IQI’s Beginnings and Progress:
The Illinois Queen Initiative formed in the Spring of 2008.
Since then over 315 beekeepers have been trained in queen rearing with critical masses of beekeepers trained in areas around Springfield, Freeport, Vandalia, Salem, Greenville, and Chicago.
Several follow-up meetings have been held to trouble shoot, exchange ideas, and teach queen rearing techniques.
Around 1500 queens were raised in the 2010 beekeeping year and the number has increased each year.
Queen rearing beekeepers are taught to test stock for hygienic behavior – a key trait for disease resistance.
The IQI has obtained two small USDA grants to pay for leading edge speakers to present ideas to IQI beekeepers and to purchase queen rearing supplies.
The first annual IQI fall meeting was held in October 2010, the 2nd in November 2011, and the 3rd in October 2012. The 2013 fall meeting is being planned.