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Author Topic: How often do you re-queen?  (Read 3623 times)
Blackbird
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« on: October 17, 2004, 03:23:48 PM »

If all is mormal and well in your hive, how long will you leave the same queen there?
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2004, 03:49:47 PM »

Quote from: Blackbird
If all is mormal and well in your hive, how long will you leave the same queen there?


I keep 80% of queens only one yield season.  2 years old queen is easy to swarm and it's yield drops mostly under the average, even if it is good.

If descendant of new queen are angry or it's brood are is not even, I change it as soon as possible, before winter ball however.

Also I like raising new queens.  About 50% of new raised queens will be destroyed, that is why I must have a lot of queens.
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2004, 03:55:17 PM »

I try to requeen every year.  But there are always a few hive that seem to have issues and end up not getting re-queened.  I never let them go more than 1.5 years.  Not only is a hive with an older queen more likely to swarm, but they are also more likely to supercede.  Supercedure queens are more likely to be poor performers or create a mean hive.  Both of which I don't like wink
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2004, 05:28:50 PM »

I try to evaluate the hive strength and its gentleness compared to its ability to havest well - if all is fine in a hive, I could go three seasons, but EARLY in the third I think it's usually time to requeen.

I hate messing with queens going into the Winter, but a queen who is out early laying good solid and prolific egg patterns with workers who are all going about doing good bee duties shouldn't be killed off JUST because she made it to Spring either.

I think it is VERY RELATIVE to the number of hives you have and the amount of time you have that you can WASTE (forgive that word - maybe INVEST is a better one) in introducing a new queen - especially if the OLD ONE is doing well.

I have NO PROBLEMS replacing a poor layer or low pheromonal queen if I see the hive itself is doing well, but the MISSING PIECE in the hives OVER-ALL rating is a poor queen.

I think three years (a full three, including that last full season) is pushing MOST QUEENS to their limits. She's tired by then and literally worn out in most cases.

I think it too is good for the hive to have generations of workers that are NON-RELATED, in other words older workers foraging and young workers doing hive duties that are NOT blood kin. Replacing a queen can add that needed "new blood" into a hive and often fixes any flaws in the familiar traits.

Remember too that the drones who mated the queen generally in smaller beeyards are from the same bloodline - if not siblings to the virgin queen, then from the relative small hive community, so the sperm that is kept alive insode the queen her entire life (again in a smaller beeyard) can OFTEN carry similar flaws and positive traits in the bloodline.

Either way, introducing a new queen (I think) should come in MOST CASES from a breeder. Getting a newly mated queen and introducing it into your hive is the ONLY WAY to assure that you aren't just rehashing the same tiring bloodline over and over again.

Some queens though (like race horses) should be shown the respect and allowed to have her off-spring virgin queens take her place as head of the colony. A good queen is great to fine, but a great queen is hard to find.

Larger beeyards have a better chance of mixing and matching the bloodlines through mating, imagine having a hundred hives and a dozen or more queens emerge several times a season for superceedure or swarming - the mating mix can be complex with as many as a dozen drones mating with each queen. In a small beeyard (one or two hives) you just rehash the same drones and queen strains over and over.

Lastly, I think no matter how you go about it, when it comes time I think it best to order queens rather than having the hive create a new one from egg/larva. It makes for interest traits to come out for your observation. There is nothing more interesting than to study the subtlties of the colonies. Each hive has its own quirks that makes it unique. If you have enough hives to mate your own queens from proven stock, then by all means keeping a good thing going is perfectly fine - but bad habits are no different than good habits with bees, they are both habits and by paying close attention to the way your  bees handle their daily chores is a great educational and entertaining part of the hobby.

The quickest way to break a hive with bad habits is by introduction of a new NON-RELATED) queen, in just a matter of days you can see the difference the pheromonal scent from one queen to another can differ over a hives general well-being and productivity.
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BigRog
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2004, 06:13:41 PM »

Well Ihope I can make it thoufgh next summer with my present queen
I have a busy full gentle hive, and would like to keep it that way.
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2004, 08:50:50 PM »

about everyone one around here that i know requeen's every 2 years some 3 years unless they arent getting good performance or a hot hive then they requeen when one of those problems happens, why kill a good queen .
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2004, 10:24:31 PM »

Rog:

Since it was a SWARM HIVE - I tend to think you have a queen a season or two old, usually new queens are left behind (beekeeping for Dummies) which I have always thought different, but hey - I'm just the guy that Robo gets to correct every few posts  shocked  embarassed

But the GREAT NEWS (think about it) it started with a few thousand bees (I'd go as much as a pound of bees) and no frames that contained any food stores (except I think 1 or two partly filled frames I gave them) and the rest was about 6 frames of drawn foundation: otherwise EVERYTHING in that hive is NEW to that queen!

I remember very well when we saw her how large, translucent and carmel brown she was. I think she will be absolutely fine for next season. I know by the laying pattern and number of bees and brood that she is a monster laying machine Smiley

The trick of course is getting the hive through Winter and see how FAST in the Spring she gets laying and when it comes time, I'd even suggest taking the frame she is on out of the hive, set it down and observe her for about a half hour, watching the frequency of her egg laying and the amount of calm and assistive workers that she is escourted by.

But I have a good feeling that all will be well. You got a great hive to start off with, even if my power washer was carving the wood like pee in snow - lol.

BTW, I played with that power washer after you left that day and I guess it just needed to get some pressure built up - I think I may have had air in the line. Now I'm awaiting the leaves to stop falling and I'll spend 2 or 3 days power-washing and waxing the bus. I hate all the crap that falls down from those two enormous trees, both in the Spring which is a REAL MESS 1) the buds fall and get caught in the awnings and 2) a week or two later the mini stems that were attached to the buds fall and THEY really clog things up. In the early Winter I just need to deal with leaves, so it should be a much easier process. I just hope I don't slip off the top when soaping it down, that is a long way down.

So even being sick and family matters that took up lots of time, we still got 4 trips in this year 1) Lancaster 2) Cape May 3) Sea Isle City 4) Pocono Mountains and the 2 trips on our first year to 1) Lake George and 2) the scaiest experience of my life, the Blue Ridge Mountains - lol.

Next year is a long ways away, but I'm hoping on another trip toward Virgina, maybe as far as the Smokey Mountains this time. But I'm still into the short trip theme, especially since there are a lot of neat places within 3 hours.

I'm thinking hard of a Watkins Glen, NY trip next year to see a Nextel Cup Race and return to the beautiful gorge at Watkins Glen State Park. I have heard that the Glen could very well be pulled from the circuit of nextel races due to the turn-out, although the road course at the Glen is probably the most exciting 2.5 miles you will ever find.

This will be a guy trip, I have 2 friends who both want to split all costs - but I get the bed to myself, one will get the couch and the other probably my super-sized Army cot that rarely gets used but man is it roomy and comfy Smiley

I told Tracey that she is VERY WELCOME to do a "Girls Trip" but I'm not a cheaufer, she's on her own - lol.

Lastly, I got your package today, I'm putting the disks in the DVD player out in the bus tonight and gonna lay back and enjoy some theatre of the mind!!!! Thanks for thinking of me Smiley
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BigRog
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2004, 10:45:09 PM »

Thanks john,
The last inspection when I saw her she was a very busy lady. Checking out all the cells, didn't see her lay but the frame was pretty full. As are the two lower deeps. Watkins Glen is not a popualr course down here, I don't understand it, guess they can't get used to turning more then one way in a race. Sounds like a great trip.
You should enjoy the disks.
Some good old Sci Fi radio.
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Finman
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2004, 02:38:14 AM »

Queen wing cutting and requeening

I cut queen's another wing to prevent  swarm to escape.

Bees do like cut winged queen and they change it easily.

30 years ago I cut wing at summer when queen had started to lay eggs. They changed many queens at winter and at spring there was drone queens.  Then I read Australian article concerning that problem and I started to use operation before swarming season.
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Blackbird
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2004, 11:54:42 AM »

Thanks for the in put everyone. It's all very helpful. I think ihave a good queen, we'll see how the hive winters. I hope to keep her one more season.

This hive was a new package in April and I actually got surplus honey this first year and there's still honey on the hive for winter.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2004, 12:41:58 PM »

That last post info "She was from a package and I actually got surplus honey" says a lot - I would not think about switching out THAT queen until she proves to be a poor leader for that hive. Obviously THIS season, she did great.

Unless a queen just NEVER preformed as shw should, I would never swap her out in a single season, especially late in the season (only because the NEED in a hive to have a laying queen is anecessary thing in the Summer) but introducing a queen after the hive has gone into the NON-LAYING part of the season gives the hive a greater chance for rejecting the queen. Better put I hope, if you don't need a queen's laying ability at a given moment, then you have a hirer chance of rejection. If the colony is in peak foraging season, the next generation of bees is a TEMPTING reason to accept a new queen.

As you said, keep her until she proves to be a poor queen, she is still young. But at the very least, wait until it's laying time before you swap her out.
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