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Author Topic: Should I re-queen before brood build-up?  (Read 2971 times)
Hemlock
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« on: November 20, 2009, 04:14:18 PM »

The colony is OK and will make it through winter but the queen has been under productive all year.  I want to split in spring so I'll need good brood buildup first.  I thought I could get a better queen now for brood rearing.  Then increase the colony population as much as possible before the spring split.  Around here they start feeding pollen to the bees in mid January for buildup.

Opinions?
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2009, 04:19:36 PM »

i don't know if you could find a queen now.  even if you did, there would not be much brood rearing until spring.  one option might be to do the split as soon as you can get a queen in the spring and just buy two.  requeen the mother hive and the split.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 07:31:56 AM »

You should have requeened 2-3 months ago.....
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Hemlock
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 08:36:42 AM »

@ kathyP & Robo

I read that one can re-Queen in September.  Unfortunately I read that just last week.  Dang it!  It's stinks being a newbie.  Now I'm wondering if a can squeeze it by this late in the year.  There are queens out there but I'm apprehensive about the effects on the colony.  It would be beneficial to have a better queen during build up though.  Increased chances of the success of the split and all that.

I'm not at all set on it just wondering if it would be helpful.  My plans are to start building them up in January and split them in spring.  Then let the one colony raise it's own queen.  But I still need to re-queen the initial colony at some point.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 06:15:39 PM by Hemlock » Logged
homer
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009, 11:47:40 AM »

@ kathyP & Robo

I read that one can re-Queen in September.  Unfortunately I read that just last week.  Dang it!  It's stinks being a newbie.  Now I'm wondering if a can squeeze it by this late in the year.  There are queens out there but I'm apprehensive about the effects on the colony.  It would bee beneficial to have a better queen during build up though.  Increased chances of the success of the split and all that.

I'm not at all set on it just wondering if it would be helpful.  My plans are to start building them up in January and split them in spring.  Then let the one colony raise it's own queen.  But I still need to re-queen the initial colony at some point.

I would think that you should wait till spring.  I think a big part of getting a queen accepted into your colony is when she starts laying and establishing brood.  It would be very unlikely to have a successful queen intro when she is not in season to be laying much brood.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2009, 12:05:04 PM »

deep breath  smiley.

do it as early in the spring as you can.  a good queen will catch your hive up and the old queen will be laying so it's not like you'll have not brood.

right now, pay attention to things like making sure they don't starve.. 

think about rounding up a nuc box so that you can do a smallish split in the spring.  if this hive if not really strong, you don't want to take much from it.  buy two queens in the spring and give one to your nuc.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2009, 04:45:05 PM »

@ homer,
I did not know that would be an issue, but I do now.  Thank you.

@ kathyP,
Ha ha,  I didn't mean to exasperate anyone.  I guess how much I'm looking forward to the coming year shows. But, I'm still closely monitoring the reserves in the hives and watching for moisture problems too.  All the while planing a big year for a newbie.  re-queening & possibly rearing my own queens, and doing 2 splits all for the first time.  It all might be little for some but it's a lot for me.

Thanks for the perseverance & the info. 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 05:09:45 PM by Hemlock » Logged
kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2009, 07:57:49 PM »

i appreciate enthusiasm.  i will let you know when i am exasperated  Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
RayMarler
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2009, 09:00:51 PM »

You'll have better success with introducing queens, rearing queens, doing splits, etc., if there is a nectar flow. Middle of February here. Keep in mind, when there is nectar flow and drones in the hives, that is time for splits and queens. There won't be any drones here, but I'll add drone combs in mid Feb so drones will start producing and then do splits first of March. Middle Feb is starting of Almond bloom here.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 07:22:16 PM »

Do either a walk-a-way split with the hive and put the existing queen in a nuc as a backup or kill the queen and place frames of eggs from other hives in with the queens own brood.  Do it in early March.  The bees will make a new queen and she'll be up and running before the time queens are usually available in the spring.  Read up on doing splits and requeening Laying worker hives, meld to the 2 threads of info.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 02:58:35 PM »

Thank you all for the responses.  Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

@ RayMarler,
'Drone Comb'?  You must save sections of dedicated drone comb from the previous year to reinstall in Spring.  Does that guarantee drones in every cell at any time?

@ Brian D. Bray,
So several brood frames mixed in with a few native brood frames lends a chance that the newly made queen may be from the other hive.  With only 2 hives i've not much to work with.  I'll do a lot of reading on these topics before i begin work.

Talked to a local beek.  Northern source Queens are not available 'till May.  So if a colony is brimming with bees early I might split them early & let them make their own queen.  Or, just hold out splitting a slower colony 'till May.  Unless I let the bees make all of their Queens.  If we get a strong flow (unlike 2009's endless rain) my options will be better.

Again, thanks to all for your help.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2009, 05:58:42 AM »

I have some pierco drone comb frames I use in the hives for drone production.  They are one piece plastic all drone cell foundation, light green in color so easy to spot it in a hive.
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doak
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2010, 10:22:14 PM »

Unless you strip your frames down in the fall, there should always be drone cells in the brood chamber. The bees fill these unused cells with winter stores in the late summer/early fall.
If you have less than five colonies I would recommend buying a queen.
Re queen with the first big nector flow you have in the spring.
Check all colonies early in the spring for brood pattern, if it is shot out/ spotted,  then re queen.
I like to see a brood pattern with no more than a dozen empty cells to one side, scattered.
Nothing can go 100%. Even Me. rolleyes shocked :)doak
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Hemlock
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2010, 08:10:35 PM »

doak,

My frames are a mix of faux-natural & 5.4 mm Dadant Plasticell.  By faux-natural I mean crimped wire foundation that has been in the hive so long it takes on the characteristics of natural comb.  both large & small cells intermingled in the comb.

I have 2 colonies, so far.  If I can do the splits I know I'll need to re-queen both splits from the weak colony.  The strong colony i want to make there own queen.  So maybe I do that one when the drones are around.  Actually I'd love to re-Queen the weak colony with queens from the strong colony.  Something I may be doing later this year.

Thanks

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