A few tips from the beekeeping legends
I grew up working bees with my father, Jack Park, and my uncle, Homer Park. These two pioneers in beekeeping taught me how to raise a quality Park Italian Queen, the kind of queen that will fill the hive with gentle bees, put almonds on the tree and produce honey in the comb. Here are a few of the lessons they taught me:
Start Queens Alone
Start queen cells in a queenless colony, and after 48 hours transfer them to a queenright colony. This ensures that they have an abundance of royal jelly, and are developing in the best nutritional environment possible.
The emerging brood
Queens are raised in a mating nucleus with emerging brood. This optimizes the availabiltiy of nurse bees to care for the young queen’s nutritional needs, and that will promote her longevity.
Utilize multiple mating yards
This keeps the number of virgin queens mating at one time to a minimum, which is less stressful to the queens, as well as giving them better access to the drones.
strong drone mother colonies
Maintain strong drone mother colonies in close proximity to mating yards. Saturate the drone congregating areas with mature healthy drones to ensure that each virgin queen mates with 15-20 drones.