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ABJ's Article on ABF Board Member Emily Brown
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Born to Be A Beekeeper

 

Arizona Beekeeper's Love for the Craft Began in Elementary School
by Mary and Bill Weaver
American Beekeeping Journal

Emily Anderson Brown, of Scottsdale,AZ, (formerly of PA and MD) has figured out how to requeen Africanized hives successfully. This is a highly useful skill to have in Arizona, as she does bee removals and relocations and deals with Africanized takeovers of her own hives. “First, she explained, I break down the larger hive or swarm of maybe 50,000 bees into three or four small nucs, and immediately move those nucs to different yards. Small Africanized nucs are much more likely to accept a European queen. Second- and this requires a lot of ‘babysitting’-she waits longer than usual to release the new queen. “It definitely takes more time. I had to learn to understand the mentality of the bees in the hive. I have a process I use to determine when I can safely release the queen and the bees will be ready to accept her.” Emily, a beekeeper since her teens, is a careful observer. Third, your choice of a queen source can make a difference in acceptance of the queen by small, Africanized nucs, Emily has found. “Queens from Kona in Hawaii or Koehnen in California will often work with Africanized bees.” In addition, queens from certain breeders tend to work better under Arizona desert conditions. Queens from Weavers in Texas fall into that category, in addition to Kona and Koehnen, as well as queens from several other California breeders. “A big problem has been being able to get small quantities of queens when I need them. If I would raise my own queens here, there’s a good chance they would be Africanized. I’m trying to find breeders who cater to the sideliner and might have small quantities available when I need them. I may need only 25 queens at a time.

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