All you need to know about Queen Bee rearing and more than you'll remember!

Raising your own queens is one of the most rewarding endeavours in beekeeping and it's easy to do. This class takes a science based approach to queen rearing. We train beekeepers to understand and work with bee’s natural tendencies to successfully raise queens in any size operation.

Held at Darebin Parklands in Alphington over three consecutive days this course is hosted by Benedict Hughes (The Practical Beekeeper) and delivered by Jody Gerdts from Bee Scientifics.

Course Dates 

November 24, 25th and 26th - Darebin Parklands


This workshop is geared toward experienced hobby and backyard beekeepers who want to raise their own queens in order to increase hive numbers or to re-queen old or failing queens.


  • Optimum conditions for queen rearing
  • Honey bee biology
  • Breeder selection
  • Locally adapted stock
  • Grafting
  • Raising cells
  • Mating virgins
  • Requeening with cells


Jody Gerdts, Bee Scientifics

Jody Gerdts is the principal researcher and educator at Bee Scientifics. She is a fourth generation beekeeper and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Education and Master’s degree in Environmental Science. She has previously worked closely with Dr. Marla Spivak at the University of Minnesota as a laboratory technician and developer of beekeeper education and training programs. Jody seeks to enhance Australian honey bee stocks and build beekeeper capacity through science based honey bee breeding, education and training.

She works with commercial (migratory) beekeepers within their operations, maintains a breeding program, and offers classes, workshops and field days for beekeepers.

Her aim is to provide long-term solutions to honey bee health threats through conducting and translating research into best management practices. In short, to enhance Australian honey bee stocks and build beekeeper capacity through science based honey bee breeding, education and training

Benedict Hughes, The Practical Beekeeper

Benedict Hughes is a registered Beekeeper. As The Practical Beekeeper he collects swarms, manages hives, extracts honey, teaches and loves bees. Benedict is a member of the Beekeeper State Quarantine Response Team with the Victorian Government (emergency beekeeper), is the resident Beekeeper at Ceres in Brunswick and is approved by the City of Darebin to keep bees in Darebin Parklands and Bundoora Park. Benedict regularly runs sessions about bees and about backyard beekeeping for kids and adults.

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Class Schedule

The three day workshop runs Friday to Sunday, from 8.30 am and finishes around 5.00pm

What you will learn
  • The optimum conditions for queen bee rearing.
  • The tools, systems and timeline required to succesfully rear your own queen bees.
  • How to breed queens that are hygenic, productive and gentle.
What you will get
  • At the end of this three day workshop you'll have all the skills to raise your own queen bees no matter the size of your apiary.

What to bring
  • Comfortable long sleave shirt and closed footwear as we are working in the apiary
  • tea and coffee and snacks provided but please bring lunch
  • your own clean bee suit, without wax, honey or propolis (we have some veils available if you want to borrow them)
What to wear

Don't forget we are in the outdoors so bring some sturdy boots

Appropriate for

The course is perfect for both sideline or professional beekeepers looking to expand their knowledge and take their skills to the next level.


The Practical Beekeeper

Vendor since 2015

A well-known registered Beekeeper, Benedict is "The Practical Beekeeper". Benedict collects swarms, manages beehives and delivers educational courses

Benedict is a full time beekeeper specializing in Urban beekeeping and he manages a number of hives in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Benedict has a background and passion for permaculture, sustainability, horticulture and landscape architecture and is passionate about sharing ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.


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5 Reviews
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04 December 2017 • Queen Rearing Workshop with Bee Scientifics

Very good course. Informative and practical


04 December 2017 • Queen Rearing Workshop with Bee Scientifics

great weekend and I particularly enjoyed meeting other like minded individuals from amateurs to professionals. The course was well structured and practical. My only comment on improvement was the first day venue which was not particularly conducive to easy viewing and comfort, the following two days was much better. Directions to the day one venue were scant and therefore confusing if you had no previous knowledge of the area. material presented and practicals were excellent and I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in bee husbandry whether they were intending to breed queens or not.

The Practical Beekeeper


Thanks again Rex for coming along & for the feedback about the course. We take on board the feedback & will make improvements for next year


03 December 2017 • Queen Rearing Workshop with Bee Scientifics

This was a highly comprehensive and professionally delivered course with an excellent mixture of theory and practical application. I gained so much insightful additional knowledge about bees and bee keeping. In addition there was a great mix of commercial, and hobbyists who were also willing to share their experiences and tips and tricks.

The Practical Beekeeper


Hi Katrina thanks for coming so far to attend the course & for  adding to the success of the weekend. We hope to see you again in future

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