In 1911, Isaac Hopkins explained how he raised queens. The Hopkins Method of Queen Rearing is still as effective for us today as it was when it was originally established more than 80 years ago, according to G.W. Hayes. “Believe me when I tell you that you can produce more quality queens than you can probably use yourself with almost no specialist equipment or manipulation,” he wrote in the same May 1991 issue of The American Bee Journal. The average number of queens raised using the method is around 20.
Hopkins and Miller’s approaches are comparable. The orientation of the frame on which the queen cells are constructed is the main distinction between them. The Hopkins approach uses a horizontal frame.
Determine how many queens or nucs you can generate after assessing your available resources, such as the quantity of brood, the number of workers to care for the brood, the presence of queen cells, and the availability of mating boxes or nucs.
Using the components from the initial hive as a source, construct the mating boxes/nucs. If the mother (original) hive’s resources are insufficient to support the number of nucs you decide to create, you can add brood and workers from other hives to make up the difference.
Step 3: Day 1:
Build the Hopkins frame and set it within the queen mother hive. Build an unwired frame with foundation pins holding it in place. The Hopkins frame is this. Unwired frames must be used since they will make removing the queen cell in the future simpler.
Step 4: Day 5:
The cell-building hive’s queen should be removed.
Prior to transferring the Hopkins frame from the queen mother hive to the cell builder hive, the queen must be removed. If queen cells are to be raised, this queenless situation, which triggers an emergency response, must exist. The bees quickly construct queen cells in response to this predicament. Keep the queen in a little nuc for the time being. At a later time, she will be delivered back to the cell builder hive.
Step 5: Day 6:
Examine the Hopkins frame and check to see whether any 24- to 36-hour-old larvae are there.
Remove extra cells from the Hopkins frame.
In the cell builder hive that is now queenless, place a shim over the brood frames. It serves as a support for the ready Hopkins frame and offers room for the protein patty and the bees’ queen cell construction.Place the protein patty, divided into quarters, above the brood frame’s top bars and in the shim’s interior corners. A telescopic cover should be used to shut the hive after placing the prepared brood frame on top of the shim.
Cover the hole with an upside-down Mason jar filled with 1:1 sugar syrup. The Mason jar lid should have holes with a diameter of 1/16 inch. Add a feed stimulant to the syrup, like Honey Bee Healthy. To shield the syrup from direct sunlight, cover the feeder with an empty box or bucket.
On day 15, or nine days after putting the Hopkins frame on top of the cell builder, get the queen cells ready for transfer to queenless mating boxes or nucs.
Feed and reduce admission in step seven. Add a shim to create some room above the top bars before sealing the mating box/nuc, and then add a protein patty. A 2 to 3 inch circular hole should be cut out of the center of the nuc’s cover. Cover the hole with an upside-down Mason jar filled with 1:1 sugar syrup. The Mason jar lid should have holes with a diameter of 1/16 inch. Add a feed stimulant to the syrup, like Honey Bee Healthy. To shield the syrup from direct sunlight, cover the feeder with an empty box or bucket.
For a few weeks, keep feeding the mating box/nuc.
Wait three weeks before examining the outcomes in step 9. Locate a laying queen with a healthy brood pattern. Transfer the bees into a regular box if this is the situation. The frames should be brought back to the original hive if you were unsuccessful.