Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to School! (And an Update on Grafting)

The Heartland Apiculture Society's 9th Annual Conference was held July 8-10 at Tennessee Tech University. Greg attended this conference and was pleased to take sessions by Ed Holcome, Bill and Nancy Troup, Kent Williams, and many more. Some topics that were particularly interesting were Seasonal Hive Management, Hive Increase/Making Nucs, Queen Finding and Marking, and Queen Rearing. According to Greg, this was the best conference yet! He learned many new things and got to spend time with lots of beekeeping friends, like Eddie Cope and James Crockett of Pickett County and David Laferney of Putnam County.

As previously mentioned, we tried a little grafting on July 5th. We grafted 23 queen cells in one week. Greg placed the only cell that was successful in a mating hive. 4% is not too successful, but we were pleased that the one we successfully bred was from the Jennifer Barry queen. One reason for this low rate of success could be attributed to the fact that Greg doesn't like to do things by the book. :) Often he has found that he learns more by fumbling around and trying things (or rather is FORCED to learn more BECAUSE of fumbling around). But live an learn, right?

So grafting round two... On July 14th, Greg and David Laferney tried again, grafting 30 larva. David furnished the starter hive: one running over with bees with no queen. Greg provided the larva from the Barry queen. On the 16th, we determined that we had about a 50% success rate! This weekend Greg installed the cells in mating nucs. We will wait to see the results of that.

One more update pertains to one of our new friends we have mentioned a couple of times in this blog, Dwight Johnson. Greg went to check on him and his bees on July 16th; because of his hard work and dedication, he has been given an A+ in bee keeping from Greg Holt, Ph. Bee.

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