeeper 0