Queen rearing is the process by which beekeepers raise queen bees from young fertilized worker bee larvae.
The beekeeper grafts eggs, which are 3 days of age, into a bar of queen cell cups. The queen cell cups are placed inside of a cell-building colony. This colony must be strong, well-fed and queenless. The colony will feed the larva with royal jelly and develops the larvae into queen bees.
After approximately 10 days, the queen capped cells are transferred from the cell building colony to small mating nuclei colonies.
The queen cells hatch inside of the mating nuclei. After approximately 7–10 days, the virgin queens take their mating flights, mate with 10–20 drone bees, and return to their mating nuclei as mated queen bees.