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Author Topic: Urban Queen Rearing  (Read 1774 times)
DCHoneybees
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« on: February 24, 2011, 06:55:08 PM »

I have until now bought my queens for my splits and nucs I plan to sell.  I love the fact that I can both brand my nucs with particular bee-friend queens and give my buyers a variety of colonies, much like an offering of fine wines.

But if I ever decided to try to breed a few queens for fun and for my own use, is it futile given the dearth of hives in this environment?  I have seven hives on my roof and am populating several more within a 1-mile radius, but I fear that there will be far to few drones to properly fertilize a virgin queen.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 07:43:12 PM »

It really depends on a number of factors. How many hives do you have? Do you know others that have hives near you?

You could always flood the area with drones, just to make sure.
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WPG
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2011, 07:48:19 PM »

To get more drones put a frame of drone foundation in each brood chamber, or just a foundationless frame, the bees will take it from there, especially if they have been restricted in drone production as is normally done nowadays.

There will be much less burr-comb built and it will be easier to work the hives.

Goodluck.
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Push, Pull or get Out of the Way
Robo
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 08:17:42 PM »

A few green pierco frames work wonders................
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


bee-nuts
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 09:02:50 PM »

I bet there are more bees in reach of your queens then you realize. 

Are you near the white house?  There is one colony there for sure, LOL!

Hey, are bees legally kept in DC?  I seem to remember a post complaining why the white house had bees when it was not legal for others in the area.  Maybe the bees have gone to my head though?
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Humanbeeing
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 09:34:04 PM »

I'm sure there are plenty of wild Drones around you. If you took the time, and searched real well, you would find a few bee trees and some walls or roof spaces full of bees. By all means though, put in Drone comb. Your Drones can tell you alot about the health of your hives. DRONES ARE GOOD!
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HELP! I accidently used Drone eggs with the Hopkins method and I got Drag Queens!!!
Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 11:57:50 PM »

I've never had a problem getting queens mated no matter how few hives I've had, during the active mating season, which here would be from about mid May to August.  There are a lot of feral bees out there.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
DCHoneybees
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 08:06:25 AM »

Thanks all!

I am foundationless in these hives so hoping that the colonies will produce the drones they need, I hope.  I will try raising a few queens this spring for fun, but I'm not planning on putting any of my queen-rearing friends out of business!!

Regarding the legality of bees in DC, the law is a bit amorphous, so we look to how the city regards beekeepers.  To date the authorities have not been enforcing any prohibition, and there are plenty of hives out in the open.  In fact, the Department of Parks and Rec manages several community gardens into which they have installed hives.

I have 25 new hives I have installed for new beekeepers in DC this year.  I have advised them to be discreet in their hive placement away from prying eyes, and to have a source of water nearby.

There is a huge interest in urban beekeeping here, with several local courses being oversubscribed.  But rather than proactively lobbying to get the law clarified, the DC bee community has chosen to lay low.  I'm not sure that strategy is consistent with my own wiring, and I have been quite aggressive in my outreach to get more hives in DC.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 10:02:30 AM »







There is a huge interest in urban beekeeping here, with several local courses being oversubscribed.  But rather than proactively lobbying to get the law clarified, the DC bee community has chosen to lay low.  I'm not sure that strategy is consistent with my own wiring, and I have been quite aggressive in my outreach to get more hives in DC.


You have given them really good advice on two above points. Provide a water source to limit bees chilling out by the kids pool and the laying low-discreet tactic.

Dont ask, Dont tell
Easier to get forgiveness than permission
Only a crime if you get caught  grin

And Mike if I may be so bold...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesafewgoodqueens.htm
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