The class I took last weekend the instructor recommended Buckfast bees from R Weaver over any other. I had already reserved my package and queen of Italian bees from R Weaver and decided to stick with that. He also insisted you re-queen every year to keep the hive strong enough to ward off disease and pests.
Is this common practice to re-queen annually? Or is this how he keeps his Buckfasts from getting "hot"
If you raise them without chemicals and have allowed them to regress to natural, small cell, a queen can be fertile for many yrs, according to Don, aka fatbeeman. He does a once a yr test using a single empty shallow frame in the brood nest. If the bees draw straight comb with all worker cells, good queen. If they build cross comb or make lots of drone comb in this frame, which is placed in the middle of the broodnest, bad queen replace. Don's queens and M.B.'s have been known to be fertile for 4yrs sometimes more. In ahb areas, mark your queens.