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Author Topic: Is requeening necessary?  (Read 1434 times)
Moonshae
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« on: May 22, 2007, 04:53:21 PM »

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 there, so my question excludes those circumstances.

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. As long as production doesn't suffer and the bees stay docile, is this 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.

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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 06:55:28 PM »

neccesery, most probably no, but i suggest you read your post one more time, you answere most of the questions Smiley

the queen bee flies up to 5miles (so they say) to ensure genetic mixture so you shouldn't worry too much about inbreeding. results of intense inbreeding should show in a few years-resulting in very poor brood pattern, at that time you'll know what to do Wink
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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 07:34:22 PM »

neccessary, most probably no, but i suggest you read your post one more time, you answer most of the questions Smiley

Indeed, but sometimes what seems intuitive isn't actually the way things are, so considering my minimal practical experience, I prefer to bounce my ideas off people who have first hand knowledge of my speculation. Smiley
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
Mici
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 07:41:57 PM »

yeah...well, i have quick and eager fingers so...wait for other people responses, i'm just speaking from my mere experiences which in my perspective are big enough.at leat the queen part

got 5 colonies last year, two of which were bought, now..do i need to tell you which  of my 5 were and still are the poorest? so much about queen breeders, on the other hand..it could be just reaalllyyy bad luck.

anway, wait for other people responses, meanwhile read about queen breeding, although you don't intendt to, it's educational, at least to see what determines queens quality! i would suggest M. Bushes site.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 10:03:23 PM »

There is a good chance that their are other hives within a 2 mile radius of your hives, either another beekeeper or feral.  The drones find an area they like and gather, sending out chemical signals of their location.  A virgin queen responds to the signal and gets mated. 

Even if you only have 1-2 hives mating a virgin queen to her brother is not a real problem the first time around.  The more its done, whoever, the more of a problem it becomes. 

I requeen a hive every 3 years unless there is a specific reason to do it early such as bad performance, disease, or matricide.
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pdmattox
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007, 10:18:30 PM »

Most commercial guys change thiers out once a year just to keep a young strong queen heading up thier hives.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 08:32:25 AM »

>Unless the bees are having problems with making a replacement, is it really necessary to requeen?

No.

> A weak queen understandably needs to be replaced

Of course.

> 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.

Unlikely.

> 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.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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