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Author Topic: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?  (Read 577 times)

Offline ThomasGR

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Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« on: March 06, 2014, 01:57:31 PM »
Hello,
I have two questions regarding the post title :
1. Do queen-less colonies continue to forage nectar normally during the breeding of a new queen ( due to removal ) ?
2. Is it possible to swarm after the first virgin queen emerges ? ( A hive that would not swarm under normal conditions <1 year old queen ).

Thanks.

Offline Vance G

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 05:00:37 PM »
Mel Disselkoen advocates removing queens to head small splits right at the onset of the honeyflow.  He has found that in his location the bees store a hundred pounds of honey that they would have used to feed brood while the new queen is growing and getting ready to start egg laying.  He does it in large part to control mites and requeen the colony.  I suggest that you search his name and watch an hour plus you tube video that has lots of very good information.  mdasplitter.com covers that information and more and should be required reading.

Offline gov1623

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 12:23:54 AM »
I tried this last year with little success. It seems that it would only work in an area that has a strong and short flow. In the south we have a long and moderate flow, so the queen less hives couldn't take advantage of the entire flow. They stored alot of honey at first and once the queen hatched and started laying it seemed like they totally stopped bringing in nectar and used the honey they had to raise the new brood. 
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Offline Joe D

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 01:48:54 AM »
To question 1  A couple of years ago I caught a swarm put them in a TBH.  I waited a week or two and then checked to see how they were doing.  They had built and mostly filled 6 combs.  The combs are appr. 19" wide at top, 5" wide at the bottom, and 11" between top and bottom.  There was no brood and I couldn't find a queen.  I got a queen and installed her the next day.  So they will continue to build and fill.



Joe

Offline ThomasGR

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 04:53:04 AM »
I found some critical sources referring to this. Mel D. ( has 2013 revised article ). M. Bush and finski ( http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=27350.0;wap2 ).
It seems that swarming may be a problem and needs additional actions.

By the way, more honey production in Kilograms is not my first thought.  i am searching for methods other than standard because of specific reason. I try to change the proportions of the total honey gathered at a specific period because there is a spring source of nectar, so bitter, that no one wants to eat it. On the other hand after the bitter source ( arbutus ) there are wonderful aromatic sources such as species of thyme, oregano, mint, tea ( same area ) and i want to get more from them in the jars. Brood will keep up consumption of the bitter source and while the absence of brood will stop consumption during the aromatic sources. This honey smell is awesome.

There is a thin red line ( quality ) among the nectar sources. Me and my 20 queens will play with the line this year.

Offline rwlaw

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 08:21:04 AM »
Keep in mind, I don't have any idea of your flow timing, here's one idea to consider and if you have the equipment to play with. At the end of your less desired flow, pull the queens (Mel Disselkoen's ots method), hive them and the honey you don't want with them. Install new (or spin out some of the filled ones, you can feed it back to them later) comb on the queenless hive for the new flow, you now have a month for collection of the good stuff!
 
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Offline GLOCK

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 09:27:37 AM »
I took queens out of all my 10 hives last year right as the flow was starting to boom and I had no swarms at all plus I ended up with a lot of honey and 10 new nucs and all my hives have 2013 queens .  I will be doing the same this year.
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Offline 10framer

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Re: Is anyone removing queens for honey production ?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 09:36:51 AM »
i split some hives at the start of the flow last year and put supers of foundation on the queenless hives to get some comb built and it worked pretty good but my flows got messed up by a late cold snap followed by a lot of rain.  i'll probably try it with my breeder queens this year since it will make it easier to get to the larvae for grafting and should prevent swarming in my strongest hives.

 

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