>Also, DON'T clip her wings. Some recent research in Germany, by a professor who glued on small sensors that send out a radio signal showing him where his queens are, made a discovery that blew the book wide open. His 3 YEAR OLD queens were having mating flights!
I would love to see the research on this. It is contrary to what I understand.
>Better Question: Who's queens even LIVE that long without being superceaded or swarming away. Mine last abou 6-8 months before superceadure.
Most of my queens are three years old. A few are four. Some are two. When I get a good mother queen, I hate to part with her and as long as they are laying well I keep them. Most of them lay way for about three years and then they get superceded. With the chemicals that are in all of the foundation wax now, the estimate I heard from Nancy Ostiguy was that currently the average queen is superceded three times a year.
Jay Smith (famous queen rearer) in his book "Better Queens" on page 18 says "In Indiana we had a queen we named Alice which lived to the ripe old age of eight years and two months and did excellent work in her seventh year. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this statment. We sold her to John Chapel of Oakland City, Indiana, and she was the only queen in his yard with wings clipped. This, however is a rare exception. At the time I was experimenting with artificual combs with wooden cells in which the queen laid."
I would point out that Jay says: "This, however is a rare exception." Also note that seven year old Alice was clipped.
I think three years has always been pretty typical of the useful life of a queen.