10 December 2013

St. Ann Bee Farmer's Association Queen Rearing Training

Emmanuel and the kids

Through the Farmer to Farmer project, we are able to host a volunteer trainer from New Mexico - Melanie Kirby from Zia Queenbee Co. Melanie is a professional queen rearer with seventeen years of experience and calls herself a student. She will be here for two weeks doing theory on queen rearing and will be back in February to do a hands-on training.

Today Melanie had her first queen-rearing training with eleven members of the St. Ann Bee Farmer Association. We first gave a tour of the Yerba Buena Apiary then walked to Strawberry Fields Resort next door for Melanie's presentation and holiday party. "Mother Nature is in control" was her foundation. In her perspective, a big part of Colony Collapse Disorder is the result of our attempts to speed up Mother Nature to suit our own needs. Diverse genetics is incredibly vital and the majority of the commercial beekeepers getting their queens from the same commercial queen breeders. The honeybee's genetic stock is extremely limited and about to collapse with the excessive inbreeding of poor traits that are not yet acclimated to the biosphere. New beekeepers are more likely to buy their queens early from these same commercial queen breeders which only contributes to their colony's poor health and resistance. By breeding yr own queens, you are empowering both the honeybees and yrself. Meeting with new beekeepers sheds light on a lot of ideas, thoughts and facts and Melanie holds a bright torch.

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