I attended Serge Labesque's Colony Propagation for Backyard Beekeepers class on Saturday March 2nd. It was an all-day theoretical course, which wasn't mainly for a beginner beekeeper like me. But, I enjoyed it and learnt a lot.
Serge covered variety of issues:
- Evaluating, selecting and managing colonies for reproduction.
- Practical methods of propagation, such as making splits, and Serge's version of queen rearing method that does not use grafting.
- How to follow up the splits.
- How to keep records for hive inspections.
Nickie Irvine has organized this event as part of The Bee Selective: Home-Grown Bees group activity. Nickie explains it very well:
"A group of us has been developing a program within the Bee Naturals and the San Mateo Guild to develop strong local queens in our apiaries by selecting our strongest hives and learning to reproduce those colonies using splits and other easy methods for queen reproduction. We look forward to being more self-sufficient in our apiaries. We have decided on the following name for our group: The Bee Selective: Home-Grown Bees."Many thanks to Serge and our gracious host Nickie...
Here are some pictures from the class.