Queen Rearing Old School

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Dr. Carl Jurica Egg Harvesting

The Joy of Beekeeping

Dr Jurica as he introduced me to his bees the day we met. A chance meeting at a laundromat. Within the 2 hours I was with Carl I realized that I wanted to keep bees. 2 days later I owned a hive of bees. As I spent time learning at his apiary about bees, he explained all the aspects of the money side of bees. The realization that everything a bee does or makes is marketable. Until that moment I thought all bees were good for was honey, as I learned from Carl and watching other great resources such as the “Fat Bee Man”, the “Skinny Bee Man” and the excellent “Barnyard Bees” on Youtube. I was truly amazed. Honey, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Pollen and Wax all can be brought to market and sold. All produced for you by the bees, almost free, the only expense past the equipment costs is the time you spend caring for the bees. The one important thing I had no idea about what was the real money maker, bees themselves. Making bees, rearing queens.

Egg Harvest

The process is fascinating to watch. Prepping a hive to receive a frame of Queen Cups with eggs, having the bees “clean” the Queen Cups preparing them to receive the harvested eggs. Then the extraction of the 2 day old eggs installed into the Queen Cups. From there they are put into a “hopelessly queenless hive” (a hive with no queen or eggs in it) to have the bees create from those harvested eggs Queen Bees.

Dr Jurica Harvesting Eggs

The realization that how important this aspect of beekeeping is, I learned to rear queens my first months as a beekeeper. I got 5 queen cells from my first split. I kept some and gave one to Carl for teaching me this all important aspect of beekeeping. In the 60+ years of working with other beekeepers through out the US, I am the first to ever give him a queen as a gift.

My first success rearing queens

I used a chicken incubator to finish them in the house

Queen Rearing CHicken Incubator
Chicken incubator used for queen rearing

Queen Rearing is an important part of beekeeping if you wish to grow your stock. Making queens from your present stock, allows you to keep your healthy strains in your hives. Also I believe that keeping your eye on what hives you have and caring for them using old fashioned methods keeps you bee hives alive and well. My mentor has 60 hives. He has lost none since we met. I read so much about the devastating effect of the varroa and the newer colony collapse disorder that the world has been facing these past years, I must wonder what “old” techniques Carl uses that is keeping his bees healthy and alive.

Add to learning much from Dr Jurica he has been and always be my inspiration to succeed in the beekeeping business!

Winter 2010
2019 Harvest

Thank you Dr. Carl Jurica, the greatest beekeeper in the world