Local Queen Producers

Sare grant enables NHBA to train NH commercial beekeepers in queen breeding techniques.

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In 2017 NHBA received a SARE grant to train 6 professional beekeepers in Queen Breeding in order to produce hardy, local stock.

Training event took place June 8-9, 2019, lead by the Cornell Dyce Lab for Honey Bee studies. In addition to faculty and extension instructors, two commercial beekeepers lead the hands on portions of the course including hands on manipulations and grafting of queen cells. Each participant was able to bring two virgin queens back home with them. The NH team carpooled to Ithaca New York, which provided time for participants to get to know each other, build comradery and community within the new queen rearers network. The SARE coordinator provided a list of “car questions” to facilitate dialog on the trip related to beekeeping practices and sustainable agriculture, which was very well received by the participants. Team building exercises, while trivial, have resulted in a strong network of participants willing to share knowledge, skills, equipment, genetic lines as well as their time in each other’s operations. There is a strong willingness to help each other and to learn from one another, which will aid in making the network successful long into the future.

Promotional Piece highlighting the NH Queen Producers Network:

Participants dictated the goals for this 2nd training event. The NH queen producers group spent the morning in a queen rearing apiary learning how one individual in New Hampshire raises and manipulates hives for queen production. We were also able to distribute queen rearing equipment to each participant, as supported by the grant. Additionally the SARE Coordinator was able to shoot video for promotional efforts of the queen network which was shared at the NH State Beekeepers meeting later in the fall. Following the hive side visit, participants were lead in a facilitated discussion focused on identifying their learning needs and remaining questions related to raising queens in New Hampshire.

10am – welcome & goal for the day

10:15 tour of Kevin Sargent’s Apiary and queen rearing equipment

11:45 distribution of queen equipment to participants

12:00 Lunch & review of today's goals

12:30 facilitated discussion on queen rearing technique

3:00 close and feedback on future trainings

NH Beekeepers at a field training

A listing of NH Queen Producers has been published and widely distributed across the state. A blog post was also authored by the NH SARE Coordinator and shared via the NH Beekeepers Newsletter, the NH Honey Bee Diagnostic Network website, and the UNH Extension website.

The queen rearers continue to support each other as a network, which now includes a NH queen rearer with 10+ years experience raising queens for commercial sale in New Hampshire. Participants continue to deepen their skill thru practice and professional development.

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