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Welcome to the Hunt lab's Bee Hive. We are involved in honey bee research and education.


Queen Rearing Short Course
June 16-18th 2016

This is a course designed for those who want to learn the art of queen rearing using the larval transfer technique (Grafting). The two and ½ day course will be at the Purdue Honey Bee Laboratory and will finish on the day of the ISBA-IBA summer meeting.

Those attending the course will get a video (DVD) with their queen rearing manual (Spivak and Reuter) demonstrating the queen rearing techniques. Enrollment is limited to 30 students with their own veil and protective suit, so register early!!! Pre-registration is required.

To register send email to: Please do not send money. The $150 registration fee will be collected on site.

At least one year of beekeeping experience

Learn about:
• Introduction to Queen Rearing Systems
• Biology of Queens
• Equipment Used
• Record Keeping
• Selecting Winter-Hardy Mite-resistant bees
• Drone Biology
• Commercial Queen Production
• Preparing Finishing Colony
• Preparing Swarm Box
• Cloak Board system (Tentative)
• Grafting (hands on)
• Alternative Methods
• Procedure from Egg to Queen
• Queen Mating
• Practicing what you have learned
• Marking Queens

Thursday, June 16th

8:00 a.m. - Registration
9:00 a.m. - Class: Lecture on queen and drone biology, Discussion.
Lunch (provided)
1:00 p.m. - Class: Colony manipulations, set up starter colony and swarm box. Set up cloak board.
4:00 p.m.- Adjourn

Friday, June, 17th

8:30 a.m. - Hive manipulations and practice grafting (In the laboratory)
12:00 p.m. - Lunch (provided)
1:15 p.m. - Putting grafted cups in finishing colony and swarm box
4:00 p.m. - Adjourn

Saturday, June, 18th

9:00 a.m. - Grafting Cells out of Swarm Box and Placing in Finishing Colony
10:30 a.m. - Enjoy the ISBA summer meeting after you check your queen cells
4:00 p.m. - Adjourn

Krispn Given, Apicultural Research Associate, Department of Entomology, Purdue University

Greg Hunt, Professor, Department of Entomology, Purdue Univeristy

INSTRUMENTAL INSEMINATION and the Architecture of a Breeding Program in the 21st century

At the Purdue Univeristy Honey Bee Laboratory August 5th and 6th - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

The class is designed for beekeepers and researchers who want to improve their population of honey bees and maintain a breeding program with improved survivability for their area. The goal is to disseminate current information and techniques; therefore classes are kept small (6) students. Detailed instruction and hands on practice of semen collection and insemination of queens will be emphasized and facilitated with the use of a video camera. Queen and drone biology lecture will be presented along with the preparation and care of virgin queens and drones. Virgin queens and drones will be provided for the students. Successful queen rearing skills are a prerequisite. Provision of your own insemination equipment is required. Microscopes will be provided for use upon request with a $25 rental fee. Students will be able to take their successfully inseminated queens home, to see if they survive. Cost of the two day interactive course is $600.

Instructor: Krispn Given

The two day course is taught principally by Krispn Given, who has extensive beekeeping experience including running & maintaining the Honey Bee Breeding Program at Purdue University the last twelve years. He has also ben involved in extensive research projects with Dr. Greg Hunt. He was instrumental in developing the “Mite Biter Bee” that is gaining popularity with beekeepers across the country.


A thorough understanding of successful queen rearing principles is paramount.

Krispn Given

Do you have a swarm to pick up? Find a local swarm catcher here:

When bees swarm the queen and most of the hive bees leave after filling up on honey. Bees in a swarm are usually very gentle but leave them alone! With all those bees flying one could get stuck in your hair. The swarm sends out scout bees to find a new cavity to nest in. They usually stay for a few days and then they are off to their new home.

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