Penrith Beekeepers News

Penrith Beekeepers Association : Queen Rearing Course June 2022

 The course was led by Graham Royle:

Graham has been beekeeping since 1988 and started to study for the BBKA examinations in 1995 when he decided he wanted to know more about the bees he was keeping. His studies resulted in achieving the BBKA Master Beekeeper certificate in 2002 and the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 2004 (the highest beekeeping qualification recognised in the UK). He was also awarded the Wax Chandler’s prize in 2002. Until recently Graham was a seasonal bee inspector. 

The one day course covered the following aspects and approaches to beekeeping: stages of queen rearing; 3 possible queen rearing techniques; cell raising; queen cell distribution; mating and queen introduction techniques.

The course was held at Acorn Bank (CA10 1SP) National Trust property at Temple Sowerby. The theoretical aspects of the session took  place in the Drawing Room of the Main House. The bees and equipment that were used during the course came from the Penrith Beekeepers Association apiary which is located in the orchard at Acorn Bank.

The 15 participants provided the following feedback:

Key : % of responses:

The course increased my knowledge/ understanding of queen rearing strategies:

A lot                93% A little                7% Not at all


-Practise techniques that be taken into action.

-Perfect level of course for our needs

-Interactive, engaging. Lots of knowledge given

-I was coming from limited knowledge, and course was delivered really well, with good knowledge and a great teaching style.

-I had little success before.

-There is a lot to learn

-Clearly demonstrated procedure. Good responses and interaction and questions.

-A little because I have already been doing this for a while

-Increased skill with grafting

I will now try to rear queen bees using some of the strategies that were demonstrated today:

Definitely  86% May be   7% Not yet  7%


I would like to learn more about:

-Disease ;  Bee husbandry;

Overall the course was :


Excellent 100% Satisfactory Disappointing


-Good teaching style and good pace.

-Good pace. Plenty opportunity for questions and practical experience.

-Gave us more confidence and knowledge with how to proceed.

The approach was simple and well explained

Excellent presenter, nice setting. Good chocolate biscuits!

Very knowledgeable presenter, well organised, engaging delivery, with good pacing.

Very well presented, taking the mystery our of queen rearing.

-Simple, concise, entertaining presentation

The course could have been improved by:

Excellent as it was

Not much- two days?

Many thanks for extending the invitation to KBKA. Very interesting and helpful opportunity.

Additional comments:

-Just to say very many thanks for inviting us to the Queen Rearing Session. Not only enjoyable, we learnt so much to help our endeavours. Charlie Payne (Chair Keswick Beekeepers Association)

– Thank you so much for allowing us to join onto your queen rearing course, which was really excellent. We learnt so much and it was great to see the wonderful setup you have at Acorn Bank.  I do hope there may be opportunities in the future for members from South Westmorland to join in with your activities. (Stella Crompton)