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Author Topic: requeening  (Read 2729 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 27

Location: Woodstock, Maryland

« on: February 17, 2005, 05:41:26 PM »

My two hives are about to start their third year.  On warm days I've seen lots of activity; I've even seen workers returning with pollen, although I have no idea where they're getting it in February in Maryland.  I am wondering if I need to requeen this year, and if so when is a good time to do it.  I've never done this before, and wonder if I should wait until a little later in the spring when the queen might be a little larger and easier to locate.
Beth Kirkley
House Bee
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Posts: 103

Location: Eastman, Georgia

« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2005, 05:49:50 PM »

I would say YES, re-queen. Many beekeepers do this every year, but I can't remember why. I don't think she's old and wore out. I'm sure someone else will write and say why. Smiley

The queen won't get any "bigger" and "easier to see". She's the same all year round. You'll have to wait till queens are available though. But if I were you, I'd go ahead and get one on order. When you order, you should be able to find out when they'll deliver her. That way you can make your plans (mostly according to weather) as to when to take the old queen out. I would take the old queen out at least 2 or 3 days before putting in the new queen.


House Bee
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Posts: 244

Location: salt lake city

« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2005, 06:09:20 PM »

I would plan on requeening this spring.  There are a couple of reasons to do it.  To help control swarming, and queens getting up wards of 3 years are becoming suspect.  Nothing worse than checking a hive that was booming 6 weeks ago, to find it dwindling miserably at the start of the flow because of queen failure.  With the use of chemical mite treatments,  spring or fall requeening is probably a good practice to follow.  I used to keep the queens in booming colonys in place as long as they were productive, but they don't seem to last as long any more.
Galactic Bee
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Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2005, 06:57:16 PM »

I would definately plan on requeening this year.  

I would bet that at least one of your hives, if not both have supercede your original queen without you even knowing it.

I strongly recommend replacing with marked queens so that you will know when supercedure/swarming has taken place.

If both queens are still performing satisfactorially (good brood pattern),  I would wait until mid-summer or fall to requeen.  Better queens are produced then and are cheaper too.

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Galactic Bee
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Posts: 3384

Location: Walker, La.


« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2005, 08:42:37 PM »

if it was me I would wait until this fall to requeen unless I see a hive that is not up to par when the brood rearing takes off. like Robo said your bee's might have superseded  with out you knowing it and you might have a young queen in the hive already. they could have swarmed with out you knowing it and the queens could be younger than you think. sometimes its a judgement call.


Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
House Bee
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Posts: 471

Location: Concord, MA

« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2005, 05:25:45 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley

The queen won't get any "bigger" and "easier to see". She's the same all year round.


Actually Beth, queens do shrink down a bit in the winter when they are not laying. Cheesy

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East Texas Pine Rooter
New Bee
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Posts: 3

Location: Palestine, Texas

« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2005, 11:09:17 AM »

You can order new queens delivered over night from Hawaii.  I ordered mine from  They are itallian.

Have a cat at the farm, and a dog in town.  we like rv traveling in our 5th wheel.  Just started bee keeping this 2004.   married 27-years,
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