>Unless the bees are having problems with making a replacement, is it really necessary to requeen?
> A weak queen understandably needs to be replaced
> and also, if you're totally interested in maintaining known genetics, requeening would be necessary
Actually if you really want known genetics you'll have to do II. If you raise your own you'll have more control than buying commercial queens. If you raise queens and give them to your neighbors you'll have even more control.http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm
>My thoughts on this are that if there are any feral bees in the area, they're (presumably) fairly well adapted to the local environment (in my case, probably moreso than bees shipped from Georgia), and you stand a good chance of having their drones fertilize your new queen. This should, in turn, introduce those adapted genetics into your hive, which over successive queens, should get more closely adapted to the local environment.
Precisely. But you may want to raise some on purpose as well. Usually the bees figure things out, but they sometimes fail and then you'll need a queen. If you raise your own and keep a few on hand in nucs, you'll have local queens ready to go. Also, raising your own can improve the quality both from you selecting the stock and from carefully picking the right age larvae and insuring they have good food for the duration of the queen rearing process.
> As long as production doesn't suffer and the bees stay docile, is this a problem?
Not a problem.
>Of course, if there are no other bees in the area, the queen won't get fertilized at all, and that would be a problem.
> I only have two hives, and I don't generally see honeybees around (although I did see one this year before my bees arrived). I don't know that the two would be enough to ensure genetic diversity, if no other feral or kept hives are within range.
If you have a lack of genetic diversity you'll get a queen laying spotty brood. If that happens, then buy a queen.