Hawaii is a major producer of queen bees for both the U.S. and Canada due to it’s tropical climate enabling year-round queens production. Hawaii’s terrain and geographical isolation can also be ideal for breeding queens that carry specific genes. For many years, PAm's Executive Director Danielle Downey has been working in Hilo, HI working on just such a breeding project. Follow along with Danielle explaining the process of installing newly inseminated queens.
One of the first steps before installation is to prep queenless colonies, then cut out queen cells, so they will be more receptive to the queen that will be introduced in a cage.
Next the new inseminated queens are carefully transferred from a mini queen cage to a cage where bees can interact with her, and she can start laying. A push in cage can be used, or a Scalvini cage that contains comb for her to start laying in. The colony will be more likely to accept her when she has started laying.
Here is bee-researcher Bob Danka swiftly moving the queen from the mini cage to the Scalvini cage and placing it into a colony.
And finally, even the pros drop a frame every now and then! Make sure to follow Project Apis m. on social media more updates about this breeding project and beekeeper dispatches from the field!
Blog prepared by: Grace Kunkel.
Photos and video provided by: Danielle Downey and Bob Danka in the field in Hilo, HI.