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Home > International > Breeding and selection > Mated queens’ production

Mated queens’ production

We produce yearly 4000 mated queens, exclusively in Kieler nuclei.
The Kielers are filled with package bees collected in our 10 frame hives. We usually begin the Kielers the week following the start of the rape-seed flowering. This technique allows us to control the swarming without enfeebling the colonies. In April, the hives are generally removed twice.

The start of the nuc:

We use virgin queens borned in incubators for the start of the nuclei. They are introduced directly with the package bees without particular restriction. Beforehand, the feeder is filled with candy.

  • The nuclei are brought at the honey house in a complementary black room and are refreshed regularly with a micro-watering system,
  • The colonies are remained closed for 3 nights. At the fourth night, we move the nuc on their support and open the bottom trapdoors a few minutes later.
  • 15 days later, we check the success rate,
  • we remove the first queens 4 weeks after the start of the nuc. This long period lets time for the nuc renewal which is made by the young bees that are taking charge of the next queens. It’s with this specific extension that we succeeded to limit a lot the desertions between the capture of the 1st and the 2nd queens.


  • With the insertion of the virgin queen, the success rate is generally > 90%,
  • the biggest risk with the start of the nuc is the desertion in the days after the opening of the trapdoors. The colonies’ confinement in a fresh and humid atmosphere seems to limit significantly this risk. However, we regularly still have problems with a batch each year…

Monitoring of the nuc during the season:

  • On the crop day, the nuc are feed with very diluted syrup. This sugar supply stabilises the orphan micro-colony. The quantities are adapted in function of the reserves and of the honey flow.
  • We remove some frames from the strongest nuc to avoid the overpopulation, which would arise problems for the next crop. Those frames are used to reinforce the nuclei that didn’t give queens or to create new nuclei.
  • The next day, we introduce 11 day old royal cells,
  • the next crop of queens will take place 3 weeks later. We make 4 to 5 rotations/nuclei during the season.


  • In the last 2 years, we have gradually ascended all our nuc on supports which facilitate the crops and the cells’ insertion,

The production of fertilized queens in Kieler:

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