God Save Our Gracious Queen
It is some good news for beekeepers in Cape Cod who have received a grant from the U.S Department of Agriculture to grant three years of a project that started in 2010. The aim of this project was to produce their own Queens rather than taking ones from down south.
Many of the Queens that are imported from down south, come from Georgia and very few survive the winter. By producing there own Queens in there own climate it is hoped that they will be more likely to survive the climate.
The Cape Cod local beekeepers association has around 300 members, and it is estimated that they need around 300 Queens for these members. It is a very complex process of trial and error. Russian Queens were used but there were some problems such as the weather and the lack of pollen.
The first year of the project only around twelve worked out, the following year that number significantly increased to around forty which were sold to members to put into their hives. Reports from beekeepers revealed around nine did not survive, so there is about a 70 percent success rate.
Queens have also been imported from Ohio, California and even Germany in order to get the right mix. Breeding the Queens is a much more difficult process than people realise and it is certainly not a one person job. The process of introducing a Queen into a new hive does take some considerable skill and not to mention patience.
Beekeeping is far from easy and many things just keep making it more and more difficult. Colony Collapse Disorder is one of the main problems that a great number of beekeepers are facing all around the globe, not to mention the spread of varroa mites. It's good to see that many beekeepers are keeping this great hobby alive.
Great organisations such as the Cape Cod local beekeepers association are doing all they can despite the obstacles in their way to keep these little fellows happy. This association is always looking for new members to join the cause, they don't just give you a few bees and set you on your way. They have classes and will do all they can to help you get a thriving hive.