2.2.2. Maintaining mating boxes and mating stations
- For preventing the presence of alien drones in the mating station, only drone-free mating boxes should be used.
- If possible, mating boxes should not be disturbed during the queen flight period (between 11:00 and 16:00 h).
- Depending on weather conditions, a first inspection of the queens’ mating success should happen about 2 weeks after establishing the mating units. Successful mating should occur within 3 weeks after queen emergence. Later mating will result in a reduced fecundity and life expectancy of queens.
- A final evaluation of successful mating should occur upon the appearance of sealed brood in the colony.
- Regular inspections of the storage and supplementary feeding of mating units is needed if they are used over longer periods.