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Author Topic: When to re-queen  (Read 542 times)
Pond Creek Farm
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 566

Location: Republic, MO

« on: April 28, 2009, 08:37:49 PM »

We have a hive that just is not building up.  They take no syrup while the packages we installed have gone through gallons.  They are staying on about three frames, and there is not much activity at the entrance to the hive.  They are in there, as is the queen. I have seen her on each inspection (the last about a week ago).  This is a hive that survived the winter, but they simply are not building up.  I have not checked in the last week, but the last time saw little brood and no eggs. I must admit, however, that I am no expert at spotting eggs and cannot say that I have ever seen eggs in our hives;  this is a skill I must work to develop. 

So, do I let them go and see what happens or is it time to put in a new queen.  If I put in a queen now, it will be almost like a package (although I think there are fewer bees than are in a package).  Your collective advice is appreciated.

Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1788

Location: Central Ga. 35 miles north of Macon

« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 09:05:30 PM »

If you can get a new queen asap, re queen asap. If left to drag out, that is exactly what will happen,
they will drag out to nothing. No replacement bees, it will dwindle away. With a new queen, you may not get any honey this season but the colony, with a good queen will or should build enough to winter over. Or you could"take her out" and combine with another good colony. Not a weak one.
Combining two weak colonies only gives you a large weak colony. But that might be O.K. if it were re queened. :)doak
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Posts: 13967

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 10:05:23 PM »

How many workers are there?  They need workers to build up.  A queen can only produce as much brood as the workers can feed and keep warm.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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