Bees are characterized by the appearance of new queens without human intervention: this happens in cases where the former queen is aging or dying. However, in order for the beekeepers to be profitable, it is necessary to be able to breed the queen on their own, because it is much cheaper than increasing the number of swarms with bee packets.
Basic rules for the withdrawal of uterus
Before proceeding directly to the practice of breeding, the beekeeper needs to acquire a theoretical basis: how the uterus differs from other bees, as well as which future queen bee needs a family, and how it should be prepared.
In order for the process of breeding bee queens to bring results, the following rules should be followed:
- only healthy individuals with high productivity should participate in the process of hysterectomy;
- for breeding, it is necessary to observe optimal conditions - maintain humidity and temperature at the proper level;
- start the process of hatching new bees only if there are sealed drone broods (otherwise, queens and drones will appear at one time);
- follow the schedule prescribed for each withdrawal method.
How to distinguish a uterus?
The uterus has a number of visual features that distinguish it from drones . To distinguish the queen from other bees is quite simple, you just need to carefully examine the hive and pay attention to the following signs:
- A bee always has sizes that are larger than other bees. Its body is wider and longer than that of other, still young queens, drones or working bees.
- The queen bee’s belly has a pointed end protruding backward.
- The bees on the sting have a kind of notch that can be seen with a magnifying glass. The bee has a smooth and straight sting.
- The paws of the queen bee are located almost perpendicular to the body, spread out. In other bees, the legs are generally directed forward and backward, and not on the sides.
- The rest of the bees treat the uterus with a kind of respect: they accumulate around it or part, giving way when it goes somewhere.
Breeding of bees starts with the choice of parent families, because it is from the traits characteristic of this particular uterus and drones that all the future offspring that they give will depend. In addition, future uterus are responsible for the productivity and strength of the families at whose head they will be. Thus, it is necessary to choose only among the most powerful, hardy and healthy.
The following list of requirements is presented to the family:
- maximum honey productivity is a critically important requirement for the beekeeper;
- the family must be strong and hardy throughout the year, especially in the winter;
- family health and disease resistance are a key criterion for the viability of the future uterus and all offspring that it will give.
If the apiary is owned by a person who is extremely responsible and conscious about beekeeping, then all these data about families can be found in the journal.
Preparation for withdrawal should begin no later than one year before the expected date. At the same time, it is possible to improve the health of selected families by equipping them with all the necessary resources for wintering and holding recreational activities.
List of preparatory activities:
- Check the quality of the honey produced. If it critically does not meet the requirements, it is better to opt for another family.
- It is strongly recommended that you clean and disinfect the hives, thereby preventing nosematosis.
- Give stimulating top dressing . In addition, bees should be supplied with non-crystallizing food on an ongoing basis.
If the breeding of bee queens is planned in the spring season, then it is worthwhile to deal directly with the procedure only after the full replacement of the overwintered bees with young, just born. As a rule, this process will be completely completed in the second third of May. In cases where the beekeeper needs to start the process earlier, it is also necessary to carry out a complex of measures:
- bees need to be fed with carbohydrate and protein supplements;
- make the living of insects comfortable, in particular, insulate and protect the hive from the wind;
- it will take a hive from the winter hut a little earlier than usual.
The formation of families that will grow future bee queens should begin immediately after the change of old bees to new ones. Such an educational family should have at least 2 kilograms of individuals, 4 frames with beef, and 10 kilograms of honey.
Methods for removing uterus
Breeding of uterus can be carried out both naturally and by artificial methods. The choice of method depends on the experience of the beekeeper, the time at his disposal, and the means available to him.
The first natural way to remove queen bees, which is also the simplest and most common among novice beekeepers, is the natural reproduction of bees, also called swarming .
The method received its name in connection with the fact that it requires the transition of the selected family to a swarm state. To do this, first of all, you need suitable comfortable conditions in the hive:
- 3 frames with brood are placed in the beehive, the summer is covered;
- it is also necessary to ensure that in the selected hive there are no barren frames;
- then you need to wait until the mother liquors are laid, after which layering should be formed on them and on the new framework.
It is impossible to predict exactly when the laying of queen cells will occur, which is an undeniable disadvantage of this method. In addition, the quality of queen cells leaves much to be desired.
And the second, popular among beekeepers, natural way of breeding - fistulous bees . The main advantage of the method is the ability to predict the appearance of queens, as a result of getting new queens in the right time:
- bees should postpone fistulous queen cells;
- in the future, a strong, prepared family is chosen, the uterus from which should be transferred to a new hive with two brood frames;
- in the same hive, bees shake off from several other frames (also from a strong family);
- Thus, a ready-made layering is obtained, which will ultimately be transferred to a new, already permanent, hive;
- meanwhile, bees from the old hive, having lost the queen, will postpone fistulous queen cells, and the task of the beekeeper is to ensure that they are only on mature larvae.
The uterus obtained by this method will be stronger, more fertile and healthy compared to the previous method.
Along with the natural methods of removing queen bees, there are also a number of artificial ones: the emergency method, using the isolator, the Kashkovsky method, using the Nikot system, the Zebro method.
Artificial methods are more complicated, but more productive than natural ones due to the fact that they take into account the vital processes of bees.
The emergency method is perhaps the easiest and fastest among the artificial ones:
- A brood frame is taken from the strongest and most prepared family. But it must be shaken off the bees, so as not to accidentally transfer the local queen.
- In the frame where two larvae should remain, the lower walls are removed, after which it is installed in a new dwelling. Next, the frame is installed in the home of the family that lost the bee.
- As a result, in one hive, the uterus will create a new bee generation, and in the other of the two larvae, the bees will soon create new queens to replace the transferred one.
- If fistulous queen cells were never found, it means that the uterus is still present in the hive, and you need to look for the reason why it stopped giving offspring.
When using the method with an insulator , it is extremely important to use the uterus withdrawal calendar:
- a strong uterus from a selected trained family is placed in a so-called “insulator” (made of two frames and grids) installed in a well;
- the frames that make up the insulator are a brood frame and an empty one;
- the main rule of the method is that the uterus should not even have a chance of escape from the structure;
- as soon as the bee has postponed brood, it must be returned back to the larvae;
- meanwhile, a nucleus is created - a frame with honey, land and just brood;
- there are several bees from other frames and the uterus itself;
- freshly obtained brood at high humidity and temperature is cut along the lower boundary and placed in the same building from which the uterus was first taken;
- mother liquors are cut off and placed in the nucleus;
- then it remains only to wait for the appearance of new queens.
The next artificial method is more advanced, and for implementation it requires the use of auxiliary devices, in particular, you need to purchase (or make yourself) Nikot system .
- the cartridge is installed in the center of the frame;
- after the vaccination frame is made;
- the cartridge must be thoroughly cleaned;
- in the finished building the bee is transplanted;
- a parenting family is formed separately;
- The grafting frame fits in this family.
In the future, it is only necessary to monitor the progress of the process of formation of the uterus.
The Kashkovsky method involves the following activities:
- from the very beginning of the honey collection, it is necessary to make layering, where the frames are transported with bees, the local queen, sealed brood, perga, wax, land and honey;
- a small number of working bees are shaken there;
- layering is left in a warm place for a month;
- meanwhile, when bees actively create new fistulous queen cells in the hive, the beekeeper needs to be screened, leaving the largest and healthiest larvae;
- After a while, the old uterus is removed, and the young uterus is removed.
According to the Cebro method , for the production of bee queens, it will be required:
- Two-day eggs. A vaccination with eggs is installed in the upper hive building, where two to three brood frames and two with feed should already be installed.
- In spring, it is also possible to stimulate the reproduction of bees. To do this, it is enough to attach an additional building to the hive with pre-installed two feed frames and a young brood.
Additionally, read the article: Bee propagation methods artificially and naturally .
Stage, cycle, terms of development of the uterus
Hatching of queen bees consists of several stages:
- Sowing. A larva emerges from the fetal egg, which the remaining bees protect in every possible way and are fed with royal jelly. At the same time, the fistulous uterus can be fed simply with food intended for bee larvae.
- Sealing. On the seventh day, the bees fill the queen cell with food and seal it.
- Dolly. Being in a sealed mother liquor, the larva grows quite quickly (within a few days), becoming a pupa.
- Young uterus. After 2-3 days, the chrysalis transforms into an almost full-fledged young queen bee.
- The infertile uterus. Ultimately, the individual matures and leaves the queen cell, becoming an infertile uterus. This happens on average on the 16th day of development of the egg (or on the 9th from the moment the mother liquor is sealed).
Thus, the process of removing the queen bee takes about 15 days. Soon, the newly minted infertile uterus will fly over, mating with drones, and in three days it will be able to give a fertile sowing.
How to remove the uterus without a larva?
The Zander method or the removal of queens without the transfer of larvae in beekeeping is currently considered the closest to perfection. The method was supplemented for many years, as a result of which it even lost its original name.
To date, the removal of the uterus without a larva is widespread due to its cost-effectiveness and simplicity:
- a brown honeycomb sprinkled with honey syrup is placed in the nest of a strong and prepared for the withdrawal of uterus family;
- as soon as eggs are laid in the cell (usually this occurs between three and five days), the uterus is taken and placed in the nucleus;
- the placed honeycomb is removed from the nest;
- in a cell, make triangular cuts (windows) with a sharp knife, 20 centimeters in height, and 5-6 in width;
- in the upper row you need to thin out the larvae: 1 larva remains, 2 - are removed;
- the frame is installed in the nest between the open brood frames;
- after three days, fistulous queen cells (if any) are removed;
- after an average of five days, the bees seal the queen cells;
- ten days later, it is necessary to remove the mature mother liquors and install them in cells previously filled with honey;
- cells are set in a brood nest;
- queen bees that emerged from the queen cells can be used to create layering or replace old queens.
Despite the fact that queen bees live long and their resistance to adverse conditions is an envy, they also need care.
Basic care rules
First of all, the uterus needs to provide the same comfortable living conditions as bees:
- maintain optimal temperature and humidity;
- provide food in sufficient quantities;
- expand hives as needed;
- to prevent diseases;
- thoroughly prepare hives with uterus for wintering.
Despite the fact that no specific requirements for the care of bee queens are presented, existing ones should be given increased attention. In case of non-compliance with the rules of care, the bee can become ill and even more so die, which will cause significant damage not only to the whole bee family, but also to the amount of honey obtained as a result.
Dual-uterine family support
The so-called two-uterine content of bees is expressed in such an organization of bee families, when individuals of one brood nest have access to another brood nest, which already has its own queen bee. This can be done with the help of two dividing grids, which prevents the two uterus from meeting and engaging in battle.
Competition is an integral part of the nature of bee queens. A weaker individual as a result always dies from a stronger one.
With such a maintenance of families, individuals move between the nests by means of the common parts of the hive - extension or housing. As a result, one hive is obtained, but with paired nuclei. With this content, you can get twice as much honey than if there were only one bee in the hive.
In multihull hives
Many beekeepers resort to the use of multihull hives. This method allows you to contain a large bee family, providing two queens. The only condition that you must strictly adhere to is to ensure the maximum possible distance between the buildings, avoiding the meeting of two bee queens.
Bees living in multi-hive hives also give more offspring, which in the long run leads to an increase in the amount of honey obtained.
In the sunbeds
The keeping of bees in hive-loungers is often even simpler and more convenient than in hives of other types due to the fact that:
- the hive lounger is much more difficult to cool, and the queen bees are very sensitive to temperature extremes;
- this type of hive makes it easy to distinguish between bees, thereby giving the opportunity to keep either several bee families, or one large, but with several uterus;
- easier to transport and move;
- the best choice for the artificial method of withdrawal of the uterus.
Breeding queen bees is a long and time-consuming process that requires increased attention and sometimes painstaking work. But the result will not be long in coming: following the advice, next year you can get more hardy bees and more honey.