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Author Topic: To requeen or not, that is the question.  (Read 2715 times)
Beehappy
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« on: April 17, 2006, 08:14:55 AM »

Is requeening absolutely necessary? I've been told its the thing to do to keep the hive from becoming africanized or aggressive. How many of you requeen every season? Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 08:39:12 AM »

if I lived in your area I would requeen also, most requeen to have a fresh queen coming out of winter and also it could cut down on swarming with younger queen... its your choice,,, I dont requeen unless I have a problem with a hive but im not in a AHB area yet, I have heard some people dont requeen in AHB area's and had some good luck but they stand a good chance of getting them hot bee's also..
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 09:43:30 AM »

The State of Florida ag dept. has all but made it a law to requeen. They are encouraging requeening every year. Texas has AHBs I bet they are probably about the same.

I am not sure what I will do yet because I hae to get through a winter. Which in Florida doesn't exactly happen.

Hums Judas Priests Breaking the Law

I will hopefully by the end of the year be able to farm my own queens which will make it a  non issue.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Beehappy
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2006, 12:01:36 PM »

Ok, where should I look for queens? Thanks for ya'lls help.
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2006, 03:27:38 PM »

Beehappy:

Welcome aboard in case I missed that - you surely are prolific in your writing - I like that in a member Smiley

About re-queening... I guess I'm old school in thinking that a good queen is like a great car, once you get one, keep her until her productivity has noticeably started to fail.

I guess some people are LEASE CAR PEOPLE, I BUY CARS. I give my queens (when I can keep them alive  rolleyes ) the honor of doing what she was born to do.

In all reality, that is three years and then she;s gone NO MATTER WHAT, but to change a queen every season (especially if she is a real brood machine) seems foolish to me. After-all, when you start swapping out queens, you take the chance of rejection in to account and also she might be a dud and then what?

Respect all your bees (I read you are in your 3rd season I think) and even the single loner of a worker (and you will find workers with a will of their own) deserve the right to be a living part of your hive.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned in thinking that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" but I honestly do think that saying has merit in the bee yard. Welcome Aboard!!!
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manowar422
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 07:47:27 PM »

I once read a "pink page" authored by the Master Beekeeper
George Imrie, who recommended you re-queen every fall.

His reason was that if your honey crop was very important to
you, that re-queening reduces the hives tendency to swarm
due to queen failure (i.e. low pheromone levels).

A hive that swarms will almost never produce a bumper crop
and for the price of a new bred queen, it was foolish to risk
the loss of all that honey and the profit it brings  wink
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Beehappy
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2006, 10:54:50 PM »

Well thankyou for the welcome. This is a pretty cool site. I really need to inspect my hives and see what's going on in there. It was 101 degrees today and when I got home from work this evening I noticed that the bees were bearding on only one of the hives today as opposed to 2 hives yesterday. I hope to be able to inspect them either tomorrow or the next day. I hope the hive that didn't beard today hasn't swarmed! I guess that is one of the reasons to requeen is to avoid swarming. My hesitancy is twofold. One, I hate to interfere with brood production and honey flow. Two, I have heard that they don't always "take" meaning new queen rejection. Third, (Okay threefold) I tend to be a little on the laissez faire side when it comes to beekeeping. The guys at the bee club that I belong to recommend requeening every season. I tend to agree with the "if it ain't broke don't fix it but go fishing instead" philosophy.
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2006, 11:07:42 PM »

I don't re-queen either unless there is a problem with a queen, if you don't watch for queen cells they will swarm unless you try to prevent it by splitting or other manipulations, good ventilation could help also with honey production, air flow through the hive will help them cap the honey faster.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2006, 11:10:00 PM »

>Is requeening absolutely necessary? I've been told its the thing to do to keep the hive from becoming africanized or aggressive. How many of you requeen every season?

Most of my queens are two and three years old.  Some are four.  I requeen if they are not doing well.  Usually mine are doing well.  But I also have no chemical residues in the hive.  No foundation (which is all contaminiated with Apistan and Checkmite) and I don't use any chemcicals.  I'm sure the longevity of the queens is at least partly do to that.
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Michael Bush
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Beehappy
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2006, 12:26:03 AM »

smiley  smiley What do you mean by no foundation. Don't you have to have foundation? I have plasticell foundation in my hives. How would it have chemical residues if I never used chemicals? Speaking of chemicals, the club that I joined when I started this adventure was a big proponet of treating for varroa mites and foulbrood and other nasties. My first reaction was that my family and I and possibly my close friends would be eating this honey and I didn't want it tainted with chemicals. The reply I got was that the chemicals were applied in the fall and by the time the spring honey flow came the tainted honey would be gone, consumed by the bees. I still didn't like the idea so I have refrained from chemical use. I have lost a couple of hives over the winter though and am not sure why.
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amymcg
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2006, 07:45:00 AM »

The foundationless frames have a comb guide in them.  You should visit Michael's site  http://www.bushfarms.com/bees

And going chemical free takes a little work.  If you do nothing, then you will eventually have nothing.  Going foundationless and letting them build their own lets them build smaller cells. Smaller cells interrupts the mites breeding cycles and helps to keep them under control.  No contaminates means healthier bees. . .

You might consider joining the Yahoo Group "Organicbeekeepers"  Lots of good info there.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2006, 07:45:43 AM »

>What do you mean by no foundation. Don't you have to have foundation?

When L.L. Langstroth invented the movable frame hive he had no foundation.  He used beveled sides and top to get the bees to build in the frame.

Here are some pictures of L.L. Langstroths frames and my frames:

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

> I have plasticell foundation in my hives. How would it have chemical residues if I never used chemicals?

It wouldn't have much.  But it's still coated with beeswax and the international supply of beeswax is all contaminated.

> Speaking of chemicals, the club that I joined when I started this adventure was a big proponet of treating for varroa mites and foulbrood and other nasties. My first reaction was that my family and I and possibly my close friends would be eating this honey and I didn't want it tainted with chemicals.

My thoughts exactly.

> The reply I got was that the chemicals were applied in the fall and by the time the spring honey flow came the tainted honey would be gone

Yea, right.

> consumed by the bees. I still didn't like the idea so I have refrained from chemical use. I have lost a couple of hives over the winter though and am not sure why.

The standard varroa treatments (Checkmite and Apistan which I don't use) build up in the wax.  They do NOT go away.  They are toxic to humans and bees.  Fumidil (which I have never used) has a pretty short life, so that argument may be sort of valid for that.  Terramycin (which I also don't use) has a longer life, but still shorter than other antibiotics.  The experts no longer recommend using Terramycin for preventative foulbrood treatments since it only masks the symptoms anyway.

If you want to not use chemicals at all, check out my web site:

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

And the organics group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Organicbeekeepers

The organics group are people using NO treatments whatsoever.  Not even "organic" treatments.
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Michael Bush
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006, 08:19:56 AM »

Quote from: Beehappy
smiley  smiley What do you mean by no foundation. Don't you have to have foundation? I have plasticell foundation in my hives. How would it have chemical residues if I never used chemicals? Speaking of chemicals, the club that I joined when I started this adventure was a big proponet of treating for varroa mites and foulbrood and other nasties. My first reaction was that my family and I and possibly my close friends would be eating this honey and I didn't want it tainted with chemicals. The reply I got was that the chemicals were applied in the fall and by the time the spring honey flow came the tainted honey would be gone, consumed by the bees. I still didn't like the idea so I have refrained from chemical use. I have lost a couple of hives over the winter though and am not sure why.


There is a fact that ALL tha food you eat, and yes, even the so called organic food,  does contain some chemicals through fertilizers, bug sprays, herb sprays and any other applications that HELP you live better through chemicals.  THAT IS A FACT OF OUR LIVES HERE IN THE US of A, and, now that we are fed copious amounts of " fresh " veggies and fruit from South America we are no doubt subjected to their CHEMICAL programs.

Soooo what am I saying here?  Well, are not people LIVING longer and LONGER healthy lives?  Well at least my OLD MA is, at almost 90. Folks are living longer and longer lives to the point of being, for some, a problem smiley Not everyone is paying the HIGHER PRICES for products that are
called organic so it seems as though there is less harm in CHEMICALS as thought but there is still the FEAR  smiley  I dunno,  but it's just a thought.

I do recall mixing  D D T as a very young child to spray our potatoe crop. If you didn't spray you didn't eat potatoes. The DDT was pink and we used to pour water in a # 3 wash tub and hand mix the stuff, pour it into a sprayer and walk up and down the potatoes rows to hopefully kill the dreaded potato bettles.  In general, today,  chemicals are used in crops and since bees and plants go together, you ARE being exposed to chemicals through your " home grown " honey crop.

Long story short, it is commendable that someone would strive to live chemical free but IT IS NOT POSSIBLE smiley  The chemicals and poullants arrive through the AIR, kinda like the " 82 Airborn Division " for an assault.  

There are some methods to control various ailments that beset bee hives/colonies that are " non-chemical " but they do require a much more pro-active approach than the " laid back " read LAZY, method. On the other hand to just apply treatments to bee hive as a " mattter of course " is not the right way IMO. The fact is, if you treat as a preventative measure, you will not know wheather your bees are able to well WITHOUT any treatments.  Kinda like yourself, if some days you don't fell too good what do you do smiley  Personally I wait awhile to see if I feel better the following day or even a few days later. If not, I consult a Doctor and more Doctors until I find out what is bothering me.

Bear in mind that here, in the US of A, commerce IS the BE ALL and DO ALL of our existance. Chemicals ARE manufactored products and they are promoted.  

YOU NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF IN BEEKEEPIN smiley  In all aspects and not just:

I AM NOT GOING TO FEED CHEMICAL LACED HONEY TO MY LOVED ONE OR FRIENDS.

I hope I've said something useful here and not just a rant. Fact is I have not yet fed or treated my hives with anything but confectionary sugar and a couple of applications of Sucrocide.  I have lavished LOVE and HUGS to all my girls, but somehow not ALL have appreciated my tender approach and reacted agressivly. I suppose they are JUST LIKE REAL GIRLS, they do not know a real  LOVER GUY when they see one wink

Take care. Tongue
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Finsky
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2006, 09:15:02 AM »

Quote from: Jack Parr

I AM NOT GOING TO FEED CHEMICAL LACED HONEY TO MY LOVED ONE OR FRIENDS.


Jack, is your biological duty unfinished when you seek uncontaminated loved?


I have wondered what beekeepers were afraid 20 years ago before varroa come? Now it beekepeers se nothing but varroa and chemicals. I don't let them harm my life. And do not give honey to your loved. Sell honey and give pure money!
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2006, 06:29:45 AM »

the potato"e" seed we bought came from NEBRASKA and were known as

well " Nebraska Seed Potato"e" s.  Good potatoes! Red potatoes. (WAYYY better than those awful tasting IDAHO chunks of fodder marketed as potatoes) Now  back in those days, loooooong ago, there were surely some chemicals used to keep " seed potato from rotting or going bad since the seed potato was overwintered for spring planting.  I'm wondering why we ain't all dead  smiley Plus the DDT application post planting. However, I'm not hereby advocating anyone using DDT.

In the case of Apistan or Checkmite I seriously doubt that the manufactors would continue selling those products if they were indeed harmful to humans.  

I decided not to use any chemicals but I have the time to use IPM. The big operators ( many hives ) don't have the time or reasources to do IPM. That would include mite treatments left in hives past the recommended period because of the time and expenses of removing them  smiley
So you can be sure that the honey sold in stores comes from hives treated with chemicals.  

Walmart sells honey. The label on the honey containers states that the contents comes from CHINA, Argentina, USA, and a few other countries.

Today, in the modern world,  it IS NOT possible to live a chemical free life. smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2006, 07:36:33 AM »

Well, then dish me up another plate of organophosphates.  I don't think I've met my Minimum Daily Requirment yet....
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Michael Bush
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Beehappy
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2006, 08:46:55 AM »

shocked It would seem a little naive to think that a chemical company would not sell its product if it thought it might be harmful to humans. Philip Morris is still making cigarettes aren't they? The main goal of any company is to turn a profit and make money. There is nothing inherently wrong or evil about making money. But to blindly trust that if something is being sold then it must be okay would seem a little irresponsible. There is no doubt that it may be difficult if not impossible to live a chemical free life in our modern age. However, contact with toxins can certainly be minimized. I can't control what others spray their crops with. But I can control my own neck of the woods and what I personaly expose myself and my family to.
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