They Keep Bees: Beekeeping

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Queen Research

High quality queens are critical for healthy hives.

Raising Northern-adapted queens could improve the health of our bees and the sustainability of beekeeping in New England. But, queen rearing is complicated and resource-intensive.  Could we make it more accessible? 

In 2019, we teamed up with our pals at Anarchy Apiaries, and UMass Extension to see if we could streamlines queen rearing techniques.  

Our goal was to test whether queens produced through simpler methods, like walk-away splits and a 48-hour grafting technique, produced high quality queens.   

Surprisingly, we found we could produce high quality queens using all of these methods. 

Queen School

Now we're ready to teach our methods to you!


In 2022 Anarchy Apiaries and They Keep Bees are teaming up to teach you three of  strategies for raising high quality queens.  Our series will be split into two parts:

First, in Winter, an Online Queen Rearing Series 

This Winter we'll host free live talks with queen rearers & beekeepers from across the country to discuss best practices in queen rearing.  


Then, in Summer, a Hands On Queen Rearing Series in Western Massachusetts

This Summer you'll learn hands on strategies to build a queen rearing practice, or fine tune your skills. 

Want in?  Email us at for more details!

A Sample Instructional Session:  Inspecting A Comfort Hive