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 a hive with gentle bees, put almonds on a tree, and make honey in the comb. Here are a few of the lessons they taught me:
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.
Queens are raised in a mating nucleus with emerging brood. This optimizes the availabiltiy of nurse bees to care for th young queen’s nutritional needs, and that will promote her longevity.
Utilize many 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.
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 queens mates with 15-20 drones.
2012. Jackie Park-Burris Queens. All Rights Reserved.