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Author Topic: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees  (Read 1282 times)

Offline bee-nuts

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queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« on: April 19, 2009, 03:03:41 PM »
I am curious how much queen age will affect honey production?  Ive read that you should re-queen hives every year, every two years and have even read that if you know what you are doing some queens are good for three years.  So what is the truth in your opinion and how much does it affect honey harvests?  Will you lose 20% production on average as an example with a 2nd year queen?

Also, how late in the year could I shake a couple pounds of bees, introduce a queen and reliably have them survive the coming winter?  I live in Wisconsin.

Thanks for any information you can provide.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

Offline SgtMaj

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Re: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 03:55:58 PM »
The reason some people suggest requeening more often is as a measure of reproductive swarm prevention.  Hives with newer queens are less likely to swarm early in the season (just before the spring flow), which means there will be more bees in the hive to collect more nectar and you will get a better harvest from that hive as opposed to one that swarms a couple of times before the flow and is left with only a few thousand bees and a virgin queen when the flow hits.  Of course, all that might be for naught if the beekeper doesn't give them ample room for nectar storage and doesn't make the bees crawl through the crowded brood chambers to get to the honey supers which could cause the bees to swarm due to space issues during the flow.

Also, preventing swarms also makes the neighbors happier if they aren't beekeepers.

Offline doak

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Re: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 05:45:53 PM »
You can re queen every 6 months but if she is producing inferior stock then you need a new queen.
like was said, swarm prevention and gentleness are the main 2 reason to re queen every year. :)doak

Offline doak

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Re: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 07:37:20 PM »
And honey production.
If you have a colony that is a poor honey producer, re-queen with a queen from other stock , not her.
 :)doak

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 08:29:44 PM »
Brother Adam said a queen does her best work in her second year...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: queen age and honey production / shaking own bees
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 03:49:01 AM »
Thanks everyone for the information you provided. 
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

 

anything