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Raising Queens...

posted Aug 26, 2015, 2:52 PM by Mike Stamper   [ updated Aug 26, 2015, 2:55 PM ]

Few things are as mysterious and amazing as the life of the queen bee, says bee breeder Sue Cobey. Just a few days after she hatches from her cell, the queen’s fertility is optimal and she has just a brief time to mate for the rest of her four-year life. 

The timing is critical, says Cobey, as she describes the process to a roomful of rapt Puget Sound-area beekeepers. If the weather is warm and mild, she leaves the hive, flying low at first to avoid her own colony’s drones before heading to a place where drones from other hives are waiting for a queen to fly by.

(Click here to read the rest of the article in the Summer 2012 issue of Washington State Magazine)