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Author Topic: lazy queen and should I requeen?  (Read 563 times)
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 529

Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

« on: October 28, 2008, 09:41:52 PM »

I have two hives, one the original hive I bought this past spring and a second hive that I split from the first one, in August.  I bought a queen from Purvis for the second hive and now it is completely packed with bees (one medium brood box and currently 2 supers).  She's a maniac!  The donor hive used to be that strength and now is about half the size in bee population.  Inspection of donor hive last week showed very irregular brood pattern with not much capped brood and larvae just sparsely scattered.  And they seem to be filling in some brood areas with nectar even though they have plenty of room in the top super.  I also spotted the queen.  And we are at the tail end of a big flow with plenty of nectar still coming in.  I believe from watching them over the last month that the population is continuing to dwindle.  Should I requeen it now or wait until spring?  I believe next flow for us is citrus in March or April.

Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 3773

Location: Lewisberry, PA

« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 07:33:15 AM »

It's really a catch 22 situation. On one hand, your at the tail end of a flow and many times as the days shorten and the nights get cooler, the bees will backfill the brood chamber, causing some patterns to be questionable as she competes for space.

On the other hand, you mention that the hive numbers have dropped. And even though no two hives will ever be the same, you do have the knowledge of comparision, which makes this hive not up to par.

Two comments....

1) Many wait till its too late. For the cost of a new queen, it's a far better option than a dead hive later.

2) You have just experienced the power of summer splits, new queens, and the many benefits that go along with them, including reactivated brood production and diminished mite pressures. A couple months ago in Bee culture there was an article "Outbreeding Mites". And although I do not agree with everything the writer says, he does hit the nail on the head about mite control and a far superior fall brood period and associated winter preparation of the bees with newly installed summer queens.

If you can find a queen, requeening would not hurt.
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