- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology will offer a two-day queen-rearing techniques short course, March 28-29 in the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis campus.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño will teach the course, assisted by co-instructors, staff research associates Bernardo Niño and Billy Synk.
“This course is perfect for those who have some beekeeping experience and would like to move on to the next step of rearing their own queens or maybe even trying their luck at bee breeding,” Elina Lastro Niño said.
Topics will include honey bee queen biology, basics of selective honey bee breeding programs, various queen-rearing techniques, hygienic behavior testing, and assessment of varroa mite levels.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and practice multiple methods for queen rearing. “We will go through a step-by-step process for queen rearing via grafting, including setting up cell buildings and mating nucs,” she said.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to check their grafting success and local participants can take their grafted queen cells from their practice exercises, back to their apiaries. The participants also will learn techniques for assessing varroa loads in colonies and evaluate hygienic behavior.
The course is limited to 14 participants. It will include lectures, hands-on exercises, and a tour of the department's Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee, located next to the facility.
The $200 registration fee covers the cost of course materials (including a set of grafting equipment, grafting frame with bars, plastic queen cups and a grafting tool); breakfast, lunch and refreshments.
Participants will be responsible for obtaining their own lodging. For directions, visit http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/qrtsc.html. For more information on registering for the short course, contact Bernardo Niño at firstname.lastname@example.org