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Queen Rearing Calendar

Like most aspects of beekeeping, methods for queen rearing can vary greatly among individual beekeepers. Raising your own queens is a fun and rewarding endeavor. However, the best way to increase your chances of success is to do your homework before beginning.

Consulting with experienced, local beekeepers is a good way to get answers to specific questions and regional advice on queen rearing. Members of local beekeeping clubs and associations are often willing to share their experiences and lessons learned in raising queens.

This is a detailed calendar of events for rearing queen bees. The dates are calculated based on the day the queen laid eggs or grafting day. If you're planning to raise your own queens, this is a very useful calendar to keep track of important steps.

Queen Rearing Calendar
Start date:

Start day:

Day 01
Eggs laid
Queen mother has laid eggs
Day 04
Grafting day
Graft one day larvae into cell cups
Day 06
Inspect grafts
Confirm the viability of your grafts
Day 09
Capped cells
Confirm queen cells have been capped
Day 13
Move cells
Move capped queen cells into mating nucs
Day 16
Confirm the emergence of the queens
Day 18
Remove failed cells
Remove cells that failed to produce queens
Day 22
Mating flights
Mating flights commence
Day 34
Check eggs
Check nucs for eggs
Day 37
Check larvae
Check nucs for larvae
Day 40
Re-queen if not eggs/larvae are present

More on Queen Rearing

Queen rearing is the process by which beekeepers raise queen bees from young fertilized worker bee larvae.

The beekeeper grafts eggs, which are 3 days of age, into a bar of queen cell cups. The queen cell cups are placed inside of a cell-building colony. This colony must be strong, well-fed and queenless. The colony will feed the larva with royal jelly and develops the larvae into queen bees.

After approximately 10 days, the queen capped cells are transferred from the cell building colony to small mating nuclei colonies.

The queen cells hatch inside of the mating nuclei. After approximately 7–10 days, the virgin queens take their mating flights, mate with 10–20 drone bees, and return to their mating nuclei as mated queen bees.

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