New Colony Increase System


From Bee Craft: May 2009

Brian Kelly

A new frame system to help a queen rearing programme


(from the top) Queen cells can be introduced between small frames in the mating box
The mating box comes with a feeder
Two small frames … Click into one large one

Eric, who has been keeping bees for quite some time, has developed a new system of rapid increase of bee colonies which is suitable for both the small beekeeper and the larger bee operator.


Good news is always welcome amongst the hard-pressed beekeeping community. Indeed Eric’s new ‘clunk-click’ frame system and queen rearing boxes combine simplicity and a common sense approach to both queen rearing and stock increase.

Eric explains: ‘My new clunk-click system has been developed as a natural process that works along with the bees and enables the beekeeper to produce bees and good numbers of small combs suitable for queen-rearing with pollen, stores and sealed brood all coming from the same parent colony or colonies.

‘The small frames can then be transferred to the queen mating boxes with the bees all from the same colony, reducing stress and aggression. This reduced stress results in a much higher success rate of queen introduction and greater acceptance of grafted queen cells’.


Eric’s new development promotes rapid stock increase in a way that is natural to the bees and can be adapted to receive queens that are either purchased or home-reared by the beekeeper. The ability rapidly to increase the bee population from healthy colonies is also good insurance against winter losses and losses due to disease.

The system can also be used as an anti-swarming measure.

With imminent restrictions on the importation of queens and bees, this system could well prove invaluable to beekeeping associations all over the UK and Ireland.

The clunk-click system offers the modern beekeeper a chemical free option and can easily be integrated into the organic ethos allowing large numbers of mini-nucs to be produced in one season. These can be developed and at the end of the season the small frames can be clicked together and the bees re-united to boost colonies for over wintering.


The versatility is unparalleled and now offers the small operator the chance to build up colony numbers even from a small number of parent stocks. The mating boxes can easily be divided into two separate compartments, allowing two queens to be mated from one box or one queen can be accommodated by removing the dividing board.

Varroa floors are fitted as standard and candy or syrup feeders are also available.


This entry was posted in Previous Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.