Every year DarkBee.org provides her members with the possibility of getting larvae from selected Dark bee breeding colonies. This is done at the grafting days at which members can go to one of the breeders of DarkBee.org to collect a maximum of twenty one-day-old larvae. These are transferred into grafting cups (Nicot system), provided with royal jelly, packed in a small container with moisty kitchen paper to prevent the larvae from drying out on the way home. After all, cooling off is not so harmful, but dehydration is.
In 2020, DarkBee.org will organize different grafting days at 13 locations: 9th May, 23rd May and / or 6th June; always between 10 am and 12 pm (hours may slightly vary depending on the location). You can find more information about this, as well as which breeding colonies are located where, on the map below:
Members can register for the grafting days by sending an email to the grafting administration with subject LARVAE, stating the day(s) at which, the location where, and the desired amount of larvae (max. 20 per grafting day) they want to collect (only 1 participation per grafting weekend). Registration for the grafting day of May 9th must be done before May 2nd; for the one of May 23rd before May 16th and for the one of June 6th before May 30th. The exact time at which one can collect his reserved larvae (usually between 10 am and 12 am) will be send out by email a few days before the grafting day takes place. Please note: participants are expected to bring along the same number of new Nicot cups as the number of larvae they have reserved!
One can let queens, reared from these larvae, fly out for mating at his home apiary, which would result in F1 colonies which are ideal for beekeeping, but not for rearing daughter queens from (because of hybridization). Only if there are beekeepers in your area who work with “not selected” honey bees (subspecies / race is not important), DarkBee.org does not recommend this approach in order to avoid the risk of increased aggressiveness. After all, hybrids as such are not the cause of aggressive honey bees, but matings with drones originating from “not selected” honey bee colonies are. On the other hand, as a member you can also freely reserve space for your mating nucs at one of the mating stations managed by DarkBee.org .