Grafting Queens.

No, not what you think.   No royalty but helping the bees produce more new queens to keep the hives strong and active.

The knack is to remove a very young larva about the size of a small grain of rice from the honeycomb before the worker bees seal it with wax.   That rice grain is swimming in a bath of nutritious and sticky jelly.   Place your tool beneath the little body and gently remove from the cell and deposit in a distinctly non-royal plastic cup.   The fun is trying to get it off the tool without crushing or damaging that little living being.

Several cups are fitted into a special frame which goes into a queen-less hive heaving with bees .   The workers will spend the next days feeding the larvae with Royal Jelly, turning rice into royalty!

Meanwhile, we are harvesting the Spring honey where my main task is hanging onto the spinner while the sous-chef turns like mad so that the centrifugal force extracts every last precious drop.   Hopefully, I can ferment the water -and-honey rinsings into mead.   Meanwhile, here’s a honey cake recipe that I made in San Francisco.

Next free cooking demo: Summer Strawberry Surprises  1030 Monday 12 June.  Sign up for free at

© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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