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Queen Rearing for Hobbyists

This page supplements the “Hobbyist Queen Rearing” presentation given at local beekeeping associations around the state of Ohio as part of the OSBA Traveling Speaker program. The OSBA presentation focuses on using minimal resources, limited time, and a small number of hives. For backyard beekeepers, this process eliminates some of the difficult and advanced techniques typically used when raising larger numbers of queens.  For those wishing to raise a large number of queens, we recommend a queen-rearing class based on the Doolittle method (grafting).

For more information on the OSBA Traveling speaker program for Ohio beekeeping associations or to schedule a presentation contact OSBA at


OTS  Queen Rearing – Disselkoen

The expanded edition of OTS (On The Spot) Queen Rearing includes several new chapters that have been requested with explanations on how the author does these procedures. The book is based on the miticide-free beekeeping method that I have been using successfully to overcome mites for over 25 years.

Available from the author at International Mating Nuc Inc.

Queen Rearing And Bee Breeding – Laidlaw

Written for beekeepers who know little about genetics and geneticists who know little about beekeeping.

Available from Wicwas Press

Bee Sex Essentials – Connor

The essence of honey bee reproduction—how bees produce drones and queens along with the mating process. Adapting key aspects of bee reproduction allows beekeepers to produce their own survivor, locally-adapted, mite-resistant bees, considered the cornerstone of modern beekeeping. This book provides a clear path to keeping yourself and your community stocked with healthy, productive bees. Feature’s Connor’s trademark full use of closeup color photography.

Available from Wicwas Press

Queen Calendars:

Marking your Queen:

Marking your queens makes them easier to find, help you determine if they have been superseded and can help you track how old a queen is.   There is a standard color code used to mark your queens based on the year the queen was produced:

Color: For Year Ending In:
White (or gray) 1 or 6
Yellow 2 or 7
Red 3 or 8
Green 4 or 9
Blue 5 or 0

For more information on how to mark a queen see the page at the Maine State Beekeepers Association.

Other Resources: